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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tips from People Who Have Lost Weight - and Kept it Off

Maintaining a healthy weight (a weight that falls within a BMI of 18.5-24.5) ranks at the top of the American Institute of Cancer Research’s recommendations for cancer prevention.

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has been collecting data for more than a decade from people who have lost weight and have been able to maintain their weight loss.

They are sharing with us the top six trends that have come out of their surveillance. Nearly 90 percent of the members surveyed by NWCR reportedthey combined diet and exercise  to lose weight. So dig out your sneakers and get ready to move!
  • Exercise. More than 50 percent of NWCR members reported expending 2000 calories a week. Check out AICR’s website for some suggestions of how you burn those calories too.
  • Limit TV. Nearly two-thirds of NWCR members reported watching less than 10 hours of TV a week.
  • Eat a low-calorie, low-fat diet. NWCR members maintain a similar diet 365 days a year Try filling half your plate with non-starchy fruits and vegetables that pack cancer fighting properties like spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, berries, grapes or melon.
  • Eat breakfast. People surveyed said eating breakfast helped curb hunger and grouchiness as well as curb overeating later in the day
  • Eat when hungry. Successful dieters from the NWCR maintained their weight loss by eating when they are hungry, not because the cake looked good or because they didn’t want to offend someone by not eating their dish. They also avoid the vending machine because when they are bored or stressed.
  • Self monitor. And while you are looking for your sneakers, keep your eye out for your scale and smartphone. More than half of these successful dieters continue to weigh themselves weekly and keep a food journal. There are plenty of free websites and phone apps where you can log the calories you consumed and calories you burned each day.
Have you lost weight and kept it off? What are some of your tips?

Carly Roop RD, CSO, provides nutrition education and support to patients and their families at Joan Karnell Cancer Center. She addresses nutrition-related side effects from chemotherapy and radiation as well as nutrition for survivorship, and provides educational nutrition programs, which are open to patients as well as the community.

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