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10 Habits to Lose Weight and Keep It Off Successfully

Natalie Stein
March 22, 2020
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What is harder than losing weight? For many people, it is keeping the weight off. Motivation can wane, and old habits can creep back in, causing pounds to creep back on. Preventing weight gain is not impossible, though.

For insights on losing weight and keeping it off, look no further than the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR). Members of the NWCR are adults who have lost at least 30 lb. and have kept it off for at least 1 year [1]. The NWCR conducts research to compile tricks used by these successful “losers,” and here are 10 of them. Lark is perfectly suited to help you along the way as you lose weight and keep the pounds off with your new habits. 

1. Opting out of “diets”

Thinking of what you eat to lose weight as a “diet” can lead to going off the diet when you hit goal weight. The next step might be returning to former eating habits, which can get you back to your former weight.

Instead, successful losers tend to keep up with similar strategies to keep the weight off as they used to lose the weight [2]. That can mean forming new habits as you lose weight so they are natural as you prevent regain. It may also make sense to keep using Lark to keep the weight off after using Lark to lose weight. 

2. Keeping calories down.

The bottom line is that weight control is about calorie balance. Eat too many calories, and the pounds will come back on. Without making you count calories obsessively, Lark can help keep calories in check by reminding you about strategies such as taking smaller portions, eating more slowly, and choosing lower-calorie preparation methods such as roasting instead of frying.

3. Weighing regularly.

Weighing yourself regularly is a good way to stay accountable. It can also catch weight regain early so it does not get out of control. Finally, it can help you stay on track when something is different, such as when you are traveling or have extra stress. About three out of four members of the NWCR weigh themselves at least once a week, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends this strategy. Lark can help you log and track weight.

4. Logging food.

Logging what you eat can keep you accountable, which can, for example, make you think twice before spreading butter on your bread. Monitoring food intake can also give you an honest assessment of what you have been eating, since it is easy to forget, when you think about it later, exactly what you ate. Lark makes food logging easy and gives you instant feedback to keep you motivated and informed.

5. Exercising.

The NWCR reports that the vast majority, a full 94%, of successful losers increased their physical activity while losing weight. After hitting goal, exercise stayed high, with 9 out of 10 reporting doing at least 1 hour of exercise a day. It does not need to be a consecutive 60 minutes, and Lark can track the bits and pieces of activity you do so you can know how much you are getting in.

6. Limiting television time.

Where do these people get the time to exercise so much? It might be from keeping their television time down. Nearly 2 of 3 members of the NWCR watch television for no more than 10 hours a week, or about 1.5 hours per day. It can also be valuable to limit time in front of other screens, smartphones and tablets, since they can lead to long periods of inactivity along with, often, extra eating. Lark notifications can remind you to get moving if you have been sitting for too long.

7. Getting support.

Support systems are just as important for maintaining weight as they were for losing weight, and the CDC suggests continuing to use them [3]. Family members and friends can be good exercise buddies  Lark is another source of support, ready to encourage, empathize, and guide you.

8. Being realistic.

The CDC reminds weight loss pros to be realistic when thinking about preventing regain. A realistic long-term weight maintenance plan is one that you can follow long-term. It needs to include foods you enjoy and can afford and prepare, and allow for life’s special events, such as nights out with family or anything else that is important to you. That is why Lark suggests making only small changes and practicing them so they become habits.

9. Limiting fat.

Many NWCR respondents report following a low-fat diet to keep the weight off. A low-fat diet tends to be more filling than a high-fat diet because fat has more than twice as many calories per gram as protein and carbohydrates, so many low-fat foods have fewer calories in a larger serving size than high-fat foods. Vegetables, lean proteins, and fruit are examples. In addition, a low-fat diet can include a wide variety of foods, which makes it more palatable long-term. Lark emphasizes low-calorie foods and healthy fats.

10. Planning ahead.

Following a routine can help you keep the weight off because it allows you to plan for healthy eating and adequate activity. Being in a routine lets you predict changes in your daily routine so you can plan for them. 

Using Lark can help you stay aware of the choices you make that can affect weight loss and maintenance. Small choices can become lifelong habits to keep your weight where you want it.

Author
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health