Thursday, January 14, 2010

And the Results are in

It’s been a week since I started my weight loss journey. Thus, it’s time to step on that terrifying bathroom scale. I decided to weigh myself in this morning and, shockingly, I weighed 189 lbs! My starting weight was 192 lbs which means that I lost 3 lbs this week. This translates into a loss of 1.6% of my body weight. Notice that this is a tiny bit above the expected loss of 1 to 1.5% of my body weight per week. This is because when we start controlling calories and eating healthy and balanced, we lose “water” weight as well as fat weight. Consequently, this week’s 3-pound weight loss does not entirely equate to a fat loss of 3 lbs. Most of it was fat loss but keep in mind that there will always be some “water” loss at the beginning of any weight loss program. So please don’t be disappointed if a few weeks into your weight loss you start to lose less weight. If you still lose between 1 and 1.5% of your body weight, you’re on the right track. Next week, I’ll try to follow my own advice and try to not be disappointed if I lose less than 3 lbs.
Speaking of results, I found this interesting survey about the success rate of several diet programs. To give you a bit of background, this survey was published a few years back but a similar survey today would produce similar results. Also, here’s the brief explanation accompanying the survey to put things into context:

Time (3-month)“The [survey] is based on 2,000 responses to our 2001 Annual Questionnaire about experiences with weight-loss programs between January 1998 and April 2001. We included all respondents regardless of BMI. The success rate is the proportion of people who weighted at least 10% less than their starting weight six months after finishing the entire program. The currently accepted definition of weight-loss success is losing at least 10% of one’s top weight and keeping it off for a year. Some readers reported on more than one method.” – Time, Sept 2, 2002 (Time (3-month))

Without further ado, here’s the survey. The success rates are the respective percentages in brackets.

1. Program at local hospital or university (37%)
2. Weight Watchers (29%)
3. Jenny Craig (26%)
4. Program at church/community centre (25%)
5. Other chain-diet programs (22%)
6. Program at health/fitness club (17%)
      Average success rate = 26%

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