Though some people may vehemently disagree, weight loss is relatively easy to accomplish. If you really want to lose weight and you commit to taking in fewer calories than you expend, the weight is very likely to come off. So then, what’s the tricky part? Maintenance. Let’s discuss.
I’ve written before about how almost any fad diet will elicit weight loss because the one thing that all fad diets seem to have in common is this novel idea of reducing calories. Surprised? Didn’t think so.
So, if weight loss is doable for so many, then why are we still in the midst of an obesity epidemic with no end in sight?
It’s because long-term weight maintenance presents the biggest challenge of all. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) holds the answers to the weight maintenance conundrum.
The NWCR is a collaborative study between Brown Medical School and the University of Colorado and is designed to identify the behaviors and habits of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off. The researchers are tracking over 10,000 individuals who, on average, have lost 66 pounds and kept it off for 5 ½ years. These folks engage in behaviors that make maintaining significant weight loss much more likely.
Here are four ways to help maintain your weight loss culled from the NWCR study:
Follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet
This eating pattern isn’t the only one that works, but it does seem to be the one that most people think is the easiest to stick with for the long haul. Bottom line—consume foods that you know will be your dietary staples from here on out.
Eat breakfast each and every day
If you skip breakfast, you’ll likely end up back-loading calories later in the day, which is definitely not ideal, no matter what your goals are. Furthermore, it means that it will be even harder to stick to your maintenance calorie level as well. I guess Mom was right.
Weigh yourself regularly
If you hop on the scale a few times a week, you’ll be able to keep tabs on any unwelcome trends that may result from overeating and/or too little physical activity. Remember, knowledge is power!
Be physically active
This may be the most important variable of them all. Numerous studies have concluded that increased physical activity is absolutely vital to long-term weight maintenance. Maintaining very low calorie levels in order to avoid exercise is simply not sustainable.
We’re always looking to learn something new, so if you’ve lost weight and successfully kept it off…
What have been your secrets to success?
Photo credit: Lululemon