Tag Archives: Weight Loss

National Weight Control Registry

turkeyDinner-300x204The holidays are almost upon us and with them comes much feasting! So it’s no wonder that New Year’s resolutions often reflect a desire to improve our diet and exercise habits. The older I get, the less confidence I have that my New Year’s plans will be effective or sustainable. We are living in a time when most Americans struggle to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. A plethora of unscrupulous merchants have added to our misery by selling us 60 billion dollars a year of weight loss products that don’t work. It’s easy to want to believe in the latest, quick and painless, guaranteed effective, pill, method, gadget, diet . . . because making consistent, gradual but lifelong, changes is very difficult.

Difficult, yes, but doable with the right tools. If we feel like we have “tried everything,” we may be wondering if there IS anything that really does work. The best research reassures us that there are proven strategies that are effective for most people. According to the National Weight Control Registry, which is the largest prospective study of long-term weight maintenance, individuals who have been successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight have six things in common:

  1. They eat breakfast daily.No-TV-
  2. They track their food intake.
  3. They monitor and record their weight weekly.
  4. They watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
  5. They exercise an average of 60 minutes daily.
  6. They have an accountability partner.

Regular self-monitoring of diet and weight is one of the most effective strategies, and the technologies at our fingertips are excuse busters. Gone are the days of having to hand-write tedious food logs and look up calories. Apps such as My Fitness Pal, and Livestrong Calorie Tracker, are not only easy, but fun and free!  Who knows? We may not want to even wait for January. 🙂

 

Drinking Ourselves Fat?

Indra Nooyi, CEO

Indra Nooyi, CEO

I watched an interview last night on the News Hour with Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo. In an attempt to improve the health of Americans, the largest soft drink manufacturers worldwide have announced they will decrease the calorie content of their sugary drinks during the next 10 years by 20%. Part of their strategy will include selling smaller pack sizes and product reformulation to provide lower calorie options. You can read the interview transcript here.

Well, I guess it’s a start. Ms. Nooyi made a valid point that obesity is a complex issue and sodas are not the only culprit. She thought the government should focus more on improving school lunches and bringing back mandatory physical education, instead of taxing beverages or controlling their size. Maybe.

NHANES reports that sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the top five sources of calories for all age groups, two years old and up. And these nutrient-empty beverages are the number one source of calories for teens.

This NYC ad remains one of my favorite.