Thursday, May 21, 2009

Recommended Site - Spark People

Looking for a great site for tracking your meals and workouts?

Try, I recommend it to all my clients. It’s set up like FaceBook where you can join groups, add friends, enter your daily meal diary and exercise log. Then it will give you reports as to how you faired with your nutrition and energy expenditures for the day. The following is an excerpt from a SparkPeople article.

Keep the Weight Off with Daily Weigh-Ins

Sometimes the hardest part of weight loss is keeping it off. It can be daunting to know that within two years, most dieters regain two-thirds of what they lost! But researchers at Brown University Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island studied 291 people (mostly women) who had lost at least 10% of their body weight (an average of 44 pounds) in the previous two years. Participants were given scales (and encouraged to use them daily), as well as different levels of support (either a monthly email, an internet chat group, or face-to-face meetings).

At the onset of the study, 40% of the dieters were weighing themselves daily. After 18 months, 65% of those who chatted online and 72% of those who received face-to-face support weighed themselves daily, while those without support weighed themselves less. On top of that, 68% of dieters who did NOT weigh-in daily gained five pounds or more over the course of the 18-month study.

Action Sparked: This study shows the importance both social support (either online or in person), and keeping track of your progress--even after you have already met your goal. You can get (and give!) plenty of support on the SparkPeople Message Boards, from your exercise buddies, trainer, family, and friends too.

When you weigh yourself regularly, you're more likely to catch weight gain early on--and do something about it. Give yourself about a 5-pound range to stay within, and continue to watch your calories and get plenty of exercise after you meet your goal. While daily weigh-ins might not be necessarily for everyone, you can still keep yourself in check with consistent, weekly weigh-ins, body fat tests, or other measurements (such as waist, hips, etc.).

Exercise Extra: Muscle weights more than fat, but takes up less space. So don't be surprised if you end up gaining some weight as a result of exercising.

Monty’s comment
This study is proof that we can’t do things like this on our own. Support, consistent feedback and accountability are key ingredients for weight loss success.

In regards to the “Exercise Extra” Section. This is a misleading statement. One pound equals one pound whether it’s muscle, fat or sand. Yes muscle is denser than fat and does take up less space. Meaning a person can gain 20 pounds of muscle and lose only 10 pounds of fat and still look thinner even though they weigh 10 pounds more. That’s the definition of a toned look.

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