You've lost the weight! Or, maybe you're getting very close.
Now for the big question about weight management! Is it really possible to keep the weight off?
After dieting for so many years and FINALLY losing more than 50 pounds and keeping the weight off for several years - I've come to the conclusion that keeping the weight off is not alot different than losing it in the first place. Both require an ongoing, daily effort.
Researchers at Brown University are conducting an ongoing study of successful weight reducers. Participants are followed by a means of periodic questionnaires.
I am a long-time participant in this study.
The purpose of the study is to determine the behaviors associated with successful weight loss and weight management.
In 2009, when I joined the study, there were about 6,000 participants with about 500 new participants being recruited each year.
Criteria for the study requires that participants have lost at least 30 pounds and have maintained that loss for at least a year.
One of the advantages of participating in the study is that researchers share their findings along the way. For instance, they reported that registry members (National Weight Control Registry) had very different long term results among those who had participated in a structured weight loss program (such as a commercial program) or on their own.
Lower levels of physical activity and greater difficulty with weight management were reported among the differences. These members also reported more weight cycling (gaining and losing), a higher BMI, and a greater weight loss. And...these members are currently heavier than before!
You can learn more about the research study and it's results at National Weight Control Registry.
Back to the question...
Can the weight really be kept off? Forever?
Yes! It is possible. And, I'm proof!
In a 2005 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers reported that even though the perception is that almost NOBODY keeps the weight off, research has shown that at least 20% of overweight persons who lost 10% or more of their body weight - are successful at keeping the weight off for at least a year! Very few studies have followed dieters for long intervals.
National Weight Control Registry members report keeping their weight off for an average of 5.7 years!!
I've maintained my final goal weight for much, much longer!
But how? First, the good news.
Maintaining your weight loss will probably get easier over time. In fact, the single biggest predictor of weight regain is the amount of time the weight loss has been maintained!
Until then, diligence is the key (that's the bad news). You were diligent in losing the weight and reaching your goal. Now, you're going to have to continue that diligence in order to keep the weight from returning. And, there's no way around it.
Diligence, vigilance, determination...
The key is - it must be a daily priority!!
Here are four of the most prevalent strategies among those who successfully maintain their weight loss, as reported by the National Weight Control Registry:
Basically, an inability to maintain healthy eating behaviors and level of exercise.
Those who successfully lose weight are diligent and determined! They establish healthy eating habits which enables them to not only lose the weight, but also to keep it off.
Those who successfully maintain their weight loss continue their diligence and determination - year after year.
Research shows that if a person can maintain their weight loss for at least two years - their risk of regaining the weight is cut in half!
It is possible to keep the weight off!
by Robin D. George
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