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Teddy Rothstein DDS PhD
AAO--Life-active member/PCSO
ADA (National, State and City)
Specialist OJW®: Weight-control

Brooklyn, NY 11201 and Portland, Oregon 97202
OJWforWeightControl: FORMS (718) 808 2656
drted35@gmail.com   www.ojwforweightcontrol.com

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May 24, 2017

 

"Achieving and Maintaining Your Weight Goals: One Thousand Tips and Tricks"

 

Measuring Tape

 

Calories to Maintain Weight

Recommended Number of Calories to Maintain Weight

Maintaining Weight Loss

Diets for Maintaining Weight

Calories Consumed to Maintain Weight

Calories Needed to Maintain Body Weight

Calorie Needs

Dr. Ted's best

*  Count calories B/C calories count

* One pound  is 3500 calories

* One Snickers Bar is 450 calories....Do the math.

*  Always keep your refrigerator packed with 4 or 5 bottles of carbonated water...it's cheap and filling and counts toward the 8 glasses of water you should try to imbibe each day. Moreover it uses the space you would normally fill with less health/nutritious items like that Costco-size jar of peanut butter you have from which you take to or three tablespoons at each session.

* Look at the label of every goody/treat you are about to buy for a snack and ask yourself "Do I really need this junk-food"?

*  Keep tons of of lettuce, tomatoes and celery in the refrigerator (toward the front where you can grab some easily).

*  Keep in mind that some medicines induce weight gain by suppressing the appetite control mechanism and some common recreational "relaxatives" often induce almost insatiable cravings for a substantial amount of additional food about an hour-two hours after ingestion. Pot comes to mind to name one.

*  Eat on the small-size dinner plate.

*  Your brain tells you that you are full 20 minutes after you are really full. Consequently, if you eat more slowly you will have eaten less food when your brain begins yelling you: "Stupid stop eating, you're full."

* Skip/fast one meal a day or one meal a week or even one day a week.

* Always go food shopping after you have had your meal.

* Your body must grow approximately 50 additional miles of blood vessels to nourish each additional new pound of blubber you indulgently added on to yourself.  If you could hear your heart speaking it would be saying: "Spare me the blubber". 

*Consider Orthodontic Jaw Wiring

  *Read: Why we eat more than we think --Mindless EATING by Brian Wansink.

 

15 Best Diet Tips Ever

Experts share their top tips for weight loss success.

By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Everyone knows the keys to losing weight: Eat less and exercise more. Sounds simple enough, but in the context of real life and its demands, it can be anything but simple. So how do successful losers do it? To find out, WebMD asked experts across the country for their best diet tips.

Here's what they said:

Best Diet Tip No. 1: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.

People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what you need.

"If you don't like plain water, try adding citrus or a splash of juice, or brew infused teas like mango or peach, which have lots of flavor but no calories," says Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Best Diet Tip No. 2: Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away.

Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

"It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food," says chef Laura Pansiero, RD.

You're also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that's not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. More than 200 studies have documented the disease-preventing qualities of phytochemicals found in produce, says Pansiero.

Her suggestion for getting more: Work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a plate.

"I love to take seasonal vegetables and make stir-fries, frittatas, risotto, pilafs, soups, or layer on sandwiches," Pansiero says. "It is so easy to buy a variety of vegetables and incorporate them into dishes."

Best Diet Tip No. 3: Consider whether you're really hungry.

Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger, suggests Michelle May, MD, author of Am I Hungry?

"Hunger is your body's way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn't come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it," she says.

When you're done eating, you should feel better -- not stuffed, bloated, or tired.

"Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably," says May.

Keeping your portions reasonable will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.

Best Diet Tip No. 4: Be choosy about nighttime snacks.

Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax.

"Sitting down with a bag of chips or cookies in front of the television is an example of eating amnesia, where you mindlessly eat without being hungry, but out of habit," says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Malena Perdomo, RD.

Either close down the kitchen after a certain hour, or allow yourself a low-calorie snack, like a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream. Once you find that you're usually satisfied with the low-cal snack, try a cup of zero-calorie tea, suggests Perdomo.

Best Diet Tip No. 5: Enjoy your favorite foods.

"I think putting your favorite foods off limits leads to weight gain because it triggers 'rebound' overeating," says Sass.

Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag.

"You can enjoy your favorite foods, but you must do so in moderation," says Sass.

Best Diet Tip No. 6: Enjoy your treats away from home.

When you need a treat, Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Food Network's Healthy Appetite, suggests taking a walk to your local ice cream parlor or planning a family outing.

"By making it into an adventure, you don't have to worry about the temptation of having treats in the house, and it is a fun and pleasurable way to make it work when you are trying to lose weight," says Krieger.

And for those times you just can't get out? Krieger stocks her kitchen with fresh fruit, which she thinks can be every bit as delicious as any other dessert.

Best Diet Tip No. 7: Eat several mini-meals during the day.

If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But when you're hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be challenging.

"Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight," says obesity researcher Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD.

She recommends dividing your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying as many of them as you can early in the day -- dinner should be the last time you eat.

Best Diet Tip No. 8: Eat protein at every meal.

Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the new secret weapon in weight control.

" Diets higher in protein [and] moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss," says University of Illinois protein researcher Donald Layman, PhD.

Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.

Best Diet Tip No. 9: Spice it up.

Add spices or chiles to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied.

"Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying so you won't eat as much," says Perdomo.

When you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball candy for a long-lasting burst of sweetness with just a few calories.

Best Diet Tip No. 10: Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods.

Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes staples on hand sets you up for success. You'll be less likely to hit the drive-through or call in a pizza order if you can make a healthy meal in 5 or 10 minutes.

Sass stocks her kitchen with:

·                                 94% fat-free microwave popcorn (20-25 calories per cup, and you can make it in two minutes or less)

·                                 Frozen vegetables

·                                 Bags of pre-washed greens

·                                 Canned diced tomatoes

·                                 Canned beans

·                                 Whole-grain wraps or pitas

·                                 Pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts

·                                 A few containers of pre-cooked brown rice

Within minutes, she can toss together a healthy medley.

Best Diet Tip No. 11: Order childrenâ?™s portions at restaurants.

"When you are eating out, order a child's pizza or a small sandwich as an easy way to trim calories and get your portions under control," suggest Perdomo.

Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look like more, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be, too.

Best Diet Tip No. 12: Eat foods in season.

"If you don't love certain fruits or vegetables, it could be because you ate them out of season when they have little taste or flavor," says Pensiero. "When you eat seasonally, fruits and vegetables are more flavorful, at their best, and I promise you won't be disappointed."

At GiGi's Trattoria, her restaurant in Rhinebeck, N.Y., she serves simple fruit desserts, like naturally sweet strawberries topped with aged balsamic vinegar, or low-fat yogurt or fresh berries in a compote.

Best Diet Tip No. 13: Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables.

Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year.

"You can save from 100-200 calories if you reduce the portion of starch on your plate and increase the amount of vegetables," says Sass.

Best Diet Tip No. 14: Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress.

Sooner or later, you're going to be faced with a stressful situation. Instead of turning to food for comfort, be prepared with some non-food tactics that work for you.

Sass suggests reading a few chapters in a novel, listening to music, writing in a journal, practicing meditative deep breathing, or looking at a photo album of loved ones.

Best Diet Tip No. 15: Be physically active.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, don't use exercise either to punish yourself for eating or to "earn" the right to eat more.

"When you do, it sets up a negative thought pattern, which is why so many people say they hate to exercise," says May.

Instead, focus on how great you feel, how much better you sleep and how much more energy you have when you exercise. Physical activity is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not, so keep it positive and build a lifelong habit.

The following are 10 unconventional weight loss tips that worked for me. Between January 4, 2006 and March 31, 2006 I lost fifty pounds. These tips work well because almost every tip is focused around completing a small goal. In my opinion, to stay motivated and lose a significant amount of weight, you should complete many goals in a short period of time. The reason I call these tips unconventional is that I had not seen a majority of them before starting my diet.

I will start by recognizing the typical “calories in, calories out” schpeil. Yes, to lose weight you have to eat well and exercise. But there is much more to it than that, and I don’t want to spend time regurgitating ideas you’ve heard before. That brings me to the first point:

Buy a digital scale
This seems easy enough. I recommend that before starting a diet, buy a scale that is accurate to .2 (two-hundredths of a pound). I will explain why below. I also recommend either buying a scale that can record your daily weight, or manually logging your weight everyday. I bought a scale that was accurate to .2 and logged my weight at Sam’s Club for $22. It has been a great investment.

Weigh yourself everyday
You’ll find that almost every other dieter will tell you to weigh yourself only once a week. I recommend the exact opposite. I am very goal oriented and I like to see results everyday. The reason I recommend buying a scale that is accurate to the .2 is that there is a very big difference between weighting 170.8 one day and 170.0 the next day. Losing .8 pounds in one day is excellent. However, if your scale is not accurate enough to report the loss and still shows 170 after a day of healthy eating and working out, you will feel extremely discouraged. A more detailed scale makes it easier to keep a positive outlook. The more successes (days with positive weight loss) the easier it is.

Drink 8 glasses of water everyday
This one is obvious and broadly recommended, however, the reason I recommend it is slightly different. Drinking eight glasses of water per day helps you “feel less hungry.” I can’t prove this scientifically, however, when I am at work, I drink 4 cups in the morning and 4 cups in the evening. On the days that I don’t drink the water, I feel hungrier, earlier. Also, on the days I don’t drink water I feel sleepier, sooner. Don’t feel intimidated by trying to drink 8 glasses of water. Try doing what I do: I have a pint glass I keep at work, it holds sixteen ounces (as all pint glasses do). All I do is drink two pints of water in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Make your diet public
Tell people you’re on a diet. There’s no reason to be ashamed to be on a diet. I found that trying to keep my diet a secret was harder than just telling people. In fact, telling your coworkers, girlfriend, family, etc. will increase your accountability. It motivated me knowing that my coworkers and family knew that I was dieting because I did not want to fail. I also chose a typical “fat picture” and put it on my fridge, in my cubicle, and on my wall. I wanted to have a continual reminder to lose the weight. I know it’s a cliche, but it was important for me to remind myself of my ultimate goal.

I feel I should also note that although I was 50 pounds over weight, when I told people I was on a diet they often said “you don’t need to diet.” I found this surprising because I was obviously overweight. Beware that you will likely hear similar comments. I found it easier to just accept the “compliment” than to try to justify my diet to them. Remember that you are on a diet for you, and that you do not need to justify yourself.

Don’t diet on the weekends
This is another unconventional bit of advice. I was able to lose 50 pounds without dieting on the weekends. I found myself tired, depressed, and unmotivated if I tried to continue my diet into the weekend. I felt that Friday and Saturday (my weekend) was a time to celebrate 5 days of dieting. You may not find this necessary, especially in the first few weeks of a diet. However, as many weeks passed, the weekend became a time for me to celebrate my weekly successes and get myself mentally prepared for another five days of dieting. I considered it a mental recharge.

Don’t sacrifice your life for your diet
On occasion, you will find yourself unable to eat healthy. Whether this is because of lunches with your team at work, birthdays, or special occasions, there will be events that you just can’t (or don’t want to) eat healthy. A diet will feel overwhelming if you have to sacrifice special events in your life. The way I combated this was to exchange a day that I was not going to diet on the weekend. In other words, if I didn’t diet on Tuesday, for example, I would diet on Saturday, instead.

Make the small changes
This is a pretty common tip, however, I have a twist to it. Rather than giving up what most diets say you should give up (soda, coffee, beer, caffeine, etc.) just make healthier decisions. I didn’t want to give anything up, so I decided to make some changes instead. The first switch I made was switching to diet soda. Don’t worry, you’ll quickly get used to the flavor. Before I started my diet, I swore I would never drink diet soda. Now thanks to my girlfriend, diet is the only soda I drink. The second switch I made was to drinking black coffee. Cut out the sugar and creme, and you get the benefits of coffee (caffeine) without the calories. The last major switch I made was to “healthy” beer. I’m a Miller Lite drinker, however, by temporarily switching to Beck’s Premier Light (60 calories per serving) I was able to still enjoy a healthy social life while maintaining my diet.

In addition to making the small changes in your diet, make the small changes in your life: park further away, walk to the end of the train platform and get in the last car, and vow not to take an elevator for an entire week. I also found it advantageous to wear a pedometer and try to compete against myself for how far I could walk in a single day. The furthest I walked in a day was 6.5 miles. I voluntarily walked to work twice a week.

Gain perspective by understanding the fractions
Your diet is an incredibly small fraction of your life. If you live for 80 years, and dieted for four months, that would only be .42% of your life. That’s right, if you diet for four months, it will be less than one half of one percent of your life. On the other hand think of the major benefits you can get from .42% of your life. If it helps you stay motivated, count down the days starting at 120.

Rationalize your workouts
Finding the time to get to the gym can be very difficult. However a 1/2 hour workout is only 2% of your day (assuming 24 hour days). For me, the most motivating thought was comparing my workouts to sitcoms. As a huge Everybody Loves Raymond fan, every time I would sit down to watch an episode, I would remind myself that in the 1/2 hour that I was sitting and doing nothing, I could complete my daily workout.

You’ve lost the weight, what now?

Have a red flag weight
Once you’ve lost the weight, you need to keep it off. This is where the red flag comes in. You need to pick a weight and vow to never get heavier than it again. It is normal for your body to fluctuate five to ten pounds. I recommend picking a weight that is ten pounds heavier than what you “normally” weigh and never weigh more than it again.  Setting a red flag weight allowed me to keep off every pound for over 1 year.

Lastly, for the curious out there…I followed the Weight Watchers diet. I did not pay for the diet, nor did I go to meetings. I found out all the information about the diet on-line. The first place to look is at their patent.

All well known diets are available via Google Patent Search.  For the several months that I was dieting, I also gave up red meat and made sure to drink a lot of milk.  The preceding tips worked perfectly for me and they will work for you, too. Prior to creating my own diet plan, I tried to diet several times and failed every time. I swear by these weight loss tips.  What do you think of them? Do you have a tip that didn’t make my list?  Let us know in the comments.  I will be glad to answer any questions or defend any point.

p Dietitians of the American Dietetic Association for Prevention

Got a diet dilemma? Ask a true diet pro: an RD, or registered dietitian. Her job is turning complex nutrition research into doable plans for real people.

Related Articles

·                             Tips to Take Off Pounds

» More motivation Articles

Courtesy of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), we took our readers' eleven toughest diet problems and ran them by some of the top dietitians in the US: RDs who, in addition to their private careers, serve as media spokespersons or heads of specialty practice groups for the ADA.

Here's what they told us, in their own words. These tips are solid gold, learned from successful experience with thousands of clients. Some tips are new. Some you've heard before, but they're repeated because they work. This treasure trove of RD wisdom could change your life-starting today.

I Can Only Handle One Diet Change Right Now. What Should I Do?
1. Add just one fruit or veggie serving daily. Get comfortable with that, then add an extra serving until you reach 8 to 10 a day.

2. Eat at least two servings of a fruit or veggie at every meal.

3. Resolve never to supersize your food portions—unless you want to supersize your clothes.

4. Make eating purposeful, not mindless. Whenever you put food in your mouth, peel it, unwrap it, plate it, and sit. Engage all of the senses in the pleasure of nourishing your body.

5. Start eating a big breakfast. It helps you eat fewer total calories throughout the day.

6. Make sure your plate is half veggies and/or fruit at both lunch and dinner.

Are there Any Easy Tricks to Help Me Cut Calories?
7. Eating out? Halve it, and bag the rest. A typical restaurant entree has 1,000 to 2,000 calories, not even counting the bread, appetizer, beverage, and dessert.

8. When dining out, make it automatic: Order one dessert to share.

9. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.

10. See what you eat. Plate your food instead of eating out of the jar or bag.

11. Eat the low-cal items on your plate first, then graduate. Start with salads, veggies, and broth soups, and eat meats and starches last. By the time you get to them, you'll be full enough to be content with smaller portions of the high-calorie choices.

12.
Instead of whole milk, switch to 1 percent. If you drink one 8-oz glass a day, you'll lose 5 lb in a year.

13. Juice has as many calories, ounce for ounce, as soda. Set a limit of one 8-oz glass of fruit juice a day.

14. Get calories from foods you chew, not beverages. Have fresh fruit instead of fruit juice.

15. Keep a food journal. It really works wonders.

16. Follow the Chinese saying: "Eat until you are eight-tenths full."

17. Use mustard instead of mayo.

18. Eat more soup. The noncreamy ones are filling but low-cal.

19. Cut back on or cut out caloric drinks such as soda, sweet tea, lemonade, etc. People have lost weight by making just this one change. If you have a 20-oz bottle of Coca-Cola every day, switch to Diet Coke. You should lose 25 lb in a year.

20. Take your lunch to work.

21. Sit when you eat.

22. Dilute juice with water.

23. Have mostly veggies for lunch.

24. Eat at home.

25. Limit alcohol to weekends.

How Can I Eat More Veggies?
26. Have a V8 or tomato juice instead of a Diet Coke at 3 pm.

27. Doctor your veggies to make them delicious: Dribble maple syrup over carrots, and sprinkle chopped nuts on green beans.

28. Mix three different cans of beans and some diet Italian dressing. Eat this three-bean salad all week.

29. Don't forget that vegetable soup counts as a vegetable.

30. Rediscover the sweet potato.

31. Use prebagged baby spinach everywhere: as "lettuce" in sandwiches, heated in soups, wilted in hot pasta, and added to salads.

32. Spend the extra few dollars to buy vegetables that are already washed and cut up.

33. Really hate veggies? Relax. If you love fruits, eat plenty of them; they are just as healthy (especially colorful ones such as oranges, mangoes, and melons).

34. Keep seven bags of your favorite frozen vegetables on hand. Mix any combination, microwave, and top with your favorite low-fat dressing. Enjoy 3 to 4 cups a day. Makes a great quick dinner.

Can You Give Me a Mantra that will Help Me Stick to My Diet?
35. "The best portion of high-calorie foods is the smallest one. The best portion of vegetables is the largest one. Period."

36. "I'll ride the wave. My cravings will disappear after 10 minutes if I turn my attention elsewhere."

37. "I want to be around to see my grandchildren, so I can forgo a cookie now."

38. "I am a work in progress."

39. "It's more stressful to continue being fat than to stop overeating."

I Eat Healthy, but I'm Overweight. What Mistakes Could I Be Making without Realizing It?
40. Skipping meals. Many healthy eaters "diet by day and binge by night."

41. Don't "graze" yourself fat. You can easily munch 600 calories of pretzels or cereal without realizing it.

42. Eating pasta like crazy. A serving of pasta is 1 cup, but some people routinely eat 4 cups.43. Eating supersize bagels of 400 to 500 calories for snacks.

44. Ignoring "Serving Size" on the Nutrition Facts panel.

45. Snacking on bowls of nuts. Nuts are healthy but dense with calories. Put those bowls away, and use nuts as a garnish instead of a snack.

46. Thinking all energy bars and fruit smoothies are low-cal.

What Can I Eat for a Healthy Low-Cal Dinner if I Don't Want to Cook?
47. A smoothie made with fat-free milk, frozen fruit, and wheat germ.

48. The smallest fast-food burger (with mustard and ketchup, not mayo) and a no-cal beverage. Then at home, have an apple or baby carrots.

49. A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with a glass of 1 percent milk and an apple.

50. Precooked chicken strips and microwaved frozen broccoli topped with Parmesan cheese.

51. A healthy frozen entree with a salad and a glass of 1 percent milk.

52. Scramble eggs in a nonstick skillet. Pop some asparagus in the microwave, and add whole wheat toast. If your cholesterol levels are normal, you can have seven eggs a week!

53. A bag of frozen vegetables heated in the microwave, topped with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts.

54. Prebagged salad topped with canned tuna, grape tomatoes, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and low-cal Italian dressing.

55. Keep lean sandwich fixings on hand: whole wheat bread, sliced turkey, reduced-fat cheese, tomatoes, mustard with horseradish.

56. Heat up a can of good soup.

57. Cereal, fruit, and fat-free milk makes a good meal anytime.

58. Try a veggie sandwich from Subway.

59. Precut fruit for a salad and add yogurt.

What's Your Best Advice for Avoiding those Extra Holiday Pounds?
60. Don't tell yourself, "It's okay, it's the holidays." That opens the door to 6 weeks of splurging.

61. Remember, EAT before you meet. Have this small meal before you go to any parties: a hardboiled Egg, Apple, and a Thirst quencher (water, seltzer, diet soda, tea).

62. As obvious as it sounds, don't stand near the food at parties. Make the effort, and you'll find you eat less.

63. At a buffet? Eating a little of everything guarantees high calories. Decide on three or four things, only one of which is high in calories. Save that for last so there's less chance of overeating.

64.
For the duration of the holidays, wear your snuggest clothes that don't allow much room for expansion. Wearing sweats is out until January.

65. Give it away! After company leaves, give away leftover food to neighbors, doormen, or delivery people, or take it to work the next day.

66. Walk around the mall three times before you start shopping.

67. Make exercise a nonnegotiable priority.

68. Dance to music with your family in your home. One dietitian reported that when she asks her patients to do this, initially they just smile, but once they've done it, they say it is one of the easiest ways to involve the whole family in exercise.

How Can I Control a Raging Sweet Tooth?
69. Once in a while, have a lean, mean salad for lunch or dinner, and save the meal's calories for a full dessert.

70. Are you the kind of person who does better if you make up your mind to do without sweets and just not have them around? Or are you going to do better if you have a limited amount of sweets every day? One RD reported that most of her clients pick the latter and find they can avoid bingeing after a few days.

71. If your family thinks they need a very sweet treat every night, try to strike a balance between offering healthy choices but allowing them some "free will." Compromise with low-fat ice cream and fruit, or sometimes just fruit with a dollop of whipped cream.

72. Try 2 weeks without sweets. It's amazing how your cravings vanish.

73. Eat more fruit. A person who gets enough fruit in his diet doesn't have a raging sweet tooth.

74. Eat your sweets, just eat them smart! Carve out about 150 calories per day for your favorite sweet. That amounts to about an ounce of chocolate, half a modest slice of cake, or 1/2 cup of regular ice cream.

75. Try these smart little sweets: sugar-free hot cocoa, frozen red grapes, fudgsicles, sugar-free gum, Nutri-Grain chocolate fudge twists, Tootsie Rolls, and hard candy.

How Can I Conquer My Downfall: Bingeing at Night?
76. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The large majority of people who struggle with night eating are those who skip meals or don't eat balanced meals during the day. This is a major setup for overeating at night.

77. Eat your evening meal in the kitchen or dining room, sitting down at the table.

78. Drink cold unsweetened raspberry tea. It tastes great and keeps your mouth busy.

79. Change your nighttime schedule. It will take effort, but it will pay off. You need something that will occupy your mind and hands.

80. If you're eating at night due to emotions, you need to focus on getting in touch with what's going on and taking care of yourself in a way that really works. Find a nonfood method of coping with your stress.

81. Put a sign on the kitchen and refrigerator doors: "Closed after Dinner."

82. Brush your teeth right after dinner to remind you: No more food.

83. Eat without engaging in any other simultaneous activity. No reading, watching TV, or sitting at the computer.

84. Eating late at night won't itself cause weight gain. It's how many calories—not when you eat them—that counts.

How Can I Reap Added Health Benefits from My Dieting?
85. Fat-free isn't always your best bet. Research has found that none of the lycopene or alpha- or beta-carotene that fight cancer and heart disease is absorbed from salads with fat-free dressing. Only slightly more is absorbed with reduced-fat dressing; the most is absorbed with full-fat dressing. But remember, use your dressing in moderate amounts.

86. Skipping breakfast will leave you tired and craving naughty foods by midmorning. To fill up healthfully and tastefully, try this sweet, fruity breakfast full of antioxidants. In a blender, process 1 c nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt, 1 1/3 c frozen strawberries (no added sugar), 1 peeled kiwi, and 1 peeled banana. Pulse until mixture is milkshake consistency. Makes one 2-cup serving; 348 calories and 1.5 fat grams.

87. If you're famished by 4 p.m. and have no alternative but an office vending machine, reach for the nuts—. The same goes if your only choices are what's available in the hotel minibar.

88. Next time you're feeling wiped out in late afternoon, forgo that cup of coffee and reach for a cup of yogurt instead. The combination of protein, carbohydrate, and fat in an 8-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt will give you a sense of fullness and well-being that coffee can't match, as well as some vital nutrients. If you haven't eaten in 3 to 4 hours, your blood glucose levels are probably dropping, so eating a small amount of nutrient-rich food will give your brain and your body a boost.

89. Making just a few changes to your pantry shelves can get you a lot closer to your weight loss goals. Here's what to do: If you use corn and peanut oil, replace it with olive oil. Same goes for breads—go for whole wheat. Trade in those fatty cold cuts like salami and bologna and replace them canned tuna, sliced turkey breast, and lean roast beef. Change from drinking whole milk to fat-free milk or low-fat soy milk. This is hard for a lot of people so try transitioning down to 2 percent and then 1 percent before you go fat-free.

90. Nothing's less appetizing than a crisper drawer full of mushy vegetables. Frozen vegetables store much better, plus they may have greater nutritional value than fresh. Food suppliers typically freeze veggies just a few hours after harvest, locking in the nutrients. Fresh veggies, on the other hand, often spend days in the back of a truck before they reach your supermarket.

91. Worried about the trans-fat content in your peanut butter? Good news: In a test done on Skippy, JIF, Peter Pan, and a supermarket brand, the levels of trans fats per 2-tablespoon serving were far lower than 0.5 gram—low enough that under proposed laws, the brands can legally claim zero trans fats on the label. They also contained only 1 gram more sugar than natural brands—not a significant difference.

Eating Less Isn't Enough—What Exercising Tips Will Help Me Shed Pounds?
92. Overeating is not the result of exercise. Vigorous exercise won't stimulate you to overeat. It's just the opposite. Exercise at any level helps curb your appetite immediately following the workout.

93. When you're exercising, you shouldn't wait for thirst to strike before you take a drink. By the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Try this: Drink at least 16 ounces of water, sports drinks, or juices two hours before you exercise. Then drink 8 ounces an hour before and another 4 to 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. Finish with at least 16 ounces after you're done exercising.

94. Tune in to an audio book while you walk. It'll keep you going longer and looking forward to the next walk—and the next chapter! Check your local library for a great selection. Look for a whodunit; you might walk so far you'll need to take a cab home!

95. Think yoga's too serene to burn calories? Think again. You can burn 250 to 350 calories during an hour-long class (that's as much as you'd burn from an hour of walking)! Plus, you'll improve muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance.

96. Drinking too few can hamper your weight loss efforts. That's because dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3 percent, or about 45 fewer calories burned a day, which in a year could mean weighing 5 pounds more. The key to water isn't how much you drink, it's how frequently you drink it. Small amounts sipped often work better than 8 ounces gulped down at once.

How Can I Manage My Emotional Eating and Get the Support I Need?
97. A registered dietitian (RD) can help you find healthy ways to manage your weight with food. To find one in your area who consults with private clients call (800) 366-1655.

98. The best place to drop pounds may be your own house of worship. Researchers set up healthy eating and exercise programs in 16 Baltimore churches. More than 500 women participated and after a year the most successful lost an average of 20 lb. Weight loss programs based on faith are so successful because there's a built-in community component that people can feel comfortable with.

99. Here's another reason to keep level-headed all the time: Pennsylvania State University research has found that women less able to cope with stress—shown by blood pressure and heart rate elevations—ate twice as many fatty snacks as stress-resistant women did, even after the stress stopped (in this case, 25 minutes of periodic jackhammer-level noise and an unsolvable maze).

100. Sitting at a computer may help you slim down. When researchers at Brown University School of Medicine put 92 people on online weight loss programs for a year, those who received weekly e-mail counseling shed 5 1/2 more pounds than those who got none. Counselors provided weekly feedback on diet and exercise logs, answered questions, and cheered them on. Most major online diet programs offer many of these features.

Last Updated: 12/04/2006 16:09:17

2007 Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. Prevention ® is a Registered Trademark of Rodale Inc. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permissions of Rodale Inc.

Today's installment of the diet plan is a dose of tips I've learned that make it a bit easier to eat less without feeling hungry. So, without further delay, here are my collected tips. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

  1. Eat less. More often. Rather than eating large meals, chop up your eating into smaller portions throughout the day. I found myself eating 3 meals most days and having a snack around 3pm as well as another in the evening. That was enough to keep me from feeling hungry while still eating less in total.
  2. Don't eat right before going to bed. I've read this numerous times and don't get why it works, but it does. I set a limit of 3 hours. So I planned to go to bed at midnight, I wouldn't eat past 9pm.
  3. Brush your teeth early. For whatever reason, I won't eat when my teeth still feel clean. By brushing them several hours before bed, it was easier to accomplish #2.
  4. Kick the sugar habit. If you drink sugared soft drinks (I used to be a Mt. Dew and Coke fan), replace them either with their diet counterparts or water. This can make a very, very big difference.
  5. Eat vegetables before the main course. Whenever possible, I'd make sure to have an ample serving of a vegetable (you get very few calories for the amount you eat) before eating the denser main course--often a meat or fish. You'll need less of the dense stuff to be happy.
  6. Update your spreadsheet daily. Keeping a running count will help you ration out the rest of your daily calorie allowance, which we'll talk about tomorrow.
  7. Get used to leftovers. When you eat out, expect to take some of your meal home. If you eat standard restaurant portions, you'll almost certainly overeat.
  8. Shop with calories in mind. When you're at the grocery store, spends some extra time reading the labels and nutritional information. You'll probably end up changing your shopping habits along the way. You'd be surprised by the how widely the calorie counts in various granola bars varies, for example.
  9. Slow down! When you eat fast, you end up ingesting more food before you body has a chance to figure out that it's satisfied (not full).
  10. Drink more water during the day. This is fairly generic advice, but definitely seems to help.
  11. Trick yourself with gum. Sometimes we eat out of habit or because it just feels good to get some flavor in your mouth and chew for a while. Find yourself some sugar-free chewing gum and use it when the urge strikes.
  12. Reduce the amount of breads, chips, crackers, and salty snacks you eat. A lot of starchy and/or salty food make you want to eat and drink even more. This comes straight out of Atkins diet culture.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 7:23am

By Kathleen Goodwin, RD

1.   Never crash diet to lose weight

When you lose weight rapidly your body is typically only losing glycogen (carbohydrate) and water weight, not fat. Your body thinks that it's starving and reduces its metabolic rate, which makes it harder for your body to burn each calorie (they burn at a slower pace than they normally would). Then when you start eating normally again, your body stores as much food as it can into your fat cells in case of another “famine.”
 

2.   Best weight loss plan: substitute foods instead of eliminating them

Although many people feel that “diet” or “reduced fat” foods are not as good as the original, it can be a big help to buy less fatty snack foods. Try out different reduced fat brands and items and who knows, you may find something that you like even better than the original. The key is making sustainable changes - if you can't live without tortilla chips, trying to eliminate them entirely from your diet won't work. Making the change to a lower-calorie reduced fat tortilla chip can make a noticeable change in total calories consumed over time.

3.   What drinks for losing weight

Cutting soda out of your diet completely can save the average person 360 calories or more each day. Even diet soda, fruit juices, and whole milk can add unnecessary calories to your daily intake. Instead, drink lots of water and switch from whole to skim or even soy milk; the little things can make a big difference.

Tip: Buy a Treadmill or Exercise Bike and exercise for 30 minutes while you watch your favorite TV Show  

4.   Weight loss = healthy diet and moving around

Getting up, moving around, and exercising will reduce the amount of food that you will need to cut back on. There are obviously many opportunities to be athletic and active (i.e. sports teams, the gym, going for a jog, etc.) if that interests you, but these aren't the only ways to increase your activity level. You can walk to school, bike to work, walk up and down the stairs a few times before you take a shower, take an extra lap or two around the grocery store.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30-45 minutes of moderate aerobic performed 3-5 times per week in their Guidelines for Healthy Aerobic Activity, but if all you can do is walk around the block twice before you go to bed, that's a good start. Anything is better than nothing, and it's harder to be eating while you're moving around, so it may result in you eating slightly less as well as burning more calories.

The best thing about aerobic exercise is that the benefits are cumulative - you essentially gain the same health benefits from taking three ten-minute walks throughout the day as you do from taking one 30 minute walk. With this in mind, it can be much easier to break your activity goal into manageable pieces that will fit into your day.

5.   Gradual changes are best for losing weight

Gradually ease into your diet if possible. Many diet programs allow you to do this. Remember that small changes are easier to stick with than drastic ones. Start by always leaving a little extra on your plate, or drinking water instead of soda. Smaller changes are also more likely to remain with you when the duration of your diet is complete. Aim for behavior-change goals that you know you will be able to maintain over years, not just weeks.

6.   Don't overeat

If you're full, or even simply satisfied, stop eating. There's no need to eat until your stomach feels like it's going to explode. Also, keep in mind that it takes a while for the nutrients in your food to enter your bloodstream, and circulate to the nerve centers in your brain that regulate appetite. Eating slowly is helpful in this regard--you give your body a chance to recognize that you've had enough to eat.

7.   Try not to banish certain foods when dieting

Don't tell yourself that you can NEVER have something again because you will immediately crave it. People need to eat fats to be healthy as well, just make sure that you're eating them in moderation, and maybe try to balance out a fatty food you ate earlier in the day by choosing celery sticks over chips for your snack. Try to get yourself to think, “I know I CAN have it, but should I have it?”

8.   Successful weight loss: be in it for the long term

Crash diets and unsustainable exercise routines will not keep you at your desired weight for the long term. You need to focus on realistic, acheivable goals - behavior modification that you can live with for years, instead of just weeks. For an example, let's say that a hypothetical person is ten pounds overweight, but at perfect energy balance - they eat exactly as many calories as they burn every day, so their weight remains constant. If that person sacrifices one small snack that they have every day, let's say a handful of chips equaling 100 calories, over the course of a year that person will lose over ten pounds! A pound of fat on your body represents 3500 stored calories. 100 calories X 365 days in a year = 36,500 calories, or over ten pounds of fat. Small changes can make a big difference in your health.

Click here for 10 more great weight loss tips!

Diet not working? Click here for 6 reasons why we don't lose weight

Diet Tips That Work for Everyone

Diet Changes That Everyone Should Make

Cleaning up your diet is not an all-or-none proposition. Just because you aren’t ready to (or don’t need to) follow a strict weight-loss diet does not mean you can’t make some minor changes and improve your diet. Below you’ll find some helpful suggestions you can implement to get you eating a bit healthier for overall good health.

Diet Changes That Everyone Should Make

Cleaning up your diet is not an all-or-none proposition. Just because you aren’t ready to (or don’t need to) follow a strict weight-loss diet does not mean you can’t make some minor changes and improve your health. Here are some helpful diet tips that everyone should consider.

Go Meatless

Have one or two meatless nights each week. Studies have shown that a diet high in red meat consumption is linked to colon cancer and heart disease. If you want to eat healthier, eat less red meat. Try making a meatless chili, and on spaghetti night try serving falafel balls or meatballs made out of garbanzo beans.

Smart Fast Food

Scan the fast food menu for the healthier options such as salads or fruit and yogurt parfaits. Opt for water rather than soda, and don’t super size your meal. Limit eating dessert to one or two nights per week, and try eating lower calorie options like fruit rather than high calorie options like cheesecake. These are good suggestions for everyone to follow not just those who are on a diet.

Veggies Are Your Friend

Raw veggies aren’t just for people on a diet. Snack on raw veggies or a handful of nuts rather than potato chips or cookies even if you don't need to lose weight. Your cholesterol levels will thank you for it.

Juice Is Not

Limit your intake of fruit juice. Just because it’s from fruit doesn’t mean it is the best option. Fruit juice is high in calories, and many juice brands contain added sugar.

Fiber First

Incorporate more high fiber foods into your diet. Fiber has a cleansing effect on your body, and eating high fiber foods can help you feel full and reduce your urge to consume empty calorie foods.

 

The Keys to Maintaining Weight Loss
From the above research.

From the Weight Control Registry (via):

How Do You Maintain Weight Loss?

Get your head working and the middle will take care of itself!

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is to understand what really motivates you. Once you’ve felt the initial excitement of losing the first few pounds, you must find a way to turn that enthusiasm into the willpower to stick with your eating plan. You will encounter both ups and downs as you learn to maintain your weight. To help you through the downs, you need coping strategies. Think about what you really want to achieve. That desire will help you turn your eating and exercise strategies into a lifestyle that leads to lifelong weight control.

 by Victoria

Once you have started losing weight, it is crucial to think of how to maintain that weight loss in the days ahead. 

It may seem hard to believe, but taking the weight off is the easy part. Maintaining weight loss for good is where the real challenge lies. If you are like me, you have tried countless diets only to gain the weight back. People lose lots of weight on diets everyday, but 95% of them gain it back because they have focused only on the weight loss. They follow the diet until they get to a particular number on the scale and then shortly after, they go back to the old lifestyle that made them overweight in the first place. Of course, over time the weight comes right back.

The truth is, almost everyone can lose weight but only 5% keep it off. These are the Weight Loss Registry's figures, not mine. The WLR followed highly successful dieters and came up with seven reasons why people were able to keep the weight off. Here are the seven reasons the dieters were successful

  1. The dieters accepted failure and kept on trying.
  2. The dieters did not deny themselves--they indulged from time to time.
  3. They weighed themselves often.
  4. They exercised one hour a day.
  5. They added little bits of activity into their daily life.
  6. They followed a high carb and low fat diet.
  7. They ate 5 meals a day.

When I compare my own weight loss success to the list above, I would say I learned how to maintain weight loss due to the following:

Maintaining Weight Loss: How Much Exercise is Required?

by Mike Howard

So you've lost some of those extra pounds you've been carrying around since you started college/your career/a family/addiction to reality TV... Congratulations! Now get on that treadmill... for an hour! A new (and not terribly surprising) study has shown that it takes about an hour a day to maintain at least a 10% weight loss. I'll breakdown the study and offer some opinions/advice.

Study Breakdown

Participants: 201 overweight or obese women (BMI 27-40) age 21-45

Results

Individuals sustaining a loss of 10% or more of initial body weight at 24 months reported performing more physical activity (1835 kcal/wk or 275 min/wk) compared with those sustaining a weight loss of less than 10% of initial body weight.

My Analysis

Take Home Message

Weight loss maintenance strategies:

The strategies that encourage weight loss also play an important role in maintenance:

Continuing to use behavioral strategies can help maintain weight. Be aware of eating as a response to stress and use exercise, activity, or meditation to cope instead of eating.

A return to old habits does not mean failure. Paying renewed attention to dietary choices and exercise can help sustain behaviors that maintain weight loss. Identifying situations such as negative moods and interpersonal difficulties and incorporating alternative methods of coping with such situations rather than eating can prevent relapses to old habits.

Weight cycling:

Weight cycling is losing and regaining weight multiple times. Some studies suggest that weight cycling, also called “yo-yo dieting,” may result in some health risks such as high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, and high cholesterol. However, these studies are not conclusive. The best strategy is to avoid weight cycling and to maintain healthy weight through activity and healthy eating.

One myth about weight cycling is that a person who loses and regains weight will have more difficulty losing weight again and maintaining it compared to a person who has not gone through a weight-loss cycle. Most studies show that weight cycling does not affect the rate at which the body burns fuel and a previous weight cycle does not influence the ability to lose weight again. In addition, weight cycling does not increase the amount of fat tissue or increase fat distribution around the stomach.

Always consult your physician for more information.

Congratulations!! You’ve lost the weight you’ve been working so hard to lose. Now, how do you keep it off?

I’ll share some of my own tips for helping to keep the weight off that you worked so hard to take off.

1. Stay accountable to yourself. Weigh yourself either once or twice a week. In order to maintain your weight you need to know how much you weigh.

2. If you do gain one pound or two, make the changes today that will aid you in taking off that one pound or two. You know how to lose weight, you’ve done it before. Lose that one pound before it turns into 5 or 10.

3. You know your weaknesses. If keeping chips out of the house is what it takes, then continue to keep the chips out of the house. If planning out meals so that you know what you’ll be eating each day is helpful, then keep doing it.

4. If you’ve been journaling, then consider continuing to journal what you eat. It is very easy to slip back into old patterns without even realizing what is happening. If you journal what you are eating, then the words are right there in front of your eyes.

5. Continue to make exercise part of your everyday routine. Consider changing what you do for exercise. Play tennis, take a swim, take a walk, take an aerobics class, take a dance class, ride a bike. Mix it up, but keep exercise in your daily routine.

6. Don’t skip meals. As you learned during the weight loss period, your body does better with 3-5 meals a day, versus just one meal a day. Stay in the habit of eating at least 3 meals per day.

As you learned during weight loss, do not deprive yourself, instead take the necessary steps above to take off that one or two pounds and get back to the weight that is right for you.

Maintain Your Weight Loss

Tips on Maintaining Your Goal Weight

© Tracy Rose

Jul 4, 2006

 

Maintaining weight loss is tricky. More people have trouble keeping their weight off than losing the weight to begin with. Losing the weight is only half the battle.

 

You reach a point where you are fed up being overweight and you finally decide to do something about it. You lose weight, gain confidence and have a renewed zest for life.

Then you enter phase 2 of weight loss: maintenance. You've reached your goal, but your job is never done. You still must stay on your toes. Keeping the weight off is a serious challenge and one you cannot afford to lose.

Maintaining requires permanent lifestyle change. So many people reach their goals, only to watch it slip away as they regain the unwanted weight. Ending the cycle takes dedication to a new way of living.

Maintenance Tips:

· Steadily increase your calorie intake by 25-50 calories per day until you find a comfortable balance where you won't lose or gain weight.

· Track your progress frequently. If you find the number on the scale has jumped up a few, you can take that as a warning sign that you are going in the wrong direction and tweak your habits to control it.

· Seek and maintain relationships with supportive people.

· Keep the focus on your health. Measure how you feel as well as how much energy you have.

· Continue (or start) a diet diary to track your calories, exercise, feelings and weight.

· Continue regular daily exercise. Make it a natural part of your life and schedule time for it.

· Make conscious decisions throughout each day to stay on track and keep off the weight you've lost.

· Be consistent. Don't stray from your goals on the weekends or holidays.

· Don't let yourself feel deprived. Eat a variety of foods in moderation.

· Eat only when you're hungry and do something else when you're not.

· Learn to cope with problems without relying on food.

· Seeks professional counseling for accountability and long-term success.

For more information on changing your life patterns, visit http://personaldevelopment.suite101.com/article.cfm/lose_weight_for_good. By carefully managing your calorie intake and exercising you can lose weight and keep it off.

 

The copyright of the article Maintain Your Weight Loss in Weight Loss is owned by Tracy Rose. Permission to republish Maintain Your Weight Loss in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Why it's hard to maintain weight loss 

Becoming overweight, in other words, is like being issued a credit card with an uncomfortably high balance that you'll probably end up paying off forever. Making sure the pounds stay off means pitting one's willpower against a swarm of biological processes involving the brain, hormones, metabolism and fat storage.

"There is a big shift toward understanding long-term weight maintenance," says Paul MacLean, associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver. "We have a huge number of diet books and diet programs, and if you do them, you can lose weight. The big problem is keeping it off. The recent estimates are that 5% to 10% of people are successful at keeping weight off on a long-term basis."

But before you throw up your hands and reach for the Twinkies, consider this: Scientists think the truth will set us free -- that understanding the stubborn biological processes at work will lead to ways to fight back and outsmart them.

Exercise, it's known, buffers the post-diet body against regaining weight, in ways that researchers are just starting to comprehend. Certain foods, scientists believe, may help stave off weight regain too. And medications now in development target some of the biochemistry thought to be linked to packing the pounds back on.

"There are strong physiological adaptations to weight loss that promote weight regain," MacLean says. "The good news is we know a big part of the problem and why we haven't been successful over the past several decades."

The energy gap

Human biology -- for obvious adaptive reasons -- is designed to protect against weight loss and potential starvation. And after a period of obesity, the body may permanently alter the way weight is regulated by more aggressively stimulating appetite and signaling the body to protect fat stores.

Metabolism has changed: the body now needs about eight fewer calories per day for each pound of weight that was lost. That means someone who loses 40 pounds will require about 320 calories fewer each day than they did before the weight loss. This difference in energy needs before and after weight loss has been dubbed the "energy gap" by University of Colorado professor James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition in Denver.

Appetite hormones change too. The hormone leptin, for example, is a major appetite regulator -- it tells the body to stop eating and store fat after meals. Some people may be genetically prone to having lower leptin levels, making them more prone to obesity. But studies also show that, after a weight loss, leptin levels are lower than what they used to be. That means appetite is less easily quelled. It's like a car that has suddenly lost its brakes.

Another hormone, ghrelin, stimulates food intake -- levels in the brain fall lower after a meal. However, after a weight loss, ghrelin levels in the blood generally increase, and the fall-off after mealtimes isn't as marked.

"You lose 10% of your body weight. All of a sudden all these systems kick in to try to keep you from losing weight," says Dr. Ken Fujioka, director of nutrition and metabolic research at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego. "People are mad at themselves or depressed after they regain the weight. But I explain: It's not you. Biology has kicked in now. . . . You are hungry all the time. You think about food all the time."

The brain isn't the only thing acting to promote weight regain. MacLean's research suggests that the central nervous system collects and interprets signals from the intestines and peripheral tissues, such as fat stores in the abdomen, to fight weight loss or regain pounds that were lost.

Through this sensing, when calories consumed surpass calories expended, the body alters how it uses and stores fuel. Glucose becomes the preferred fuel for energy, and fat is directed to fatty tissue stores in the body. Excess glucose is also converted to fat. And studies performed at the University of Toronto using continuous glucose monitoring devices show the blood sugar levels of obese people spike and plummet routinely throughout the day while normal-weight people have more stable levels.

Each drop is a cue to eat, says Dr. Michael R. Lyon, medical and research director for the Canadian Center for Functional Medicine.

The weight comes back fast. "The entire system is saying, 'Bring the calories in, store them efficiently and do not reduce these signals until the fat is returned that was there before,' " MacLean says. "You may look like a lean person, but your body hasn't changed inside."

Moreover, animal studies show that most of the regained weight is distributed as visceral fat, the abdominal paunch that is linked to heart disease and diabetes.

Tough, but losable

So what is a dieter to do?

"There is nothing we know of that does anything to reverse this," Fujioka says of the biological forces that defend body fat. "It's very tough."

But it's not impossible. The National Weight Control Registry is an honor roll of dieters who have fought and won. Started in 1994 with modest expectations by Hill and Rena Wing, director of the weight control and diabetes research center at Brown Medical School, the registry now provides some cherished data on how regular people have managed to keep weight off. The registrants, who are surveyed regularly, have maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for at least one year.

Based on data from more than 7,000 people, Wing says there are few similarities in how people lose weight. But those who succeed in maintenance sing the same song.

Instead of trying to eat less for the rest of their lives to bridge the energy gap, these people exercise more. They typically spend an hour or more each day in aerobic exercise and strictly limit time spent watching television.

Physical activity, in ways that researchers don't really understand, influences some of the biological systems that promote weight regain, encouraging the body to become more sensitive to leptin and insulin, for example.

"Everyone thinks exercise is about burning calories," Fujioka says. "But you are actually returning the system to more like what it should be. Things start working again."

The successful maintainers also change what they eat: The registry found that they keep their calories in careful balance with what they expend -- religiously referring to calorie charts and writing down everything they consume. They also tend to eat low-fat foods.

But there may be more nuances to food choices than that. "We're getting more interested in studies that look at food composition," Fujioka says. "It could be that eating certain nutrients may also help the system work better."

Studies suggest that calcium, for example, may help people regulate their weight, he says. No one really understands how calcium may do this -- in fact, the theory is controversial. But it could be that a diet high in calcium suppresses a form of vitamin D called calcitriol that revs up fat-burning processes.

Other research has focused on foods that balance blood-sugar levels, such as low-glycemic and fibrous foods. Studies show that eating low-glycemic foods, such as lentils and nuts and foods with high water or fiber content, helps stabilize blood sugar and curb the brain signals that urge people to eat. Fiber does this by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates from food, which helps lower their glycemic load.

"Weight loss alone is not a realistic goal," Lyon says. "It can do more harm than good. The key is to get your brain back on your side. The starting point of that is stabilizing blood sugar."

It's easier after two years

Scientists don't know how long it would take to return the physiological responses of a once-obese body to normal -- or if, indeed, that ever is quite possible.

Studies do show, however, that weight regain is most likely in the first couple of years after weight loss. And Wing says that registry data shows that people who maintain their weight loss find the first two years difficult but eventually adapt comfortably to their new habits and lifestyles.

"After that, it's as if you master the technique," she says.

The current research on obesity strongly points to two messages that rely heavily on human behavior: Don't gain excess weight in the first place, and if you do, be prepared to make permanent lifestyle changes to lose it and maintain the loss.

Hallblom finally lost 63 pounds over a period of 14 months by adhering to Weight Watchers' principles -- such as learning the nutritional content of food and keeping track of her food intake -- and taking up vigorous exercise: running 10 to 12 miles a week and working out three times weekly on an elliptical machine.

She has maintained her healthy weight for seven years and in 2001 was hired by Weight Watchers to improve its services to Spanish-speaking clients in Southern California. She says she wishes she had realized years ago that maintaining a new weight required a very different kind of lifestyle -- forever.

"This time," she says, "I was ready to make permanent changes to improve my life."

shari.roan@latimes.com

 

 

 

 

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