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Telephone Counseling Helps with Weight Loss

Posted 7/3/2014

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  Given how often I post something about weight maintenance or weight loss, it is especially pleasing to come across an article with a novel twist. This report from BreastCancer.org describes a new study from Canada in which women who were taking Femara (one of the AIs and a well known culprit in weight gain) were randomized into two groups: one received routine information/advice about weight and one was offered two years of telephone counseling focused on weight loss.

  Not surprisingly, the group who received telephone counseling did much better. I suspect that there is no magic here; we all know about the value of encouragement and support (not so different from Weight Watchers or AA or many other programs), but this is a potentially really useful suggestion. I am going to forward this to our new nutritionist and suggest that we think about developing a similar program.

  Here is an excerpt and a link to read more:

Telephone Counseling Helps Women Taking Femara Lose Weight

he telephone counseling was done by trained lifestyle coaches at the University of Ottawa. The coaches talked to the women about reaching specific targets, including:

eating between 500 and 1,000 fewer calories per day
limiting fat to 20% of calories
eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains
increasing their physical activity to 150 to 200 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week (moderate intensity exercise means your breathing gets faster, but you’re not out of breath – you can carry on a conversation, but you can’t sing; fast walking is usually moderate intensity)
losing 10% of their body weight
The women received more counseling phone calls at the beginning of the program and fewer as the study went on. The women got:

about five calls per week for the first month
one call every 2 weeks for months 2-3
one call per month for months 4-6
one call every 2 months for months 7-12
one call every 3 months for months 13-24
The women who received telephone counseling lost more weight and exercised more than the women who just received mailed health information:

http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/phone-counseling-helps-some-lose-weight

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