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Avoid Weight Loss Relapse: Strategic Synergy

As challenging as it is to lose weight, for many people an even more daunting problem is avoiding, or at least limiting, the weight regain that tends to follow. Metabolic adaptations may account for some weight regain, but many people find that relapse into old habits is clearly involved, too. Is there help beyond ironclad self-discipline?

Tracking your weight and targeting specific changes in eating, exercise and sitting time can both be powerful tools for weight loss. Previous Smart Bytes® posts featured interviews with Rebecca Krukowski, PhD, discussing research on frequency of weight checks and other behavior change tips for weight loss. Dr. Krukowski, a clinical psychologist on faculty at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, provides additional insights on tracking’s role in avoiding relapse in the video interview shared here.

After hearing from Dr. Krukowski, read on for my take on how new research presented an American Heart Association conference I recently attended can address the all-to-common problem of weight loss habits relapse, and help take maintaining a healthy weight from daunting to doable.

 

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Weight Checks: Is Daily Really Best for Weight Loss?

If you’re trying to lose weight, studies suggest that checking your weight regularly can help. But how often? Is a daily weight check best, or is that too much? How about after you meet your weight loss goal?

In Part 1 of our video interview series with Rebecca Krukowski, PhD, we looked at how tracking progress can help with efforts to create healthy lifestyle habits. Dr. Krukowski is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where she conducts research on behavior-change interventions for weight loss. Now in Part 2, we focus on what recent studies say about frequency of checking weight.

Following the video, read on for practical points that can help in understanding what’s behind some of the latest study headlines, and how their conclusions might or might not represent the best strategy for you.

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Losing Weight 100 Calories at a Time

You want to lose weight. You know – by reading or by personal experience – that “going on a diet” does not solve the problem in the long run. You’ve tried a few changes here and there, but nothing seems to happen. Where can you turn to lose weight in a way that is actually sensible, supportive of your overall health, and not a short-term band-aid to a long-term problem?Lose weight with a few cuts of 100 calories that add up to 500 calories a day

Instead of making an all-new start by going on a “diet” that makes sense to somebody else, start with where you are right now. Research-based recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and The Obesity Society support a strategy of reducing your current calorie consumption by 500 calories a day. Does that sound like a recipe for going hungry? It doesn’t need to be, if you do it 100 (or maybe even 50!) calories at a time. Here’s how….

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Breast Cancer Survivors: Weight or Energy as Focus?

Researchers increasingly agree that a smart goal for breast cancer survivors is to avoid weight gain. Those already overweight or obese may do well to consider steps that could bring modest weight loss, as long as those steps particularly focus on loss of excess body fat and maintaining or rebuilding lean muscle tissue. Yet these goals can be challenging even for people not facing a major health challenge. How can cancer survivors – often dealing with fatigue and a variety of other recovery issues – approach such goals?

In this, the second section of my video interview with Maura Harrigan, MS, RD, CSO, you’ll hear the voice of experience describing what she’s learned over the years from research and practice working one-on-one with cancer survivors. Her recommendations, like those of many registered dietitians, will surprise you if you are expecting her to advocate for “diets”.

Maura Harrigan is a registered dietitian who is a board-certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Ms. Harrigan is a research associate at the Yale School of Public Health, and Nutrition Director of the Cancer Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center.  Results from the Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition (LEAN) Study underway there are eagerly awaited for the anticipated guidance for breast cancer survivors’ care.

Following the video, read on for resources that may help support eating and lifestyle choices that promote cancer survivors’ health.

(Email subscribers, click here to go to my Smart Bytes® blog so you can view the video.)

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Weight and the Breast Cancer Survivor: 3 Key Questions

Could weight management be an overlooked element in survivors’ arsenal following breast cancer? Although large losses of body fat and muscle remain a critical problem typical of some cancers, many cancer survivors today are overweight at the time of diagnosis, and remain so following treatment.  Mounting evidence links pre-diagnosis obesity and undesired post-diagnosis weight gain with worse outcomes among cancer survivors.

Here, in the first section of a video interview with Maura Harrigan, MS, RD, CSO, you’ll get the glass half-full view: steps to reach and maintain a weight that is healthful for each individual cancer survivor may promote recovery and long-term health, and provide a positive way that cancer survivors can do something good for themselves.

Maura Harrigan is a registered dietitian who is a board-certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Ms. Harrigan is a research associate at the Yale School of Public Health, and Nutrition Director of the Cancer Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center. She is involved in a key research study there known as the Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition (LEAN) Study, which may have major implications for optimizing care of breast cancer survivors.

Following the video, read on for my take on how to put this message in context for eating and lifestyle choices that promote cancer survivors’ health.

(Email subscribers, you’ll need to go to my Smart Bytes® blog to view the video.)

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