Oprah recently featured some former contestants from “The Biggest Loser.” Unfortunately, some of them had regained up to 100 pounds since they left the show.
While losing weight is hard, not enough attention is given to the equally difficult process of maintaining weight loss. And what most people don’t realize is that the method you use to lose weight helps determine how difficult weight maintenance will be.
Researchers from the City University of New York studied folks who were successful at losing at least 10 percent of their bodyweight in the past year. They were separated into three groups. Group one had lost the weight with a very-low calorie diet (VLCD). Group two had lost the weight with a commercial weight-loss program. And the third group had lost the weight using a self-directed approach.
Initially, the VLCD group had a greater average weight loss (24 percent of bodyweight) compared to the two other groups (17 percent). But the researchers found that they quickly regained the most weight. On the other hand, the folks who had lost the weight on their own – as a result of making lifestyle changes – were able to maintain their weight loss.
What can you learn here? Well, it’s like many weight-loss experts keep saying: You must make simple, easy-to-stick-to lifestyle changes if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Crash diets and excessive exercise programs might work for a while, but they won’t help you in the long run.
Start your long-term weight-loss program today by finding a form of exercise you enjoy and a diet that suits your personality, and by surrounding yourself with social support – people who are genuinely interested in seeing you succeed.[Ed. Note: Extending your life and living out your years in tip-top health is really a matter of making simple lifestyle choices. Looking for exercise that is enjoyable and can help you lose weight? Try fitness expert Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training exercise program.]