Initial Weight Loss Can Predict Longer Term Weight Loss Success

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girlscaleThere is a relationship between initial weight loss and later weight loss results. Findings from this study [1], show that weight loss in the first two months of treatment are strongly associated with weight loss following the first year of an intensive lifestyle intervention.

In all cases, failure to achieve a 1- or 2-month weight loss threshold considerably increased the probability of not achieving a clinically significant weight loss at Year 1. The study found that few people who lose less than 2% at month 1 and less than 3% by month 2 go on to attain significant weight loss at Year 1.

As a comparison, intensive lifestyle interventions yield an average weight loss of up to 10% at 1 year.

The current findings are in agreement with Nackers et al. [2], who reported that obese women losing at a rate of ≥1.49 lb/week (≥2.7% weight loss at 1 month) are 5.1 times more likely to achieve a ≥10% weight loss at 18 months compared to those losing weight more slowly, defined as <0.5 lb/week (approximately <1% weight loss at 1 month).

  1. Unick, J. L., Hogan, P. E., Neiberg, R. H., Cheskin, L. J., Dutton, G. R., Evans-Hudnall, G., Jeffery, R., Kitabchi, A. E., Nelson, J. A., Pi-Sunyer, F. X., West, D. S., Wing, R. R. and The Look AHEAD Research Group (2014), Evaluation of early weight loss thresholds for identifying nonresponders to an intensive lifestyle intervention. Obesity, 22: 1608–1616. doi: 10.1002/oby.20777
  2. Nackers LM, Ross KM, Perri MG. The association between rate of initial weight loss and long-term success in obesity treatment: Does slow and steady win the race? Int J Behav Med 2010;17:161-167.
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