A new study by researchers at the University of Florida (UF) College of Public Health and Health Professions shows those who had significant weight loss start regaining their weight much sooner than originally believed.
According to UF Health researchers, participants in a 12-week weight-loss program started regaining weight right around the end of the program. The findings from the study contradict what scientists have believed about weight loss and the belief people are able to maintain their lower weight for an extended time.
“We had expected to see some sort of overall maintenance phase and while there is a lot of individual variability — there were participants who were able to maintain their weight and even some who were able to keep losing — on average, that wasn’t the case,” lead researcher Kathryn M. Ross, Ph.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the department of clinical and health psychology in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, said in a news release. “They started regaining weight right away.”
According to Ross, not everyone who has lost weight will gain it back again and recommends people slowly add back calories after reaching their goal weight.
“I encourage folks to weigh themselves daily,” Ross said. “This allows you to see how the changes you’re making in your eating and activity are impacting your weight. I urge people to look at the trends and not so much the day-to-day variation.”