As most dieters know, the actual act of losing weight is somewhat easier than the maintenance of the weight loss. However, long-term weight maintenance can occur, and it is beneficial to study the people who have achieved this. Researchers have studied people who have lost an average of 66# and have kept it off for an average of 5.5 years (National Weight Control Registry).
From the research on the long-term weight maintainers, it has been shown that there were some behaviors that were common to this group. Most of the participants report continuing a low calorie, low fat diet, and doing high levels of activity.
Some of the other information learned from this group:
- 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
While not everyone has to do all of these behaviors to keep the weight off, it is important to have a plan and develop your own personal tools and lifestyle techniques. Other research has shown that the use of meal replacements has been helpful in long-term weight management. In addition, working with a health professional skilled in obesity treatment can provide the support, accountability, and expertise needed to help with maintenance long-term.