Commit to Fit | Week 25

Author | Commit to Fit 2013 Winner, Judith Zissman

Billy and I were talking last week about why it is people who work so hard to get fit and lose weight often regain the weight. Sarah and I have talked about this as well - I’m especially interested in this topic because I’m halfway through the Commit to Fit program, and I hope to maintain (and continue) all the progress I’ve made so far.

The statistics aren’t especially encouraging: most people who lose significant amounts of weight gain it back over the next few years. There are some interesting articles here that look at the statistics:

I really liked this quote from researcher Christopher Sciamanna, MD, a professor of medicine and public health sciences at the Penn State College of Medicine, "It seems somewhat similar to love and marriage. What gets you to the altar is likely to be quite different than what keeps you married in the long-term. [And] not recognizing this transition and adapting with different practices will also get you in trouble."

The National Weight Control Registry is a group based at my alma mater, Brown University, that tracks people who have maintained weight loss and conducts research to determine the factors that lead to success. Some of their findings are here and they also feature success stories. (I’m hoping to join once I’ve maintained my weight loss for over a year!)

Their research findings don’t hold any magic answers, though. The “secret” to maintaining weight loss is to continue to work at it. Here are their recommendations:

You can help yourself lose weight and keep it off by:

  • Limiting the amount of food you eat each day

  • Keeping track of calories and fat grams

  • Restricting foods that are high in fat and sugar

  • Planning your meals ahead of time

  • Eating breakfast every day

  • Keeping your diet steady

    • Eating the same on weekdays and weekends

    • Keeping your healthy eating habits during vacations and special occasions

  • Increasing the amount of exercise you get

    • Adding more activity to your daily tasks

    • Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day

  • Weighing yourself at least once per week

  • Watching less than 10 hours of television per week