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Entries in record keeping (5)


Are Successful Losers More Common than You Think?

We’ve all heard the claims that something dire—like 95% of people—always end up gaining back the weight they’ve worked so hard to lose. The point underlying the nay saying and the contrarian remarks is the notion that weight loss is a hopeless, pointless, waste of time.

On the other hand, most of us know someone who lost a chunk of weight and did keep it off. So what made them special? How did they beat the (purported) odds?

The fact is the so often repeated 95% figure, can be traced back to a 1958 research review paper[i] by Albert Stunkard. However, the data from Stunkard’s review was never applicable to the general population.

Part of the reason the 95% myth has been so intractable is that there has been almost no research on weight-loss maintenance that is applicable to the general population.

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Manage Yourself to Success!

Would you choose to invest in a company that didn’t bother with the necessary bookkeeping to keep track of their sales, expenditures, and other related business data necessary create and maintain a thriving venture? Not likely!

Similarly "self-monitoring" the key behaviors necessary for weight loss, has long been shown to correlate with successful weight loss (and maintenance).

Weight loss (or more precisely, transitioning to the healthy lifestyle that results in weight loss) is a substantial and challenging project to manage.Self-monitoring” or “record keeping” is the tracking of your diet and physical activity so you can use that information to problem-solve and manage your project effectively.

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What Happens to your "Good Intentions"?

The most recent data on calorie intake shows that Americans’ average calorie intake has increased by 571-calories per day between 1977 and 2006.[1] Over this same period obesity increased dramatically from 15% to 34% of American adults. Why exactly are we seeing this dramatic rise in obesity now, after thousands of years of leaner humans being the norm? It’s not because of changes in our genetics, or physiological changes in appetite regulation (which would mean we’re genetically mutating at some fantastic rate). The popular topic of hormones (leptin, ghrelin, etc.) and “hypothalamic regulation of feeding” suffer from the same underlying problem (have these systems changed in 30 years?) and ignore the fact that nowadays humans simply choose to eat—without consideration of whether they are hungry or not.

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10 Reasons Why Record Keeping is Invaluable in Weight Management

  1. Success requires self-management. Record keeping is the basis of this.
  2. It keeps the focus on relevant behaviors, which translates to more success with those behaviors.
  3. You learn calorie and portion information.
  4. You learn the consequences (caloric cost) of various food choices and environments.
  5. You learn where you consistently have trouble (difficult/impossible places to be and not also overeat).
  6. Click to read more ...


No “magic formula” here, right? 

There are “Masters of Weight Control” who have lost an average of 25% of their body weight and kept it off for an average of 5 years. Data collected on these “successful losers,” was among the first to become broadly recognized for illuminating methods and techniques associated with successful maintenance of significant weight loss. The “Weight-Loss-Mastery-Skills” drawn from this and other data are:

  1. Physical activity
  2. Food & calories
  3. Record keeping
  4. Stimulus control
  5. Support

No “magic formula” here, right? Right. Nothing sexy, and nothing that gets authors to the top of the “Best Sellers List!” It’s just, roll up your sleeves and get-on-with-it common sense.