The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is, to the best of our knowledge, the largest study of individuals successful at long-term maintenance of weight loss. Despite extensive histories of overweight, the 629 women and 155 men in the registry lost an average of 30 kg and maintained a required minimum weight loss of 13.6 kg for 5 y. A little over one-half of the sample lost weight through formal programs; the remainder lost weight on their own. Both groups reported having used both diet and exercise to lose weight and nearly 77% of the sample reported that a triggering event had preceded their successful weight loss. Mean (+/-SD) current consumption reported by registry members was 5778 +/- 2200 kJ/d, with 24 +/- 9% of energy from fat, Members also appear to be highly active: they reported expending approximately 11830 kJ/wk through physical activity. Surprisingly, 42% of the sample reported that maintaining their weight loss was less difficult than losing weight. Nearly all registry members indicated that weight loss led to improvements in their level of energy, physical mobility, general mood, self-confidence, and physical health. In summary, the NWCR identified a large sample of individuals who were highly successful at maintaining weight loss. Future prospective studies will determine variables that predict continued maintenance of weight loss.
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