Weight Loss That Stays Off
by Jeanne Rhodes
Diet books, diet pills, meal replacement diet drinks, and diet centers abound, yet the overweight statistics continually climb! Today’s statistics reveal that 66% of our population is currently overweight. Ironically, these increasing statistics fly in the face of an overall decrease in the average dietary fat intake of most Americans. So, what’s the answer?
With each new diet or weight loss pill that comes along, people hope that maybe, just maybe, this time it will be the one thing that works. Hopefully, most people will eventually be able to see through these gimmicks and understand that weight loss is a matter of LIFESTYLE CHANGE, not “quick fixes.” Following a regimen for the purpose of improving health will bring even better results than most people expect. Why? We need to correct the problem, not just treat the symptoms (excess body fat).
The true experts are the people who have lost 60 pounds and stayed at their new weight for at least 2 years or more. An ongoing project, “The National Weight Control Registry” is a government sponsored study of successful weight loss people — those who have not only lost weight, but have KEPT IT OFF. This study is unique in that it is designed to collect information only from successful permanent weight — losers with the major focus on the successful strategies that people use for MAINTAINING weight loss. It appears that Americans have been losing weight repeatedly for years, but most have not successfully maintained what they’ve lost. The following describes the commonplace strategies used by the members of the National Weight Control Registry who have successfully maintained their weight loss:
1.) Don’t Deprive Yourself. The more you deny yourself of any food you like, as suggested by many “diet gurus” and diet books, the likelier you are to become frustrated and end up indulging. Eat what you want, just modify your intake of higher fat and/or sugar and white flour foods.
2.) Eat Five Times A Day. To keep hunger from getting out of control, registry members ate an average of five times a day — smaller more frequent feedings. Breakfast, lunch and dinner with a small snack between were, they said, one of their most useful tactics — it also increases metabolic rate.
3.) Reduce Fat Intake. Dietary fat is very concentrated — 9 calories per gram as compared to 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein. When the successful “maintainers” did eat dietary fat, they chose mostly monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.
4.) Exercise Daily — These people are no couch potatoes! Study after study confirms their choice to exercise EVERY DAY. In addition to burning extra calories, exercise also increases metabolic rates.
5.) Keep A Food Record — A menu plan, written down, is a key to success. It not only helps with grocery shopping, but it has a strong psychological impact — the writing of anything gives it greater importance to the writer.
Other important aspects for these successful “losers” were — drinking ample water, increasing fiber intake, and reducing refined carbohydrate intake (sugar and white flour food).
To maintain a healthy weight, most people need to make sure their goal is realistic and plan for a comfortable lifestyle change that they feel happy with. This takes time, but it’s the ONLY choice for losing and MAINTAINING! There aren’t any short cuts — your aim should be to loose weight gradually to allow time for you to learn and adopt a comfortable, enjoyable and healthy lifestyle — you’ll feel like a million — guaranteed!
Rhodes B.A.,M.A., is a Nutritionist, Wellness Lifestyle Strategist, Author, Owner and Director of Rhodes Preventative Health Institute in Hagerstown.