Pounds that make a comeback after a person loses a lot of weight may be particularly hard to shed again, new research from Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island shows. On the bright side, study participants, who had all lost at least 30 pounds, tended to put on relatively few pounds in the two years they were followed.
The findings underscore the difficulty of losing even a few regained pounds and also highlight the need to pay attention to small regains so they don't grow into larger ones.
The researchers followed 2,400 adults who had shed at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off for one year or longer. At the end of the two-year study they found participants had gained roughly 8 pounds, on average. However, the study did find that the average weight rebound was modest, and that most participants were still "well below" their initial weight by the study's end.
In other findings, the amount of weight regained in the first year of the study predicted the odds of losing the pounds again; those who "recovered" from the regained pounds gained less than those who failed to lose the weight.
In addition, participants who showed relatively greater symptoms of depression in the study's first year were less likely to recover from weight gains. However, the significance of this finding, such as whether discouragement over regained pounds might lower the odds of losing them, is unclear.
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