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Two-Year Follow-up on Diets and Deities: 

It’s now been a second full year since the weight-loss campaign of ‘13 and time for a report. The scale this morning said “186” so we’re about where we were a year ago. It’s looking like we’re going to be able to maintain this.

Again, I still get into the fitness centre (yeah, ‘re’ — it’s just over the border, in Canada) two or three times a week. I still have a pot belly. I don’t think that’s ever going away. My father was thin as a rail with a pot belly so I guess it’s just one of those things…

I’m also now an interesting statistic. I’m in the group of roughly 20% of those who lose 10% or more of body mass and maintain their new weight for a year or more. This 20% figure came from a careful analysis of recent research by nutritionists Rena Wing and Suzanne Phelan. In the past most authorities were more pessimistic, believing that fewer than 5% of dieters were able to maintain their new weight.

When Wing and Phelan examined the data carefully they found that a cluster of life-style changes characterized the successful dieters — and all make perfect sense. They maintained an active life, exercised regularly, snacked less, routinely had a small breakfast and generally kept portion size down.

I do these but Wing and Phelan didn’t identify what I think is the key activity: buy a good scale and get on it every morning. By monitoring my weight I spot any drift upward immediately and adjust intake.

And that is my contribution to this issue.

For the curious, there’s also been no change in my theology. I still cling to no god(s) but respect those who do so long as their beliefs call them to behave in ways that reduce suffering.

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