Monday, October 26, 2009

5 Traits Successful Weight Losers Share

Losing the weight isn't easy, but keeping it off is even harder -- 95 percent of dieters regain what they lost within three years. How did the other 5 percent maintain their newer, slimmer size? Steal their secrets!

Weigh in once a week
Several studies have shown that checking in with your bathroom scale on a regular basis helps keep the pounds away. The reason: When you catch any small gain early on, you can more easily undo the damage with a slight adjustment in diet and exercise.

There's no need to hop on the scale everyday, though; weighing in once a week is fine, says American Heart Association, or try keeping track of inches lost instead of pounds.

Strive for five fruit and veggie servings
Women who ate the most fruit and vegetable servings (at least five a day) were 60 percent more likely to ward off weight regain than those who consumed fewer servings, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Fresh produce typically is loaded with fiber and water, which tends to make a meal feel larger and keep you full longer."Since it can also take up to 24 hours for high-fiber foods to pass through your digestive tract, they can help control your appetite -- and calorie intake -- for up to a day," explains Stephen Gullo, Ph.D., author of The Thin Commandments.

Outsmart diet pitfalls at work
Almost 55 percent of people who experienced pound rebound after weight loss blamed office culture as a diet saboteur, according to research at the University of Kansas at Kansas City Medical Center.Some ways to beat on-the-job weight gain: Stash light snacks such as fiber-rich cereal bar or a single-serving pack of nuts in your desk and reach for it when you have the mid-afternoon munchies instead of the high-calorie snacks at the vending machine. To avoid overindulgence at business lunches, have a light bite before you meet with clients.

Clock in 30 minutes of exercise every day
Coupled with healthy eating, moderate to vigorous exercise helps keep the weight off for good. You're twice as likely to stay trim if you get 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week than those who don't, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.You'll maintain lean muscle mass when you work out regularly, which means you'll burn energy even at rest. Plus, you'll be able to give in to the occasional slice of cake without putting on the weight.

Ditch the fast food
People who swear off fast food entirely are 62 percent more likely to maintain their trim shape than than those who eat it at least twice a week.On days when you're eating out, opt for healthier, lower-fat choices -- look for the words "baked", "broiled", "grilled", "dry-sauteed", "poached" or "steamed" on the menu. Select entrees with fruits and vegetables as key ingredients, and go for broth-based soups instead of cream-based ones which are higher in fat and calories.Preparing your own meals, however, is still the best way to ensure you're eating foods that are low in fat and calories. Try a low-calorie or low-fat cookbook for tasty yet nutritious recipes.

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Beat On-the-Job Weight Gain
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