Have you ever wondered why some of your friends, family members, and coworkers can lose weight and keep it off, while you are struggling to make the scale budge? Although over two thirds of American adults and children are considered overweight, there are a select percentage of Americans that follow successful weight loss strategies. Have you ever wondered what the secret is?
Well, although there will never be a “miracle pill” to make you lose weight and get in shape, there are particular strategies that can help you lose weight and keep it off for a lifetime!
The National Weight Control Registry is a large, ongoing study to identify and investigate the characteristics of people who have been successful at long-term weight loss. The Registry is currently tracking over 10,000 individuals using questionnaires about their diet, fitness, and lifestyle. In order to join this Registry, participants must be at least 18 years old, have lost over 30 pounds and kept it off for over one year. As long as you meet this criteria, you are eligible to join this elite group of participants.
The research conducted by the Registry determined that there are several dietary and nutritional strategies that successful weight loss participants have in common. Check them out!
• They have changed the types of foods they consume, decreasing their intake of “trigger foods” associated with weight gain. For example, they reported eating fewer foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats.
• They have learned to eat smaller portions at mealtime. They’ve also learned to fill their plate with less calorie dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
• They eat a lower calorie diet, with about 20-24% of their calories coming from fat.
• They self-monitor their progress by weighing themselves regularly. If you catch onto the fact that you’re starting to put weight on in enough time, you can take corrective actions sooner rather than later.
• They aren’t afraid to ask for help! More than 55% of Registry participants sought some sort of support along the way, including weight loss programs, registered dietitians, or personal trainers.
• The majority of successf ul dieters eat breakfast every morning to jump start their metabolism.
• They prepare most of their meals at home, and only eat out about three times per week. Less than one meal per week is from a fast food restaurant, and when they do visit, they make healthier menu choices.
• They watch very little TV daily. The majority of participants watch less than 10 hours of TV each week, while the average American watches at least 28 hours of TV per week. These people realize they need to be more active than sitting on the couch!
• Finally, they engage in consistent physical activity. More than 75% of participants are active and walk for an hour daily.