Lots of people tell me it is easy to drop pounds quickly when starting a diet. Keeping that weight off long-term seems harder. Particularly for older women, natural declines in energy needs after menopause make long-term weight loss even more challenging. Traditional behavioral treatments for obesity have focused on calorie intake and have poor long-term outcomes. A new study published this week in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sheds some light on behaviors that may improve long-term obesity treatment.  

The study included nearly 500 women.  Half of the women received group-based lifestyle change intervention conducted by nutritionists, exercise physiologists, and psychologists. The other half of the women received some health education seminars not focused on weight loss.  The study found that eating fewer desserts and drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages were consistently associated with both short- and long-term weight loss or weight maintenance. Increased fruit and vegetable consumption and eating fewer meats and cheeses made the difference in the long-term.  

The bottom line?  What we eat makes a difference.  Visit the Choose MyPlate website today to get your personalized nutrition and physical activity plan as well as to track what you eat and your physical activity to see how you are doing for both the short- and the long-term.