We are in a unique position as personal trainers & fitness experts, to influence the health and wellbeing of our clients. Our guidance can shape their journey towards achieving personal fitness goals, particularly in the realms of weight loss and maintenance. However, the field of exercise and nutrition is dynamic, with new research continually reshaping our understanding of best practices. A prime example of this evolving landscape is the study titled “Understanding weight regain after a nutritional weight loss intervention: Systematic review and meta-analysis“, published in March 2022 by A. M. Machado, N. S. Guimarães, Victória B. Boccardi, and colleagues.

The Study’s Insights

This comprehensive study delves into the effects of lifestyle interventions on long-term weight maintenance post-weight loss. A key finding is that weight regain typically commences around 36 weeks after the conclusion of an intervention. This insight is crucial for us, as it highlights a critical window where our intervention strategies can be most effective in preventing weight regain.


The study underscores the importance of not just the weight loss phase but also the maintenance phase. As fitness professionals, our role extends beyond helping clients lose weight; it involves equipping them with strategies to maintain their weight loss long-term. This requires a deep understanding of various factors, including nutrition, exercise, behavioural changes, and psychological support. This includes:

  • Client Education: Educate your clients about the importance of the maintenance phase. Help them understand that weight loss is not just a short-term goal but a long-term lifestyle change.
  • Personalised Plans: Develop personalised maintenance plans for clients post-weight loss. These plans should include nutritional guidance, exercise routines, and behavioural strategies tailored to individual needs.
  • Regular Follow-ups: Schedule regular follow-up sessions with clients after the initial weight loss phase. This can help in identifying and addressing weight regain early.

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Implementing Innovative Approaches

In the realm of fitness and nutrition, innovation is key to keeping your clients engaged and on track. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the integration of behavioural interventions. By incorporating techniques such as goal setting, self-monitoring, and stress management into your programmes, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your clients’ fitness journeys. Goal setting provides a clear roadmap for success, while self-monitoring encourages accountability. Additionally, teaching stress management techniques is crucial, as stress can often derail nutrition and exercise efforts.

Moreover, the use of technology in fitness regimes cannot be overstated. Embrace the digital age by integrating fitness apps and wearable devices into your programmes. These tools not only offer a fun and interactive way for clients to track their progress but also provide valuable data that can be used to tailor and adjust their fitness plans. The combination of behavioural strategies and technology not only keeps your clients motivated but also aligns with the latest trends in fitness and nutrition, ensuring that your services remain cutting-edge and highly effective.

The Ever-Changing World of Research

The findings from this study are a testament to the ever-changing nature of exercise and nutrition research. What was considered a best practice a few years ago might be updated or even replaced by new evidence. This constant evolution demands that we, as fitness professionals, commit to lifelong learning and stay abreast of the latest research and trends in our field.

The study by Machado and colleagues is a reminder of the dynamic nature of the fitness and nutrition world. As fitness professionals, embracing continuous learning is not just beneficial; it’s essential. By staying informed and adapting to new research, we can provide the best possible guidance to our clients, helping them achieve and maintain their health and fitness goals. Let’s commit to being lifelong learners, ensuring that our practice evolves as the world of exercise and nutrition research does.


  1. Machado, A. M., Guimarães, N. S., Boccardi, V. B., da Silva, T. P. R., Silva, A., de Menezes, M. C., & Duarte, C. (2022). Understanding weight regain after a nutritional weight loss intervention: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN. Click here to review the full research article

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