I just found a news article in Time reporting on a study that explored why keeping the weight off can be problematic for a lot of people. But I also found information about how successful dieters DO stay at or near their target weight. Links to both of those articles are below.
As I have been reading widely on weight loss maintenance as well as on all aspects of healthy weight loss, I have been reflecting a lot on how I am going to go about preventing weight gain when I reach my goal this time. I have not been dramatically successful at keeping weight off previously, but this time I really intend to keep those pounds off and stay at my ideal weight! So both these articles were timely.
How to maintain a good weight? By healthy eating, combining both diet and exercise into a plan that works. Physical activity is clearly important in staying at a goal weight, along with eating consciously and slowly. See below for more tips and tricks on staying slim once you get there.
First, here’s the news:
As any dieter knows, losing weight is hard. Keeping it off can be even harder, and a small, new study by Australian researchers helps explain why: a symphony of hormonal changes sends the body relentless signals to slow metabolism and increase the urge to eat, for at least a year after weight loss.
The findings support obesity researchers’ long-held belief that dieters who regain weight aren’t just reverting back to old habits. Instead, they may be fighting their own biology.
The Australian study was reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine:
You would have to subscribe or pay a fee to read the whole article, but you can read the summary on that page. (Actually, the link at the quote higher up on this page explains it more clearly.) In a nutshell, the researchers studied 50 overweight or obese people who did not have diabetes, and they found that hormonal changes persist for at least a year after people lose weight–changes that would make them more likely to eat more. This was useful in prehistoric times. Not now!
The National Weight Control Registry (link in the quote below) is an American organization of people who have successfully kept the pounds off. Here is a bit from their site about how the success has come:
There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.
78% eat breakfast every day.
75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.
I have read several places around the web the encouraging news that many people actually find it easier to keep the weight off than to lose it in the first place.