The National Weight Control Registry is a database of over 6000 people who have lost more than 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year. The registry seeks to find the common denominators of these successful people who have lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for another average of 5.5 pounds.
- 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.
- Many have tried to lose weight more than once and finally, usually after a significant medical or emotional event, they succeed
Recently a team of brilliant researchers including Thomas, J. Graham Ph.D.; Bond, Dale S. Ph.D.; Hill, James O. Ph.D.; Wing, and Rena R. Ph.D., set about to study the data from these successful participants and they published the results in the ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal, which is available here. It is an excellent read and we applaud the publisher for sharing the entire article.
The researchers found that there were 7 successful habits shared by the participants which included a significant amount of weekly exercise, eating breakfast, counting calories, consistent diet and a healthy diet. These findings were congruent with many shared on the National Weight Control Registry website which says that 78% eat breakfast, 75% weigh themselves once a week, 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week and 90% exercise on average 1 hour per day.
Of all the tips and habits that we read in the update, the one that struck us the most was that the registry members ate consistently. They kept their diet healthy and low in calories and fat and they did not get side-tracked with special occasions, holidays or weekends.
Most people do not know what they are going to eat until their next meal and they make the decision when they are hungry. Our casual observance always shows that the end result is not the best result for calorie totals. Menu planning and shopping advice is the number one request we receive from our readers. We decided to share a rather new trick we have started in our own kitchen.
A few months ago I started making a weekly list of our favorite foods. Once I wrote those down, shopping and cooking became effortless - look at the list and pick one! We eat the same things over and over each week because they are our favorites. There is no more reinventing the wheel or trying to be too creative. Did you ever notice when you go out to eat you always order the same thing at a restaurant? Well, why not do that at "your" restaurant? Sure, you can alter your list and add new dishes or change them as needed. You can also find something neat to prepare in the store. But we find just having a plan is a good idea. We are not stuck in some rigid "every day meal plan" but in a road map for what we like to eat. The ingredients are there and the items are written down so we don't forget. We can even get ahead - take the chicken or pizza dough out of the freezer, soak the beans.
Here is our "ongoing menu" which usually keeps the crock pot busy a few days per week - we have started eating a lot more legumes from scratch:
Favorite Menu Ideas From Our Test Kitchen with links to the recipes online:
• Vegetarian Chili - cooked black beans, salt-free stewed diced tomatoes, cubed winter squash, seasonings.
• Ranch Beans/Chicken - baked chicken served with home-made pinto beans (use the beans the next day to make the burritos)
• Kitchen Sink Pasta - we cook a variety of fresh veggies with garlic, basil and salt-free broth and toss with cooked pasta.
• Chicken Cutlets - slice a chicken breast into thin cutlets, dust with flour and saute in a little bit of olive oil; remove from the pan and make a sauce with lemon juice, chicken broth and parsley; pour over the cutlets and bake in the oven. Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and home-made apple sauce. (Note the recipe calls for turkey cutlets but you can use turkey or chicken.)
• Lowfat Lasagna - we make this in a large batch and freeze the leftovers for busy days.
Speaking of recipes - we have added a lot more here.
As always this wonderful blog is sponsored by The Nutrition Education Store. We have a fantastic selection of items to teach people how to cook and nutrition education materials to celebrate National Nutrition Month now.
Here is a video of our pizza: