by Gillian Stephen from FitnessBuster
Losing weight is a complex issue and it has been widely recognized that sometimes individuals are unable to make the necessary changes themselves, hence the need for support in tackling the problem. Two options that may be considered are professional weight loss programs, delivered by clinically trained medical professionals, and commercial weight loss programs. Professional weight loss programs are based on group behavioral therapy and considered by some to be the gold standard.
A recent study was done by Dr. Angela Pinto at Baruch College, New York and reported in Obesity. It compared the two types of weight loss programs and also looked at the option of combining them. Weight Watchers was the commercial weight loss program chosen because it encourages participants to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and lead a physically active lifestyle. The results of the study showed that those solely in the Weight Watchers program lost more weight overall.
Some of the benefits associated with Weight Watchers include:
Being easily accessible. With convenient locations and flexible meeting times, its ideal for individuals who have a busy schedule.
Being familiar. Those running the programs tend to have had experience losing weight and are able to share those experiences with the group. This allows for individuals to better identify with its leaders and the group itself.
Being consistent. By regularly attending meetings and having great group participation, people are able to stay motivated and have an increased rate of success in achieving their weight loss goals.
So what can we all learn from Weight Watchers, especially with the increased rate of obesity we are experiencing as a whole? That using a model built on these principles can be an effective way to help individuals lose weight. We can also learn a thing or two from others who are finding ways to achieve or maintain a healthy weight for the long-term. After all, two minds are typically better than one.
Are you a member of Weight Watchers? Have you succeeded in losing weight and manged to keep it off?
Gillian Stephen is the chief blogger of Fitnessbuster where she helps to support you in achieving healthy eating goals and to incorporate regular exercise into your schedule. Follow Gillian on Twitter and Facebook.