What Is Your Weight Destiny?
How to Keep the Weight OffLessons from Losers
What are the secrets of those who have lost at least 30 pounds and managed to keep it off? We tapped the National Weight Control Registry to find out.
Freshen up your motivation. "What inspired them to start losing the weight may not be the same as what helps them keep it off," says Hill, who cofounded the registry. A health scare might have prompted the initial loss, for example, but wearing clothes they like might later be the reason.
Tone your muscles. While there isn't much data on this, Hill says, it stands to reason that the weight training these maintainers do is a factor in their ability to stay at their lower weight. "It helps build muscle and prevent the loss of muscle mass, and, of course, muscle burns calories," he says.
Exercise daily. The workouts of successful slimmers "range from 30 minutes a day to 90, but the average is about 60," Hill says.
Tie exercise to something else that's meaningful to you. "One woman said she makes time for spirituality every day, and during that special time, she walks and meditates," Hill says. Many long-term maintainers, he adds, even change careers and become dietitians or trainers.
Weigh yourself regularly. Maintainers weigh themselves daily or every few days and cut back immediately when they eat too much. This is what Hill suggests people at a healthy weight should do simply not to gain. "If you're paying attention now, you won't let your weight creep up," he says.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2012.
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