We’ve all heard the statistics about how 95% of people regain weight they lose. As many of you know, I dropped over 70 pounds nearly 2 decades ago, and when I first started coaching one of my greatest visions was to create a sustainable weight loss program for people that would help them keep the weight off for good.
While I did my own due diligence about how to create dietary protocols through personal training, nutrition and coaching certifications, I also got really curious about the other 5% of people like me who had sustained a weight loss of over 30 pounds and kept it off for over 5 years. What were they doing that helped them keep their pounds off?
The following data is according to the National Weight Control Registry Study of Successful Weight Losers (and of course I’ve added my own two cents for your entertainment– you’re welcome 😉 ):
So here you have it..
They exercise (shocker, I know)! While I don’t believe you need to be an athlete to lose weight, I can tell you that working out is something that has built my confidence (and many friendships) over the years. The group reported 200 minutes a week, which may sound like a lot, but note that this is what they do to maintain their weight. We also don’t know if this is walking, running, gardening, weight lifting, or power yoga, but we know they exercise. Start with 5 minutes of walking a week and then add a minute each week. Starting small is key. Rome wasn’t built in a day, people.
They limit television watching to less than 10 hours a week. I’ll admit, when COVID hit, this went out the window for me. And for the days I don’t watch TV, I know I watch a hell of a lot of YouTube videos, so this is a rule I break. Also, with all the tvs on cardio equipment these days, I wouldn’t call this rule essential unless you’re not working out and eating healthy, yet you can’t seem to “find time” to do those things, yet you have tons of time to binge-watch Netflix #reconsiderpriorities .
They monitor their intake. The group reported eating an average of 1380 calories a day with less than 30% coming from fat. Whether you count calories or use the hunger scale, people who have success do so because they have some kind of monitor. I’d suggest starting with a tracking app such as My Fitness pal. Also 1,380 is a relative number based on the metabolism of the reporters, so I’d actually recommend calculating your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) first, which you can do by clicking here. Eat at your predicted maintenance calories for a couple weeks to establish a baseline. If you want to lose weight, you will have to eat less, exercise more, or a little of both. If you need help with this, just DM me.
They eat a consistent diet and similar foods (you know you’re doing this when your grocery list pretty much looks the same from week to week). This doesn’t mean that you can’t have something different, but that you likely have some healthy staples you consistently purchase. I’ve been eating a chicken salad mostly every day for lunch for the last 2 decades and that doesn’t mean that some days I don’t have a steak salad or a chicken wrap, but for simplicity sake, I keep it consistent.
They eat breakfast.
If you don’t follow me on Instagram, then you may not know this, but I have a bit of a waffle addiction 🙂
High dietary restraint. They do not overeat to accommodate internal (emotions) or external cues (availability of food). This is definitely one that sounds easy to master, but it’s where I spend 90% of time with clients. I just put out a new workbook on habits to implement if this is a struggle for you, which you can find here.
Self monitoring. They weigh themselves at least once per week and daily track their food intake. I like to take this a step further and weigh myself and measure my waist daily, and take weekly progress photos. I also track and weigh my food.
So there it is! Now that you have the secrets, all you have to do is get started. I find one thing at a time works best. If you don’t exercise now, just start with 5 minutes a day. If you haven’t weighed yourself in a decade, get a new scale. If you don’t monitor your food, start with one meal a day. Change is possible my friends, and if you commit to making one change a month, then in 6 months you could be on your own path to weight loss success.
I am going to be doing an email series on all of these items separately over the next couple weeks, so if you don’t want to miss out, then you can get my free guide: How to Stop Overeating When Working from Home and get on my email list so you don’t miss out.