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Meg 07-04-2006 03:13 PM

Study About Maintenance And Exercise
I've always heard that one can lose weight without exercise but that's it's almost impossible to keep it off in the long term without exercise. So I was interested in the study discussed in this press release from the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) that I found poking around the Internet (my emphasis added):



January 31, 2006
For immediate release
Study Reveals How to Keep Weight Off
Intrinsic motivation key to long-run success

INDIANAPOLIS – Dieting alone may help one lose a few pounds, but long-term weight loss requires regular physical activity. Research published recently in the scientific journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, sheds light on shedding weight successfully.

"It doesn't make a lot of difference how much weight you lose short-term," said Timothy G. Lohman, Ph.D., a principle investigator for the study and professor at the University of Arizona at Tucson. "For weight maintenance, you have to have physical activity. That word is out. People who are just into dieting, or who exercise and quit, are setting themselves up to fail." Researchers monitored dieters in a year-long maintenance program following an intensive, four-month intervention.

The study measured eating-related variables, exercise-related variables, and body-image variables, as gauged by a battery of validated questionnaires. Investigators also assessed participants' leisure-time physical activity throughout the experiment, although the main outcome in this study was 16-month weight loss.

Increased eating restraint and a lessening of binge eating typically accompany weight reductions during the initial treatment phase of weight-loss programs, according to lead researcher Pedro J. Teixeira. Ph.D. "We were able to demonstrate that change in these processes did not influence long-term weight outcomes beyond their impact on short-term weight loss," he said. "On the other hand, increases in exercise competence, interest, and enjoyment—that is, intrinsic motivation for physical activity and exercise—explained some of the long-term effects, independent of how much weight women lost while in treatment. This is our most interesting and novel finding and it may help guide future programs and clinical practice."

With more intrinsic motivation, a person generally feels more self-determined and in control. "You control your schedule, you control your eating" said Lohman. "You direct the weight-loss program and you make those decisions every day, such as not eating when you're not hungry." A related—and powerful—feeling is self-efficacy, he said. "You feel confident. You can say after a four-month intervention 'I'm an exerciser; I can do it.'"

Study participants were women, 40-55 years of age, with a body mass index (BMI) of between 25 and 38 kg/m2. Persons with a BMI of 25 or greater are considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or more signals obesity. The primary sample comprised 136 women who were assessed before treatment and after the four-month intervention, in which subjects met weekly in groups of about 25 for sessions lasting 150 minutes. The weight-loss regimen was followed by a one-year follow-up period in which some women received an Internet-based maintenance program while others received no further contact.

After the four-month intervention, participants lost an average of about 11.5 pounds or 6.2 percent of their initial weight. While better attitudes toward both eating and exercise correlated to this short-term weight loss, those who reported greater interest and enjoyment in exercise were more able to keep weight off for a year or more.

This study was unusual, says Lohman, in its look at results a year after the four-month weight-loss regimen. "For the most part," said Lohman, "We don't follow up our interventions with what happens in the next year. There are a limited number of studies with long-term results. We need to find out what will work long-term." Long-term success, said Teixeira, is most often defined as losing five to 10 percent of initial weight and keeping it off for 1 year or more. "Nevertheless, we hope that in the future, most studies can evaluate even longer-term outcomes, that is, three to five years after treatment."

Funded by a grant from the National Institutes for Health, the study was conducted at the University of Arizona at Tucson. Teixeira, now at the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, directed the study. Lohman and Scott B. Going, Ph.D. served as principle investigators.


NOTE: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® is the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, and is available from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins at 1-800-638-6423. For a complete copy of the Teixeira research paper (Vol. 38, No. 1, pages 179-188) or to speak with a leading sports medicine expert on the topic, contact the Department of Communications and Public Information at 317-637-9200 ext. 117 or 127. The conclusions outlined in this news release are those of the researchers only, and should not be construed as an official statement of the American College of Sports Medicine.

This study underscores the latest government recommendation of 60 - 90 minutes of daily exercise for weight loss maintenance:


... as much as 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day is recommended to sustain weight loss for previously overweight people.
Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2005

Personally, I'm 100% convinced that daily exercise is a necessity to keep the pounds off. There isn't any way that I could cut my calories sufficiently to maintain my weight without the deficit that I create through exercise. Plus, I look better, feel better, keep my metabolism up, prevent osteoporosis, and strengthen my heart and lungs. Good stuff! :D

Hpnotq 07-09-2006 01:59 PM

I'm nowhere near maintenance yet...but Meg thank you...that was a very interesting read and proves that what I'm doing will work....in the long run.

DeafinlySmart 07-10-2006 07:57 PM

Excercise is healthy for you..there is no debate about that. It is not absolutely necessary to stay in maintenece without it. I did for 2 years. Why am I fat now? I got pregnant 3 times since then. During pregnancy I usually lose the mindset and start craving stuff. After preganancy it takes me about 2 years to start saying.."okay, I'm not eating for 2..heck, I never was." The bottom line is you CAN stay in maintence without excercise. Overall you are MUCH healthier with excercise and it could be that people, in general, are more CONCIOUS of what they are doing when they have made a willful attempt to maintain excercise.

I quote studies occasionally but the truth is, there is no cookie cutter for any of us. It's like the scale debate. There are studies that insist people that weigh daily come out ahead. For some, this messes with their head too much.

Nice read though.

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