Monday, May 24, 2010

Planning Exercise and Eating

The National Weight Control Registry keeps track of people who have lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for more than a year. Their research on their registered members shows that in order to lose the weight, almost all the members both restricted their calories AND stepped up their physical activity (the most common form of exercise was walking). That means, to me, that at my age I probably do need to commit to some sort of regular exercise. But it also means I don't have to do anything that makes me sweat profusely, which I hate.

Some articles I read recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day, which seems like way too much for me. Others said that 30 minutes 5 times a week was sufficient. I'll go for that, for now at least. That much time I can imagine setting aside.

But this is the part I was searching the web for -- the research on maintaining one's weight. I can usually lose fifteen extra pounds without much trouble but the problem is that it swings back up. In a 6 month period I can hit the high and low. This can't be very good for me so my goal is that once I lose the weight, I keep it within 3 pounds either way of my target. The study says that those who have maintained their weight successfully generally:

  • Exercise (90%)
  • Eat breakfast (78%)
  • Weigh themselves daily (75%)
  • Watch less than 10 hours of television a week (68%) (I wonder if the internet counts as TV).
Well, if you don't count internet as TV I'm good on all those except exercising, so there's another nudge to set aside time in my day for some activity. Exercise, they say, helps prevent binging cycles and keeps you motivated to eat healthy food.

Over here you can find a calorie counter which I like because it gives you a sort of plan for maintaining or losing weight depending on your height, weight and exercise level, plus a rock bottom level below which it's not good to go.

I found a cool free site -- FitDay. It has a subscribe-for-pay option which lets you do even cooler things, but the free option still has lots of tools like a weight graph, journal capability, exercise graph, cumulative record of miles gone, and so on. It even breaks down your recorded food into protein/fat/carb proportions. I had a lot of fun making entries over there this afternoon. I tried SparkPeople a couple of years ago but found it too complex and overwhelming, though I know a lot of people like it.


  1. Willa, have you looked at Sparkpeople? It is chock full of articles on losing weight, maintaining weight, building healthy habits, and other such good things. It does all sorts of tracking for you, and offers little incentives of virtual trophies along the way.

    If you join, could you say I referred you? I'm CaroKnits there.

    Two months ago, I never would have thought I'd be doing strength training. The website suggested some simple stuff I can do in 5 minutes while the water for my tea is heating ... and so I do.

  2. Arck! I just saw the rest saying you've tried SparkPeople already. Oops!

  3. Ah, Carolyn, but things are more fun when you know someone on there!

    I already have an account -- I'll head over there and see if I can find you : ).

  4. Hi Carolyn,
    Things are more fun when there's a friend there. I already have an account on SparkPeople -- I just tried looking you up but can't seem to figure out how to find people over there. Maybe I'll have better luck when I have more time -- right now I'm off to Aidan's OT!

  5. Spamming my own combox! The first one didn't go through right away, so I thought I had forgotten to hit send, and then wrote another one...

    Anyway, Carolyn or anyone who is on Sparkpeople, my name is SIERRAMOMCA and I haven't figured out how to look for friends on there yet ;-).


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!