If you want to know the secret of successful weight loss and management, take a look at the results from The National Weight Control Registry in the US. The participants in the study lost an average of 30kg each and kept it off for five-and-a-half years. Here's how they did it.
The National Weight Control Registry is a database of about 4000 people who maintained at least a 13kg weight loss for at least one year.
Although the there were variations in how quickly they lost weight and how much, there are four things NWCR members have in common:
- 90 per cent of them say they exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day
- 78 per cent eat breakfast every day.
- 75 per cent weigh themselves at least once a week.
- 62 per cent watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
These may seem like obvious common sense essentials for weight loss, but they're still important findings. The fact that 89 per cent of the participants used a combination of both diet and exercise reinforces the importance of both.
The dedication to a significant and extensive amount of daily exercise is also notable. 28 per cent of participants used only walking as their exercise. The researchers also put pedometers on a sample of the participants and found they walked about 8.8km to 9.6km a day — far beyond the minimal guidelines.
Frequent weighing is also interesting, since some people think weighing too often is counter-productive when trying to lose weight. Weighing yourself at least weekly could be an "early warning system" to keep you on track for the long term.
The National Weight Control Registry [The Permanente Journal]
Photo by Sarah Sphar