In the USA, researchers have maintained a database known as the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) since 19941. Data from the registry provides information on more than 10,000 subjects who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. On average, registrants have lost 66 lb (30 kg) in weight and have kept this weight off for an average of 5.5 years.
The NWCR collects information about how the participants’ weight loss was achieved with key points emerging including:
55% lost weight with the help of some sort of programme
98% modified their food intake
94% increased the amount of physical activity they did, with walking being the most frequently reported activity
To keep the weight off, most participants reported sticking to a low calorie/low fat diet and increasing the amount of daily physical activity they do. In addition,
78% eat breakfast every day
75% weigh themselves once a week
90% exercise about one hour every day
62% watch TV less than 10 hours a week
These are key lessons in changing lifestyle habits for good in order to lose weight and then keep it off.