Weighty secrets: losing pounds for good

Source: Pinterest via Michelle Wollin

How did you do it?  What is the secret to losing weight and keeping it off?

People ask me these questions often, because I lost 45 pounds in 1993, and I've kept it off for 20 years. Here's the good news: losing weight is difficult, but if you have a plan, and you know yourself, you can defeat your former, fat self, forever.

For me, losing weight required an intense period of exercise and strict diet.  After I reached my goal weight, I transitioned into maintenance mode and developed a healthy living plan.  Here are the central components of my plan, which I still follow today:

  • I exercise every weekday.  I do a combination of strength training and cardio
  • On the weekends, I plan active outings for my family, like hiking, biking, or walking
  • I eat whole foods whenever possible: I avoid all prepackaged snacks and bars
  • I drink lots of water
  • I cook as simply as possible 
  • I allow myself some indulgences: a dash of cream in my coffee and one small sweet after dinner
  • I do not eat sweets and snacks between meals
  • I stay abreast of new nutrition and fitness findings, altering my plan when necessary
Some aspects of my healthy living plan may work for you and others may not, so I took a peek at The National Weight Control Registry to find out how others approach healthy living.  The National Weight Control Registry follows 10,000 people, and each has lost, and kept off, at least 30 pounds.  This is what these achievers have in common:

  • 90% exercise for approximately one hour every day
  • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
  • 78% make time to eat breakfast every day
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of television per week

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