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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Maintaining Your Weight Loss

Many people are successful at losing weight but then aren't so successful in maintaining their weight. When I was a clinical dietitian I started a weekly weight loss program for diabetic patients. One man asked if he could be in the class even though he wasn't a diabetic. Prior to the class we did a weekly weigh in. Well this "guest" in the class began losing weight and kept losing. Within a few months he was nearly at his target weight. Since so many were successful in this class, I decided to graduate this group of diabetic patients, and I started a different class for a different patient mix. A few months later I saw the man who had been such a successful loser, only now he was back where he had started. He said without the weekly weigh-ins and the support of the class he couldn't keep the weight off.
So once one is successful at losing and are at or near their target weight, what should one do to maintain the loss? Well, if one knew for sure they would be writing a book right now. But there is the National Weight Control Registry that tracks those who have been successful in losing weight. They have studied what are the keys to maintaining this loss year after year. To quote from their website:
  • "There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.
    • 78% eat breakfast every day
    • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
    • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week
    • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day."
To read more about how 5,000 people to date have maintained their weight, visit the NWCR web site. While there read about the success stories posted on this website.

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