Ever wonder how other people lose weight and keep it off? The National Weight Control Registry is a research study that seeks to gather information from people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off for five or more years. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and headed up by Dr. Rena Wing, the study collects and analyzes data.
Two-thirds of the successful participants were overweight as children, and 60% report a family history of obesity. The average participant has lost approximately 60 pounds and has maintained that loss for roughly five years.
Approximately 50% of participants lost weight on their own without any type of formal program. Successful weight losers report having made substantial changes in their eating and exercise habits.
Researchers found that the participants lost weight in a variety of ways, but that they shared common traits in how they kept it off. They consumed a low calorie, low fat diet with about 24% of calories coming from fat. And they engaged in around 60 minutes of activity a day, most frequently in the form of walking.
Another key to their success was consistency, and participants who gave themselves days off to cheat were 1 1/2 times more likely to gain weight. Lastly, participants who lost weight ate breakfast daily, and nearly three-quarters of them weighed themselves at least weekly.
Now you know what has helped others lose weight and maintain their weight loss. What traits do you have in common with them? And what changes are you willing to make?
Megan Porter, RD