In their study, 234 obese women went through a weight loss program for six months including small-group sessions on healthy eating and home-based exercise. The average weight loss for the group at the end of six months was 22 pounds.
The women were then broken into three random groups 1) phone counseling for one year, 2) face-to-face counseling for one year, or 3) no counseling but received a newsletter with diet tips for one year.
At the end of the year, those who continued to receive counseling were more successful at keeping the weight off (only gaining back 2 pounds on average versus 8 pounds on average for the newsletter group). There was no difference between face-to-face counseling or phone counseling.
As an added benefit, phone counseling costs less is easier to fit into a busy schedule than traditional face-to-face counseling.
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Source: University of Florida. (2008, November 24). Phone counseling works to reinforce weight loss, UF study finds. Retrieved from http://news.ufl.edu/2008/11/24/rural-weight/.
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