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You’ve Lost the Weight – Now What?

Anyone who has ever dieted (and who hasn’t) faces a new challenge once the “diet” stops and that is maintaining his or her new healthy weight. The National Weight Control Registry is a database of more than 5,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off for at least one year. Researchers have studied these successful maintainers and found they share many of the same habits.

  • They eat breakfast daily
  • They tend to eat a low calorie, low-fat diet
  • They weigh themselves regularly, at least once a week
  • They watch less than 10 hours of TV per week
  • They exercise an average of one hour each day

In addition, a recent study of 1,165 adults who had maintained a significant weight loss for one year or more revealed the following strategies:

  • Eating plenty of low-fat protein
  • Exercising regularly
  • Rewards for staying on track
  • Frequent reminders about motivation for keeping the weight off

The same study revealed the strategies for weight loss differ somewhat from weight maintenance in that successful weight loss patients use the following when dieting for weight loss:

  • Participating in a weight loss program
  • Limiting sugar
  • Eating healthy snacks
  • Not skipping meals

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to weight loss or weight maintenance. Some people need more exercise than others to maintain their weight. Some people swear by food journaling, others may only need to log occasionally. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t work for you, by incorporating the above strategies. If it has worked for 5,000 people, it can work for you!

Kim Hartmann, Bariatric Program Assistant
Sources:  American Council on Exercise Fit Facts
National Weight Control Registry:  www.nwcr.ws/

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