If you can't attend an in-person program, some studies show that programs that use telephone calls, email or text messages to provide feedback on your progress can also help with weight loss. This recommendation agrees with findings from a study of people in the National Weight Control Registry who have lost at least 30 lbs. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods. Research shows that high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage . Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it’s seriously harmful if you drink too much. Around 25% experience moderate to severe weight loss, and most others have some weight loss. Greater weight loss is associated with poorer prognosis.