Based on positive deviance (examining the practices of successful individuals), we identified five primary themes from 36 strategies that help to maintain long-term weight loss (weight control) in 61 people. We conducted in-depth interviews to determine what successful individuals did and/or thought about regularly to control their weight. The themes included weight-control practices related to (a) nutrition: increase water, fruit, and vegetable intake, and consistent meal timing and content; (b) physical activity: follow and track an exercise routine at least 3×/week; (c) restraint: practice restraint by limiting and/or avoiding unhealthy foods; (d) self-monitor: plan meals, and track calories/weight progress; and (e) motivation: participate in motivational programs and cognitive processes that affect weight-control behavior. Using the extensive data involving both the practices and practice implementation, we used positive deviance to create a comprehensive list of practices to develop interventions for individuals to control their weight.
Stuckey, H. L., Boan, J., Kraschnewski, J. L., Miller-Day, M., Lehman, E. B., & Sciamann. (2011). Using positive deviance for determining successful weight-control practices. Qualitative Health Research, 21(4), 563-579. DOI: 10.1177/1049732310386623