Raleigh resident loses more than 200 pounds


"I just looked at the before picture and I'm like ok, wow!" said Ridout.

Ridout's weight led to sleep apnea and ruptured disks in his back and even walking was difficult. "I could, for example, go up a single story flight of stairs, and I would be winded by the time I got to the top," explained Ridout.

But his life changed after his mother and doctor urged him to start /*Weight Watchers*/.

"At the first meeting, they were talking about trying to control the little bites and portions. At that meeting, I felt like I was about ready to bolt because I said, 'There's no way I can control all this,'" added Ridout.

But, he stuck with it, and week after week, he went to meetings to check in, finding it made all the difference. "It's invaluable," Ridout explained. "For one thing, going in every week kind of added a level of responsibility."

The responsibility of attending those meetings now has scientific research proving it works with weight loss. New research published in the March 12 issue of the /*Journal of the American Medical Association*/ from /*Duke University*/ finds monthly personal counseling sessions is proven to help people lose and maintain /*weight loss*/.

The Duke researchers found 77 percent of the nearly 17 hundred people studied who went to counseling were successful with maintaining some weight loss.

The study is the largest and longest ever done dealing with weight loss maintenance strategies. Researchers say the findings that monthly weight loss counseling sessions are successful should send a strong signal that something can be done about obesity.

Ridout agrees saying, "It helps keep me focused week after week."

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