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3 Weight Control Strategies continued...

3. Focus on fitness and portion control.

A third recommendation focuses on exercise and portion control.

"Diet alone does not work, and if you make physical activity your primary focus, you can be more flexible with your food choices and portions," says Hill. "Members of the Registry who have successfully lost and maintained sizeable amounts of weight average 60 minutes of exercise a day, and that gives them more freedom and diet leeway."

It may be more important to evaluate how much you're eating than what you're eating, he says.

"When you start gaining weight, go back and look at your portion sizes," says Hill. "Just reducing portion sizes alone is usually all you need to do to get back on track."

He also recommends eating breakfast every day, to help manage calories and hunger throughout the day.

Eternal Vigilance

It's important to expect slip-ups, and not to be too hard on yourself when they happen, the experts say. If you have a bad day, just get back on track as soon as you can, and do your best to learn from your mistakes.

Some experts suggest it is harder to maintain a weight loss than to lose it in the first place.

"The compliments and the excitement of losing weight are gone, yet the need to control your food intake and exercise daily is a never-ending commitment," says Foreyt.

His mantra is that it requires "eternal vigilance" to maintain weight.

"You must always be mindful of what you put into your mouth and stay vigilant in your commitment to healthy behaviors, so when you slip, you can rely on all these tools to help get you back on track," he says.

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Reviewed on September 01, 2006

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