Although most individuals can lose weight, few can maintain the weight loss. Luckily, rural Americans can now keep their weight off, thanks to telehealth. Could individual videoconferencing support be the long-awaited key to keeping additional pounds at bay? Research shows that telehealth or videoconferencing technologies can effectively deliver counseling after weight loss and reinforce people in remote areas to maintain long-term weight loss.

This insightful piece highlights telehealth yielding weight-loss outcomes similar to in-person interventions, especially during a pandemic. So keep reading.

Maintaining long-term results

Most people think that health issues like obesity and overweight belong to acute care problems. And many believe that once you treat it, you have closed that chapter. But it might just be the beginning of a new weight-loss chapter. It would help if you consistently work on it, relying on other support parties for continued weight-loss success. Someone needs to be by your side to help and challenge you.

However, distance and the new COVID-19 containment measures can be natural barriers to caring for individuals living in rural areas.

Remote weight-loss management

The emergence of the ongoing pandemic has helped remove the barriers mentioned above via increased access to telehealthcare. Today, professionals deliver telehealthcare remotely through the internet or telephone.

How do telehealth counseling approaches help?

According to Michael Perri, a senior research author, the chances are high that telehealth one-on-one counseling helps through supportive accountability. Most people under such a program know their counselor will keep working with them and show them support. In addition, they are also aware that the counselor will need to know their progress from time to time.

Individual telephone counseling holds participants accountable while keeping them more engaged in obesity management behavior. That includes self-monitoring in terms of eating and physical activity.

However, telehealth group counseling tends to be not as strong as in the case of one-on-one counseling. Why? Most individuals in group sessions appear to be more reluctant to discuss their progress than their counterparts in one-on-one sessions.

Additionally, telehealth group counseling sessions often face the challenge of low attendance. Still, the good news is that the individuals who participate in the group sessions do well at maintaining their body weight.

Bottom line

Telehealth through consistent telephone-based health coaching and video conferencing with education can effectively promote and maintain weight loss. Additionally, despite the ongoing COVID-19-related challenges, these interventions can effectively lead to sustainable exercise and eating habits changes.