The science of Losing Weight is being disrupted with the release of new research. The latest news comes from a study done on a very select group of people, former contestants of the reality show, "The Biggest Loser."

According to an article in The New York Times, researchers studied 14 people who appeared on the extreme weight loss program. They were studied to see how they maintained their weight after being away from the structured nutrition and exercise program of the show.

Here’s how to keep the weight off for the long-term

What the researchers found were the contestants who kept the weight off continued to exercise.

Doesn’t sound very groundbreaking, right? Except, these people exercised at a level much higher than the levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC recommends adults participate in 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week. However, in the study, participants reported they kept off their weight off with 80 minutes of moderate exercise, or 35 minutes of strenuous exercise every day. That is over four times the CDC recommendation.

Vigorous exercise is defined as an activity that makes your heart rate significantly rise and makes breathing is rapid. This involves something like jogging, running or bicycling at a fast pace.

Moderate exercise would be less taxing but still increase your heart rate and breathing.

An example of moderate exercise would be medium-pace to fast walking.

The study measured the contestants at six weeks, 30 weeks, and six years. The subjects weren’t given a specific plan to follow. They exercised and ate on their own and without supervision.

After the end of six years, the participants were all weighed and interviewed.

The glaring differences and results

The shocking result is that all of the contestants gained significant weight back after the show. After six years, their average weight was 290 pounds, only 39 pounds less than what they started on at the beginning of the show.

However, that’s an average and the differences in individual weights were considerable.

After examining the results, the researchers said the only explanation for the differences was the contestants who gained the least amount of weight back, exercised much more than the contestants who gained extra weight.

According to the conclusion of the study, published in Obesity, “Consistent with previous reports, large and persistent increases in PA( physical activity) may be required for long-term maintenance of lost weight.”

What this means for you

The study size is small and, according to the NY Times article, the study has not been replicated. However, that doesn’t say it isn’t significant.

If you are struggling to maintain your goal weight, consider adding a little more time to your workout. Until there is more definitive information from this study, dieters are advised to eat well-balanced meals of healthy food, limit alcohol consumption, and avoid stress.