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Can you give me some tips for maintaining my weight loss?

On Monday, October 6, 2008 by dotFIT experts

Question: I have lost weight many times but this time I am determined to keep it off. Please give me some tips for maintaining my weight.

Answer: If you are determined to keep the weight off then you will be motivated enough to do what it takes to maintain.  The maintenance phase of weight loss is the most challenging because the excitement of the weight loss experience has come to an end, and the old habits start to creep back.  The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is an organization of people who have lost weight and maintained it for a year or more. Of the NWCR’s 5000 members, the average person has lost 66 pounds and kept it off for 5.5 years.  Here’s a link where you’ll find more of their data http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm.

Aside from the NWCR, other experts in the field have some suggestions.  Known internationally for his 60 years of work in the field of nutrition, Dr. Nevin Scrimshaw, a 90 year-old MIT professor and an active snow skier, shares his secrets.  After having triple bypass surgery 25 years ago he decided to get serious about his health and adopt a serious diet.  He eats fish, white meat poultry, lots of fruits and vegetables, and focuses on weight control and physical activity. Scrimshaw says one of the main secrets to health and longevity which people often miss is consistency. A healthy lifestyle is not something an individual adheres to on weekdays or most days. It must be followed on weekdays, weekends, and holidays alike.  Members of the NWCR monitor their weight, often daily, and are able to take immediate action if the numbers begin to rise.  The other key element to successful weight maintenance is physical activity. Those who are active throughout the day, rather than for one short period, are the most successful.  An active lifestyle involves walking versus driving, doing household chores while watching television, taking stairs instead of elevators, standing versus sitting, etc., and every minute spent moving contributes to healthy weight loss and maintenance.

“The critical point to understand is that diet and exercise and healthy living are not to be done when they are convenient or when an individual is actively trying to lose weight; they are to be integrated into a way of living that needs to endure for the span of a person’s life.”

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