Weight loss and maintaining weight loss are two very different things. It’s not really about what the most effective diet is, as there are so many that are effective, and people usually do have success with them. The area people struggle with most, is maintaining the weight loss.
Dieting in most cases is something that can’t be done forever, it’s a way of achieving change over a short period of time. Whether it’s counting calories via various tracking methods or cutting down on certain food groups.
Dr. James Hill, a psychologist and authority on weight loss, oversees the national weight control registry (NWCR). It’s the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance. Tracking over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amount of weight and kept if off for long periods of time.
People’s experience of weight loss is diverse:
- The average weight loss maintained over 6 years is 31kg, but some have lost 45kg or more.
- The duration of successful weight loss has ranged from 1 year to 66 years.
- Some people lost it quickly, some people lost it slowly.
“If you look at how they lost weight, there’s no commonality at all,” Hill says. But “if you look at how they kept it off, there’s a lot of commonality.”
Commonalities of Weight Maintainers
According to Dr. Hill successful maintenance plans share these features:
1. Exercise Daily
“Activity becomes the driver, food restriction doesn’t do it,” says Hill. “The idea that for the rest of your life you’re going to be hungry all the time – that’s just silly.”
Successful maintainers average 60 minutes of physical activity per day, sometimes up to 90mins. You don’t have to love it, it just has to be a part of your life!
Learn more about Personal Training.
2. Control Calorie Intake
Successful maintainers kept their nutritional approach relatively controlled. They had great food awareness. Even the simple knowledge of knowing how much fat, carbohydrates and protein they were eating, as well as appropriate portion sizing helps them control their weight permanently.
3. Eat A Nutritious Breakfast
Developing breakfast habits are important for health and longevity. Most people claim their choices are driven by routine. While some intentionally skip breakfast to drop body fat, it doesn’t seem to work in the long run, as those who skip are 5 times more likely to be obese than those who make it a daily habit. So, make time and choose the right foods.
4. Weigh In
Although this term has become taboo, according to Dr. Hill’s research as well as research from Brown University, weighing in regularly helps with weight loss and maintenance. It comes down to awareness. If you know roughly how many calories you’re consuming and how much you weigh any given week, you can adjust your intake or exercise program as you require. Remember my last blog post, ‘if you’re not assessing you’re just guessing’.
Making the decision to start and then carry out a weight loss program or diet is incredibly tough to do. However, changing daily habits and implementing effective weight maintenance strategies for life is much, much harder. It requires daily commitment to your health and wellbeing and takes time and energy. Weight loss is important to get started, weight loss maintenance is imperative to your longevity
Are you willing to prioritise your physical and mental health?
Yours in sustenance,