Nutrition News: A Real Goodbye to That Extra Weight Charlyn Fargo
OK, so we've all heard about yo-yo dieting and its harmful effects. Is it even worth trying to lose weight if we know we might put it back on again? Go ahead and make that New Year's Resolution to get rid of those 10 pounds you gained. New research on 3,000 participants (that's enough to be credible) in the National Weight Control Registry finds it is possible to lose weight and keep most of it off.
Investigators led by J. Graham Thomas of Brown University evaluated questionnaires completed by people who had been in the registry, which tracks successful dieters, for at least 10 years. About 75 percent were women and most were college-educated. The dieters originally weighed an average of 224 pounds before losing weight. They reported that they'd kept off an average 51 pounds of 69 pounds lost. (It's typical to regain some of the weight lost.)
So what were the secrets to their success? Thomas presented these findings at a recent meeting of the Obesity Society.
-- Eat breakfast regularly.
-- Walk about an hour a day, or burn an equivalent amount of calories in other activities.
-- Weigh weekly.
-- Track food intake
-- Count calories and fat grams.
-- Limit eating out to an average of three times a week, including all meals, and consume fast food less than once a week.
-- Limit food variety, mostly eating similar foods from week to week and not splurging much on holidays and special occasions.
-- Watch fewer than 10 hours of television a week.
-- Average about 1,800 calories a day with less than 30 percent of those calories from fat.
Now instead of making a general New Year's resolution to lose 10 pounds, include these strategies for making it work.
Information courtesy the National Weight Control Registry and Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, January 2012.
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