When it comes to weight loss, coaching matters

Interacting regularly with a coach as part of a weight-management program significantly affects an individual’s ability to lose weight, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

“We know that weight-management programs that offer coach support are more effective at engaging participants and delivering weight-loss success,” said Robert Kushner, MD, MS, co-author and Director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Medicine. “This study goes a step further and sheds light on the type of coach and client interactions that affect weight-loss.”

The study retrospectively evaluated 1,432 male and female participants aged 18 years or older with a baseline body mass index (BMI) of ≥25 kg/m² enrolled from 2011 to 2016 in Retrofit, a 6-month weight-management and disease-prevention solution. Participants also provided at least one weight measurement beyond baseline.

An analysis was performed to understand coach and participant interactions and how these interactions affect weight loss. Participants in Retrofit lost a mean 5.14 percent (SE 0.14) of their baseline weight with 44 percent (SE 0.01) of participants losing at least 5 percent of their baseline weight. The study also found that attending 80 percent of expert coaching sessions, 60 percent of live weekly online classes and receiving feedback at least one day per week on food logs
were associated with clinically significant weight loss.

“Encouraging individuals to regularly attend one-on-one expert coaching sessions and expert-led interactive online classes and providing coach feedback on food logs makes individuals more likely to lose weight,” said Stefanie Painter, DHEd, RD, LD, co-author and Retrofit expert coach. “These data offer valuable insights and best practices for coaches who are working with individuals to lose weight.”

These findings will be discussed further in a webinar with study authors at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT on Thursday, March 22. For more information, click here.

Other study authors include: Rezwan Ahmed, PhD, Retrofit, Inc.; James O. Hill, PhD, University of ColoradoRichard Lindquist, MD, Swedish Health Services; Scott Brunning, MS, Retrofit, Inc.; and Amy Margulies, RD, CDE, LDN, Retrofit, Inc.

About Retrofit
Retrofit is a leading provider of personalized weight-management and disease-prevention programs that transform lives, workplaces and communities. For more information, visit www.retrofitme.com.

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