By Jane Langille
LIKE SO MANY diets before, last year’s crash
diet worked for a while and then the weight
came back. It’s clear we need to solve the
weight-loss puzzle and find solutions that
work for the long term.
Founded in 1994, the National Weight
Control Registry (NWCR) is an ongoing
study tracking the habits of over 10,000 people who have lost significant amounts of
weight and successfully kept it off for a long
time. On average, they have lost 66 pounds
and kept it off for 5. 5 years.
The NWCR is coordinated through The
Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and
Diabetes Research Center in Providence,
Rhode Island. It was founded and is currently
overseen by Rena Wing at Brown University
and James O. Hill.
The Costco Connection recently spoke to
NWCR co-founder and Costco member
Hill, who is also an author and founding exec-
recommend 70 minutes per day over six days
to give people a day off.
CC: Does the speed of weight loss have
an impact on long-term success?
JH: New research suggests there’s no
evidence to support one recommended rate
of weight loss. What matters is that, however
you lose it, you’re going to regain it unless you
switch from a weight-loss strategy to a maintenance strategy. For example, people can
lose weight very well on a low-carb diet, but
to make exercise part of your life, you need
CC: Does counting calories work?
JH: We have decades of results that show
calorie counting doesn’t work. People’s estimates can be off by 30 to 40 percent from the
real numbers, so instead we focus on paying
attention to portion sizes and eating high-quality, less-energy-dense foods. We encourage people to meet physical activity goals,
monitor weight and adjust food intake
CC: Are there any new success factors
you can share from your research?
JH: Our major breakthrough is that the
mental mind-set is probably the area that
changes success rates. Transformational
weight loss starts with getting in touch with
your purpose—what’s most important for you
to accomplish in your life. If you realize how
changing your lifestyle relates to your purpose, you have found a powerful motivation
to sustain your behavior change.
Some people, for example, find their purpose is to be a good mother or father. The
motivation has to come from within, and it’s
about how you relate to your world, not just
your weight. You have to see this as a permanent journey, not just a temporary change.
Gratitude is important too. We stress the
fact that you need to pay it forward. By helping others, you help yourself. C
Jane Langille is a health writer based in
Richmond Hill, Ontario.
The Costco Connection
Costco members will find a variety of fresh
and frozen foods, exercise machines and
other products to help them lose weight and
keep their weight off.
utive director of the Anschutz Health and
Wellness Center at the University of Colorado,
to learn about the best evidence-based strategies for achieving successful long-term weight-loss maintenance.
The Costco Connection: Why don’t
crash diets work?
James O. Hill: Crash diets are all about
temporary behavior change. People can lose
weight on them, but when they’re not able to
maintain those behavior patterns, their
weight reverts back to its previous level.
CC: What is a broken metabolism, and
why is it important to fix it for long-term
JH: When you quit moving, your metabolism quits working the way it’s supposed to.
You can be very careful about food intake and
lose weight, but weight loss itself doesn’t fix
People who are successful at long-term
weight-loss maintenance find that physical
activity is a big part of their success. Exercise
makes your metabolism flexible so your body
is working with you, not against you. NWCR
participants exercise about an hour daily. We
In our digital editions
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motivation for wanting to lose
weight. (See page 14 for details.)
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