Weight maintenance is when the energy consumed by a person (energy in) is equal to the energy used (energy out). This leads to a stable bodyweight where no weight is gained or lost.Why is weight maintenance important?
Many people who have previously lost weight report regaining this weight. This is known as ‘weight cycling’.
After weight loss it is important to prevent weight regain by practising a period of weight maintenance, to establish the new healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
This period of stability can give people the confidence to feel in control of their weight before going on to attempt further weight loss.
This measured approach to weight management encourages people to consider weight loss and maintenance as a life-long process, rather than weight loss as a short term goal.
Regular support has been shown to help maintain weight loss. At SWMS the weight maintenance phase runs for 12 monthly sessions. Over this period people learn to maintain the habits that have helped them to lose weight.
Evidence from the National Weight Control Registry has shown that there are four key factors that predict success in maintaining weight loss. These are:
A low-fat carb based diet
Regular meals, including breakfast
Monitoring of weight, food intake and physical activity levels
Maintenance groups at Specialist Weight Management Service (SWMS) are run by Dietitians, Physiotherapists or Technical Instructors.
Patients at SWMS enter the maintenance phase after completion of phase 1 and 2 of the programme.Patients attend monthly for 12 sessions.
All patients are weighed and attend a one hour group session.
The skills and knowledge learned in phase 1 and 2 of the programme are reinforced through group discussion.Topics covered include:
Patients are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their decisions about their weight at this stage in the programme.
Weight management is a long term and often relapsing problem, it requires lifelong management. SWMS recommend that people utilise support within their local community to help manage their weight long term.