I love reading about other peoples success stories in weight loss. There is no shortage of information if you google weight loss success stories, but the one thing you have to be wary of is how did they actually lose the weight? And, if they did lose weight, how did they keep it off? Of course there are the stories how people lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks, or by ingesting some fat burner you can lose tons of weight with no change in diet and exercise. Those stories I am not interested in. I just want to hear about normal people who lost weight and kept it off.
Luckily, there is a team of scientists doing just that. 14 years ago, 2 scientists, Rena Wing, Ph. D. from Brown Medical School, and James O. Hill, Ph. D, from the University of Colorado began the largest investigation of long-term weight loss. It’s called the National Weight Loss Registry . They are currently tracking 5,000 participants who have lost between 30 pounds up to 300 pounds and have kept it off for over a year up to 66 years to see what, if any, patterns they find. Two things stood out for me in terms of how they lost weight. According to their findings 98% of participants reported that they modified their food intake in some way to lose the weight. 94% increased their physical activity. The most surprising fact is that those who exercised, the most frequently reported form of exercise was just walking.
Other interesting facts:
- 78% ate breakfast every day
- 75% of them weighed themselves every week
- 62% of them watched less than 10 hours of TV per week
- 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.
Sometimes, I think people who are trying to lose weight (like me!) are looking so hard for the “perfect diet” The perfect diet is the one that you like. For the longest time, I didn’t like yogurt, but because I knew it was good for me, I would buy a whole bunch, put it in my fridge, and every day I would make my lunch, I would look at the yogurt and not bring it to work, and then end up throwing it out. Why was I buying things I didn’t like, if I wasn’t going to eat it? Because I read somewhere how it was good for me. I’m all for trying new things, but if you know for sure you don’t like something, then don’t eat it! It will not help you lose weight in the long run and you will not stick to it. I was reminded about this diet that was popular in high school called the “3 day diet” It proposed that if you ate these certain foods, in a certain order, that you would lose 10 pounds in 3 days. Girls I knew (including me) would eat tuna (plain), 5 saltine crackers, beets, cauliflower, 2 hot dogs, 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt, (that’s all I remember). But I hated beets. I would take a bite and wash it down with tons of water, trying not to gag. I hated tuna that was plain, I would hold my nose while eating that. I may have lost a few pounds back then but never 10 in 3 days! 45% of participants in the National Weight Loss Registry lost the weight on their own program. Eating the foods you enjoy, or using the recipes I have posted, is what is going to help you lose the weight and keep it off long term.
And, so I don’t leave you today without a recipe, one of my favorite features in Cooking Light is a small feature that has a recipe for 5 ingredients or less. I didn’t get this recipe from that, but it inspired me to make this easy chicken.
If you wanted to make it even fancier, you could add spaghetti sauce on top and serve over linguine for a chicken Parmesan OR put it on a bun for a chicken Parmesan sandwich!