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Effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on weight maintenance after successful weight loss

Ameneh Madjd, Moira A. Taylor, Alireza Delavari, Reza Malekzadeh, Ian A. Macdonald, Hamid R. Farshchi


  • Research Background:

This trial evaluated cognitive behavioral therapy's (CBT) impact on maintaining weight loss in women who successfully reduced weight. CBT's role in preventing weight regain, crucial for diabetes management due to its association with improved metabolic outcomes, was investigated.


  • Study Details: 

One hundred thirteen women, post-successful weight loss, were randomized into two groups for 24 weeks: one receiving CBT and the other serving as a control. The study measured weight, BMI, waist circumference, and metabolic health indicators to assess CBT's effectiveness in weight maintenance.

  • Key Findings:

  1. The study demonstrated that participants who underwent cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) were notably more successful at maintaining their weight loss compared to the control group, highlighting the effectiveness of CBT in fostering long-term weight management strategies.

  2. In the CBT group, both Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference saw significant reductions, underscoring the therapy's role not just in weight loss but also in improving body composition, which is critical for overall health and can reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

  3. Despite the positive outcomes in weight management and body composition, the study observed no significant differences between the CBT and control groups in terms of metabolic health markers. This suggests that while CBT can be effective for weight maintenance, its impact on metabolic markers may require further investigation.

  4. The CBT group exhibited sustained lower energy intake and increased physical activity levels throughout the study period. This behavior change is a crucial factor in long-term weight management and could be particularly beneficial for diabetes patients, emphasizing the importance of lifestyle modifications alongside traditional treatments.

  • What Does This Mean for Diabetic Patients?

CBT could be a valuable strategy for diabetes patients to maintain weight loss, crucial for managing the condition. It supports sustained dietary and physical activity improvements, potentially enhancing metabolic health and preventing weight regain, a common challenge in diabetes care.


  • Final Thoughts:  

Incorporating CBT into weight maintenance programs may offer diabetes patients a more holistic approach to managing their condition, emphasizing the psychological aspects of sustaining lifestyle changes. Further research could explore long-term benefits and tailor CBT strategies to meet individual needs in diabetes management.



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