weight management workplace wellness

To Manage Weight, Focus on Behavioral Changes, Too

We’ve written previously about the connections between behavioral changes and weight management — areas where a well-run workplace wellness program can make an impact.

We noted the study titled “Maintenance of Weight Loss After Initiation of Nutrition Training: A Randomized Trial” which concluded: “An intervention focused on maintenance-specific strategies and delivered in a resource-conserving way modestly slowed the rate of weight regain in obese adults.”

Corrine I. Voils, PhD, scientific director of the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program, wrote to MedPage Today“This study showed that we can modestly reduce the rate of weight regain using brief telephone calls that focus on skills that we believe are important for helping people keep the pounds off. After losing an average of 16 pounds initially, the maintenance group regained less than 2 pounds, whereas the usual care group regained more than 5 pounds.” Voils continued: “Patients likely need ongoing support and training in skills that can help them keep the weight off.”

Now the Washington Post reports how “combining diet and behavioral changes may help” people lose weight.

The post cites the work of Robert Kushner, who directs the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

Among the behaviors that one can consider changing? According to the Washington Post piece, these behaviors can include reducing portions, making healthier eating choices, or working small bursts of exercise into the day:

“Kushner’s approach proposes gentler, moderate changes. Rather than tell patients to cut out every unhealthy food they love, Kushner suggests focusing on alternatives with higher fiber and water content but fewer calories. (Think beans, vegetables, salads, fruits, broth-based soups and whole grains such as oatmeal.)”

“For the couch potato who finds exercise overwhelming, Kushner advises walking for short periods, building up to three 10-minute brisk walks daily to ‘boost your energy level and mood while you also burn calories.’”