Jan 20

I SHOULD HAVE….

Category: Uncategorized

 Lily Escobar* starting gaining weight in high school. For years, the 65-year-old St. Charles, Mo. resident let her weight creep up without paying much attention to it. Her first home didn’t have any full-length mirrors, and she avoided looking at her body. 

“When I moved into our condo and had a full-length mirror in the dining room, I screamed when I saw myself,” she said. “Who was I kidding? It wasn’t out of sight. It was definitely in-sight.”

Over 30 years later, she now starts every day the same way: with one and a half cups of Cheerios cereal and milk. For dinner, she eats 6 ounces of protein, usually chicken or fish, a sweet potato and a large serving of vegetables, often a salad without dressing. She has been eating this way for more than 15 years as a strategy to fight a food addiction and maintain an 120-pound weight loss. For Escobar, consistency is the key to weight maintenance over the long-term.

“I feel like it’s the Battle of the Bulge every day of my life,” she said. “I used to say if I’m breathing, I’m gaining weight.”

Escobar is one of thousands of participants in the National Weight Control Registry, one of the largest studies of people who have achieved both weight loss and weight maintenance at their lower weights. The registry tracks people who have lost at least 30 pounds and have maintained the loss for at least one year. NWCR participants seem to have achieved the impossible: successful weight maintenance over a long period of time.

The odds are against them. More than 80 percent of people who lose weight gain it back within two years. With so many different strategies, it can be difficult to discern which is the most effective. Popular diets promise weight loss by restricting carbohydrates, upping animal proteins or swearing off sugar. Plant-based diets recommend cutting out as many animal products as possible while Paleo diet followers consume large quantities of meat, get better results with resurge.

The diet industry is oversaturated and conflicting information comes at every turn. Diets prescribed by popular fitness magazines suggest low-calorie amounts for weight loss and weight maintenance. In fact, eating too-few calories can actually cause weight loss to stagnate. As the metabolism adapts to low calorie totals, damage can occur that makes weight loss and weight maintenance difficult. Finding the secret to weight loss, and later, weight maintenance, is a difficult balance to strike.

Finding success in weight loss and weight maintenance

The NWCR is one of the largest studies of people who have achieved both weight loss and weight maintenance at their lower weights. The registry tracks more than 10,000 people.Participants fill out a detailed questionnaire detailing their weight loss techniques and the study follows up with them each you to monitor their weight maintenance progress, check the latest fat flusher diet reviews.

The registry looks at the weight loss and weight maintenance strategies of these “success stories,” painting a picture of what a successful weight loss story looks like. J. Graham Thomas, co-investigator at the NWCR and professor at the Weight Control and Diabetes Center at Brown University, said the goal of the registry was to see if people were successful at maintaining a large weight loss and what strategies they used to achieve that maintenance.

“There is diversity, but we do find commonalities among (participants),” Thomas said. “They’re a very active group. Many of them keep track of what they eat. Many of them keep track of their body weight. They eat breakfast.”

For registered dietitian Jennifer McDaniel, the NWCR is the gold standard guide to effective weight loss and weight maintenance habits.

“The National Weight Control Registry group is very conscious of small changes,” she said. “They were aware of smaller increments of change. I encourage my clients to weigh themselves daily. People who are successful won’t let themselves get out of that comfortable range.”

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Sam January 20th, 2011 9:09 pm

    Thank you for your inspirational words. Life is too short to have regrets.

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