There are secrets to losing weight and then keeping it off, according to a study that used machine learning. People who keep going even when they have setbacks, look back on their lives before they lost weight, and keep their focus on their health.
The findings were published on Feb. 9 in “Obesity: The Journal of the Obesity Society”. This is the first large-scale study that allowed weight loss keepers to say in their own words what helped them stay slim. In total, there were more than 6,000 people from WW who came to the event. They all lost more than 50 pounds and kept it off for more than three years. They answered open-ended questions about why they wanted to lose weight and how they planned to keep the weight off and change their lifestyles. Researchers then used machine learning to group responses based on what they talked about.
Results from the open-ended study gave more information about why people lose weight and keep it off. Respondents often talked about health problems like diabetes and heart problems. Others said they were worried about mobility, how they looked, what their family and friends thought, and how tired they were.
Respondents advised people going through a health or weight-loss journey of their own. Many people said that being persistent was the best way to deal with the inevitable setbacks. They told people to take it one day at a time, use WW workshops to reset their minds after a rough week, and set long-term goals. Weight-loss keepers also said that being able to keep track of how much food you eat is very important for living a healthy life.
The study also found that people who lost weight and have kept it off:
- Keep being motivated to keep the weight off based mostly on your health and appearance, but also think about how your weight loss has changed over time.
- Believe that the most important changes are less pain, better medical status, more confidence, feeling more at ease and comfortable both mentally and physically, fitness, and body image, as well as being more fit and healthy.
- The following are some of the challenges that come with losing weight: the cost of buying new clothes, unexpected criticism from others, sagging skin, and the work it takes to keep up a healthy lifestyle.
The findings could change what people talk about when they’re told how to keep weight off.