Lifestyle changes (e.g. dieting, exercise) and behavioural modification (e.g. goal setting, self-monitoring) are the first steps towards sustained weight loss.1,2

Lifestyle changes have general health and well-being benefits.
Expected weight loss in one year is about 3.2% of your overall body weight.3

Even if weight loss is small (or even nil), these changes have general health and well-being benefits e.g.reduced cardiovascular risk and increased mobility.4

Lifestyle changes are designed to create an energy deficit, so your body starts to use stored energy.1,4 No one type of diet or form of exercise has been shown to be better than another in terms of outcomes.1,5

So the improved lifestyle measures you adopt should be whichever ones suit your tastes, preferences, budget, household structure, food storage capacity and which you can continue for the long term.4

How well does lifestyle change work?

There is no doubt that lifestyle changes and behavioural modification can lead to successful and sustained weight loss.8

On average only about 3.2% of baseline weight is lost with these interventions.3

Measure Weight loss at 5 years
Diet Alone 0 kg
Exercise Alone 0-5 kg
Diet and exercise 0-3 kg
Diet, exercise and Psychological intervention 3-4 kg

The Australian Obesity Management Algorithm.

Your body responds to diet-induced weight loss by
making it difficult to sustain the lower weight.3,7




Discover the real science of obesity Understand the science


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Here’s the science:

  1. ANZOS and ADS. 2019. The Australian Obesity Management Algorithm. Available at: Accessed September 2019.
  2. Pilitsi E, et al. Pharmacotherapy of obesity: Available medications and drugs under investigation. Metab Clin Exp 2019; 92: 170–92.
  3. Sumithran P and Proietto J. The defence of body weight: a physiological basis for weight regain after weight loss. Clin Sci 2103; 124: 231–41.
  4. NH&MRC (2013) Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Available at, Accessed September 2019.
  5. Bray G, et al. The Science of Obesity Management: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Obesity Rev. 2018; 39; 79-132
  6. Schwartz M, et al. Obesity Pathogenesis: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement Endocrine Rev 2017; 38: 267–96.
  7. Boutari, C et al. Of mice and men: Why progress in the pharmacological management of obesity is slower than anticipated and what could be done about it?Metabolism July 2019 Volume 96, Pages vi–xi.
  8. Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course – Evidence Review. 2018. Available at Accessed December 2019