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Thread: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

  1. #1

    Default Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    I saw this one at SparkPeople and thought it was spot-on perfect. Here are their top strategies to keep the weight off for good:
    Get Moving and Stay Moving
    Being active is extremely important for keeping weight offónot to mention it has a slew of other great health benefits, including helping cholesterol ratios, reducing blood pressure, improving mood and well-being, and strengthening the heart.

    Multiple studies show that people who track or journal the foods they eat lose more weight and keep it off for the long haul. In fact, the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than 3,000 people who have lost an average of 50 pounds and kept it off successfully for five years, has found that logging foods is one way to stay on track well after theyíve lost the weight.

    Eat the Foods You Love
    If you love cheesecake and chocolate but have a food plan that restricts you from eating them, chances are youíre going to feel pretty darned deprived. And thatís never a good thing (and typically backfires). To have a truly livable healthy lifestyle, you should include small treats (always eaten in moderation) in your diet.

    Drink Enough H20
    Ask any successful weight-loss maintainer and I guarantee they do one thingódrink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Water helps support your metabolism, aids in removing fat from the body, can help cut cravings and is just darn good for you.

    Get Support
    Whether itís a friend, family member or buddies on SparkPeople, having a support system is key. Another study that looked again at the National Weight Control Registry found that those who lost weight and continued going to bi-monthly support group meetings for a year maintained their weight. Those who didnít go to support meetings regained almost half of the weight they lost.

    Keep Challenging Yourself
    Even if youíre already at your goal weight, never stop setting smart goals. Whether itís adding more weight to your strength training routine, walking or running a bit faster, fitting more fruits and veggies in your diet or simply saying ďnoĒ when Aunt Myrtle tries to guilt you into having that second piece of pie, keep setting weekly, monthly and yearly goals to keep you focused and challenged.

    Switch Things Up
    Make a point every month to try something new. Whether itís a new exercise class, a change in your workout, a different recipe or a food youíve never tried, changing things up regularly will keep things fun and engaging.

    Remind Yourself
    I encourage many of my personal training clients to place a photo of themselves at their heaviest or unhealthiest somewhere that they can see it. You donít have to look at it every day, but once a week itís good to remember where you were and how far youíve come.

    Track Your Weight
    About three-quarters of all successful long-term weight-loss maintainers from the National Weight Control Registry report that they weigh themselves weekly to keep the extra pounds at bay. While sometimes the scale can be a beast of burden (especially when youíre gaining muscle and losing fat), itís important that you continue to monitor and track your body to see if the weight is coming off and staying off. Whether itís the scale, measuring body fat, making sure you can fit in a certain pair of jeans or using a measuring tape, track your size regularly.

    Embrace the Lifestyle
    After a few weeks of eating right and working out, you shouldnít just look better. You should feel better, too! Losing weight is about improving your life, not restricting it. So be sure that youíre focusing on the positive and embracing your healthy choices each day.
    As we know, these are all things that are preached at Weight Watchers.

    I do them all Ė and it works. And, I would recommend all of these to anyone who is trying to lose weight or keep it off.

    Do all of these things and you will be successful.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Thanks for posting this SB. My biggest obstacle on this list is journaling/tracking - feels like punishment. I have to get over that....
    With perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark - Charles H. Spurgeon

  3. #3

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Quinny - why does it feel like punishment?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    These are spot on, and just what WW has taught me. Following these strategies does bring long-tern weight loss success!
    HW: 195.6/SW: 195.6
    CW: 137.5 PGW: 138 WWGW: 155

  5. #5

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    SB - it feels very restrictive to me and I become resentful that I have to do it. I KNOW that it leads to good results and needs to be done, I just hate it. My WW leader says - "you dont have to like it , you just have to do it", I keep that in my head. I have been trying to not track for the past few months and just eat sensibly but it has yielded slow weight loss so I know the answer to this problem. I guess I am just whining - sorry.
    With perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark - Charles H. Spurgeon

  6. #6

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Quinny - don't be sorry. It's great to be truthful.

    You said "it feels very restrictive to me and I become resentful that I have to do it." I suspect that the latter is the result of the former. If we can cure that first item, the second should go away.

    So, the question is: Why do you feel it is restrictive? I'm guessing because MAYBE you feel tracking doesn't allow you to eat whatever you want, when you want, as much as you want - or some parts of that. Well, WW is all about letting us eat what we want - in moderation. Related, maybe there's a way to make this work for you.

    I would suggest looking at a few things - more filling foods to take away hunger, more activity to gain APs and give you more freedom on choices to eat, and more substitutes for things that you want but don't fit into your DPA. Like No Pudge Brownies instead of traditional brownies. WW ice cream products instead of regular ice cream. Baked sweet potato fries instead of french fries. Stuff like that.

    For me, I have learned to LOVE tracking because I've made it a game. Everyday I try and eat as much as I can, until I am full, making good choices in terms of food that will fuel my body, without using a ton of points. That's why I have like six servings of fruit and veggies a day. That's why I eat fish and turkey - and sometimes chicken or shrimp - instead of red meat. That's why I stay away from refined carbs, sugars and starches. I love the challenge of trying to find "food" that gives me the biggest bang for my buck...fill me, nourish me, but don't cost me a ton of points.

    I hope this is not too preachy. Just sharing in case it may help.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    SB - not preachy at all and I truly appreciate your input and you taking the time to write down your thougts on this. I think you are right that its part of the I cant do what I want part. Here is an example of what I am whining about. I like to cook so last week one of the things I made was a bunch of sauteed vegetables. Eggplant, zuchiini, etc. I put 2 TBS of olive oil in the pan and as I was making the vegetables I realized they needed a little more olive oil. I had a few things on the stove so I grabed the olive oil and instictively added a little more. Woops I thought - was that tablespoon?? I know I need to come up with a value and I decide for the recipe in its entirety I have used 1/4 c of olive oil. Problem solved. Now the vegetables have cooked and I put them in a container to use for the week. Then I realize I have no idea how many servings this is and I have to get out the measuring cup and measure how many cups this actually made so I can spread the olive oil points out. This drives me crazy - it is in that moment I get angry that I have to portion it all out, measure it, write it down etc. Other issues are when I am at a party and I am not sure what the points are etc. (I should point out I am a CPA and getting things exact is my nature. I would think as I am typing this someone would say to just estimate some of this and let it go.)

    As I am typing this I realize how rediculous some of this sounds. I think it is good to dialogue your struggles since one can see the errors of their thinking. I just find on a bad day, journaling is one of the first things I can throw out the door or I might say to myself - "I am giving myself the day off" and that is where the weight loss stalls. I know I need to change this. The last time I made my goal weight I lived on lean cuisines becuase the portions and points were all precalculated. I dont want to go that route this time. I am off most processed foods and like you I avoid the simple sugars.

    I appreciate your feedback. This is something I need to work on.
    With perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark - Charles H. Spurgeon

  8. #8

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Quinny - one idea/suggestion. This is something that I do.

    I don't meaure and weigh, precisely, every element of food that I've made at home or eat in a resturant. Yes, I "eyeball" it using the mental guides (deck of cards, CD, tennis ball, etc.) - on portions. And, I do use exact measures when it's easy. For example, my wife makes a chicken and zucchini and squash dish for me and uses a pre-cooked chicken from a box that I know is 9 ounces of chicken. So, in that case, I can figure out the exact points for the chicken in the dish.

    But, I don't get hung up on things like it's two cups of shrimp or 1.75 cups of shrimp or 2.25 cups of shrimp in a dish. When it's close like that, it's 2 cups for me when tracking. Also, if I'm in a resturant, and I order a portabello club sandwich that has portabello mushrooms, zucchini, red peppers, tomato, lettuce, and other veggies - but also has a house mustard type dressing on it, I don't bang my head on the wall worrying about the points in the dressing.

    So, if I don't track my points EXACTLY, how did I lose and how do I maintain? Simple, most weeks I don't "use" my 49 extra points - or, I "use" about 7 to 14 of them.

    Stay with me here. When I say "use," I mean those "0 to 14 of them" that I "use," are the ones that I actually track and account for....

    The extra ones, the ones left over, I really am using them - as a buffer for all that stuff where I'm ballparking the points on stuff because I don't want to be a slave to weighing and measuring EVERYTHING that I eat. But, I'm not tracking them in my tracker.

    Of course, there's a ton of stuff that I do eat where I do track the points, EXACTLY - like an instant oatmeal packet, a veggie or salmon burger that I bought frozen...basically anything that comes in a box or a container with the info on the side where I can calculate the points, I do track them "to the penny." But, on the other stuff, I do the best I can, in a way that makes me happy, being as honest as possible*, and not worrying if I'm a point or two off, here and there.

    *Honesty is the key. You cannot eat 16 ounces of chicken and say it looks like nine, etc. You have to at least come close to the 16 and not go near tracking it as nine.

    This type of book keeping might be hard for a CPA to sign-off on. But, for me, it works. Yes, some weeks, I may never use those "35 to 49" extra points that I don't really track. And, those are the weeks where I usually lose weight or stay the same. And, some weeks I use 14 of my 49, tracked, and then use another 30-something, untracked, because I'm not sweating if my turkey burger at the diner is really 13 points or 17 points (when I tracked it as 13). And, those are the weeks maybe where a might gain a pound. But, that's weight on a weekly basis, it always goes up and down a little. The bigger picture is the better one - where I am on a monthly or quarterly basis.

    Hope this helps. Maybe give it a try for a few weeks and see if it makes it easier to track?

    I'm sure Weight Watchers would frown on my system. But, for me, it works. It's been working for the last 265 weeks. How do I know? That's how long I have been tracking, in a row, since I joined WW.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    I like that Super Bowl. There are many things that I count exactly. But I need to learn that if I can't track them exactly, I do have my WPA to help with them. I guess I knew that in the back of my head, but I never really thought of it like that. I AM using more of my WPA then I know sometimes, thus...maybe a slight increase on the scale....then time to count points more exact again. That's a circle I like. I am one of those more anal retentive counters in general I am not an accountant, but I am a RN and like to pay attention to detail.

    I do know that I can't eat all my WPA without gaining. I can keep my weight 130 or below by eating 25 points (old program) a day and about 10-15 WPA. My weight is up a titch, too many WPA, and I have 2 pounds to lose. I am back at 18 points a day and allowing 10 WPA until those 2 pounds are gone.
    HW: 195.6/SW: 195.6
    CW: 137.5 PGW: 138 WWGW: 155

  10. #10

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Trudie - I agree, 100%, that it's a game of adjustments. That's why I still weigh-in, weekly, even though I made lifetime back in January 2007. If I see a slight gain in a week, I know, the week that follows, I need to pay more attention to not "using" my non-tracked WPA. I have to eat more things that are easy to calculate the points, to stick on the DPA plan. And, I have to watch the BLTs - which I rarely track. (BLTs for me would be three almonds between meals, or maybe a half-handful of dried fruit, or, maybe a tablespoon of some granola for some crunch. These are night time and weekend issues for me - when I pass through the kitchen. But, I know, today, that eating 3 almonds between meals was not what got me fat - it was eating 8 oreos between meals that did that. So, I'm not going to kill myself over some healthy choice, low cal, BLT snacking.)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    SB - this is an excellent suggestion. I definately will give it a try - you are right - it doesnt have to be perfect. I have a tendency to be an all or nothing person and I need to find the middle ground. Thank for you suggestions - I will keep you posted.

    I sppreciate you and Trudie sharing your success and what works for you.

    BTW - this dialogue has stirred some good conversation with my sister (also an accountant and who struggles with journaling). We have agreed to meet up each Monday and share our journals with each other so we can stay accountable.
    With perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark - Charles H. Spurgeon

  12. #12

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Quote Originally Posted by Quinny View Post
    I have a tendency to be an all or nothing person and I need to find the middle ground.
    That's me when it comes to exercise. It's taken me twenty years - no kidding, two decades! - to get past that...and it's still a work in progress. And, if I can do this, there, anyone can do it anywhere.

    Seriously, back to WW, I talk about this at meetings some times when someone comments on me losing all the weight and keeping it off for so long. I stress to them that I'm not perfect. Yes, track all the time. And, yes, I weigh-in each week, etc. But, I am still far from perfect. There have been many times where I blew right through my DPA and went way over - usually at a holiday or some other family celebration, or, on a full-day out. But, at those times, I try and take two things from it.

    One, a learning lesson, to see if there was one or two things I could have done better to make it better the next time. (Usually, it's "I should have skipped the fries" or "I should have skipped the stuffing" or "I shouldn't have had the cake." And, two, I remind myself of HOW BAD IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE OLD DAYS. So, sure, maybe on Thanksgiving 2007 (and I'm making this up as an example but it's based on true stuff) I had 15 more points than my DPA. But, for sure, before WW, that might have been much, much, worse - maybe a 65 or 85 point day! So, yes, I was far from perfect. But, I was also far from terrible too - and that's something good.

    Stuff like that. It's an old saying, but, it's true: You don't need to be perfect, just be better.

    If you keep doing that, you'll get there.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Thanks SB - this is really helpful and I am going to work on it!
    With perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark - Charles H. Spurgeon

  14. #14

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Good luck Quinny. You can do it!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    I love the info in this thread. I have printed it out so I can remember later when I need to re-read the great info here! I am getting close to goal and I'm so nervous and scared and happy all at once. I have not maintained a healthy weight in so many years so I will need all the help I can get from those of you that have done it. Thanks for sharing your "secrets"!
    HW - 175
    WWGW - 140
    PGW - 130
    CW 9/1/13 - 142.2
    LIFETIME on 8/31/11
    RESTART 4/1/13

  16. #16

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Jen - congrats on getting close to goal!

    Just remember, making lifetime is a not a finish line, it's a starting line (for the rest of your life)!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Southeastern, MT

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success


    Here is a different perspective. I don't track very often primarily using the simply filling technique. But I know in my mind I have become very "point conscious" over the years and am always reading labels and estimating the pt values on the foods I am injesting. I weigh frequently and still hit my weekly ww meeting to keep me accountable. In the past several months my has only varied about +/- 2.0 lbs which is unusual given the ramp up in exercise (running) in Montana's hot weather.

    I think it has something to do with the new Pt+ program I am following (where I did track there for 3 months when it first launched to re-calibrate my eye). My food intake has shifted to lots of proteins, fruits & veggies, and carbs with only multi-grain/whole wheat characteristics.

    Works for me.
    MO Platoon Member #184

    This is for life....

    SW - 237.8 (March 16, 2006)

    10% goal - 214.8 (5/18/06)

    Lifetime goal - 184.0

    Lifetime goal: 11/30/06 @ 183.2 lbs

    WW lifetime membership: Jan 11, 2007

    Current WT: 179.2 (5/5/2012)

  18. #18

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Native Man - Thanks for the tips. It sounds like you have the program down pat. I agree that weighing in and staying accountable keeps us all honest.

    Speaking of being honest to myself - I tracked this week and had a 2.6lb weight loss. Proving yet again to me that tracking (not perfectly but almost perfect - thanks Superbowl) really leads to success. So here is to another week of tracking - I'll keep you posted!
    With perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark - Charles H. Spurgeon

  19. #19

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    GREAT job Quinny!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Strategies For Long-Term Weight Loss Success

    Quinny~Lol, funny how that tracking things works. That's a great loss, good job!
    HW: 195.6/SW: 195.6
    CW: 137.5 PGW: 138 WWGW: 155

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