Most anything we desire in life can be achieved by adapting our behavior to those who have done what we want to do. Whether it’s becoming a top business leader, accumulating wealth, or becoming a better parent, most times, there is a formula to success.
The same is true for weight loss. Almost 70 percent of the American population is overweight and/or obese. It’s no surprise that most want to lose the extra weight.
The question is how to lose it and keep it off.
The National Weight Control Registry studies just that. Founded by Dr. Rena Wing from Brown University and Dr. James O. Hill from the University of Colorado, the registry’s purpose is to identify and investigate the characteristics of people who have succeeded at long-term weight loss. Since 1994, the registry has tracked more than 5,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year. The path to successful weight loss has been paved, now we just follow in their footsteps.
Ready to become your own success story? Here are four tips for getting there.
1. BREAK THE FAST
More than 75 percent of the registry’s participants eat breakfast daily. Going for prolonged periods of time without eating can slow your metabolism dramatically. Considering the amount of time during sleep, it is critical that we eat breakfast. Think of it as turning on the light switch for your metabolism.
Research also has shown that breakfast eaters weigh less and suffer from fewer chronic diseases than those who skip (Timlin and Pereira 2007).
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a large meal. Something as simple as a piece of fruit or toast can help kick start your day.
2. CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS
Ninety-eight percent of the registry’s participants modified their intake. Twenty years ago, a fast food burger on average was about 300 calories. Today’s burgers are 590 calories on average, with some exceeding 1,000.
The Journal of the American Medical Association found that Americans consume about 200 more calories daily than they did in the 1970s. This can result in 20 pounds of weight gain per year when combined with little to no activity.
A Nelson study in 2008 found that the average U.S. household watched more than 8 hours of TV per day. Watching TV and eating often go together. The hypnotic glow of the tube makes it difficult to notice the number of calories we consume. On average, most of the registry’s participants watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
4. GET ACTIVE
Fitness is key in any successful weight-loss program. That’s why 94 percent of the registry’s participants increased their level of physical activity. It also should be noted that the registry individuals who gained their weight back had stopped exercising.
So turn off the tube, eat a healthy breakfast, eat less and get moving today!
Jason Wanlass, the owner of Monster Personal Training & Athletic Conditioning in Meridian, has more than 15 years experience in the fitness industry and is a Fitness Columnist for the Idaho Statesman. Contact him at email@example.com or www.monsterfit.com