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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Successful Loser?

Have you ever heard of people who are successful losers? Don't like to be called a loser? Well, in this case you might not mind. A successful loser is someone who has lost weight and kept it off. A new study in the July issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that Americans may be doing better at keeping weight off. The researchers from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 6 out of 10 Americans maintained their weight loss within 5% over a year’s time. These numbers are actually better than many numbers in studies in the past showing the majority of people regaining weight lost.

How to keep it off
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has been tracking people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least 1 year. What do they have in common?

1. Reduced calorie/low fat diet. They successful losers do not eat low carb, but rather watch total calories, keeping fat to a moderate amount.
2. Monitor frequently. Weigh yourself at least weekly. You can weigh yourself daily, but remember that we can fluctuate 4-5 pounds per day, so weighing daily can be frustrating and set a bad mood for the day if it is slightly higher than the day before. Monitoring can also mean keeping track of your food intake. Keep a journal either by hand or using one of the many online food journals that count your calories for you.
3. Eat breakfast. Over 95% of the people in the NWCR eat breakfast daily. Eat something within one hour of getting up. Eat a combination of carbs, protein, and a little bit of fat. Follow that with a midmorning snack 3 hours after breakfast.
4. Exercise daily. If you really want to lose weight and keep it off, the NCWR shows that you need to exercise most (6-7) days per week. If you are exercising less than 3 days per week you will very likely plateau in your weight loss or regain after you get to your goal weight.

Bottom line
Weight loss is not easy. If it was, more than 2/3 of Americans would not be overweight and obese. Pay attention to the 4 messages above and you will see success and hopefully become a successful loser for the future!

Photo courtesy of D.L.
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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