We often talk at the spa that in order to lose weight and keep it off, it is important to make lifestyle changes. Instead of approaching weight loss as a “diet”, you are better off making changes that you can stick with long term. Having said that, a well known group called the National Weight Control Registry was organized back in 1994. Members of this registry have maintained at least a 60 pound weight loss for an average of 5.7 years. Through surveys of their members, they have complied a list of characteristics that these successful weight loss maintainers have in common. These characteristics are important for those on the road to weight loss to note and look at adopting in order to continue to lose the weight and ultimately keep it off. The members:
National Weight Control Registry
1. Consume a low-calorie meal plan of an average of 1400 calories per day.
2. Consume of low-fat meal plan of about 29% of calories from fat (national recommendation is 20-35%).
3. Keep track of their food in some fashion; 35.5% count calories and 30% count fat grams.
4. Monitor their weight frequently; 79% of members weigh at least once a week.
5. Eat breakfast daily. An overwhelming 78% of members consistently eat breakfast.
6. Eat out at restaurants infrequently averaging about 2.5 meals out per week (average American dines out at least 4 times per week).
7. Eat out at fast food very infrequently; less than 1 meal per week.
8. Watch minimal TV amounting to less than 10 hours per week.
9. Participate in at least one hour of moderate intensity physical activity per day. These members burn an average of 2600 calories per week. This works out to be about 60-75 minutes per day and the most often reported form of exercise is walking.
All of these characteristics are important in order to maintain weight loss. And why work so hard to lose the weight and not keep it off!? Some or all of these may help you and I encourage you to take a look at how they can apply to your lifestyle.
What are some things you do in order to maintain your weight loss?
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD