What works for weight loss? Data from the National Weight Control Registry

Some very interesting data revealed by the National Weight Loss Registry

A total of 2886 participants who had lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year were enrolled.

Data was collected in 1993-2010 and analysis was conducted in 2012.

It was a 10 year observational study and recently got published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

FINDINGS OF THE REGISTRY!!!

  • The “average” woman is 45 years of age and currently weighs 145 lbs, while the “average” man is 49 years of age and currently weighs 190 lbs.
  • Registry members have lost an average of 66 lbs and kept it off for 5.5 years.
  • These averages, however, hide a lot of diversity:
      • Weight losses have ranged from 30 to 300 lbs.
      • Duration of successful weight loss has ranged from 1 year to 66 years!
      • Some have lost the weight rapidly, while others have lost weight very slowly–over as many as 14 years.
  • We have also started to learn about how the weight loss was accomplished: 45% of registry participants lost the weight on their own and the other 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program.
  • 98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight.
  • 94% increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form of activity being walking.
  • There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.

 

    • 78% eat breakfast every day.
    • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
    • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
    • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day. 

 

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of weight lost by NWCR members is maintained over 10 years. Long-term weight-loss maintenance is possible and requires sustained behavior change. 80% of persons in the registry are women and 20% are men.

 

Research Findings.

Which diet is best?

Obese and overweight people tend to struggle with weigh loss and so try out different types of diet after consulting their friends and relatives.

Some of these diets are successful while some fail miserably. Till now the conventional wisdom suggests that the best diets which work are low carbohydrate diets.

So, Which is the best diet?

An recent meta-analysis was published in the JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) in sept 3, 2014 issue.  The authors studied 48 trials studying different types of diets. Diets were classified into Low-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate diets. Patients on Diets were compared to patients on no diet. The followup was done for a duration of 1 year.

Evidence showed that

1. Both low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets were associated with an estimated 8-kg weight loss at 6-month follow-up compared with no diet.

2. Approximately 1 to 2 kg of this effect was lost by 12-month follow-up. 

3. No specific diet was found to be superior over other diets.

All Diets Can Work, provided you adhere to them.

Before anyone switches to a new low-carb or low-fat diet, it is important to remember that all diets can work in the short run. However, most diets fail in the long run.

Sticking with a diet is far more important than the type of diet (low-carb or low-fat)!