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Whey Fudgicles

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I like frozen snacks as much as the next person.

A while back I explored using whey shakes to make chocolate sorbet, and it worked pretty well:

It was kind of labor-intensive and messy, though.

So how about using those popsicle molds you had as a kid,

but putting whey in them, instead of Kool-Aid?

Works pretty well, actually.

My vintage Tupperware popsicle molds hold 55g of liquid.
Using EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control shakes, this translates to:

18 calories
1g carbs
3g protein
1g fat

Tastes OK, too!

And if you feel like a real popsicle, I bet reconstituted Syntrax nectar would work pretty well. I'll report on that some other time...

Stay cool.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEORGIA_KAY 8/5/2011 7:49AM

    AWESOME! And if you don't have the molds, I suppose small dixie paper cups and popsicle sticks would work almost as well!

Great whey (ha ha) to get that protein in!

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    whoa great idea of something else to do with whey. The bike ride sounds pretty good, thats a big ride. I have been away hiking through the bush, about 60km but very relaxing. Hope the shoulder is continuing to heal well. Take care

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GRACEFULIFE 7/21/2011 12:30PM

    It's quite funny that I find this today because I just recently found out what probably caused me to have a massive allergy attack after eating at a Chinese buffet last year. It turns out most of the Asian ice creams have added whey. Ding ding ding!

I tell you, it sucks a bit being allergic to whey protein.

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KAYOTIC 7/18/2011 9:27AM

    That does look pretty good....

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    What a great idea! That will work well for the whole phych thought of having a cream pop instead of a shake! Nice!


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NEENSTER1 7/17/2011 9:23AM

    emoticonlooks so good. emoticonfor sharing. Good Idea. I am gonna try it. Oh emoticon

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W5VEOTX 7/17/2011 7:02AM

    I need to try them.

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KEEP_GOING247 7/16/2011 10:37PM

    Hmm that looks good and guilt free!! emoticon

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Riding 100 miles for AIDS research and treatment again

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Last year I rode my first century in 27 years:

I plan on doing it again this year, this time with a team from the Cornell Outing Club.

Here's a link for more information and if anyone wants to kick in a donation. Every little bit helps!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 7/18/2011 10:14AM

    Hey maybe you want to join the fun @ Bike Tioga to prepare for your ride...?


They have the Brooktondale loop the first day, 102 miles...!



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JENNSWIMS 7/15/2011 11:19PM

    Wow, a century, that is truly impressive! I'll check out the links, etc.

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ELLEN0407 7/14/2011 3:45PM

  i admire you very much. thanks for supporting a great cause

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Maintenance is NOT the same thing as losing forever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

While Russ gets the wekeepitoff.com site back up and running, I'm going to repost my columns from there on my blog here so I can refer to them when I need to.

It is accepted as common knowledge that to keep the weight off, you need to continue doing the things you did to get it off. If everyone says this and believes it, then it must be right.

Or not.

That is the premise of a study to be published next month by Sciamanna et. al. in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The authors asked, “what if there is a difference between the behaviors associated with successful weight loss and successful weight maintenance”?

As the authors point out, most maintenance-oriented programs focus on getting people to continue the behaviors that helped them lose weight. They do not focus specifically on behaviors known to help keep weight off. It turns out there IS a difference, after all.

And this is important, because getting people to focus on less helpful behaviors might be throwing them off track when they get to maintenance.

The authors surveyed 1165 US adults who responded to online and newspaper advertisements. 926 of these people said their BMI had been greater than 25 at some point (overweight).

To figure out what worked for weight loss they took these 926 people who had been overweight and split them into two groups. One group had lost at least 10% of their weight over the past year (98) and the other had not (828).

To figure out what worked for weight maintenance they took these same 926 people and split them into two groups. One group had lost at least 10% of their body weight more than a year ago and kept it off for at least a year (192). The other group had not kept the weight off or lost it in the first place (734).

They asked these people about what they do in their every day lives. There were questions about food management, physical activity, thinking about weight control, and about tracking methods.

Then they looked for patterns among what successful losers do and patterns among what successful maintainers do. And they found significant differences. For example, people who exercised consistently or ate plenty of lean protein were almost twice as likely to succeed in weight maintenance. People who engaged in a variety of exercise activities or planned their meals ahead were about two and a half times as likely to lose weight.

For losers, these were the behaviors most statistically significant (p 0.001):

Eating plenty of fruits or vegetables
Eating healthy snacks
Limiting the amount of carbohydrates eaten
Controlling portions
Doing different kinds of exercise

For maintainers, these were the behaviors most statistically significant (p 0.001):

Eating plenty of low-fat protein
Following a consistent exercise routine
Reminding yourself why you need to control your weight

There was only one behavior highly significant among both losers and maintainers:

Thinking about how much progress you’ve made

But what really has the researchers excited is that there were 14 behaviors associated with either loss or maintenance but not both.

More important for loss than for maintenance:

Participate in a weight loss program
Look for information about weight loss, nutrition, or exercise
Eat healthy snacks
Limit the amount of sugar you eat or drink
Plan what you'll eat ahead of time
Avoid skipping a meal, including breakfast
Do different kinds of exercises
Do exercises you enjoy
Think about how much better you feel when you are thinner

More important for maintenance than for loss:

Eat plenty of low-fat sources of protein
Follow a consistent exercise routine
Reward yourself for sticking to your diet or exercise plan
Remind yourself why you need to control your weight
Write down what you eat and drink each day

What does this mean for us? It means that while transitioning from weight loss to weight maintenance we might need to adjust some of our behaviors. The two modes are distinctly different. It also means that once we’re in “maintenance mode,” if we do gain some weight back, we need to go back into “loss mode” until the weight is back in the happy range.

It means that we need to pay close attention to what works for us during this transition phase. I like to think of it as having training wheels on our maintenance programs. We need to take the time to figure maintenance out through trial and error.

This kind of study gives me tremendous hope. Hope that one day there will be dedicated, evidence-based programs designed specifically for weight maintenance. Hope that one day because of these programs more 20% of us will manage to keep the weight off.

Until that day we’re going to have to figure this out for ourselves from the primary literature and hobble along with the few weight maintenance programs there are - most a clumsy afterthought tacked onto the end of a weight-loss program that focuses on continuing weight-loss behaviors rather than emphasizing weight-maintenance ones.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNIEONLI 9/14/2014 7:30AM

    Great blog! Thanks for tacking it on to the comment on mine! emoticon

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ADARKARA 8/27/2013 4:47PM

    Thank you for this! Maintenance is starting to terrify me a little. Hopefully this will help!

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SWEET_CAROLYN 8/27/2013 4:06PM

    Thank you for this! I am getting closer to transitioning and want to start building up my maintenance skills!!

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CASSIES 9/3/2011 7:34AM

    Great site. I am in struggling with weight loss mode, but I want to allign myself with people who have made such grat distance and are blazing new trails.

I will be with you:)

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WATERMELLEN 7/24/2011 1:21PM

    I "liked" this blog -- the article you've linked is really important in sorting out the differences between weight loss and maintenance.

As for me: gotta be more aware of getting enough protein!!


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AMBUDMAN 7/24/2011 12:38PM

    The best way for me to maintain is to track all my nutrition, good or bad, and all my fitness. Keeps me on track. emoticon

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L3DESIGNS 7/18/2011 12:10PM

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing - I'm back into weight loss mode - as I failed at maintenance... but only regained a small %... so a much smaller number to lose now!

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ANNE7X7 7/18/2011 8:25AM

    Very, very interesting!!!

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KAYOTIC 7/15/2011 10:25AM

    Great to see Russ back up again, nicely done, Angela!

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DAWNFIRE72 7/13/2011 11:10PM

    I have found that maintaining is harder for me than losing it in the first place. I do track what I eat and how much I exercise but my weight still isn't stable where I want it to be yet and it's been just over a year.

Thank you for the link with pointers on how weight maintenance differs from weight loss.

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CARTER4414 7/13/2011 12:21AM

    That is an interesting article. I hope that the researchers are able to follow up to get a clear picture of what works. I have been surprised by the complexity of the problem of how to manage my weight maintenance.

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NEENSTER1 7/12/2011 9:54PM


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ROSEWAND 7/12/2011 9:27PM

    Thanks for the repair. emoticon

A very important article, there is so little guidance or
direction when you get this far. Lots of negative
reinforcement of the high risks of failure and that
is about it. Even here on Spark, there is little
focus on the most important part our our journeys

So thanks for this link. Looks like
a great site. emoticon I will bookmark it
for future reference.

Mega emoticon on your emoticon
weight loss and maintenance success. It is good
to stick together for inspiration and encouragement.

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ROSEWAND 7/12/2011 6:28PM

    The link does not seem to be working.

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PARKERB2 7/12/2011 11:55AM

    Maintaining is probably the hardest to do as it's a lifelong commitment. Glad to get information about it. Thanks.

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DDOORN 7/12/2011 11:52AM

    Thank you for sharing...! It's great to see some folks are taking maintenance seriously from a research perspective and making attempts to broaden our knowledge of what it takes not just to lose weight but maintain our weight loss!


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Check it out. My photos were published in AW Magazine!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


See p. 41

The photos I took in May ended up being published in AW Magazine. How cool is that?

Here's the blog post I wrote about that weekend:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEENSTER1 7/12/2011 9:54PM


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TALLGIRLX3 7/11/2011 11:30AM

    That's so exciting! Congrats!

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ANNE7X7 7/11/2011 8:03AM

    SO cool! Wow!

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NKECHI711 7/6/2011 9:37PM

    This is awesome...Congrats!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JENNIKANDU 7/6/2011 11:32AM

    That's so cool! Amazing shots!

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JENNSWIMS 7/5/2011 10:22PM

    I don't know how I missed this blog, but this is seriously awesome. I mean, the pics are awesome, and the getting them published is like the awesome cherry on top!

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WATERMELLEN 7/3/2011 11:20AM

    Terrific photos, terrific contribution to an important cause . . . and so cool to get 'em published!!

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GRYPHON55 7/2/2011 12:57AM

    Congratulations, that's awesome! And the photos are really good, great action shots!

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CARTER4414 7/1/2011 11:32PM

    Very Cool!

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KAYOTIC 7/1/2011 10:31PM

    emoticonvery nice....

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SPARKYWATSON 7/1/2011 9:17AM


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MIRAGE727 7/1/2011 7:02AM

    I love that opening shot of Jen. It says it all!

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GRACEFULIFE 7/1/2011 1:50AM

    Very cool! Are all issues of AW available online?

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DDOORN 6/30/2011 11:03PM

    How neat is that?!?! :-)

Great to be able to re-visit such moments and share with so many!


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DMGABBETT 6/30/2011 9:15PM

    Pretty cool.

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WILLOW49 6/30/2011 7:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLPEASE 6/30/2011 6:43PM

    Awesome! Congratulations!!

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VARMINT3 6/30/2011 6:04PM


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    no doubt, cool stuff!

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MRPLATSON 6/30/2011 5:10PM

    telling you, there's a future in photography for you!

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Familiar faces from Biggest Loser illustrate how wildly maintenance definitions vary

Monday, June 27, 2011

While Russ gets the wekeepitoff.com site back up and running, I'm going to repost my columns from there on my blog here so I can refer to them when I need to.

Familiar faces from Biggest Loser illustrate how wildly maintenance definitions vary
Mar 25, 2010

In a previous column I explored definitions of weight maintenance used in the scientific literature.

Let's use a familiar example to illustrate some of these definitions.

The TV show The Biggest Loser features obese people losing weight through diet and exercise. There is a prize for those who lose the greatest percentage of their starting body weight.

Several former contestants have translated their experience into careers in fitness training or as spokespeople. Given their status and visibility these people presumably have incentive to keep the weigh off. NBC aired a special Thanksgiving episode in 2009 interviewing previous participants, showing how their lives have changed. Many ruefully said they'd regained since their finale.

I was curious, just how much? And over what time period?

As it turns out, some of this information is available. Of the last seven seasons of the show, 39 former contestants shared their weight in a 2009 MSNBC feature about their lives. Two contestants from the first season supplied their weight, but their height is unavailable, so we will use data from the 37 for whom we know both height and weight (seasons 2 - 7).

I plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet.


According to the current NWCR definition of successful maintenance, all 37 contestants in our sample have kept off at least 10% of their starting weight, even Erik Chopin, who gained back 175 lbs after winning in Season 3.

In fact all former contestants who had a finale over a year ago would qualify to join the NWCR by having kept off at least 30 lbs. Again, even Erik Chopin would be eligible, as he has kept off 39 lbs from his maximum 407 lbs.

In the "where are they now" episode, NBC didn't appear to consider Erik a "successful maintainer." In fact, he was offered a challenge to get fit again in time to weigh himself for the upcoming Season 9 finale.

According to the 1999 NWCR criterion for successful management, only six contestants have stayed within 5 lbs of finale weight (colored purple).
One has kept within five pounds for two years, three for one year, and two for less than a year.

If even Eric Chopin is a "successful maintainer" by current NWCR standards, clearly this definition is at odds with what NBC (and I) consider "successful." Can we do better? Personally I would expect "successful weight loss maintenance" to mean "keeping my body size in a healthy range." But how would one determine that?

Let's use a measure that accommodates differences in height. We can conveniently use Body Mass Index (BMI) which is calculated in kilograms of weight divided by the square of height in meters. This will allow us to roughly compare the results among the various contestants.

BMI does not take into account body composition. A person can have a large proportion of muscle and be placed in the "overweight" category with a BMI between 25 and 30. Because of this, let's accept that any Body Mass Index (BMI) under 30 (i.e. below the "obese" category) can be considered generally healthy. Except for heavily muscled athletes such as bodybuilders, most people with a BMI over 30 likely carry excess body fat. I have color-coded the BMI for each contestant at their starting weight, at their finale weight, and at the weight reported in the MSNBC article. The spreadsheet is sorted in order of greatest to least BMI improvement between the starting weight and the weight as of autumn 2009.

All but seven contestants were at a BMI under 30 at their season finale (five were obese and two were severely obese).

Of these 30 former contestants ten are now "obese" and one is now "super obese." Twenty are still at a BMI under 30 that we will for our purposes consider 'healthy." This means given the known data 37% of former contestants who were not obese at their finale are now at an unhealthy weight again.

These are just the contestants whom MSNBC chose to tell us about and who shared their current weight (one is pregnant and another cited philosophical reasons). Based on the data we have for the for seasons two through seven, 68 contestants finished with a BMI under 30.

68 contestants finished with a BMI under 30. Suppose MSNBC only told us about the contestants who stayed below "obese" (perhaps they might have only wanted to focus on the most successful ones?)

If this worst case scenario were true, that would mean more than 70% of contestants who once had a BMI under 30 are now obese again, within four years.

Even with the best case scenario among contestants for whom we have data, there is a fair percentage of regain. Despite media attention and presumed incentive to keep the weight off. Which means that just like the rest of us these folks have problems with weight regain. The story clearly doesn't end at the finale, any more than it does for us when we reach our goal weight.

breakout box:

Who are the real stars in terms of maintenance, here?

Longest maintenance of a BMI under 30:
Nicole Machalik and Hollie Self have both stayed under a BMI of 30 since December 2007.

Overall BMI improvement as an index of health:
Jim Germanakos dropped his BMI from 57 to the current 31 (up from 27 in December 2007), an overall improvement of -26, and has kept it off for two years. His twin, Bill Germanakos, has managed to keep an overall improvement of -19 for two years.
Jeff Levine has sustained an overall improvement of -17 for four years.
Nicole Machalik managed an overall improvement of -16, and has kept it off for two years.
Hollie Self has an overall improvement of -16, and has kept it off for two years.
Matt Hoover has an overall improvement of -17, and has kept it off for four years.

What are these people doing, that the others might not be?

Bill and Jim Germanakos are fitness instructors and motivational speakers.
Jeff Levine is a physician and speaks in public about the obesity epidemic.
Nicole Machalik trains five days a week and controls her diet.
Hollie Self joined the Biggest Loser production team.
Matt Hoover recently trained to compete in an Ironman Triathlon.


More blog posts about maintenance definitions:

Wondering how to define “weight maintenance?” Researchers do too

Weight Maintenance Definitions, Revisited

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYTHING52 11/24/2011 12:38AM

    thanks for blog very instresting emoticon

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BREEZEBEE 7/13/2011 11:43AM

    Really interesting that even with huge resources & support it's still so hard to keep the weight off.

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PRANA_DANCER 7/13/2011 8:39AM

    I think you and I would get along quite well with the spreadsheet and the research...

Very interesting!

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VHALKYRIE 7/12/2011 4:44PM

    This is really interesting! I was wondering if there was any information about how long the Biggest Loser winners kept off the weight. The long term trend doesn't look good for most.

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NKECHI711 7/6/2011 9:40PM

    Thanks for this blog...was a great read!! emoticon emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 7/5/2011 11:47AM


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RUN2BEFREE 6/30/2011 10:17AM

    Impressive information! An amazing amount of time went in to that. I would be interested in seeing the results for the last year as well - but they have not released that.....

Good luck on your continued journey. You are a great writer!

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WATERMELLEN 6/29/2011 10:30PM

    Awesome analysis: and underlies the reality that maintenance is at least as tough as (maybe tougher than) weight loss.

When you weigh less, you have to eat less and exercise more 4ever to keep the pounds down. Hard to accept. But the alternative (regaining) is even harder to accept!!

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TENACIOUSTIGER 6/29/2011 10:35AM

    Very comprehensive analysis, great blog thanks for sharing hope your shoulder is healing well. Have you ever done any pilates, I am finding it is making a big difference

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DMGABBETT 6/27/2011 9:47PM

    This is really an impressive analysis, Anja.
I hope your recovery is going well.
emoticon emoticon

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VINNIELOU 6/27/2011 7:24PM

    Wow, great work. the lesson to me is fix what really needs fixing don't focus on just the exercise and food intake, I need to fix for the long term.

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RONNIE0404 6/27/2011 7:18PM

    Very insightful blog. Must say though that the information is a little disheartening for me since I am at the beginning of my journey. I've been avoiding the weight maintenance articles because I am so far from being there. I now think I want to study the info and get a head start on learning what I need to do to maintain.

Thanks for sharing this information.

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GYMRAT_AT44 6/27/2011 5:41PM

    WOW - what an outstanding blog! Not sure how much time and effort you put into writing and researching this, but I truly enjoyed reading it. I enjoy the BL, but wish they would divulge some more truths to help people out. First off, losing is hard, second, staying their is even harder! Great job.

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JENNSWIMS 6/27/2011 4:57PM

    Wow, you don't mess around when you blog. This is fantastic, thank you for posting it, and for doing all the hard work that went into compiling this info.

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MIRAGE727 6/27/2011 3:59PM

    Anja, This info just motivates me to maintain even harder! Thanks for your effort and sharing.

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LISABOULDER 6/27/2011 3:01PM

  great post. thanks for putting this together and sharing

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CMFARRELL36 6/27/2011 2:44PM

    That was quite interesting - thank you for preparing all those details in the first place, and for sharing them.
Like you said - even those folk with what I'd have thought to be a huge incentive - haven't kept all the weight off.
It's great that some have managed so well.
It's great that others have manged quite well.
It's not surprising, to me, that many haven't managed as well with maintenance since they came away from the programme. I'm sure the numbers here in the UK are very similar to USA.
But - I'm one of the huge number of folk - I haven't managed even to get started yet with weight loss. Though at least I have increased my daily and weekly exercise drastically from what it was. But that is really not enough to help with weight loss, cos I know I need to look at intake as well as output.

Thanks again for sharing.

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LORIENABANANA 6/27/2011 2:37PM

    Thanks for sharing these insights. I'm a number nut, so I really appreciated the spread sheet!

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DDOORN 6/27/2011 2:24PM

    I remember this column...good one to re-visit! Thx for sharing.


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