10 tips to succeeded at long-term weight loss
When undertaking a weight-loss process, the real challenge is maintenance. Although losing weight itself is not easy, the real challenge is what happens after the weight loss. It is estimated that 95% of individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight will gain it back, and often more, in the five years that follow.
So, what’s the secret of those who succeed?
The National Weight Control Registry is the largest prospective study of long-term successful weight loss maintenance. It tracks roughly 10 000 individuals who have successfully lost at least 30 lbs and kept it off for long periods of time. Each year, the participants complete a questionnaire relating to nutrition, physical activity levels and lifestyle in general. From the information gathered from, the following common characteristics were detected.
10 tips from individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss
- They have a constant dietary intake
There is little difference in their dietary intake from day to day. There are no excessive restrictions during the week that are followed by overindulgence on weekends. Furthermore, they eat an average of four to five times a day.
- They eat breakfast
The vast majority of « successful losers » have something to eat in the morning. There is 3 delicious breakfast recipe :
- They are more active
In addition to burning calories, exercise is good for one’s psyche and has a positive effect on one’s self-esteem. Hence, 90% of participants practise a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercises per day. Many take long walks and reach at least 11 000 steps/day on the pedometer.
- They watch less television
On average, they watch less than 10 hours of television per week
- They weigh themselves at least once a week
Close to 80% of participants weigh themselves at least once a week.
- They avoid fad diets
Fad diets are designed for the short term! Whether it’s a diet, an eating regimen or a detox, they are not meant for weight loss maintenance. Therefore, the participants avoid them altogether.
- They lead a well balanced lifestyle
They continue having an active social life and have other interests aside from weight loss and calorie obsession.
- They have a support system
They surround themselves with people who encourage and support their efforts.
- They rapidly regain control when their weight varies
If their weight increases, they immediately regain control of their nutrition or their physical activity level before it gets out of hand.
- Out with the old and in with the new… lifestyle
The same way they lost the weight is also the way they maintained it (with a bit more leeway). This is to say, if the changes you make to lose weight cannot be maintained long term, there’s a very good chance that the pounds you lost will come back if you resume your old habits.