Maintenance of Weight Loss
The problem. Behavioral weight control programs have been successful in creating short-term weight losses for obese clients. When the client-therapist relationship is ended, clients quickly regain weight lost during training. Teaching clients those skills necessary for continued or maintained weight loss is imperative. These skills need to be identified and taught to all people with the problem of obesity. Procedure. A total of 28 clients were divided into four classes. Each class was presented with an instructional program based upon current behavioral weight control strategies. In addition, all clients were instructed in techniques necessary for the maintenance of weight losses occurring during treatment. One class did not practice these techniques and three did during treatment. Compliance to the therapists' instructions was rewarded with the return of a monetary rebate from therapy fees during training. Clients were contacted and weighed at random intervals during the three months following the end of training. Findings. There were no differences between those clients who did not practice the maintenance skills (diet group) and those that did (maintenanoe group) at the end of training. At the end of the follow-up period slight differences were observed between each group in the mean number of pounds lost. Conclusions. No statement can be made identifying the significance of practicing maintenance skills during treatment on follow-up performance. Intragroup differences, individual differences, and small group size do not allow conclusive statements to be made. Recommendations. Investigations should continue which attempt to clarify solutions to the problem of clients gaining back weight lost during training. Two crucial variables to consider are the steps an individual must follow to lose or maintain weight and secondly how is society going to be changed such that these steps are followed and made unnecessary for later generations. Both are enormous tasks and should be dealt with in all due haste.
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