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The "elite 2%" that maintain weight loss?

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Old 07-25-2008, 01:39 PM   #1
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Default The "elite 2%" that maintain weight loss?

The "elite 2%" that maintain weight loss? I know I've read stats in various places but this one was in the new Clean Eating Magazine. Saying that there is an elite 2% that lose weight and keep it off. I am a stat, having lost weight then gained part of it back, now am trying to lose the same 10 lbs again. Not trying hard enough, and I am finding it HARD to lose and keep it off. But it can't REALLY be that only 2% of people lose and keep it off. Perhaps they don't keep it ALL off as I didn't... but I'm finding before that I lost so much weight for my bone structure I was getting quite thin, too much, and it wasn't realistic to maintain the size 8 for my 5'9 figure. So instead of aiming for bikini thin I'm being realistic, and even if I lose 5 more lbs I'll be at my mostly happy weight - without the belly that I can't stand. I dont' need to be a part of the "elite" 2% if there really is such a thing, I'd just like to maintain a healthy weight, without unheathly tummy fat, for the rest of my life.... Ok, as with all of us there's the vanity thing, I like my jeans and clothes and fashion too!
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Old 07-25-2008, 01:44 PM   #2
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Hm. I hate the term "elite" ... sounds like those who keep the weight off are somehow "better" than the rest of the people out there.

But I wouldn't have a hard time believing the 2% statistic, although I don't know how accurate it is. I would easily believe that only 2% to 5% of people who diet keep the weight off long term. Mostly I think because of the way our society has become so geared towards instant gratification .. very very very few people are prepared to make the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain a healthy weight. Especially in the face of the "more more more" advertising and mentality that we're all subjected to.

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Old 07-25-2008, 02:34 PM   #3
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Hmm, I like the word elite. Maybe because I am part of the 2% that has maintained my weight loss for one frikkin' year!!!

Yeah, I still have more to go, but 12 months ago I was only about 10-15 pounds heavier. So, I have maintained about a 50 pound loss for one year. That makes me awesome, and yeah, a bit elite. Statistically speaking, I should now weigh more than my starting weight and waiting until Monday to start again.

I'll wait until I lose the last 30 before going to the National Weight Registry, though. I'm not that elite yet!
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:42 PM   #4
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I have maintained about a 50 pound loss for one year. That makes me awesome, and yeah, a bit elite. Statistically speaking, I should now weigh more than my starting weight and waiting until Monday to start again.
Heck yeah, sistah!!!!
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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Hey!

Yeah, archy, like you I've kept my weight off for a year--even though I have been trying to lose more. At least there's the bright side--I haven't regained!

Those statistics are meaningless unless length of time is specified. 5 years? 10 years? Until they keeled over? But even if 2% is true--that doesn't mean anyone is doomed! Statistics only tell what happened in the past, not what will happen in the future. And they never say anything about an individual!

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Old 07-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #6
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The reason most people gain weight back is that their diets are so extreme- that their bodies refuse to hang at that level. Something I was told here recently was that it's just as important to not stress your body as it is the amount of food we eat. I have a friend who lost sixty pounds in 4 months from seriously working out and restricting his diet so that he basically is eating the same thing day in and day out. Is that feasible, long term? Probably not, what happens when he starts to attempt to eat a little more variety? His body will throw a lil weight gain party- WOOT!! I get new stuff, new nutrients, more nutrients, I HAVE to hang on to that. Making sure that your body is getting enough variety as to not freak out on you is MAJORLY important. I grabbed my friends menu for the week and almost tried it LOL Then I called a trainer that I've been friends with for years- who is into organics and holistic practices and he went, there's NO way I'd put someone on a diet that restricts them, he dropped from 3000 calories to 1000 calories a day. Even 1500 is a low calorie diet when you were eating twice that.

The thing about starting a new diet is that we are SOOOO pumped and into dieting that we forget to think long term. Yes I want the weight off, and I'd prefer it be quickly LOL But, is that the best way to go to reprogram my body?

I like the term elite- because even as snooty as it sounds, it's a term they deserve LOL I've never been a dieter- before having my son and dealing with some personal issues- I honestly never needed to lose weight, was I a big girl? Absolutely, but I was 6'1 weighing 250lbs and was happy with that. I didn't yo-yo diet, I did decide to learn just how my body works and what my body responds to- Only consistent effort on my part will tell the tale...

You can't psyche yourself out because supposedly there's a 2% that keeps it off long term- How long term are we talking? If it's 10 years- thats fabulous LOL One year is awesome, but I want higher stats for longer than five years... show me something that works every day- where you don't have to fight the calories that go into your body

There's also a stat that only 2% of the population is super model thin naturally LOL Lot's of 2% figures running around when it may be more like 5 or 6

Wow, sorry for the book
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:03 PM   #7
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Hm. I hate the term "elite" ... sounds like those who keep the weight off are somehow "better" than the rest of the people out there. .
I so agree. But, sadly, I think that a lot of society (including some people who've "converted" to thinness) sort of look at it that way - if you are "normal weight" you are somehow better than someone who is not - IMO it's that "if I can do it, anyone can - so they should" mentality that tends to be part of human nature. That's one of the things that impresses me so much about 3FC members - even the long term maintainers (I am a shameless lurker around the maintainers threads sucking up inspiration ) have managed to hang on to that sense of wonder that they really did it this time, and don't ever seem to forget how far they've come; and they never lord it over those of us who are still working on it. Maybe that sort of attitude is a big part of their ability to stick with their healthy lifestyles? Whether it is or not, I surely hope I've developed that attitude by the time I get to goal.

I also agree with the "instant gratification" factor but I would apply that just as much (if not more) to the *Diet Industry* as I would to advertising in general. Have you ever seen an infomercial for diet pills or exercise equipment where the successful model says "It only took me 2 years of hard work"? I haven't. Instead of publicizing proper nutrition to help people facilitate healthy change, they actually want you to lose too fast and gain it all back so they can sell you more of their product (only this time it will be "New and Improved").
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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This is the second time I've lost the same 20 pounds. The first time, I dropped 50 pounds in 5 months from excessive diet/exercise/etc. I gained it all back with a second pregnancy (and complications).

At present, I'm running at .5-1 pounds every week or two. If I can get 1 pound per week, I'll be happy. In a year, I'll have lost 52 pounds. That's A LOT!
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:27 PM   #9
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IMHO I don't think it matters how fast or slow you lose weight in order to be the 2% elite...LOL When I was a freshman in High School I lost around 50 pound by a terrible unhealthy crash diet. I was young and dumb and desperate. I lost it all in one summer, (3 months)...I kept that weight off until I was a sophomore in college. (6 years) After my husband and I married I gained a bunch of weight and went on s very sensible (Weight watchers) diet and lost 75 pounds very slowly...I gained it all back plus within 2 years.

IMO it has nothing to do with how you loose, it has to do with WHY you lose, and how bad you want to keep it off. Pure will power and determination is the secret to success.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:43 PM   #10
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I would be more interested in seeing the statistics of different eating styles of maintainers.

I would bet that those people who made good lifestyle changes that they can do forever have a higher percentage of 'elite' individuals than those that follow something unsustainable (like a Hoodia and celery diet).
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:44 PM   #11
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IMHO I don't think it matters how fast or slow you lose weight in order to be the 2% elite...LOL When I was a freshman in High School I lost around 50 pound by a terrible unhealthy crash diet. I was young and dumb and desperate. I lost it all in one summer, (3 months)...I kept that weight off until I was a sophomore in college. (6 years) After my husband and I married I gained a bunch of weight and went on s very sensible (Weight watchers) diet and lost 75 pounds very slowly...I gained it all back plus within 2 years.

IMO it has nothing to do with how you loose, it has to do with WHY you lose, and how bad you want to keep it off. Pure will power and determination is the secret to success.
Although what you've written is not the conventional wisdom, I TOTALLY agree with you. I lost about 50 lbs. the healthy, slow way: 1500 calories per day distributed using the food pyramid, exercising 5-6 days a week, etc. I kept at that lifestyle for two years, but guess what? I regained the weight. I'm not blaming anyone but myself. However, as long as you know about proper nutrition---and most chronic dieters could write a book on it----I don't think the way one loses weight is a guarantee of whether that weight will be regained.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:35 AM   #12
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It is very difficult. I have maintained for over three years now. However, I'm getting older (not that 24 is old, but the difference between 21 and 24 is, when it comes to metabolism!) and am thinking of children within the next two years. Will I maintain it through a child? HAH.

It all comes down to caring for your body life. Make it a priority. Yes, we have things like work, school, and of course, a family to care for, but we can't care for them unless we take care of ourself first. We all want to be great-grandmothers one day. A healthy active lifestyle will greatly increase our odds.

So toss out the scales, the slim fast crap, and go to the farmer's markets and learn to cook! Walk to the store, don't drive. Be POSITIVE. Be HAPPY. If things aren't so great at home - get out and volunteer or take up a book at the library.

This is how I maintain... I stay positive... and when you stay positive, you will want to maintain the effort.

My calorie level is 1800 for a small frame. A lot more than most "dieters"! All home cooked (but nutricious and low-fat) food. Chicken, fish, brown rice, steamed veggies, yogurts, carrots, berries, brown pasta! Don't hate food, enjoy it.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:26 AM   #13
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I would be more interested in seeing the statistics of different eating styles of maintainers.

I would bet that those people who made good lifestyle changes that they can do forever have a higher percentage of 'elite' individuals than those that follow something unsustainable (like a Hoodia and celery diet).
Agreed. Which is why, like Jay stated, statistics like this are meaningless.

The formula for successful maintenance is a complex one - and different for each individual. While there are some commonalities, I think each of our successful maintainers here at 3FC has different strategies, different weaknesses, and different challenges. They are ALL determined to be successful and have the focus, patience, determination, wisdom, caring, and drive needed to accomplish their goal. I think their ability to connect to community - and share their strengths with others is another important piece of their success puzzle.

Like YoYo - I LOVE to lurk over there - gleaning what I can, and hopefully applying it to my own situation.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:30 PM   #14
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Lately I've been happy to maintain and not gain weight again, as I've done the yo yo thing several times. When I've lost I've been in that "mode" of obsessing to death, when I've gained I've just gotten so sick of it all and quit. So now just learning to eat healthy, cook, and exercise in moderation. If we can find the level of exercise and eating habits we can maintain for life, we are gaining in this weight war. Lately I feel like I'm settling, but maybe it's a good thing, I was going to go for ultra bikini fit, but now I'm setting for a size 10, a size I feel good at. Plus I'm toning up to get rid of the flab cardio can't seem to fix. Seems that the thin models and celebrities who have to maintain their figures set the bar a little high for those of us in the real world. I have a great role model, my own mom, who at almost 70, has been thin for life, only up and down 5-8 lbs. It's not extreme diets or exercise, she's never had to do that as she didn't pig out like me to gain the weight to begin with. She's sensible, watches her portions, eats a lot of the same stuff over and over, walks a lot, stays positive and has that healthy glow of someone who's been nutritious for life. She was ahead of her time before being green, eating organic was in, into juicers before they became popular... she was right about all of this. I don't think of her as being elite, but is she a part of the small percentage that stay slim for life, likely so, as I don't see many women her age or even a decade younger that look like her. And her looks are au natural, not made up, not fixed, she's a very awesome woman. Now that I've missed over a decade of healthy eating, rather then going to an extreme how about modeling after someone who's done this for life - and with lifer's I don't think it's about the latest diet books or trends... it's about doing the same stuff that works for life.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:03 PM   #15
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Hey horsey,

I'm glad to hear that you are taking a positive approach. So many folks, especially women I think, seem to have unrealistic ideas about what they can do with weight loss--they want to be a size 0 or not more than a 2, they want to wear a bikini, they want to look like some hot star. When in reality, they may not have the genetic makeup, and never did, to be that way. To a large extent, the kind of body we have (not necessarily our size) comes from our genes.

For example, at my lowest adult weight I still had fat on my lower belly. That fat pad is just never going away on its own, and is the reason why real bikinis don't work on me. Didn't then, and won't now. I'm glad I know that, because it means I don't get disappointed.

Or, people want all those things and don't realize that looking like someone who is 20 isn't likely once one is closer to 40 and has become overweight/obese. That train left the station awhile ago. So then disappointment sets in because they won't look young.

Well, no matter whether someone is thin all their life or not, they will age. Things will sag. Skin becomes less elastic. Stretch marks just ARE.

All these things can become a disappointment to those who expect weight loss to solve problems it can't. This may be part of the reason that it's so hard for people to get to their goal weight and maintain it.

That's why for me, it's about health and fitness--improved appearance is important to me, but it's not the only thing.

Some people really are naturally thinner--they don't gain a lot of weight. I know because I live with one. Like your mother, my friend just naturally tends to eat in a healthy, non-weight-gaining way--for her. If I try to eat like her, I gain! So there's that genetic component again.

Let's be successful no matter what the statistics say.

Cheers!

Jay
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