Weight Loss Warriors
Looking to lose weight before the summer? Here's what real people involved in The National Weight Control Registry collectively agree on -- forget the superfoods, eat a healthful diet, don't splurge and exercise regularly.
That's it. Intentional weight loss boils down to consistency.
The NWCR celebrates 25 years of existence and is deemed "the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance," according to its website. The registry tracks more than 10,000 adults, "with about 4,000 active participants at any one time," Today's Dietitian reports. The website offers great resources for people to learn how to lose weight permanently from others who have had success. To join the study, you have to be at least 18 years old and have "lost ... and maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for one year or more."
So just what have participants done to maintain weight loss? While there is a variety in how it's done, most participants "report continuing to maintain a low-calorie, low-fat diet and doing high levels of activity" (about 90% of participants exercise an hour a day). A few other statistics from the website:
-- "78% eat breakfast every day.
-- "75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
-- "62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week."
In addition, most of the participants generally eat about four to five small meals a day, and they track their calories and exercise with apps or other resources.
Here's another big part of the success: They "take corrective action for small amounts of weight gain," Today's Dietitian says. In other words, they get right back on track when they fall off the consistency wagon. If you have one higher calorie day, cut back the next day.
Be encouraged that you really can lose weight if that's your goal. The secret to consistent weight loss isn't a secret at all; it's consistently eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. There's nothing magical about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate pattern. Cook at home more; buy packaged foods less. Get excited about trying a new fruit, vegetable or grain. Move more. Track your food calories.