The National Weight Control Registry is a database that tracks more than 5,000 people who have lost 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year. It's no surprise the majority of these people share some common factors with weight loss.
Here are their top seven secrets.
1. They eat a diet that is relatively low in calories. Not one particular type of diet is followed but one where the calories are controlled. Many however do eat a diet that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates eating four to five times a day.
2. They eat breakfast every day. Seventy-five percent of participants eat breakfast daily, only four percent of them do not. Eating breakfast has shown to reduce hunger later in the day.
3. They're physically active. Ninety-four percent say fitness is key and have increased exercise to lose weight, with many walking at least one hour a day.
4. They weigh themselves frequently. Experts don't want weight watchers to be obsessive, but those who keep periodic tabs on the scale - at least once a week - were able to identify any increases and take corrective action before it got out of hand.
5. They turn off the tube. Watching television burns few calories, yet often signals desire to eat with the plethora of food ads. The most successful losers watched less than 10 hours of TV per week.
6. They monitor food intake. Whether it be through a written or electronic log, they watch what they're eating.
7. Finally they eat a consistent diet daily. No weekend binging or fasting either, they stay true to their controlled portions every day.
As a matter of fact, research suggests that controlling portions is the greatest predictor of successful weight loss.
If you've lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for one year or longer, you can join the National Weight Control Registry. Visit www.nwcr.ws or call 1-800-606-6927.