Earlier this week I wrote about tips and tricks from people who are successful losing weight. While some people may make it look easy, losing weight is challenging, to be sure. But maintaining weight loss can be even more challenging.
Many people think that they are finished once their diet or weight loss program ends. The truth is that the end of the diet marks the beginning of the next phase: keeping the weight off. In fact, many people have successfully met their weight loss goal only to gain the weight back later. In fact, some people do it every year, losing and regaining the same 10 (or more) pounds over and over.
There is a practical reason why this happens. In order to lose weight and keep it off people need to learn a whole new lifestyle involving what, when, why, and how they eat as well as daily exercise. These lifestyle changes are difficult to make and can take months or years to fully adopt. In many cases, the weight loss program ends before people make lasting behavior changes. This makes it all too easy to revert to old habits.
While there are literally hundreds of diets and weight loss programs to choose from, “weight maintenance” programs are far less common. The good news is that following the advice of people who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off can help you maintain your weight loss.
The members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) — the “successful losers” have lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for over five years the — provide insight into how they keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low-calorie, low-fat diet and doing high levels of activity. Almost 80% eat breakfast every day, 75% weigh themselves at least once a week, over 60% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week, and 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.
Many people worry whether they are following the “best” diet or weight loss program. The specific diet may not be as important as what you do when it ends. Notice that the majority of successful losers still control what they eat and nearly all exercise each day. This suggests that going back to the way you ate before you lost weight is unrealistic. And if you aren’t exercising, at least walking, every day already, now is a good time to start.
Nutrition, exercise, and health information can be confusing. But it doesn't have to be that way. What can I help you with? firstname.lastname@example.org | http://twitter.com/drbrianparr