Weight Control: Secrets of Successful Dieters (cont.)

Nonas suggests doing 30 minutes each day of planned, purposeful activity -- like taking a brisk walk -- then accumulating the remaining 30 minutes in short intervals throughout the day, perhaps by doing housework, yard work, or washing the car.

"It doesn't really matter what you do, or time of day -- you just need to do it every day," says Nonas.

5. Get Support.

The people in a recently published article in The New England Journal of Medicine study who were most successful at maintaining weight loss met face-to-face regularly with a group for motivation and feedback.

"Everyone needs some kind of network or monitoring system so they can get help if they get into trouble or need some support," says Nonas.

If you're not the "group" type, you could try buddying up with a like-minded friend or family member.

Nonas suggests checking in with your group, your doctor, or your dietitian at least quarterly, if not more often.

You Can Do It

The good news is that weight maintenance gets easier once you've kept the pounds off for more than two years, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Experts say we can all learn something from the research looking at successful losers.

"We are fortunate to have a small sample of people from the NWCR who have been successful at maintaining weight loss," says Hill. "While it is not an exact science, and there are individual variations, most [of these] folks are mindful about certain lifestyle behaviors that allow them to stay within a healthy weight range."

Published November 9, 2006.

SOURCES: Wadden, T. Handbook of Obesity Treatment, Guildford Press, 2002. Wing, R. The New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 12, 2006; vol 355: pp 1563-1571. National Weight Control Registry. News release, The Miriam Hospital. 2004 study presented at NASSO, the Obesity Society. The Practical Guide: Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, October 2000, p 24. Wing, R., et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol 82 (1 Suppl): pp 222S-225S. Phelan, S. Obesity ; vol 14: pp 710-716. Cho, et al. Journal of American Clinical Nutrition; vol 22: pp 296-302. de Castro, J. Journal of Nutrition; vol 134: pp 104-111. Holly Wyatt, MD, associate professor of medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, director of obesity and diabetes programs, North General Hospital, New York. James Hill, PhD, director for Center of Human Nutrition, University of Colorado; co-founder, National Weight Control Registry; co-founder, America on the Move. John Foreyt, PhD, director, Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine.

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