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Lessons on Weight Loss, good for you

Most people who have lost weight (and kept it off) adopted these Five Habits. It'll be your loss if you adopt them, too.

1.Become a Morning Person

In one study, 78 percent of NWCR participants reported eating breakfast every

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Sit down for breakfast. Allow yourself time to eat a bowl of fiber-dense cereal with skim milk topped with fruit before heading off to work.
Or take it with you. Stock up on easy-to-transport healthy food like peanut butter on whole grain toast or banana, cereal, and yogurt packed the night before, should you end up in a rush out the door.
Always include a protein source-eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, lean meat-which helps curb your appetite later in the day.

2.Keep Up the Carbs

You won't find NWCR folks on a high-protein diet. Most successful losers get
about 49 percent or more of the calories from carbs, about 29 percent from fat, and the remainder from protein. This makes sense for runners, as you need the carbs to fuel your workouts. The key is selecting the right carbs-foods rich in fiber, like grains, beans, fruits, and veggies. Fiber helps dieters by providing a sense of fullness. Even better, research shows that a diet that includes 34 or more grams of fiber daily actually drops the number of calories your body takes up from your food. Over a year's time, this could equal a 10-pound weight loss.

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Divide and conquer your dinnerware. Carbohydrate-rich foods should make up about three quarters of your plate, with protein sources making up the rest.
Go with the whole grains. Multigrain breads, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice all have higher fiber than the alternatives.
Read labels. Select foods that supply no more than 30 fat calories for every 100.
day-a habit that may help curb appetite later in the day. Research shows that breakfast eaters, especially those who start the day with cereals (a natural for fiber), have a lower body mass index than those who skip the morning meal. Plus, protein often appears in breakfast foods in its proper proportion for sating appetite. Eating in the a.m. is particularly important for runners who work out in the morning, since it helps restock drained glycogen stores, along with supplying a variety of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed for recovery and good health.

3.Keep Moving

You know as a runner that burning calories tips the scales in your favor. So it comes as no surprise that NWCR participants are steadfast with their exercise. "The average person in the registry is burning about 2,800 calories a week in activity," says Wing. Last year, the USDA established 60 to 90 minutes as the recommended daily physical activity for those trying to maintain weight loss. Research shows that people who exercise daily on average weigh less than sedentary folks but eat more.

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Decide when your run and other workouts will fit into your week ahead, and stick with the plan, period.
Incorporate more routine physical activity by walking or riding a bike to do errands. USDA Dietary Guidelines say that increments of at least 10 minutes throughout the day contribute to the 60-minute total.
On your nonrunning days, get that hour of exercise in, ideally in a way that stimulates your mind or body differently than running: play in the park with your kids, try a yoga class, or take a brisk walk at lunchtime. Even cleaning out your garage counts, as long as you keep moving.

4.Take Good Notes

Most dieters typically stop bothering to write down what they eat after a few months of weight loss. But many NWCR participants, like runners logging miles and times, have kept a food diary for years, taking measurements and noting precise portions and calorie counts. This allows them to respond quickly to changes in their eating patterns, says Wing. The bonus for runners is that, combined with a training log, a food diary can help determine the crucial connection between eating and energy-like how a late-afternoon snack of fruit and a handful of trail mix might affect your performance on an after-work run.

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Write down what you eat, with serving sizes, for three days; tally up the calories ( is a good source). For weight loss, your intake should be about 12 to 14 daily calories to every pound of your body weight.
Review your three-day food log and decide which foods you could pare down, with the goal of saving 100 or more calories daily.
With a set of measuring cups, compare how much you serve yourself to the suggested serving size. The discrepancy can be shocking. A serving of pasta or rice, for example, should be 1/2 cup, about the size of a computer mouse. (Runners need six to seven servings daily.)

5.Weigh In

Routinely stepping on the scale and checking body weight is another key way NWCR participants stay on the losing side. To keep that routine from becoming obsessive, don't weigh yourself more than once a week. (You might want to forgo the scale at home to resist temptation.) There are normal weight fluctuations throughout the day-especially for runners around workouts-of anywhere from a pound to 10 pounds, depending on how much fluid you've consumed. To keep an accurate gauge, weigh yourself on the same day of the week, at the same time, say, Saturday morning before your run when you're well hydrated.

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Once every two or three weeks, step on a scale at your gym or a medical center, perhaps with your running partner as witness; this creates a ritual that you're apt to treat with more respect than if you were at home.
Log this weight in your running journal and track how your workout performance and weight compare.
If you once fit into a pair of jeans that are now too snug, use them as motivation during your weight-loss phase-then as celebration of success.

When it comes to dieting, everyone wants to be a loser. But only 10 percent of people who manage to drop pounds also manage never to see them again. The good news is that as a runner, you already have a head start in joining this enviable club.

For the past dozen years, researchers Rena Wing, Ph.D., and James Hill, Ph.D., have meticulously tracked about 6,000 people who have met the minimum requirements to participate in their National Weight Control Registry: They must have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained that for at least a year. (The average is 70 pounds off and for six years.)

The successful losers didn't turn to wacky eating plans, fad diets, or extreme measures like gastric-bypass surgery. Instead, what worked was common sense-they modified their diet and increased their physical activity to change their caloric balance. Whether you're consciously trying to drop five pounds or 70-or just looking to stay in top form-following these five key habits of NWCR participants will make you a big-time loser and a better runner.

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