You can keep lost weight off.
Most media coverage about weight loss these days is about how hard it is to lose weight. There are many confusing reports about what one needs to do to lose weight. And, even if you’ve been successful at losing weight, there’s no shortage of stories about how difficult it is to keep lost weight off.
There are more successful weight-loss stories than you might think.
That’s why, contrary to popular media, in this post, I’m sharing how 10,000+ people lost weight and kept it off! Read about it, or watch my cool, hand-drawn animations in the video.
As the saying goes;
If you want to succeed at something, find someone who has already been successful and copy them.
While everyone has different bodies and different circumstances, there is something to be learned from this very large group of people who have been successful. If you’re on a weight-loss path, you may find some of these practices worth copying.
These successful losers started their weight loss with simple lifestyle changes and made the habits stick. It only makes sense to begin a weight-loss path with habits that are sustainable and complementary to your life and health.
Who they are:
They are over 10,000 participants in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR).
NWCR tracks and studies individuals who have lost weight and kept it off. (Remember, this number only includes those who know about the registry and have signed up to be part of the study. There are many more success stories out there.)
They’ve lost an average of 66 lbs. (some up to 300lbs.)
and maintained their weight loss for an average of 5-1/2 years. Thirteen percent have maintained their weight loss for more than 10 years. Coincidentally, data from the NWCR shows that if you keep the weight off for more than 5 years, you reduce your risk of putting it back on again by a whopping 70 percent.
About half of them were overweight as a child,
and almost 75 percent have at least one obese parent. With genetics and family history stacked against them, they transformed their bodies anyway.
Their secret sauce:
What did most of these participants do, and continue to do, to be successful? This information goes against the trends in today’s pop culture, but this is real-life data that supports a healthy, long-term lifestyle transformation.
Eighty-nine percent succeeded in using diet and exercise together.
Only 1 percent lost weight using only exercise; 10 percent lost weight with diet only.
Over half had help
from a commercial program, physician, or nutritionist- a professional like myself.
Their three most common strategies
were to restrict foods (things like cookies, chips, French fries, and soda), limit the amount of food they ate, and count calories.
Most of them continue to eat a lower calorie, lower fat diet,
eating out at restaurants on average only 2-1/2 meals per week and eating less than one meal per week at a fast-food restaurant.
Seventy-eight percent eat breakfast
every day, typically cereal with fruit.
Ninety percent exercise
on average 1 hour out of every 24. (That’s less than 5 percent of your day! It’s equal to one-third of an NFL football game, or half a season premiere of Dancing with the Stars!) Seventy percent do brisk walking, 20 percent lift weights, 20 percent cycle, and 20 percent do some other kind of aerobics. And if you know me, I recommend cardiovascular exercise and weights for your optimal body.
Seventy-Six percent do brisk walking, twenty percent lift weights, twenty percent cycle, twenty percent do some other kind of aerobics…And if you know me, you know I recommend cardiovascular exercise and weights for your optimal body.
Two-thirds watch less than 10 hours of TV per week,
which means they sit less and move more.
Seventy-five percent weigh themselves about once per week.
Researchers believe this may be helpful for them to correct any missteps if they start to veer off track.
And finally, data shows that those who are consistent
with these healthy habits have been 1 and 1/2 times more likely to keep the weight off over the years than those who are strict with their habits on weekdays and relax on weekends. Maintaining healthy habits over the holidays has also been shown to help prevent relapse.
In a nutshell, to be successful at keeping lost weight off like these 10,000+ individuals, you can:
1. Have a lower calorie, lower fat diet
2. Eat breakfast daily
3. Exercise daily and watch less TV
4. Eat out at restaurants no more than two times per week
5. Eat in the same, healthy way on weekends and holidays
6. Weigh in regularly
7. Continue until your new practices become a habit and an easy part of your life.
By the way, if you’re interested in having me as your coach to guide you through small steps to your optimal body and lifestyle, peers who are on the same path, and a program that’s personalized to your body and lifestyle, check out my 6-week course –coming soon.
1. National Weight Control Registry Facts: http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm
2. Long-term weight loss maintenance. Wing, R., & Phelan, S. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (2005); 82(1): 222S.
3. Dietary habits and weight maintenance success in high versus low exercisers in the National Weight Control Registry. Lorraine G. Ogden, PhD, Suzanne Phelan, PhD, J. Graham Thomas, PhD, James O Hill, PhD, Rena R. Wing, PhD, and Holly R. Wyatt, MD. J Phys Act Health. 2014 Nov; 11(8): 1540–1548.
4. Are the Eating and Exercise Habits of Successful Weight Losers Changing? Phelan, S., Wyatt, H., Hill, J., & Wing, R. (2006). Obesity, 14(4).
Luci Gabel- MA, MBA, ACE, ACSM – Exercise Physiologist, nutritionist, content manager and owner of LuciFit, LLC.
Luci helps clients and students drop the fads, sort out the myths from reality, and understand food and fitness in a way that works for their body, and for life. She has over 20 years of experience working with a wide range of clients, from professional athletes to the business savvy woman. You can count on Luci to be your truth-teller, and your myth dispeller when it comes to mass media information about food and exercise. And she’ll always be a cheerleader on your side!