How do I lose weight and keep it off?

Question

Hi Rick, I have a weight loss problem. I exercise every day, but my weight keeps creeping back up close to where it was and I can't figure out why. Anything you can suggest would be very welcome since I am at a total loss. I don't eat fast food (ever) and don't snack, though I do like to bake. How do I lose weight and keep it off?

Answer

I feel your pain. Fact is - Americans are growing and the leading researchers can't even completely explain it. It is estimated by some that nearly all Americans will be overweight in the next 30 years unless we can stop the current rate. Promising studies have shown that body weight is not the only factor for health. In fact, it is possible to be fat and fit - even fitter then thin people who are not physically active. For that reason, my first advice is to keep your focus on fitness; and the latest recommendations call for a minimum of one-hour of moderately vigorous activity daily. It’s great that you are exercising, but more important that this is a permanent lifestyle change. The set-point theory states that your metabolism may adjust itself to maintain the weight your body feels comfortable at (whether you like it or not). In other words - you can start doubling your exercise, but your body will eventually re-adjust itself to re-gain lost weight. So what is one to do? First of all - never quit exercising and eating healthy. Increase fiber, fruits, vegetables, and perhaps consider a multivitamin. Beyond that, look at what others have done to successfully drop weight permanently. I recommend a book called Thin for Life by Anne M. Fletcher. The book reviews what has worked for people who have kept lost weight off long-term. You can also refer to the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which is available online.