There is research on adults who have succeeded at long-term weight loss/maintenance. It is called the National Weight Control Registry. These people were adults who lost and have kept off an average of 66 pounds over 5 years. They had used different methods to lose the weight.
A recent study of 10 year members (3000) of the registry showed that 75% were women, most were college educated, that they weighed an average of 224 pounds before weight loss, and that they lost an average of 69 pounds. It also showed that they had maintained an average of 52 pounds at 5 years and 51 pounds at 10 years.
The reasons for their success were the following:
- They counted calories/fat and tracked their food intake.
- They followed a low calorie, low fat diet (consumed about 1800 kcal/day).
- They ate breakfast often.
- They limited the frequency of eating out (about 3 times/week).
- They ate similar foods regularly (and didn’t splurge on holidays/weekends).
- They walked about an hour/day or 11,000 steps.
- They watched less than 10 hours of TV per week.
- They weighed themselves at least once/week.
So for people who have or have not started their weight loss journey, this should be encouraging! Although it takes effort and there may be detours in the road, regular exercise, good nutrition, and behavior changes can lead to healthier living!