May 24, 2017

National Weight Control Registry annual survey

This morning when I checked my email, I saw an annual survey for the National Weight Control Registry in my inbox. I registered for the NWCR several years ago when I'd maintained my weight loss for a year or two. It's basically an organization that follows people who have lost a significant amount of weight (at least 30 pounds) and kept it off for at least one year.

They like to keep track of data and habits of these people, which they collect via surveys, and see if the findings give them any input on the habits of successful weight maintenance. Here are just a few snippets of their findings:

You can find more here
Of course, this is all based on the surveys that people fill out, so data may not be entirely accurate. But I have always filled it out honestly, even though it sucks to report a large gain in weight sometimes.

Today's survey came at a good time, because my weight is very close to where it was last year at this time. At the end of the survey, there is a spot where we can type in anything we choose to share that may not have been covered in the survey; so, on this one, I wrote all about my large gain and loss over the last year, my bipolar diagnosis, new medication, change in eating habits (no longer counting calories), change in exercise (no longer running for the last few months). They'll probably just toss that mess of a survey in the trash, hahaha.

You can read their published studies here. I have read several of them, and I have found that I am not the norm on a few. Several studies show that most successful maintainers eat a low fat diet. I tend to eat a very high fat diet. I use heavy cream in my tea, whole milk in my cereal, regular fat cheese, real butter, oil instead of cooking spray, etc. (all questions that are asked on the surveys).

One of the commonalities I have with other maintainers is that I increased my water intake significantly (prior to 2009, I NEVER EVER drank water--my only liquids were coffee, sweet tea, Dr. Pepper, and beer). Now, I drink probably 60-80 ounces of water per day! I also never used to eat breakfast; now, it's my favorite meal, and I never skip it.

Something that I found very surprising/interesting (although true for myself as well) is that the amount of exercise people do doesn't make a difference in terms of weight maintenance. According to the study, people with high levels of physical activity maintained their weight loss just as well as those with low physical activity. As I've shown over the last few months, I have actually lost weight and I totally quit running. I go for walks occasionally with a friend and/or Joey, and I became more active and busy in my daily life, but that's about it.

There was another study that showed that the difference in weight regain was the same in both the participants that lost weight using bariatric surgery as well as the participants that used non-surgical methods. Almost all of them experienced some regain (very common in people that lose a significant amount of weight) but the amount regained was virtually the same in the two groups. Interesting!

Anyway, there are lots of studies published on the site, which you can find here.

Today was my Wednesday Weigh-in, and I almost forgot again! I had already taken a shower and gotten dressed before I remembered to do my weigh-in. But, it was two weeks since my last WWI post, so here goes:

Two weeks ago, I was 137.2, so I've lost 1.6 pounds in the last two weeks. I'm happy with that! It's coming off slower this time, so maybe it'll be easier to maintain. Also, I'm learning to do this without counting calories/points, and just follow my instincts. Also, I feel much more stable on my bipolar medication, so I'm not doing emotional eating or binge eating. It feels nice not to obsess over food and weight!

I need to go for a walk with Joey before it rains, so I'm going to head out to do that. But I've been working on a walking training plan for a half-marathon (several people requested one after I posted about my six-month beginners plan to run a half-marathon). Since I've been doing much more walking than running lately, I thought it would be fun to write a plan for it! Hopefully I'll get that posted sometime in the next several days.


  1. That survey is really fascinating! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Seeing that number, and realizing that you have kept off over 118 pounds for several years now...that is incredible, Katie!!!
    I am SO glad that the new meds are working, and that you are feeling so much better! Thanks for always sharing honestly with us. :)

  3. Hi! I think it's awesome that you are losing and not counting calories. Can you share how you do that? What guidelines you keep?

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  5. Hi Katie! I have been following you for a couple of years, and I just love your blog! I am trying to get back on track, again!!
    I am a walker, and I am really looking forward to checking out your walking training plan for a half-marathon when it's finished. I've never done one, but it's on my bucket list!!

  6. The survey is interesting.


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