4 Keys to Weight Loss Success
Successful "losers" share four factors in their ability to take weight off and keep it off.
If you listen to a lot of the stories in the media, you might believe that
losing weight and keeping it off is virtually impossible. The common wisdom is
pretty discouraging. Sure, you can lose weight, but what's the point, since
you'll just put it on again sooner or later? And since your body type is
determined by your genes, why bother trying anyway?
Well, here's the encouraging news: Regardless of body type or genetics, all
sorts of people are successfully losing weight and keeping it off. While it may
take some hard work and dedication, you can as well.
The National Weight Control Registry
In 1993, we started the National Weight Control Registry as a way of
studying the behaviors of people who successfully lost weight and kept it off.
We wanted to see what methods these people had in common, since they could help
us discover the best strategies for weight maintenance.
To enroll in the Registry, a person must have maintained at least a 30-pound
weight loss for at least a year. However, on average, members of the Registry
have lost 67 pounds and kept it off for six years. Those are inspiring
Looking at the data, we haven't seen evidence to confirm the idea that our
genes make our destiny when it comes to weight. If people really had a genetic
"set point" weight as some argue, why would the average weight of
Americans be getting heavier each year? While genes certainly play a role, they
don't predetermine what your weight will always be. Instead, they provide a
range of weights that are possible depending on your diet and amount of
exercise. So you have more control over your weight than you might think.
By looking at the behavior of the 4,200 people in the Registry, we've
identified four common characteristics of those who've lost weight and are now
keeping it off. These suggestions don't make up a diet program. But if you're
looking for ways to keep weight off, adopting these behaviors isn't a bad way