Trying to maintain weight loss but don’t have time to exercise? UAB’s EatRight Weight Management team has some good news for you.

Tiffany Cox, program coordinator for UAB’s EatRight Weight Management, says a recent study shows most UAB EatRight participants maintained their weight loss during two years of follow up primarily by sticking to a low-calorie, low-energy density diet that included fruits and vegetables.

New research suggests that for those who have been successful at losing weight, reducing calories is an effective way to keep weight off, especially when it is difficult to find time to exercise.

“One of the chief things we hear from people is that they can’t find time to exercise at the recommended level of 60 to 90 minutes a day, four to five days a week,” says Tiffany Cox, program coordinator for the EatRight study. “But the results of this study show that even if you can’t meet these levels, you can still achieve weight maintenance.”

In findings published in the May issue of Obesity, UAB researchers report that 80 percent of EatRight participants maintained their weight loss during two years of follow up, and most do it primarily by sticking to a low-calorie, low-energy density diet.

“Our results show that individuals who successfully maintain body weight after completing EatRight consume fewer calories and have a lower energy density dietary pattern than those who do not maintain body weight,” says Jamy Ard, M.D., assistant professor of nutrition sciences and medical director of EatRight Weight Management Services. “This calorie control led to successful weight maintenance despite the fact that these individuals did not meet recommended exercise levels.”

Ard and his colleagues followed 89 former EatRight participants for two years. The 80 percent who had successfully maintained their weight loss consumed fewer calories and tended to eat a diet consisting of low-energy density foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains than did those who gained weight.

“People often view dieting as all or nothing,” Cox says. “Our findings give those people who may be overwhelmed by the current recommendations a goal that they may view as more attainable; weight loss can be maintained primarily through a low-calorie diet.”

Classes forming
EatRight was created at UAB more than 30 years ago. Its concept is based on time-calorie displacement, which encourages a substantial intake of foods that have fewer calories by volume. These include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It also stresses limiting consumption of foods that are calorie-dense such as meats, cheeses, sugars and fats.

The EatRight model includes increasing physical activity and incorporates behavioral intervention to reduce or remove barriers to lifestyle change and achievement of goals.

The staff at EatRight understands that changing lifelong habits takes time and effort, and they believe success is strongly correlated with the levels of support patients receive. EatRight offers a variety of services for those interested in weight loss, weight-loss management or just learning how to have healthier lifestyle. Classes range from a 12-week program to year-long programs.

Classes are forming now for the summer and fall; they are held on campus and in satellite offices at the Comprehensive Cancer Center on Acton Road and at the Trussville YMCA.

For more information on UAB EatRight, visit or call 934-7053.