Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Secrets of the Biggest Losers

Hi There! This month I am going to share with you "Secrets from the Biggest Losers". Often we start the new year off with a commitment to find a plan to LOSE weight, however the real secret is to never have to go on a diet again. Instead learn how to not just lose the weight, but more importantly how to keep it off! I think you will enjoy reading about the three most common factors that the "biggest losers" have in common.

Secrets of the Biggest Losers
In 1994, The National Weight Control Registry was created to track the characteristics of people who have lost weight and successfully kept it off for an extended period of time. The registry currently consists of 5,000 individuals, who are at least 18 years or older and have maintained a weight loss of 30 or more pounds for more than a year. The average weight loss of was 66 pounds and the members have maintained weight loss for an average of 5.5 years.
* 55% of the participants used a structured program or received professional guidance.
* 98% of participants reduced food intake and modified their diet.
* 94% increased physical activity, with walking being the number one way people increased activity.
* 78% of long term “winners” started their day off with breakfast.
* 75% weighed themselves at least on a weekly basis.
* 62% watched less than 10 hours of TV a week.
* 90% exercised for about 1 hour a day.

If you notice, almost 90% of the participants reduced their food intake and increased their physical activity. No magic pills or formulas...just moving more and eating less.

In conclusion, the study found THREE Common Strategies for Success:
1. Followed a diet moderate in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. For long term success, people used a balanced approach to eating. They did not exclude all carbohydrates or fat, but instead focused on moderation.

2. Regular physical activity. You will hear this over and over, regular physical activity is important. If you struggle with getting in a regular physical activity routine, take some time out and REFLECT on what you ENJOY doing. Maybe you need to change your approach or mindset to what regular physical activity actually means, be creative.

3. Frequent self monitoring. This is key for many people because it is easy to stay on course if you know exactly WHERE you are. Let's face it, if the scale is up a pound or two you may be more inclined to say "no thank you" a little more and take that extra walk. If the scale is up 10 or 15 pounds, then it becomes a lot more challenging to muster up the motivation and "re-tackle" your weight loss. Find something you can use to monitor yourself. You can use the scale, a pair of pants, or a belt. The point is, for long term success be honest with yourself and if you have indulged a little too much, then “reign” in the eating before things get out of control.

Three Common Reasons People Re- Gain Their Weight Loss:
1. Increased fat intake. Fat has 9 calories per gram compared to carbohydrates or protein which are 4 calories per gram. Therefore, it is easy for those fat calories to sneak in and add up. If you have struggled with losing and re-gaining your weight in the past, ask yourself - have I let my fair share of fatty foods start creeping back in?

2. Decreased physical activity. Often times when we have a weight loss goal, we are very focused on reaching that number therefore we do whatever it takes to get in the extra exercise. However, it is labeled as EXTRA exercise, and this is a mental mind block that keeps us from staying within our goal weight. For long term success we need to alter the EXTRA exercise mentality to one that focuses on living an active lifestyle.

3. Reduced self monitoring. Often times not facing the reality that things may be going in the wrong direction will be the factor that keeps you from staying within your weight goal. If you feel like you don't want to "face the reality", then it is probably time to be honest with yourself and start taking it one day at a time with eating a little less and moving a little more.

Yvette Quantz is a well respected Lifestyle and Sports Nutritionist based in Lafayette, Louisiana. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association, Louisiana Dietetic Association, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionist, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Nutrition and Complimentary Care, and a Certified Eating Coach. You can visit her website at:

Photo by Alan Cleaver

No comments:

Post a Comment