Whilst Subway’s Jared is celebrating 10 years of keeping his weight off. Jenny Craig’s Kirstie Alley is rumored as putting weight back on, and as we approach month three of the New Year, many weight-loss resolutions are succeeding, but many more have fallen by the wayside.
Some win, but many others lose in this idea of permanent weight loss. It makes you wonder if it is really possible to lose weight and keep it off.
The topic of a US CNN news special suggests the answer to that question is “yes.” The report discussed a study, conducted by Drs. James Hill and Rena Wing, of 3,000 members of their National Weight Control Registry.
The study found that people who lost an average of 60 pounds (27 kilos) and kept it off for an average of five years hold seven things in common.
They believe failure is to be expected, but that when you keep trying, ultimately you will be successful. They’ve tried and failed and tried and tried again, until they got it right. They know firsthand that setbacks are par for the course.
Weight loss is not an exercise in denial, but rather a lifestyle built on moderation and the inclusion of a wide variety of foods. Those who kept their weight off realize that deprivation leads to binging and binging leads to setbacks. They’ve learned to eat a wide variety of foods — even an occasional treat.
They closely monitor their weight, daily and/or weekly tracking loss or gains. They plan for and exercise moderately for an hour each day. While many of those successful in their weight loss exercise for one hour, it’s OK to do less. Thirty minutes of daily walking, for instance, can bring tremendous benefit.
Just kept in mind that it’s not exercising for 30 minutes instead of an hour that has made much of our population overweight or obese — it’s the fact that we do not exercise at all that has led to that national trend.
Beyond planned exercise, they add in activity wherever they can. That means taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work, parking in the farthest parking space from the store when shopping, and any other thing you can to do to make your day more active.
They eat a balanced diet most of the time. As a permanent way of life, these weight-loss successes choose plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meat and diary products and occasional allowances of sugar and fat.
They eat small frequent meals — often five — spread out over the day. Daily calorie needs are spread out over breakfast, lunch, dinner and a couple of snacks throughout the day. This “grazing” method of eating is believed to more effectively stave off hunger and lessen the chances of overeating and also keep the metabolism more active throughout the day.
As you choose your path to permanent weight loss, consider how your plan aligns to the key principles.
When they do, you’ll know you’re on the path to safe, permanent weight loss and a healthier new lifestyle.