Take Off the Pounds Sensibly with "Take Off Pounds Sensibly" Program
Do you believe that only celebrities who can afford both the time and expense of personal trainers and fashionable weight loss centers can succeed at weight loss? According to a recent study, researchers found that one non-profit weight loss program called “Take Off Pounds Sensibly” offers the kind of affordable long-term results that often elude many—even some of those celebrity dieters.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus tell us that when it comes to losing a significant amount of weight and keeping it off, that this is the failing of most dieting programs - especially when it comes to keeping costs down while keeping the weight off.
Health officials have repeatedly stressed that losing even as little as 5% of your baseline body weight before dieting can have a profound impact on your overall health such as no longer suffering from diabetes in some patients. However, it’s not just losing that 5% that’s important, but keeping it off afterward as well.
The good news is that achieving a minimum loss of 5% of your weight and keeping it off for several years afterward is possible—and very affordable. According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine by the University of Colorado medical researchers, dieters who enrolled in a Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) weight loss program and re-enrolled annually, lost a minimum of 5% body weight and kept it off for up to 7 years.
“We know that people lose weight and then gain it back,” said study author Nia S. Mitchell, M.D., MPH, a researcher with the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at CU Anschutz. “In this case, we found that people who renewed their annual membership in the program lost a clinically significant amount of weight and kept it off.”
The importance of this study is that unlike other claims of weight loss success from other dieting programs or diet pill supplement ads, this study demonstrates statistically significant numbers gleaned from a total of about 75,000 participants of which Dr. Mitchell found that 50 percent of them had achieved clinically significant weight loss in their first year in TOPS. Furthermore, 62 percent of those who renewed their membership maintained that weight loss as long as seven years afterward.
Dr. Mitchell stated this was significant because:
• This is the first study of any national weight-loss program to report real-world weight changes and program retention for seven years.
• Participants who renewed their memberships each year were able to sustain a clinically significant weight loss for up to seven years.
• The program is low-cost and peer-led so it's easy to implement and disseminate widely.
So just how low-cost is the program?
According to the study’s news release, membership fees are just $92 a year (a $32 annual fee plus nominal local chapter dues averaging about $5 per month) ―far less in cost than other competing national programs.
And how does the program work?
The TOPS program is essentially a peer-led weight loss program where participants team up with other dieters for support and receive ongoing coaching to keep them on track and motivated to stick with their goals. Some of what you can expect includes:
• Each member has a private weigh-in before the meeting.
• Weekly meetings usually last an hour or less.
• Meetings begin with members sharing challenges, successes, or goals.
• Engaging, professionally prepared programs covering a variety of health and wellness topics are provided.
• Awards go to weekly or monthly best losers, contest winners, and members who’ve reached goals.
• When needed, there’s a quick business meeting before the closing.
• Meeting closes with a thought for the week or other inspirational activity.
Another plus is that if there is not a TOPS program in your area, you and just 3 other like-minded dieters can start your own chapter with help from a TOPS representative who will provide a free start-up kit, including a week-by-week guide with meeting topics and materials all laid out for you.
For more about the TOPS program and what it has to offer, go to their website at www.tops.org.
For an additional info about successful weight loss programs, here is what the U.S. News & World Report identified as the easiest diets to follow for weight loss.
“Up to 7 Years of Sustained Weight Loss for Weight-Loss Program Completers” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Published Online: May 29, 2015.
University of Colorado news release― “CU Anschutz study shows low-cost weight loss program has long-term results”