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Doctor or Weight-Loss Program?

In the world of weight loss research, there really aren’t many studies done well that investigate which methods of weight loss are the most effective. Weight loss research is very hard to control;  you have to make sure your subjects are following your instructions exactly and that even if they do lose weight, you also have to prove that it was because of your methodology, and not by some outside factor. But, because it’s such a hot topic, several research labs are giving it a whirl, and I just came across a really interesting study I wanted to share with you.

The researchers were interested in whether a doctor-presribed weight loss plan (following the national dietary giudelines) would be more effective than a commercial plan which included weekly meetings and group weigh ins. 772 people began the study; half assigned to the doctor’s prescription and half assigned to a commercial weight loss program. Here’s what’s crazy: people on the weight loss program lost about twice as much weight over the 12 months as those on the doctor prescribed program.  You can find the original article here. While the dietary recommendations between the two programs were relatively similar, the largest difference between going to your doctor and joining a weight loss group is… joining a group! Those in the commercial program received support, advice, and had someone checking in with them and holding them accountable.

I believe this is strong proof that we cannot achieve our goals living in the microcosm of ourselves, but that when we allow other people into our lives to support us and help us, we will be much more successful.

So, my challenge for you is to share your goals with people around you. I know it can be intimidating to admit openly that you want to lose 10 pounds, or that you’re trying to run a 10k, but when your friends and family know, they will be more than happy to support you! Plus, you never know when/where you may pick up a training partner!

-Sara

*Side note: the study was funded by Weight Watchers, so do keep that in mind when reading the results. Also, I don’t believe this is necessarily evidence of the magical properties of the weight watchers program, but demonstrating how social support can be an effective weight loss tool.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joan Frey on October 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I love this concept, and I have seen it work with several friends, so I’m not surprised at the findings. People are better motivated and more likely to follow through with a program of ANY kind when they are responsible to a group. Thanks, Sara!

    Joan

    Reply

  2. […] Doctor or Weight-Loss Program? « losingtogetherdotcom In the world of weight loss research, there really aren’t many studies done well that investigate which methods of weight loss are the most effective. […]

    Reply

  3. […] Doctor or Weight-Loss Program? « losingtogetherdotcom In the world of weight loss research, there really aren’t many studies done well that investigate which methods of weight loss are the most effective. […]

    Reply

  4. For me I’ll only eat until I don’t feel hungry any more, but not until I cannot swallow any more food. I always think this is a good way to keep not to eat too much.

    Reply

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