Note how the little ladybug above, once so close to her goal, has slid all the way back to the 160s again. Bummer, for her and for me. I could give you a lot of excuses and reasons for this, but I'm personally not worried. The size 10 capris I bought on Tuesday still fit just fine. I think it's a combination of eating a bit too much last week -- went over even my "few extra points" maintenance range by a little -- and changing my workout schedule. Instead of running the morning of my weigh-in, I did weight training. I think that one is likely to cause slight dehydration and the other is likely to cause some fluid retention.
Or I could just attribute last week's weigh-in to my "psychic scale" phenomenon. You know how every now and then you get on a digital scale and get some totally wacky number, way lower than you know is true? In those cases, I believe we are really seeing the future. That's the way I choose to look at it this week.
Anyway, enough about the scale feedback. I was invited by Cynthia Samuels to participate in a conference call sponsored by Revolution Health, a new website that seems to have all kinds of sensible, user-friendly information on weight management and lots of other topics. (No, by the way, this is not a sponsored post!) Mr. and Mrs. Fat were also on the conference call. We were able to ask questions of James O. Hill, Ph.D., who, among other accomplishments, was one of the cofounders of the National Weight Control Registry.
Dr. Hill was charming and seemed to advocate a truly positive, realistic approach to weight management. We covered a lot of subjects in the call, but the thing that stands out as most interesting to me is his current research. It focuses on how small changes impact weight loss and weight maintenance. His top three tips for weight management were:
- Walk. In his research, Dr. Hill found that walking enough to burn 100 calories a day (about a mile) was enough to prevent weight gain for most people.
- Control portion sizes. "Eat a little bit less." Rather than focusing so much on what they eat (low-fat, low-carb), Dr. Hill says people should look at ways to cut down the amount they are eating, especially when eating in restaurants. Because fullness signals take a while to kick in, he says, we should serve ourselves less at our meals.
- Eat breakfast. Research suggests that people who eat breakfast eat less throughout the day. Late-night eating, he says, is a big problem if it prevents you from being hungry for breakfast. Even people who don't like breakfast should try to have something small, like yogurt, in the morning.
Dr. Hill acknowledged that very little is known about individual differences, so he suggested that people should do what works for them, but he based most of his recommendations on the NWCR research and other research he has done, which show what seems to work for most people.
Overall, he stressed the importance of setting small, realistic goals, like a 10% weight loss, and celebrating those successes. Even if people can't get to the healthy range in the BMI chart, he stressed that those small changes will promote health and quality of life, things we should focus on more than the scale.
None of this is sexy, cutting-edge stuff, I will admit. The only brand-new information that I heard on the conference call was the Fats' recommendation of krill oil for arthritis pain. Still, I appreciated the chance to have a conversation with a researcher who seemed genuinely interested in chatting with a couple of regular bloggers like us.
Once the recording of the call has been posted, I'll provide a link to it. In the meantime, here's a link to Dr. Hill's blog.