Weight loss is a difficult task for most of us, but just as difficult is keeping the weight off after we have lost it. Unfortunately, many of us regain the weight we lost. This weight regain can occur for many reasons. For some of us, we lost weight following a plan that did not teach us healthy, life-long dietary habits, making it easy to slip back into unhealthy eating habits. In other cases, our weight loss plan did not include an appropriate weight maintenance plan to follow after reaching our weight loss goal. A good weight maintenance plan that is easy to follow for life is important to maintaining a healthy body weight.
A new weight loss study (free to read online) examined the effectiveness of an interactive weight loss website on the maintenance of weight loss. Information from study volunteers in the internet arm of the Weight Loss Maintenance Trial was used in this study to determine the relationship between the usage of the interactive website and successfulness of the volunteers to maintain their weight loss over more than 2 years. Weight loss volunteers were encouraged to log in to the weight loss website at least weekly for 28 months where they could enter their body weight, food records, exercise records, revised goals, and examine their progress, and interact with other study volunteers via bulletin board. Based on log-ins and body weight entries, study volunteers were considered to have "consistent use", "some use", or "minimal use". The weight loss study investigators reported that: