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Weight loss is a complicated, but you know that… Here’s what we know:

Behavioural therapy, which is made up of dietary and physical activity recommendations along with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is a powerful and successful method of weight loss.

The problem most people have is keeping the weight off; this has been heavily researched, and it is now known that the average length of time from the start of weight loss to weight regain is 5-6 months.

Exercise plays a positive role in bucking this trend and maintaining weight loss, and also has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity which is good news in the prevention of type II diabetes (a high risk associated with obesity). In fact, in recent studies, the best weight loss and maintenance (in the 2 years after the start of the weight loss program) results were seen in those who incorporated exercise from start of the program. The success was attributed to the intensive style that was adopted where the weight loss participants met with their dietitian and physical trainer face to face for regular sessions.

What we knew prior to these studies was that the timing of the introduction of exercise to a weight loss program was key to obese individuals’ success. Research had shown that exercise was vital to keep weight off but that participants grew weary and eventually ceased exercising after 3-6 months (50% drop off rate). What was novel about the recent study was that if an intensive approach from the start was adopted then this was not the case and that participants saw a significantly better rate of success.

So the message from this research is to make sure you plan your weight loss journey:

Do consider how you are going to include the physical AND mental sides of weight loss in your approach and do consider how you are going to ensure the weight stays off once you have successfull