Dieters will like this news: New research finds that regaining lost weight isn’t inevitable, as it sometimes seems. Some people are able to lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off at least a decade.
That’s the finding of researchers who’ve been tracking successful dieters in the National Weight Control Registry, a group of 10,000 people who’ve lost 30 pounds or more and maintained that loss for a year or more.
For their latest analysis, the researchers reviewed questionnaires filled out by 3,000 people who have been in the registry for 10 years. About three-quarters are women; most are college-educated. Among the findings presented recently at a meeting of the Obesity Society:
† Participants weighed an average of 224 pounds at the start and lost an average of 69 pounds.
† They maintained an average of a 52-pound loss at five years and an average of a 51-pound loss at 10 years.
Some gradual regain over time is typical, but almost all participants maintained a substantial weight loss even after 10 years, says Graham Thomas, co-investigator of the registry, an assistant professor at Brown University in Providence.
Thomas says there are similarities in the strategies of the successful dieters that others could benefit from. They usually:
† Eat breakfast regularly.
† W alk about an hour a day or burn the same calories with other activities.
† Track their food intake.
† Follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet. They consume about 1,800 calories a day, with less than 30 percent of those calories from fat.
† Count calorie or fat grams or use a commercial weight-loss program to track food intake.
† Limit how often they eat out, dining out an average of three times a week and eating fast food less than once a week.
Gannett News Service