Long-term Weight-loss Secrets


weight loss vs keeping it off

Despite using different methods to initially lose weight, the National Weight Control Registry discovered that individuals successful in keeping weight off in the long run actually use similar behavioural strategies.

In an ongoing 10-year study, the US Registry is considering the lifestyle and characteristics of people who have lost a minimum of 13.6 kg (30 pounds) and have kept this off for at least one year. The magic bullet: changing your lifestyle permanently.

strategies to keep weight off

1. Eat breakfast daily. A large proportion of weight-loss maintainers give their metabolism a kick-start with breakfast; only 4 per cent never eat breakfast.

2. Follow a low-fat diet and watch your calorie intake. Less than 1 per cent of maintainers follow a low carb/high protein diet; they limit calories by watching their portion sizes and staying away from fatty foods.

3. Be active every day. Weight-loss maintainers accumulate 60-90 minutes of physical activity over the day; their average step count is 11,000 per day.

4. Limit TV viewing. 62 per cent of maintainers watch 10 or fewer hours per week, thereby limiting their sedentary time; current recommendations for weight loss are to limit TV viewing to one hour per day.

5. Monitor yourself regularly.

Maintainers keep a food diary to track their intake and remain aware of everything they have put in their mouth; they also weigh themselves regularly.

6. Limit eating-out occasions. This minimises exposure to larger portion sizes and richer foods.

7. Be consistent in your effort. Those most consistent with their eating, including on weekends and holidays, do the best; they are 1.5 times more likely to maintain their weight within 2.5 kilograms over the year, whereas cheaters gain the most weight. The good news is weight-loss maintenance gets easier after two to five years.

Page 31 has a tasty tropical smoothie recipe for lasting weight loss.

Click here for a recipe.

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