Losing weight is hard, but that’s just step one toward a healthier life. The harder part is keeping the weight off year after year. We saw that struggle firsthand with a recent study that looked at contestants from one season of The Biggest Loser. All but one regained most (if not all) the pounds they lost.
In the weeks that followed the publication of The Biggest Loser study, many people offered advice for long-term weight loss (heck, we did too). One new, comprehensive study has a simple solution: Join (and stick with) a community weight-loss program (think Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig).
Researchers at the University of Colorado followed more than 65,000 participants in Take Off Pounds Sensibly, a nonprofit group, for five years. They found that 90 percent of people who stuck with the group for more than three years maintained their weight loss. It makes sense: The other members add motivation and accountability. So it’s worth thinking twice about canceling your membership to one of these clubs once you reach your goal.