WIN Wyoming and WIN the Rockies
Success Stories from the National Weight
The National Weight Control Registry has tracked more than 5,000
people to better understand how they maintained weight losses of 30 pounds or
more. The Registry is now in its 10th year and is funded by the
National Institutes of Health. The ABC television show Good Morning America
recently highlighted some of the findings from the Registry.
- A key finding to successful weight loss maintenance was when individuals
started thinking in terms of lifestyle changes with eating and physical
activity, and stopped thinking about dieting and exercising to lose weight.
- Dr. Rena Wing, director for the Registry, talked about the endless search
for the magic bullet for weight loss. She said, "The magic
bullet is hard work. Itís changing your whole lifestyle to a healthier
eating and exercise approach. And thatís the only magic bullet we have for
long-term weight loss."
- The Registry found that women tended to lose weight in groups, and men
tended to lose weight on their own.
- The individuals listed with the Registry lost weight initially in a
variety of ways, but there were common themes when it came to maintaining
the weight loss. Common themes included decreasing average daily intake of
calories and increasing levels of physical activity.
- The preferred form of physical activity was walking, with 75% of the
Registry participants listing walking as their main form of physical
activity. Participants reported they engaged in large amounts of daily
physical activity, with many reporting close to an hour a day.
- Most of the participants in the study ate breakfast daily. Consistency was
also key to success. People who did not give themselves days to
"cheat" were more successful in maintaining weight loss than those
who allowed themselves breaks for weekends or other events.
- Nearly three-quarters of the participants weighed themselves at least once
a week. Dr. Wing believes this routine of regularly stepping on a scale
allows people to quickly take corrective action when small increases in
weight start to appear.
Website for the National Weight Control Registry.
, accessed on June 3, 2004.
Trachtenerg T. Good Morning America, ABC news broadcast, June 2, 2004.
Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD
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