After weight loss, people often find it difficult to maintain their new weight and many regain the weight that they lost. Growing evidence suggests that interventions based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) may be more effective than standard treatments for longer-term weight control.
Working with people living with obesity, we developed a new online weight loss maintenance intervention called SWiM (“Supporting Weight Management”). SWiM is a guided self-help programme based on ACT and teaches new skills and strategies to help people maintain their new weight over the long term. It is delivered via a web platform and includes telephone support from a coach.
The SWiM feasibility study is testing whether this new programme is acceptable to people living with obesity who have lost weight and would like help keeping the weight off. It will also inform development of a larger trial to test whether this programme is better than standard treatment at helping them to maintain their weight loss and improve their physical and mental health.
Starting in April 2021, we recruited 60 adults who had recently completed a weight loss programme. Two thirds of participants (40 adults) received the SWiM weight loss maintenance programme. One third of participants (20 adults) received a booklet designed to help create a personalised weight maintenance plan, with helpful hints and tips for keeping the weight off.
All participants were asked to complete online questionnaires at the beginning of the study and 6 months later. At the end of the study, we will look at how participants used the programme and describe changes in weight and other outcomes in the two groups. A small sample of participants were also invited to take part in interviews with researchers online or over the telephone to help us learn about their experiences of the interventions.
Recruitment to the SWiM feasibility study has now finished. Many thanks to everyone who contacted us to enquire about participating in this study, and enabled us to reach our recruitment target.