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New Research Reveals Long-term Weight Loss Is Possible

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New Research Reveals Long-term Weight Loss Is Possible


National Institute for Integrative Healthcare

SANTA ROSA, CA. After a diet program, most people gain back all the weight they lost, and more. That’s the finding from an analysis of 31 studies by a team from the University of California who examined the long-term results of dieters.

However, there are new research findings that show promise in reversing the trend, making it possible for dieters to maintain their gains, and even lose additional weight over time.

In a study conducted by psychologist Peta Stapleton, PhD, of Bond University, participants learned a stress reduction method called Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT. When tracked a year after completing a weight loss program, participants had lost an additional 11.1 lb. An online EFT coaching program called Naturally Thin You showed the same results, with continued weight loss after the program ended.

An earlier study of 216 healthcare workers such as doctors, nurses, psychotherapists and chiropractors found that their food cravings were reduced by 83% after a brief EFT session.

The core of the original Naturally Thin You course was the live group-coaching teleclasses with dietician and nutritionist, Karen Donaldson, MS. These sessions teach skills that counter emotional eating, which is one of the primary reasons that people return to their old habits—and their old weight—after a diet. Says Donaldson: “Eating when we’re hungry isn’t the problem. It’s the eating we do for emotional reasons: anxiety, boredom, loneliness, anger, and low self-esteem.” 

Naturally Thin You participants are taught to identify the emotional triggers that prompt them to reach for problem foods, and to neutralize those triggers using EFT. The studies noted improvements in mood disorders such as anxiety and depression as well as eating habits. One participant says, “My need to use food for comfort nearly vanished. I’ve lost over 40 pounds and I’ve never felt better. Even my depression is healing.”

Others report weight loss without dieting, as well as normalization of diabetic markers such as blood triglyceride levels.

Donaldson teaches the 6-week online program twice a year, with participants going through the experience as a group. Preliminary research shows them losing a pound a week on the program. However, after it ends, they do not regain the weight as is typical after most diets. When tracked over the course of the following year, they had continued to lose weight; six lb. on average. Some had lost close to 100 lb. over the course of the year.