I am not a fan of fad diets. I am not a fan of diets in general. Diets are temporary. Many people lose weight on diets then go back to their normal way of living and eating.  It’s not long before they have gained the weight back, with a few extra pounds for good measure.

Lasting Weight Loss
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image by Lee Carson

Anyone who has ever discussed my views on health and fitness with me knows that I am about changing how you live. I am in it for the long haul and try to instill that belief in my clients. The problem is it is hard to compete with the lose weight quick plans and products.  In a world of instant gratification, slow and steady is not always the most popular idea even when it is the most effective and proven solution.

A great example of this is the National Weight Control Registry. (www.nwcr.ws) NWCR was founded in 1994 to track individuals who have lost more than 30 lbs and have kept it off for more than 1 year. To date they are tracking over 5000 individuals with periodic questionnaires and detailed annual surveys about their health and lifestyle habits. By doing so they are able to publish research on what really works to lose the weight and keep it off.  It is not a diet, nor do they advocate a specific diet plan. What they can provide are strategies used by those who are successful in losing and maintaining weight loss.  

Here are some interesting facts about the participants:

  • 78% eat breakfast everyday
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of television per week
  • 90% exercise, on average, 1 hour per day
  • 75% weigh themselves at least once per week

Pretty basic, right? Eat breakfast,  sit less and move more. I like basic because I think basic changes are the most livable and most successful.

If you are looking for motivation, they also have a success stories page. Average people who have lost weight in a sensible way and have managed to keep it off.  If for some reason you still think it isn’t possible, I suggest you check them out.  Some common threads among the successful are:

  • Staying away from fast food and processed food and cooking more
  • Simple exercises, such as walking
  • Changing their attitude towards food and their bodies

Sound familiar? If you have been reading my blog, they should.  When you have some time check out the site. You will be much better off listening to the advice of the NWCR than all the infomercials for weight loss popping up in the New Year. Got a success story for weight maintenance? I would love to hear it!

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