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Health Tip: Profile of a Weight Loser

Surprise! They eat breakfast.

(HealthDayNews) -- It that time of year, when people decide they have to lose weight.

And although many people who lose weight eventually gain it back, it's a myth that this happens to everyone, says Rena Wing, Ph.D., co-developer of a research study known as the National Weight Control Registry. Wing's findings are reported on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Web site.

Tucked away in the registry's database is information about the weight-control behaviors of more than 3,000 American adults, who have lost an average of 60 pounds and have kept it off for an average of six years. How do they do it?

Successful weight losers report four common behaviors, Wing says. They eat a low-calorie, low-fat diet; they weigh themselves often; they are very physically active; and they eat breakfast.

Eating breakfast every day is contrary to the typical pattern for the average overweight person who is trying to diet, Wing said. "They get up in the morning and say 'I'm going to start my diet today,' and they eat little or no breakfast and a light lunch. Then they get hungry and consume most of their calories late in the day. Successful weight losers have managed to change this pattern."

Most of the registry's successful losers report eating a low-calorie, low-fat diet. They also exercise for about an hour or more a day, expending about 2,800 calories per week.

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