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5 Secrets of the 5%

What You Can Learn from Successful Dieters


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  • Great article! Being in the 5% is really scary. I'm afraid of of becoming part of the 95%. I NEVER want to be fat again. But it keeps me in line so I don't gain it back. So it's a good scary. An incentive!
  • I have made a whole lifestyle change so my weight loss is for ever
  • As others before me noted,
    we have a great supportive team here on SP called At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance

    235 to the SP team of Maintainers
    and Happy New Year to you!

    Come over and check out our team threads to see maintenance is possible.
    Takes persistent learning and practice, yes, but it is absolutely doable.

  • I'm part of the (is it really only?) 5%. Have lost 100 lbs (over 17 months) and kept it off (for 4 additional months so far). No question that I will not regain that weight as I am perfectly happy with new habits and routines--this article describes it perfectly. It seems odd to think I used to enjoy sugary drinks, fried foods, etc. as I don't even miss them now! I've decided to revise my goal and attempt to lose an additional 15 lbs over the next six months, but we'll see if that's where my body and mind want to be or if this is good (healthy BMI where I am today, so no reason to push overly hard besides vanity and a desire to be mid-range instead of "high normal"). It CAN be done, even if you've tried unsuccessfully several times in the past.
  • Not sure how long it is after you reach goal weight to be classed as one of these 5%.

    I feel like I am. All of the above 5 points apply.

    I halved my weight over around 3 years and have remained pretty stable for around 6 months now. I have blips when I put weight on - holiday times, Christmas being a good example, but have always taken it right of again afterwards. This Christmas doubles up with my 50th birthday and I am extending my normal 2 weeks by a week and going for a cruise. I am running every day, but still have put on around 10LB.

    I will take this of and be back to my gaol weight by mid Feb, maybe even sooner, but I don't feel any need to rush it, and I am not panicked at all. So long as I am back to my target by March when I have my first half marathon of 2016 I will be happy.

    And that's what keeps me focused. Races. As soon as I added a point to the weight loss beyond the obvious it became much easier to stay focussed over the long time. Loosing the CPAP mask was an added bonus, but I am never going back to that!
  • Good! Forgiveness of one day of messing up very important. I must do it from time to time. Particularly when I spend a day or two away from home. Positive attitude, I try, i think most of us do have some that aren't. Just have to keep on keeping on. :-)
  • I'm sorry, but 5% is a truly lousy percentage. Not very encouraging on a weight loss site!
  • saw his article and I have been part of a different group, I guess. But none the less lost weight. First I was getting around day to day as many people but eventually landed i the ER due to my out of control weight gain. Close to death as other medical problems I now enter a gym daily. Turned things around and still continue to move foreword.

    Doctor would ask me, "How did you get around?". My only response at the time was, "like everyone else?!!". They then unleashed the news, you were 800lbs!!! The ladies that have a special place with me, Holly Barker (fitness model/my gym owner/competitor), Whitney (then manager of the gym), Amiee (then a trainer in the gym).

    I am now 255lbs........

    to be honest I never tracked anything until this past year. My Biggie is I enjoyed myself. Why does one play the sport, or hobbies......its not because they have to, it that they enjoy it.

  • Saving this for future inspiration & motivation, for the days when it seems better to quit. Thanks for sharing.
  • I am glad that keeping the weight off is being addressed, this article doesn't tell you much.
    I weighed 335 ,on Jan. 1, 2010. I lost to my desired weight of 145 in 18 months. then the real struggle began. Do I continue to exercise 3 hours a day? How do I adjust my food intake? Can I eat foods that I avoided or ate in a limited way? There were trials and errors. I found I had to maintain a plan of exercise, track what I ate. after a while I found a happy balance. But at times illness would throw me off track. I had to remember the horrors of being morbidly obese and the joy of feeling normal to get me through some hard days. those life long habits of eating what we want, of not feeling deprived are hard to completely give up. And what works for me, might not be what someone else needs. It's a day by day learning process. You really have to want the healthy, fit lifestyle more than that pizza or chocolate cake. You have to know why food plays such an important part in your life. It's all in the mind. Everyday for the rest of my life I will be aware of what I eat and how active I am. Plus I like to look good. I love to dress in nice fashionable clothes. at my present weight I can be that women.
    I stopped wondering when i could start to eat normal again once the weight was lost. I realized that the way I ate now was the normal way.
    So for me maintaining is being aware everyday of what I eat, what I weigh and how can i get in some form of exercise.
  • I was going to say "I want to be in that 5%" but instead I am saying "I AM going to be in that 5%"
  • I gain my weight with my boy's. Lot some of it. Then as I got older started to putting on weight and it's so hard to get it off.
  • I'll stick with this guy. This is one of my favorite articles.
  • I think this article is just carelessly written. The author contradicts him or herself, saying early on:

    "They prefer to stay relatively unknown. Having discovered the prized secret to a healthy lifestyle, they tend to enjoy their status and privacy."

    Then three paragraphs later, follow up with
    "The 5%…
    1. …Make It Public. The 5% generally don’t keep their weight loss efforts to themselves. They recruit supporters. They ask for help. They swap war stories with friends. They give and take encouragement."

    ...etc. Though of course, the preceding section seems to be speaking about weight loss rather than healthy weight maintenance.

    Yes, this article needs to come out of the rotation, or at the very least, whoever is responsible for site content should have it edited and request that some of the maintainers review it before it goes back up.
  • Sorry guys, there's not a polite, PR-friendly way to say it.

    This article is a joke. Sparkfolks out there -- if you're going to listen to anyone, don't even listen to me -- listen to 4a-Healthy-BMI.

    I promise you this: No one's done more for maintenance on Sparkpeople than 4a-Healthy-BMI, period -- that includes behind the scenes work, on Spark publicly, our own project and even national television. And our shared experience is dealing with people that are largely apathetic, frightened or ignorant, good intentions and/or business needs aside.

    I'm unsure if folks can understand where 4A and myself are coming from with this: After all the support losing weight, there's very little understanding, support or tools to keep it off. It's not enough to just maintain personally -- it's our goal to make those who successfully maintain a greater percentage than 5 percent.

    Playing nice with the powers that be just doesn't make much progress. It's very clear beyond "and you can do it too with this product!" people aren't very interested in what you have to say.

    Then those same people want you to be their PR monkey.

    Yes, that's insulting, but what's more is there are many ways to make maintenance easier, less mysterious and supported that most Diet Industry People can't understand. People need instruction and support they're not receiving.

    This article does not help. So I'll reiterate 4A's point: Frankly, this article is an embarrassment. Information at this is powder-puff information, at best, with no science or ethnographic data (you need a combination of both until maintenance research catches up). That's five years old.

    A few examples: distinguishing between weight loss and maintenance (picking a range and how), dietary tweaking, not only coming up with new goals, but placing them in a different context, behaviors researchers have found, and also those activities that researchers haven't thought of to research yet (but you see the trends after studying maintainers for years).

    So I'm not sure what's more disheartening: the content itself, or that this lip service is the best representation of any diet company evening acknowledging maintenance.

    And it's no longer acceptable or sufficient. Over the years 4A and myself have come to the realization that in order to actually bring support to people after hitting goal is going to have any serious consideration, A) it needs to be proven marketable. B) maintainers would have to do it themselves.

    Not because we think we can do better -- 4A, myself, Barbara Berkeley, Dianne Carbonell, and Shira Miller make so much noise, teeth pulling, problem solving and effort because we're wondering why people like Chris and Nicole *won't.*

    Frankly you two -- make maintenance "not a priority" all you want. Describe our lives as tricky. The tools you have planned aren't "bad," but they don't solve the problem. But do better than this, please. It angers me not because it's pathetic (which it is). It angers me because it's beneath you and your customers deserve better.

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