For many Americans, January is a big month for healthy life changes─with weight loss frequently topping the list of New Year’s resolutions. Gyms and health clubs are often at their busiest, with people fired up to get results. And you know what? Many do. With increased exercise and fewer calories, weight loss is bound to follow.
How to Maintain Healthy Weight after Losing it
The challenge is making it stick. In fact, unless you have a clear maintenance strategy in place, it’s often better not to even attempt serious weight loss. Repeatedly losing and regaining pounds─otherwise known as yo-yo dieting─is a dangerous cycle that can actually impede your weight loss goals in the long run, not to mention your overall wellness.
Let’s say, however, that you’re truly dedicated this time. You’ve lost it before and you know you can do it again. The question is, how will you maintain that hard-won, sleek frame over time? Fortunately, success leaves clues. We can learn a great deal from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which is the largest investigation of long-term successful (healthy) weight loss maintenance.
This organization has played a key role in combating the prevailing belief that few can succeed at long-term weight loss by tracking thousands of people who have lost significant amounts of weight, and─most importantly─kept it off for long periods of time. So, how do they do it? These NWCR statistics are quite illuminating:
• 45% of registry participants lost the weight on their own, while 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program.
• 98% modified their food intake in some way.
• 94% increased their physical activity.
• 78% consume breakfast on a daily basis.
• 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
• 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week─as compared to a national average of 4.5 hours of TV daily, according to Nielsen research.
• 90% exercise─on average─about an hour per day.
So, now we’re clear on the specific approaches associated with long-term success. And keeping those pounds off does get easier over time. A huge underlying key to all of this is continual awareness. Weighing in weekly, and ideally, getting your body fat tested monthly, will help you stay tuned in.
Healthy, consistent daily habits like exercise and breakfast in the form of your morning whey protein shake─a proven super weight loss ally─will dramatically increase your chances of staying on track, especially during busy times. Make all this a way of life, and you will win─for good.
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