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Keep It Up; Keep It Off!

USA Today reported an encouraging new analysis in October, stating that weight loss can indeed be maintained, despite the difficulties.

This research is conducted by the National Weight Control Registry, a group of 10,000 people who have lost 30 pounds or more on their weight loss journeys—and kept the weight off for at least a year. Of this group, 3,000 members have been on the registry for ten years or more, meaning that this group has successfully maintained their weight loss over the long run. Registry members complete questionnaires each year describing their lifestyles, so let’s take a look at what these long-term winners have in common!

  • These people track their food intake by counting calories or fat grams or using a commercial weight loss program.
  • Low-calorie, low-fat diets win! These registry members take in about 1,800 calories a day, less than 30% of which are from fat.
  • They eat breakfast regularly.
  • Setting limits on eating out is a common trend in this group. The average member dines out three times a week and eats fast food less than once a week.
  • Consistency—they eat similar foods regularly, and don’t use holidays and special occasions as an excuse to drop their diets.
  • When it comes to exercise, they’ll walk about an hour each day or burn the same calories with other activities.
  • They watch fewer than 10 hours of TV a week.
  • They keep themselves accountable by weighing themselves at least once a week.

How about you? Have you lost weight and kept it off? Do you have a long-term weight loss strategy? Please share!