Congratulations! You’re eating better, exercising more – you’ve lost the weight and you’re feeling great. It’s time to shift your focus from eating to lose, to maintaining for the win. As tempting as it might be to take time off from the gym, celebrate with food, and slip back into your old habits – don’t! When it comes to maintaining lost weight, the odds are stacked against you if you return to the habits that led to weight gain in the first place.
Despite the often-quoted statistic that 95 percent of people regain lost weight, findings from the National Weight Control Registry, a study on long-term successful weight loss maintenance, say otherwise. The program has followed over 10,000 “successful losers” for years, and researchers have found that registry members have lost an average of 66 pounds, and maintained that for more than five years. It takes some work, but losers have many of the same strategies in common.
Secrets of “successful losers”,
They have a realistic weight goal, which is most often, not an ideal body weight, but a more realistic and attainable healthy body weight.
They have a support network, and surround themselves with people who value healthy eating, physical activity, and a healthy lifestyle.
They eat breakfast every day, and never let themselves get overly hungry.
They check in with their scale daily, or at least once each week. Managing a two-pound weight gain is fairly easy. Waiting until you realize it’s a ten-pound problem is much harder.
They get regular exercise. 90 percent of those who maintain their weight loss exercise for an average of one hour each day.
They sit less and watch less than 10 hours of television each week – probably because they’re out exercising!
They eat at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and they drink more water and fewer sweetened beverages.
They are accountable, track their diet, and activity, and check in with a coach or dietitian regularly.
 National Weight Control Registry, “WCR facts,” Accessed November 8, 2016, http://nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm
 Thomas, J. G., Bond, D. S., Phelan, S., Hill, J. O., & Wing, R. R. (2014). Weight-loss maintenance for 10 years in the National Weight Control Registry. American journal of preventive medicine, 46(1), 17-23.
 Akers, J. D., Cornett, R. A., Savla, J. S., Davy, K. P., & Davy, B. M. (2012). Daily self-monitoring of body weight, step count, fruit/vegetable intake, and water consumption: a feasible and effective long-term weight loss maintenance approach. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(5), 685-692.
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