You’ve worked hard for months. You’ve exercised almost every day. You’ve watched what you ate. You beat the odds to become a success story! Congratulations. You look and feel great and you deserve it! Now, your big question is, how do you keep it off?
There is a group of losers (I mean that in the best possible way) called the National Weight Control Registry. It is made up of people who have lost weight – 30 pounds or more- and kept it off for at least a year. They offer a wealth of information about what it takes to keep the weight off. The successful NCR participants are remarkably similar in how they maintain their weight-loss. Best of all, their results can easily be reproduced by you!
Here’s their formula to keep it off:
1. Know thy self.
They weigh themselves at least weekly. This nips any weight gain in the bud. It gives them self-awareness allowing them to consistently make healthy choices.
2. Breakfast. Its not just for breakfast anymore.
That doesn’t even make sense. Just eat your breakfast and think about it later. 78% of weight-keeper-offers eat breakfast every day.
3. Low fat diet=low fat you.
Low carb diets are great for your initial weight loss, but less than 1% of long term successful folks in the registry eat this way. Be aware of your calorie intake.
4. Consistency is key.
Don’t try to diet during the week and binge on weekends and holidays. Folks that do that are more likely to re-gain the weight. Strive for consistency. Don’t starve yourself during the week and don’t binge on weekends.
5. Keep moving.
“A high physical activity level,” says James O. Hill PhD an investigator with the NCWR, “may be the primary reason for the success found among the NCWR participants, rather than long term dietary restrictions” Keep an activity log. Many losers got extra bang for their buck (and extra enjoyment) by using their exercise time as a spiritual time or a time to connect with friends.
6. Let others support you! Successful losers often create a new, supportive environment. Some change to a new activity or healthy food related career. Others re-arrange their social circles to support their new weight. A study came out (July 2007) showing the influence our friends have on our weight gain. Less widely reported was the fact that friends with healthy lifestyles can also influence our weight in a positive direction. The authors didn’t mention that fact in the study because the vast majority of people they looked at gained weight instead of losing it!!
Losing weight is a big accomplishment. Keeping it off is even bigger. It takes dedication to a healthy lifestyle, not just to the fad diet of the week. Study successful losers. They will give you all the steps needed to keep your new healthy weight. You can do it!