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)!

REDUCE SUGAR (not fat) INTAKE to reduce weight!

Raw_sugar_closeup

In a fascinating new book, Robert Lustig, a professor of clinical paediatrics at the University of California, expounds a whole new scientific theory.

He argues that the urge to overeat and lounge around doing nothing is not a sign of weakness. It is, he says, a hormonal issue, triggered by eating too much sugar!

 

Conventional wisdom and government policy still blame dietary fat for our ever-rising obesity levels (and horrific heart disease statistics).

However, Professor Lustig is part of the band of obesity specialists who question the validity of this argument.

The seminal ‘Seven Countries’ study by U.S. epidemiologist Ancel Keys in the Eighties demonised fat, triggering a massive change in food manufacture.

In an effort to make low fat food more palatable, many manufacturers raised the carbohydrate level, adding quantities of sugar to almost everything (both sweet and savoury). 

For instance, a small pot of low fat yoghurt can contain as much as four teaspoons of sugar, and even wholemeal bread hides two teaspoons per loaf.

Gradually tastes and eating habits have changed,  Lustig says, resulting in growing populations worldwide inadvertently hooked on easy-to-eat high sugar foods. 

Professor Lustig believes the key to losing weight is to reverse leptin resistance by reducing sugar intake

Here is his action plan:

1. Have just one dessert a week

When cooking, reduce sugar in every recipe by a third, and eat dessert as a treat, once a week.

2. Fibre leads to weight loss

Fiber is now routinely stripped from foods to give a finer texture. Eating fiber slows down the digestion process. Slower digestion also gives your brain a chance to register that you are full.

3. Take 15 minutes’ exercise daily

Exercise alone cannot cause significant weight loss (unless you change your diet at the same time) but Professor Lustig says 15 minutes a day is enough to improve your insulin sensitivity (because activity helps cells become more receptive to insulin), and build muscle at the expense of fat.

Although you may not see a drop on the scales, by improving insulin sensitivity and lowering insulin levels, exercise,  will improve leptin signalling.

4. Eat like your Grandma

Beware packaged food.  Professor Lustig’s mantra is: ‘Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t  recognise. If the food has a company logo you’ve heard of, it’s processed.’

5. Don’t eat on your feet

Eating standing up means you will be eating fast, with no time for satiety signals to kick in, says Professor Lustig.

Always include some sort of  protein (chicken, pulses) in every meal (to slow the digestive process and reduce the risk of insulin spikes) and avoid any ‘food’ that is just fat, carbohydrate and sugar (such as doughnuts, milk-shakes, pastries).

 

via The REAL reason you eat too much: New theory could revolutionise the way we lose weight | Mail Online.

Three minutes a week of exercise: all you need to get fit? Scientists say ideal fitness regime involves intense bursts of activity

There is welcome news for anyone who’s resolved to get fit in the New Year. Scientists claim we don’t have to spend hours every week slogging in the gym or jogging around a park in all weathers, along with the other January resolution makers.

Instead, they advocate a pioneering new quick fitness regime that makes remarkable claims: just a few 30-second bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only three minutes a week, could deliver the health and weight-loss benefits of hours of lengthy, conventional regimes.

Scientists at the universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Bath say the secret is to commit yourself to three short bursts of highly intense exercise for 30 seconds each, with short rest periods between, in less than five minutes.

The ongoing study is led by leading exercise expert Jamie Timmons, a professor of systems biology. The team call their system High Intensity Impact Training (HIIT).

So far, their tests on hundreds of unfit middle-aged volunteers in Britain and Canada over the past eight years have shown those three minutes of exercise a week deliver the same significant health improvements as can be achieved through hours in the gym or on the running track.

Isn’t that good news! Why not try it out! The exact reason why the body behaves loses weight only after 3 minutes of exercise is not know. The high intensity exercise seems to be triggering the muscle cells to fasten the metabolism and thereby consume energy causing weight loss!

So get on with it! Get on a treadmill or a stationary bike and speed up for 30 seconds.

Note of Caution: In case you have not exercised before, its advisable to start gradually to avoid injuries!

HIT: High Intensity Training!

Is three minutes a week of exercise all you need to get fit? Scientists say ideal fitness regime involves intense bursts of activity | Mail Online.