Weight Loss Requires Real Resolve
Do you make that same resolution each year to lose weight? Chances are, you tried that last year, and the year before, and…the year before as a matter of fact. No sense going down that path again…or is there?
Often, people fail to keep New Year’s resolutions because they try to change too much too fast. The U.S. National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) investigates characteristics of individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for a long period of time. The individuals studied lost between 15 to 150 kgs and kept it off for at least one year and up to 66 years.
In order to lose weight, 98% of these successful individuals modified their food intake in some way, and 94% increased their physical activity level. But losing weight is only part of the battle—maintaining weight loss takes determination, commitment and a realistic strategy.
Four key lifestyle changes have been observed in the success of the individuals followed by NWCR:
*78% made breakfast a priority
This is key. Breakfast literally “breaks the fast” from a night of z’s. Your metabolism is the lowest when you are sleeping. If you wake up and hit the road without eating breakfast, your body’s metabolism is still in fasting mode and will burn as few calories as possible. Even if you aren’t a morning person, make a point to eat something within 45 minutes of waking.
*75% visited the scale at least once a week
A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found a weight gain of ten or more pounds ( 4.5 kilos) over the course of five years to be fairly common among women. That’s an average gain of less than a quarter pound per month, which can creep up on you if you aren’t weighing yourself on a regular basis. Awareness is crucial because these small gains can really add up over time. Remember, the scale is merely an indicator of your status.
*62% watched fewer than 10 hours of TV each week…
The fact that they are not parked in front of the tube tells you they are up doing something else, and whatever that something else is, it probably burns more calories than watching TV. Watching TV only burns 72 calories per hour—that’s only 10 more calories than sleeping!
*90% exercise on a daily basis
Most people today have sedentary jobs, and many get to those sedentary jobs by car. By the end of the day, few find time to exercise. As we know, exercise is crucial in both weight loss and weight maintenance. Of the four behaviors that lead to successful weight maintenance, exercise is the most common behavior shared by this group.
The weight loss journey is not easy, but the end result is worth far more than we can measure in terms of how we feel about ourselves and, most importantly, how healthy we are. So this year, try to keep that resolution. Maybe then next year, you won’t have to make the same one!
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