Breaking the cycle of weight regain after weight loss™
With so many people being assessed as overweight, obese and morbidly obese, weight loss is important in our society. However, the average “dieter” relinquishes their goal towards weight loss because the weight comes back with additional poundage. It has been a long-standing challenge to find an effective method to maintain reduced body weight. Research has shown only approximately 20 percent of overweight or obese persons are successful at long-term weight loss.1
In order to lose weight and not regain it, ongoing changes in lifestyle, eating, and exercise have been shown to be key determinants in weight maintenance.
Behavioral issues are important to the discussion of weight loss maintenance. Brief, monthly personal contact between patient and physician or patient and educator has been shown to be more effective in accomplishing weight loss maintenance than other methods of interaction, including Web-based technology.2,3
The study by Dale and colleagues3 demonstrated that a relatively inexpensive long-term nurse-support program is effective in helping people maintain their weight and in many instances, further reduce their weight, waist circumference and body fat mass over a period of time.
Our weight management and wellness program begins with the Accelerated Phase, incorporating weekly face to face visits for the first four weeks. The initial patient visit is conducted with the licensed healthcare provider. Follow up visits are administered by either the physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or registered dietician.
After the initial Accelerated Phase patients convert the Transition Phase incorporating bi-weekly weigh-in visits with the physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or registered dietician for the duration of the weight loss period.
On the alternate weeks, patients receive a phone call, which lasts about five minutes from a weight maintenance support staff to discuss their progress.
Maintenance and Wellness Phase
Once weight loss objectives have been achieved patients convert to the Maintenance and Wellness Phase, incorporating a monthly weigh-in visit and one phone call each month to assist the patient in maintaining the improvements in their weight and lifestyle modifications.
All weigh-in visits last five to ten minutes and the patients weight is recorded in the SlenderCare® patient log. These weigh-in visits also provide an opportunity for the patient to discuss any health concerns, their eating and exercise progress.
In the study by Dale and colleagues, to determine the optimal approaches for weight maintenance, many participants reported that the weigh-ins and the enthusiastic support provided by the nurse on those occasions and on the telephone were key determinants of their success.
Additional low-intensity lifestyle support interventions include, automated email support, on-line patient portal with access to educational videos from a registered clinical nutritionist, dietary recommendations, meal plans, shopping lists and recipes.
- Initial weekly face to face visits
- Bi-weekly converting to monthly weigh-in visits
- Support phone calls to patients
- Automated patient email support
- Patient portal for access to educational videos, meal plans, and more
Implementing a long-term support program increases patient visits and provides an opportunity for physicians to assist their patients with maintaining weight loss by reinforcing healthy dietary and exercise habits; regularly monitoring weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. Furthermore, when indicated the physician can intervene to address other risk factors for weight regain.
1. Wing RR, Phelan S. Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82(1 suppl):222S–225S.
2. Svetkey LP, Stevens VJ, Brantley PJ, et al.; Weight Loss Maintenance Collaborative Research Group. Comparison of strategies for sustaining weight loss: the weight loss maintenance randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2008;299(10):1139–1148.
3. Wing RR, Tate DF, Gorin AA, Raynor HA, Fava JL. A self-regulation program for maintenance of weight loss. N Engl J Med. 2006;355(15):1563–1571. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17035649?dopt=Abstract