New Study Highlights Keys to Weight Loss

Aug 11, 2004 03:14 AM EDT

A new study has found that consistent changes in behavior were identified in women who successfully lost weight.

The weight loss ranged from 15 to 144 pounds for at least a year, according to the study published in a recent issue of Nursing Science Quarterly.

Identified six similar patterns

The women lost at least 10% of their body weight and kept that weight off for at least a year. The study identified six similar patterns among the women. They included:

• Before losing weight, the women were self-conscious, vulnerable and unaware of events that contributed to their weight gain;

• The women recognized their problem, displayed a readiness to take action and decided to make changes;

• The women took control and actively engaged in behavior change;

• The women incorporated new behaviors, used some type of support system to reinforce their behavior changes, and displayed increased confidence, self-esteem and control of their lives.

All had weight-loss support memberships

Researchers stated that participants moved fluidly through one pattern to the next and many times fell back to a previous pattern before moving on. All 18 women had memberships in a weight-loss support program and incorporated exercise into their lifestyles.

The women who maintained their weight loss were more aware of their trigger foods and portion sizes, and they all exercised regularly. They also recognized it is something they will have to work at for the rest of their lives.


1. D. Berry, “An Emerging Model of Behavior Change in Women Maintaining Weight Loss,” Nursing Science Quarterly, July 2004, 17: 3: 242-252(11).