Weight Management (cont.)

How Do Successful Losers Do It?

There is a group at the University of Colorado that tracks successful losers -- people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a minimum of one year. According to researchers involved with the National Weight Control Registry, here is what successful losers do to maintain their weight loss:

  • They limit their calorie intake to approximately 1,400 a day.
  • They restrict fat to approximately 24% of calories.
  • They start the day with breakfast.
  • They eat a wide variety of foods and do not follow fad diets.
  • They get regular exercise, with walking the activity of choice.
  • They journal to help them stay the course.
  • They weigh themselves regularly.

One thing is for certain. Successful losers get a great deal of satisfaction from their lifestyle of daily exercise, healthy low-fat diets, and trimmed-down bodies.

Registry members who have kept weight off for long periods find that over time, it takes less effort to maintain their weight. It no longer feels like a burden to live a healthy lifestyle.

A Wealth of Benefits

In addition to helping you feel great about yourself, look better, and have an added zip in your step, losing weight brings enormous health benefits. Losing as little as 5% to 10% of body weight can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, lower blood cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Adopting sensible behaviors and sound eating habits that you can live with for a lifetime is weight control that works. You can still have the foods you love -- just eat them in small portions, balance them with other foods, and eat a variety of nutritious foods each day.

Americans spend $6 billion a year on weight-loss products, in search of the magic bullet. Yet health authorities, including the American Dietetic Association, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, agree that the best approach to weight loss is a balanced diet and regular physical activity or a good pair of sneakers.

So, don't waste your money on those sexy-sounding, too-good-to-be true products. Save it for your fruits and vegetables!

Originally published Sept. 18, 2003.
Medically updated Apr. 11, 2008.

©2007 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Last Editorial Review: 4/11/2008


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