Long-Term Maintenance


Losing weight requires commitment and effort. It is therefore disheartening both for patients and practitioners to see weight regain occur, sickness and the resulting negative feelings can lead to abandonment of weight management efforts. Research shows that the majority of those who complete weight-loss programmes lose approximately 10% of their body weight, only to then regain two-thirds of it back in one year, and almost all of it back within five years.1 The need for effective methods to ensure maintenance of weight lost has become increasingly apparent.


Traditionally, research efforts have focused on effective methods of weight loss, but over the past decade an increasing number of studies have been directed towards the achievement of weight maintenance. No simple solution has been highlighted, but knowledge and understanding of this topic has increased.

It is now known that modest weight loss (e.g. 5–10% of body weight) maintained or a significant amount of time can achieve positive health benefits such as changes in blood pressure, blood glucose levels and lipid profiles. For research purposes the Institute of Medicine in the USA has defined success as a weight loss of 5% of body weight maintained for one or more years.1