Post 3: Video - part of that tiny 5%?

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Maintaining weight loss apparently is one of the hardest things there is. Many of us have managed to lose weight and then regained it all back perhaps more than once. I have heard or read in various places that the chances for successful maintenance are less than 5%. In other words, if weight loss was a kind of surgery nobody would agree to have it done!

This does not mean that nobody succeeds though. On my first post I linked to Tara Parker Pope's New Yorker article, which covers the story of one of such rare people, showing that maintaining is basically a job, one that people prioritise pretty much above everything else. But maybe more encouraging than hearing individual stories, is to know that a relatively large group of people has been carefully followed and studied as they maintain significant weight loos. I am referring to the US National Weight Control Registry, which many have probably heard of. I am quite into looking at the studies that have been published about these people (some can be read for free at PubMed) because there are a lot of things they have in common: regular exercise, permanent tracking, daily weigh-ins... some things are not surprising, others are.

Now I have found a video on YouTube, with a great presentation about the main findings regarding what the Registry can teach us about weight loss maintenance (
. It summarises a lot of what is currently known about maintenance and it is probably quicker to watch this than to read a bunch of scientific studies! The information is incredibly interesting and also very encouraging. There is a lot of demystification of diets, macro nutrient restriction, etc., which mainly serves the purpose of demonstrating that losing is one thing, and maintaining may be something entirely different. Of course, long term success still seems to be rare (after all 10,000 people is not much in relation to the entire population of the country where the Registry is based), but knowing that some actually manage to do it gives me more confidence that by continuing to educate myself (and to apply the knowledge), I may at some point be part of that tiny 5%.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm working backwards here since I just read your latest blog.
    My spark page title is "So happy to join the 5%"
    Yes, it's a relatively small group and that can be discouraging, but with a persistent attitude (DH says stubborn), there's no reason you cannot be part of it.
    I find that staying connected here really helps. Also using my food scale (a present from DD) and keeping an eye on my weight daily so I can make corrections before things get out of hand. Fluctuations are fine, but that means some up AND some down.
    1913 days ago
    Thanks for letting me know about the link. I really could not get it to work using the code but I have left it as plain text so people can copy and paste it on their browsers (it works that way). And thanks for sharing your experience too, I am very interested in maintenance. I have already lost over 50 pounds and still have a few to go, but what I really want is to continue living healthily for the rest of my life.
    1952 days ago
    Unfortunately, The Youtube link isn't working. I am on maintenance and although I am thrilled with my weight loss, I still work very hard in maintaining. The only thing that is different about maintenance for me is that I am not so worried about the scale numbers anymore. I am still eat the same meals, and exercise the same and have been maintaining my weight for a few months now. I never was a binger or an emotional eater. I just ate too much of one or two things (granola and oatmeal cookies,) but I did lose 50 lbs. I feel great and eating clean has become a norm. Best wishes to you.
    1953 days ago
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