According to Gary Foster, Ph. D (University of Pennsylvania), almost 65% of all dieters end up back at their old weight within 3 years. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that this 2014 study found that of 3,000 people who lost 30+ pounds in one year, 87% maintained 10 lbs of that weight loss or more for the next decade.
In other words, most dieters fail to lose weight, but if you manage to make it through the first year, you dramatically improve your odds of staying at a lower, healthier weight for many years to come.
The question is, what can you do to avoid the mistakes that keep many of America’s 45 million dieters at their current weight year in, year out?
Read on to get 7 proven ways to lose weight so you can keep it off for good.
1. Avoiding Crash Dieting
Losing weight fast seems like a good idea. Part of the appeal is that once you’re slim, you can go back to indulging in the same foods and behaviors you had before.
Unfortunately, Stanford University’s Wellsphere website reveals that 95% of the people who succeed in losing weight on a fast diet bounce right back.
That’s why the number one rule of effective weight loss is having a long-term plan, not a quick-fix strategy.
2. Consuming Enough Protein to Store Less Fat
A study found that people eating low-protein diets stored 95% of excess calories as fat. Those on normal and high-protein diets stored just 55% of their extra calories as fat. That’s a whopping 40% difference.
In the study, participants getting as little as 15-25% of their calories from protein enjoyed that benefit. So if you want to lose weight and gain it back less slowly, cut down on carbs and fats and eat more protein.
3. Eating Breakfast
It’s long been common knowledge that a big breakfast is key to losing weight — but now, we’ve got research to confirm it.
The National Weight Loss Control Registry found a strong link between eating breakfast and keeping weight off. In a study where the average subject lost 32 kg, 78% of respondents reported having a healthy meal in the morning.
So, do like your mom taught you and eat your breakfast as soon as you get up in the morning!
4. Drinking Vinegar
This 2009 Japanese study found that consuming vinegar daily reduced waist circumference, body fat levels, and Body Mass Index (BMI). This might seem odd, but it is backed by research, and so might be worth a try. Just make sure you don’t drink so much vinegar you get acid reflux!
5. Keeping a Food Journal
Keeping a food diary can as much as double your fat loss, according to the Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research, so journaling what you eat is another proven way to lose weight.
If that sounds daunting, you may also want to plan what you eat ahead using the detailed instructions in this article.
If you or someone you know is suffering from obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or other life-threatening diseases, it may be time to think about gastric bypass and lap band surgery.
These methods, which reduce the amount of food you can consume, have been proven to provide long-term weight loss in many cases.
If you’re not ready to commit to surgery, you may do well with less invasive alternatives like the ReShape system, in which two saline-filled balloons are temporarily placed in your stomach for up to 6 months.
A randomized study of 326 ReShape patients found that they lost an average of 14.3 pounds over 6 months; less than gastric bypass patients, but still impressive.
7. Intermittent Fasting
Dr. John Berardi, featured in Fast Company’s 2015 Most Innovative Companies, recommends intermittent fasting: a “diet” where you take long, periodic breaks between meals. If you’re the kind of person that finds it easy to go without food for extended periods of time, this might be the smartest strategy for you.
Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via picjumbo.com