Weight loss is no easy feat. But there are some strategies that can help you beat the odds and make you a winner at the game of losing. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that successful "losers" - people who were able to lose an average of 33 kg and keep it off for more than 5 years - subscribed to 6 common strategies to both shed pounds and keep the weight off.
- Be physically active: Both men and women reported that being active helped them maintain their weight loss, with men burning off 3,293 calories a week through physical activity and women trimming 2,545 calories. Popular activities cited included walking, cycling, weightlifting, and aerobics.
- Eat a low-calorie, low-fat diet: Weight loss winners said they consumed an average of 1,381 calories per day and only a quarter of those calories came from fat. Moreover, they went out for meals fewer than 3 times per week and fewer than one of those meals was at a fast food restaurant.
- Eat breakfast every day: Starting off the day with breakfast has been shown to boost your metabolism, helping you avoid the temptation of eating late in the day. More than 75% of subjects reported eating breakfast every day.
- Keep tabs on your weight: Nearly half of those who successfully shed pounds said they weighed themselves regularly. Regular trips to the scale helped to keep tabs on any weight fluctuations and indicate the need to correct them.
- Eat well on weekdays and weekends: Most of the participants reported eating the same way, both during the week and on weekends. However, nearly 4 in 10 were stricter at adhering to their diet during the week. The researchers concluded those who were more consistent about eating patterns had better success at maintaining their weight loss.
- Don't be deterred by gaining an extra pound or 2: It was common for the participants to gain an extra pound or 2 along the way. But those who ensured those pounds didn't add up quickly were the best at keeping the weight off.
Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team