While we’d like to think that being determined about dropping pounds, eating right and exercising will yield us the weight loss results we want, the truth is, sometimes support plays the biggest part in whether or not you lose weight, gain weight, or stay the same size in your journey.
A new study put together by author Angela Marinilli Pinto, assistant professor of psychology at Baruch College of the City University of New York, found that when it comes to losing weight, programs like Weight Watchers and these type of groups tend to keep people the most inspired, and can help them lose the most weight. The findings were published in the journal, Obesity this week. As Pinto put it:
“Group-based weight-loss treatment produced weight loss , whether delivered by a professional or peer counselor. When people are in a group with others on the same journey, they feel there is that element of, ‘OK, this worked for him or her, perhaps it will work for me. Perhaps I can give it a try.’”
For the study, 141 obese men and women were placed into one of three groups: individuals seeking help from a professional, those participating in weight watchers, and those who did a mixture of both. Everyone got 48 weeks of behavioral weight-loss treatment, and the group who sought out help from a professional and through Weight Watchers got 12 weeks with the professional and 36 weeks in WW. And on a side note, Weight Watchers was used in the study as it was the largest commercial group program in the States.
Though Pinto and her team thought those who were able to benefit from combined treatment would lose the most weight, actually, those in the Weight Watchers program dropped the most in the time given.
On average, those in the Weight Watchers group lost at least 13.9 pounds, while those using personal professional treatment lost 11.9. The combined group actually lost the least amount of weight, with an average of just 7.9 pounds. The Weight Watchers group was the most likely to drop at least 10 percent of their starting weight as well. Why? Because of the classes! Regular involvement with people going through the same process helped out a great deal. As Connie Diekman of WashU in St. Louis told HealthDay News, “The study does demonstrate that regular involvement in weight-loss classes helps with weight loss. This point should be considered when people think about weight loss — doing it alone may not yield success.”
Makes a lot of sense. It’s no fun to lug yourself to the gym alone, see a personal trainer by yourself, and eat only green ish while all of your friends and family are scarfing down steaks. Knowing that you actually can pinpoint and work with someone going through a similar journey can truly make all the difference. Keep this in mind if you’re out here trying to tackle weight issues. Group programs just might be your answer.
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