A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: National Weight Control Registry

on December 18, 2013

One of my goals for next year is to qualify for and join the National Weight Control Registry.


The National Weight Control is the largest study in the United States that is following people who are maintaining significant weight loss. The study has been on-going since 1994. It follows 10,000 people through annual surveys about their health status, weight status and diet and exercise habits in an attempt to learn what helps someone successfully maintain weight loss. People in the registry have lost an average of 66 pounds and maintained that weight loss for 5.5 years, which is encouraging when you hear so much about how rare success in weight loss is!

imageI don’t qualify yet. In order to participate, you have to be at least 18 years old (I meet that one!), have lost at least 30 pounds (check!) and maintained that weight loss for at least a year. I’ll meet that last criteria in July. I’m in interested in participating for a few reasons. Most importantly, I know from my own research into the issue that there is depressingly little data out there about maintaining weight loss. One of the first things I did when I hit my goal weight was to start looking for the research about how maintenance works. It turns out, there is tons of information about how to lose weight but really scant data about maintaining weight loss. Most of what is out there is really just “expert” opinion without any proof. What little information we have comes primarily from the National Weight Control Registry. If you go to their site, they link to the published scientific studies (I love seeing the actual science!) as well as a summary of the findings so far, including the fact that most of the participants eat breakfast, weigh themselves at least weekly and watch less than 10 hours of TV a week. That last one stings I bit, as I’m catching up on old episodes of Grimm as I type this.

I like the idea of being of contribute some of what has helped me, both by sharing my personal stories here on the blog, but also by contributing to the aggregate of scientific knowledge through a study like this. I will definitely be celebrating my next birthday by registering. That’s the other reason I’m interested in participating – it will definitely feel like a nice little badge of honor to celebrate a year of maintenance.

Long term goals like this definitely help keep me on track through things like last night’s neighborhood cookie exchange. What goals keep you on track through the holiday temptations?



15 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: National Weight Control Registry

  1. Dude. I’d never heard of the National Weight Control Registry! I’ve got a new goal now. 😀 Seriously, thank you for sharing about this! I’m very much into science and reading paper abstracts (although I’m a bit lazy when it comes to reading entire papers), and do my best to base my own weight loss decisions on what is supported by research and hard evidence. The day I started my weight loss journey (and the following couple weeks) were spent pouring over all the information I could find! I have a loooong way to go before I hit maintenance, but it saddens me to know that there won’t be as much research for me to consume when I get there. So I’ll be very happy to participate in the study as well! Thanks again for sharing, and I look forward to seeing you hit that goal in July! 🙂

    • I can’t remember where I first heard about it, but I was excited to see that someone is trying to study this. Glad to share! You’ll be another data point for them when you get to goal too I’m sure!

  2. Lauren says:

    I haven’t heard of that organization. I think this is a really cool and unique goal to head towards!! I didn’t realize how little data was out there about weight maintenance either!

    Also, Grimm is awesome, and my husband and I just watched the season finale last night! I love that show!!

    • We recorded Grimm from the beginning but never got around to watching it and lately we’ve been going back watch them from the DVR. It’s definitely addicting! We find it really hard to turn it off at night rather than watching the next one. We always want to see what is happening next!

  3. leannenalani says:

    It’s so true, there just isn’t a lot out there about maintenance. It feels like we are all being set up for failure after weight loss. Maybe that is why so many people gain it back? I joined the Nat’l Weight Loss Registry about 6 months ago or a year, I can’t remember. It’s kind of neat to be part of a study and take those surveys. Your goal to be a part of it is awesome! That’s one good way to stay motivated.

    • That’s cool that you’re participating! I really do think the lack of data hurts when you’re trying to figure out how to keep it off. At Weight Watchers I know, everything is focused on losing and they really offer very little information about how to maintain. I’ll be happy to serve as a “data point” if it helps get more information out there about how to avoid backsliding!

      • leannenalani says:

        When I was doing Weight Watchers and made lifetime there really wasn’t anything to help me along. It was like the only incentive to keep the weight off was that once a week weigh in. The problem with that is eventually I stopped going because I thought I had it all figured out! Whoops, talk about a mistake.

  4. My WW leader does try to include the maintainers in the discussion, mostly because we have a couple of people in our group who’ve been maintaining for a couple of years and still come every week. That’s the thing they always say – the reason they maintain is that they keep coming. I doubt it is because you get new information by continuing to come to the meetings – I know I don’t get much new info at this point – but it does keep it in the front of your mind, by keeping that weekly date.

  5. […] I’m looking forward to joining the National Weight Control Registry and contributing to research about how people maintain their weight after losing a significant […]

  6. […] Join the National Weight Control Registry: Yep, one year of maintenance as of this […]

  7. […] a geek for celebrating this way. 🙂 I also celebrating by requesting the enrollment packet for the National Weight Control Registry so I can be part of this research in the future. I read a couple of really interesting papers about […]

  8. […] for the National Weight Loss Control Registry Done! Or at least requested. They only send out the packets every two months. I’ll be sure to […]

  9. […] second boost was getting the consent packet for the National Weight Control Registry. As this is an actual scientific research study, there were a lot of consent forms to complete so […]

  10. […] month, I got the email link for the National Weight Control Registry survey for the first time and I thought I’d share with you guys some of the more interesting […]

  11. […] week, I got my annual survey from the National Weight Control Registry. As a brief recap, the National Weight Control Registry is a national database of thousands of people who have lost a significant amount of weight and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: