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Dilemmas in the process of weight reduction: Exploring how women experience training as a means of losing weight

By Karen Synne Groven and Gunn Engelsrud


Patients diagnosed with obesity are usually offered group-based behavior interventions which include dietary advice and exercise programs. In particular, high-intensity training—combining weight lifting with aerobic exercising—has been proven effective for losing weight. Moreover, recent studies have shown that persons participating in high-intensity training are more likely to maintain their weight loss compared to persons with lower levels of physical activity. However, most of the research in the field has made use of quantitative methods focusing on the measurable effect of such interventions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to show how the training is experienced from a first-person perspective, namely the patients themselves. Our hope was to shed some new light on the process of weight loss that concerns more than the measurable “impacts” of the training. A qualitative approach was used based on interviews with five women selected from a primary healthcare clinic in Norway. Our results show that experiences of training are connected to the participants' general experience of being overweight. Both relationships to other people and earlier experiences are important for how the training is carried out and perceived. Five themes were identified supporting this line of argument: (1) the gaze of others; (2) a common ground; (3) dependence of close-follow up; (4) bodily discomfort as painful; and (5) aiming for results—an ambivalent experience. The results highlight the importance of finding the proper context and support for each patient's needs

Topics: Empirical Studies
Publisher: CoAction Publishing
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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