Dieting is an American pastime and almost all adults have, at some point, tried and then failed to lose weight.
In fact, for every 100 people who attempt lose weight, only 5 are actually successful.
The other 95 fail to reach their weight loss target or are unable to maintain their new weight for more than a few months.
In almost all unsuccessful weight loss cases, the problem is the diet.
Many weight loss diets are impractical, unsustainable, unpleasant, too restrictive, or simply nonsense; they are almost designed to fail.
A few hardy souls (that 5 percent) can survive such badly-designed weight loss diets but the majority cannot.
There are, however, over 10,000 people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off.
The National Weight Control Registry was established in 1994 and was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have successfully achieved and then maintained long-term weight loss.
The NWCR is tracking over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.
The NWCR has subsequently identified the habits and traits of those people who have achieved and maintained weight loss so that others can benefit from their experiences.
Here are FIVE secrets from 10,000 people who have successfully lost weight and then kept it off.
1. Eat Breakfast Everyday
To cut calories from your diet, you might be tempted to skip breakfast or you may simply not have time to eat breakfast as you rush to get ready for work and school.
Before you skip breakfast again, consider that 80% of successful dieters eat breakfast virtually every day.
Eating breakfast can help reduce hunger throughout the rest of the day which will prevent overeating.
If you habitually skip breakfast, chances are that you also habitually reach for a sugary snack mid-morning to hold you over to lunch.
Good breakfast choices include eggs, low-sugar whole grain cereals, yogurt and fruit, smoothies, and oatmeal.
Avoid sugar-packed cereals as these only provide fast energy and you’ll be hungry again very soon after eating.
2. Weigh Yourself Regularly
44 percent of successful dieters weigh themselves daily while a further 31 percent weigh themselves weekly.
Many so-called diet experts warn against regular weigh-ins but the evidence from the NWCR overwhelmingly supports the power of the regular weigh-in.
Tracking your weight works for several reasons:
· You’ll be able to track your weight loss and seeing your weight go down is motivating
· You are more accountable – if you cheat on your diet, you’ll see the evidence on the scales
· Regular weigh-ins help keep you focused
· Weighing-in first thing in the morning is a good way to rededicate yourself to weight loss
To get the most from this strategy, make sure you weigh yourself regularly – a minimum of every other day.
Track your results and use them to stay motivated.
3. Get Active
Most weight loss plans are all about what you eat but this ignores a big part of the successful weight loss equation – exercise.
Exercise can make or break a weight loss plan and, according to the NWCR, over 90% of members clock up five hours or more of physical activity each and every week and most are active each and every day.
While any exercise is good exercise, 94% reported that their activity of choice was brisk walking.
Walking is an ideal form of exercise because it’s accessible, free, and you don’t have be athletic to enjoy the benefits.
Use pedometer or step tracking app and try to clock up around 10,000 steps every day.
No need to jump in feet first though; if you are new to exercise, start off with around 2,000 steps per day and add an additional 1,000 each subsequent week.
4. Limit TV Time
The average American watches 40 hours of TV a week.
This is pretty ironic when you consider that the most common excuse for not exercising is lack of time.
In addition, many habitual TV watchers are also habitual TV snackers and it’s very easy to eat a lot of food when you are distracted watching TV.
This is called mindless eating and is a leading cause of overeating for many people.
64% of successful dieters limit themselves to ten hours or less of TV per week.
This leaves much more time for exercise and also reduces the likelihood of eating too many TV snacks.
TV is not all bad – it’s a great form of entertainment and relaxation.
However, too much is clearly bad for your weight and therefore your health.
Become a more discerning viewer and seek our more quality TV and less quantity.
Make sure you “earn” your TV time by being active for at least an hour every day.
Also consider breaking up TV viewing with brief bouts of exercise e.g. a set of push-ups during commercial breaks.
5. Watch What You Eat
98% of successful dieters have made modifications to what they eat.
This is hardly surprising but consider this; the NWCR has been tracking participants since 1994 – over 20 years.
Participants didn’t “go on a diet” for a week or a month but for much, much longer.
This goes a long way to proving that short-term fad diets really do not work.
The best diet is not the one that Hollywood celebrities are raving about or the one being marketed in the health and fitness magazines; it’s the one you can stick to virtually forever.
The key to maintaining weight loss is to continue eating healthily after you have reached your weight loss target.
So, forget “lose 20 lbs. in 20 days” type diets – they simply do not work.
Instead, make small but sustainable changes to your diet to produce slow and steady weight loss that is then sustainable.
Make sure you allow yourself some time off for good behavior 10% of the time but, the rest of the time, eat healthy, natural food in sensible quantities.
Other successful nutritional interventions include:
· Track your food intake using an app
· Keep a food photo journal
· Eat from smaller plates
· Pre-plan and pre-prepare your meals for the week to come
· Always carry healthy snacks with you
· Clear your house of unhealthy food
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you want to beat the odds and become a successful dieter, start putting these secrets into action today.
Forget fad diets and stop looking for the next miracle cure for weight loss – that’s a one-way trip to failure.
Instead, keep things simple and learn from the actions of over 10,000 successful NCWR dieters.
Registry members have lost an average of 66 lbs. and kept it off for 5.5 years which is a significantly higher rate of success than the national average.