A Study of the Factors Associated with Initiation and Maintenance of Weight Loss

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LeBlanc, Rebecca J.
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Traditional nutrition counselling and commercial weight loss programs that focus solely on encouraging lifestyle changes to decrease caloric consumption and increase caloric expenditure without considering other factors such as coping responses and social support tend to result in initial weight loss success. However, weight regain occurs in the vast majority of individuals. Few programs consider that program effectiveness may be impacted by the existence of factors that can lead individuals to initiate and maintain weight loss. This qualitative pilot study identified the factors that led individuals to initiate and maintain weight loss. The purpose was to explore the beliefs and experiences of individuals who were trying to lose or had already lost a significant amount of body weight. Results revealed twenty-two factors that led individuals to initiate and maintain weight loss with the most prominent factors being various triggers such as health, appearance, emotional and lifestyle triggers. The presence of support systems, experiencing internal motivation and wanting to role model for their children were also important factors in their decision to initiate and continue their weight loss journey. The results of this study will assist health professionals in assessing a clients’ readiness to adopt strategies and lifestyle changes to lose weight. By having an understanding of the reasons why individuals seek assistance in losing weight, health professionals can modify their weight management programs to better counsel overweight and obese individuals and help predict who will be successful at weight loss.
Attitudes , Overweight persons , Body weight , Public opinion , Halifax , Nova Scotia , Weight loss