Lou Shuler, over at Male Pattern Fitness wrote about the article in Slate yesterday and asked What if Nothing Works?
Weight loss advice almost never helps anyone lose weight.
And yet, something must work. We all know people who've lost weight and kept it off. We've all known non-exercisers who became exercisers. We all know people who've turned their lives around by eating better and exercising more, or at least more effectively.
Instead, researchers tend to discover, over and over again, that whatever we're doing now just isn't working for most of the people who try it. And sometimes the results are worse than they would've been if the dieters hadn't tried at all.
His observation is dead on if you ask me.
True, I know some people who have lost weight and maintained their lower weight for years (myself included), but I know many, many more who were able to lose weight effectively in the short term, but then as time passed, the weight was regained, sometimes leaving the person heavier than before they dieted to lose weight.
If we look at data from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) a self-reported database of "successful losers," we're told they have four similar behaviors post-weight loss:
1. They eat a low-fat diet (23-24% fat) with just 1300-1500 calories a day
2. They eat breakfast everyday
3. They monitor weight frequently with 75% weighing themself once a week
4. They engage in a high level of physical activity - 60 to 90 minutes a day
None of the above - daily I eat almost twice as many calories each day with a lot more fat; I skip breakfast more often than not; if I remember I might weigh myself once a month and my activity is daily routine stuff, not a formal exercise program specifically to meet certain targets each day.
For me, it's been eating adequate calories to meet, yet not exceed, my active metabolic requirements each day with primary focus on consuming sufficient quality protein - whatever fat that includes, so be it; eating breakfast if I'm hungry, but not forcing myself to do so if I'm not; I weigh myself occasionally and if my clothes feel a bit snug, weigh to see what's up - if I'm a few pounds up, I review what I'm eating daily and make adjustments if necessary; and I maintain a level of activity that really isn't much more than day-to-day things, but I do have to say includes keeping up with an extremely active almost three child!
Which leaves me wondering - how do you maintain weight once you've lost weight?
If you've lost weight and are able to maintain that loss, share here how you've done it...if you've lost to only re-gain the weight, what do you think is the problem?