People who lose weight and keep it off can stabilize or even improve their cardiometabolic risk factors compared to people who regain weight, finds a new study led by researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on Oct. 9.
After a successful one-year intensive lifestyle weight-loss intervention, maintaining the weight loss (as opposed to regaining it) was better for all cardiometabolic risk factors assessed three years later, including HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, fasting glucose and glycated hemoglobin concentrations, blood pressure, and waist circumference.
“Regaining weight was associated with a reversal of the benefits seen from losing weight,” said senior and corresponding author Alice H. Lichtenstein, a nutrition scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts. “If you lose weight and maintain the weight loss for a long period of time, do the benefits continue? The answer is yes and sometimes the benefits get even stronger. If you lose weight and don’t maintain it, the benefits are diminished or disappear. These findings emphasize the dual importance of not only achieving a heathy body weight but maintaining a healthy body weight.”