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CalorieLab – What it Takes to Have a Healthy Weight

The Global Healthy Weight Registry: What it Takes to Have a Healthy Weight

When it comes to our attempts at weight loss, restrictive diets and extreme exercise programs are very difficult to maintain. It would be advantageous to anyone trying to lose and maintain their weight to be able to accomplish this in as simple and non-stressful a way as possible.

We probably all know someone who seems to be able to eat anything they want and does not appear to exercise, yet they look and feel great. They’re not on any reality TV show, are they? No, all the reality TV shows are based on being unhealthy. I can’t think of one reality show that follows a healthy and fit person around. Fortunately, some people had the obvious idea that maybe there was something the rest of us could learn about weight control by observing and recording what these slim and fit people do that the rest of us don’t.

Getting Registered

Cornell Food and Brand Lab researchers developed an online Global Healthy Weight Registry, formerly called Slim by Design, designed for the purposes of studying the characteristics and behaviors of people who are at a healthy weight and do not struggle with weight problems.

Adults of healthy weight were invited to sign up for the registry and then to answer questions about their diet, exercise and daily routines with the hope that understanding these people will be helpful for those who struggle with their weight as well as providing useful information in the area of obesity research.

To be eligible for the GHWR, you must have a self-reported body mass index of between 17 and 29.9 and never have received psychological consultation for weight or eating problems. All participants were asked open-ended questions about their dining and exercise habits, health behavior and weight control strategies.

An open-ended question is one that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, or with a specific piece of information. This gives the person answering the question the freedom to give the information that they feel to be most appropriate. (Sometimes, I wish our legal system was designed this way and our political system was not designed this way.)

What Healthy People Do

Currently there are more than 168 registry members that are approximately 72 percent female, with an average age of 39 years, and an average BMI of 21.7. The majority of the BMIs were between 18.5 and 25.

Typically, participants had become aware of their weight at the age of 11 to 14 years. Almost one third reported they exercised zero to two times a week, whereas 23 percent of the participants exercised six or seven times a week. Forty-four percent of the participants reported that they were never on a diet.

Eating breakfast was reported by almost all of the participants, and 71 percent of participants reported eating vegetables or salad in connection with lunch or dinner. Many participants did not monitor their weight regularly, while 27 percent said they only weighed themselves infrequently or yearly.

The most common strategy used to resist overeating was never to bring trigger foods into the house. As far as an experience that motivated participants to avoid excess weight, 11 percent responded having an obese family member.

The Mindlessly Slim

Ninety-three of these people were identified with the designation of “mindlessly slim,” which is defined as participants who monitored their weight infrequently or only on a yearly basis, or who responded as never being on a diet. The eating behavior and weight control behaviors of mindlessly slim people were compared to the rest of the group. They found that the MS were more commonly male and had a lower BMI, but there was no age difference. MS people actually exercised less frequently overall.

Food intake during breakfast, lunch or dinner was not significantly different between MS people and the others, but there were significant differences in eating behaviors.

When they were asked “What are things you regularly do that help you to stay slim,” MS people were more likely to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, only eat when hungry, and have quality home-cooked food. However, when asked how they resist overeating, they said, purchasing unhealthy foods but keeping them out of sight, or discarding them were less common for the MS because they never brought them home in the first place. Also, MS people only became aware of their weight at older age, and they were less likely to feel guilty after overeating.

Overall, the healthy and slim participants shared common routine behaviors such as eating breakfast, exercising five or more times a week and weighing themselves at least weekly. Although the majority never or rarely dieted, 92 percent reported being conscious of what they ate. As part of their habits that lead to weight control, 44 percent reported at least one non-restrictive strategy such as listening to inner cues, cooking at home, and eating high-quality, non-processed foods.

According to Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab, “Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight. Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues. If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine, you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy!”

By Dr. J, a maxillofacial surgeon living in Florida. Dr. J has travelled to Haiti to treat indigent patients and has taught as an associate professor at a Florida dental college. In his spare time Dr. J is a dedicated runner as well as a pilot who flies his Piper Cherokee Arrow throughout Florida. He has a black belt in karate. Dr. J has written for CalorieLab since 2007.

Source: CalorieLab

Everyday Health – 4 Healthy Habits Naturally Thin People Swear By

Published Mar 1, 2016

4 Healthy Habits that "Naturally Thin" People Swear By
We all know people that seem to effortlessly maintain their slender physique without giving up their favorite foods, skipping dessert, or spending hours at the gym. But chances are these enviable individuals are working harder than you think behind the scenes to maintain a healthy balance. “Naturally thin” people may not need to count calories or follow strict food rules, but they do share some universal habits that help the scale hold steady year after year.

Researchers at Cornell University recently created an online Global Healthy Weight Registry to identify the everyday behaviors that help people maintain a stable, healthy weight throughout their adult life. The registry is open to people who never fluctuate by more than 5 to 10 pounds on the scale and who have managed their weight on their own, without coaching from nutritionists or other health professionals. The database is still in the early stages of development, and the results are biased by the fact that members are self-selecting. Nevertheless, the preliminary results from 147 participants highlight some common-sense healthy living practices that experts have long been preaching.

1. Start the Day with a Healthy, Satisfying Breakfast

A resounding 96 percent of registry participants reported that they are regular breakfast eaters. While recent randomized trials have failed to show that including a morning meal accelerates weight loss, observational data suggest that eating early in the day has a meaningful impact, both among people who have consistently maintained a normal body mass index (BMI) as well as among heavier people who have successfully slimmed down. My personal (and completely unproven) theory is that making the effort to eat a balanced breakfast generates a ripple effect, priming you to make good choices throughout the rest of the day. Starting the day on a healthy note can help to structure your eating routine and get you into a good food groove. That said, grabbing a bagel or giant muffin just to check off the breakfast box isn’t likely to pay off, becauserefined carbohydrates don’t have much staying power. Participants in the Global Healthy Weight Registry leaned toward more filling foods: 51 percent included fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and 31 percent reported incorporating eggs into their a.m. meal.

2. Eat Whole, Unprocessed Foods

As at breakfast, participants reported eating a variety of nutrient-rich whole foods at lunch, dinner, and for snacks — including plenty of low-calorie produce. Sixty-five percent of respondents reported eating vegetables every day with dinner, and 35 percent made salad their lunchtime staple. For snacks, fruit and nuts were popular choices. Processed foods — especially munchies like chips, cookies, and crackers — tend to be calorie-dense and easy to overeat, so simply including more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and lean proteins in place of packaged items is a smart way to cut back on calories without micromanaging your diet. An easy way to get started: At lunch and dinner, make half your plate non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, salad, broccoli, green beans, carrots, and cauliflower.

3. Make Time for Physical Activity

No, you don’t have to run marathons, struggle through sweat-drenching kickboxing classes, or log 90 minutes on a Spin bike every day to stay slim. But getting regular activity appears to be a key piece of the healthy living puzzle. In the Global Healthy Weight Registry, nearly 70 percent of participants reported exercising at last three times per week (and more than half of those individuals committed to an impressive five to seven days). If you’re not a gym person, you don’t have to become one — going for regular walks is one of the simplest and most user-friendly ways to step up your physical activity. (Check out this post for more tips on developing a sustainable and realistic exercise routine that you may actually come to enjoy.)

4. Don’t Deprive Yourself, But Do Eat Mindfully

About three-quarters of registry participants report that they rarely or never go on diets, but that doesn’t mean they eat whatever they want, whenever they want. Instead, participants utilize other non-restrictive strategies to keep their eating in check, such as staying in tune with their inner hunger and fullness cues. Learning to use internal signals to guide when you start and stop eating rather than relying on external ones — like an empty dinner plate — takes practice, but it’s one of the most important steps to becoming a mindful eater. By slowing down and savoring meals, you can feel more satisfied on smaller portions and avoid overindulging.Following these strategies can help you eat more intuitively and develop a healthier relationship food.

Photo: Natasa Mandic/Stocksy

Source: Everyday Health

PsychCentral – Healthy Habits Rather than Strict Dieting Best for Weight Loss

Healthy Habits Rather than Strict Dieting Best for Weight Loss

Healthy Habits Rather than Strict Dieting Best for Weight Loss

An innovative research project sheds light on how healthy and slim people are able to maintain their physique with only modest effort. The key, according to Cornell Food and Brand Lab researchers, is to avoid a restrictive diet!

In the study, investigators developed an online Global Healthy Weight Registry (formerly named the Slim by Design Registry) to uncover the health behaviors of those who maintain a healthy weight.

Adults of healthy weight were invited to sign up for the registry and then answer questions about diet, exercise, and daily routines (see the infographic for more details about registry participants).

The researcher’s analysis of 147 adult Registry participants unveiled some common routine behaviors of those who stay healthy and slim.

Namely, 96 percent reported eating breakfast, 42 percent exercised five plus times a week, and 50 percent weighed themselves at least weekly.

Amazing, diet was not a part of the slim solution for most participants. Still being aware of diet is an important consideration.

Specifically, although 74 percent of the participant never or rarely dieted, 92 percent reported being conscious of what they ate.

As part of their habits that lead to weight control, 44 percent reported at least one non-restrictive strategy (such as listening to inner cues, cooking at home, and eating high-quality, non-processed foods).

What stood out most in these findings according to the study’s co-author, Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Food and Brand Lab and author of the book Slim by Design was that:

“Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight. Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues. If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine, you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy!”

Source: PsychCentral

The Atlantic – Skinny People Rarely Diet

Skinny People Rarely Diet

Why people who have been thin their entire lives don’t do the one thing most associated with weight consciousness

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

by OLGA KHAZAN

The researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab maintain a list of people who have done something fairly unusual in today’s world: They’ve been a healthy weight for their entire lives, never fluctuating more than five or 10 pounds, barring pregnancy.

The purpose of the Global Healthy Weight Registry, essentially, is to share the secrets of not getting fat with the rest of us. It’s just another way that scientists are trying, mostly in vain, to help curb the obesity epidemic.

The Food and Brand Lab recently released another ream of data from the 147 registry participants. Some of their answers are just as frustratingly practical and responsible as you’d expect: Half weighed themselves at least weekly, all but 4 percent eat breakfast, and all but 10 percent of them exercise. Forty-two percent work out five or more times per week. The majority always eat vegetables at dinner and say chicken is their “favorite meat.”

But here’s the surprising thing: Nearly half—48 percent—said they don’t diet. Three-quarters of them “rarely” diet. These people are thin, and have been thin their entire lives, yet they have never so much as perused the Jenny Craig website.

One explanation could be good genes. The healthy-weight registrants might never diet because, being naturally thin, they never need to. Still, that wouldn’t explain why they do all those other things—the exercising, the salad lunches, all that poultry. Clearly, they are putting some effort into their figures.

Instead, Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab, chalks it up to the fact that many of the registrants used “non-restrictive” strategies, like listening to hunger cues, cooking at home rather than eating out, and eating quality, non-processed foods.

“Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight,” he said in a statement. “Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues.”

Of course, only eating when you’re hungry and passing up pizza for homemade soup is its own kind of diet. (Indeed, according to the release, 92 percent of the registrants reported being “conscious of what they ate.” )

The reason many people diet is for the structure: Maybe they don’t have time to cook vegetables for dinner, or don’t know how, or they just like having a piece of cake after an already too-big meal. Those people are looking for some strict food rules to follow temporarily, and they find them in the form of a diet. But the way the registry participants maintain their svelte weights (136 pounds, on average) is by following some slightly less strict food rules for pretty much their entire lives. It explains why they’re thin, yes, but it’s not exactly the easy way out.

Source: The Atlantic

 

ScienceNewsline Psychology – The Global Healthy Weight Registry

The Global Healthy Weight Registry

Published: February 18, 2016.
Released by Cornell Food & Brand Lab

If there is one thing to avoid when trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, it’s a restrictive diet! Instead, simple routine behaviors may be key.

To shed light on the health behaviors of those who maintain a healthy weight, Cornell Food and Brand Lab researchers developed an online Global Healthy Weight Registry (formerly named the Slim by Design Registry). Adults of healthy weight were invited to sign up for the registry and then answer questions about diet, exercise, and daily routines (see the infographic for more details about registry participants).

The researcher’s analysis of 147 adult Registry participants unveiled some common routine behaviors of those who stay healthy and slim. Namely, 96% reported eating breakfast, 42% exercised 5+ times a week, and 50% weighed themselves at least weekly. Although 74% never or rarely dieted, 92% reported being conscious of what they ate. As part of their habits that lead to weight control, 44% reported at least one non-restrictive strategy (such as listening to inner cues, cooking at home, and eating high-quality, non-processed foods).

What stood out most in these findings according to the study’s co-author, Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab and author of the book Slim by Design was that: “Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight. Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues. If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine, you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy!”


The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell Food & Brand Lab.

Source: ScienceNewsline

EmaxHealth – Healthy Weight Adults Reveal Habits for Success

Healthy Weight Adults Reveal Habits for Success

 
2016-02-18 18:22

For people who are trying to lose weight, it could be helpful to know how individuals who maintain a healthy weight are able to do so. That was the premise of the Global Healthy Weight Registry, previously known as the Slim by Design Registry.

The Global Healthy Weight Registry was developed by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, which enlisted adults who maintain a healthy weight and asked them 92 questions about their health habits regarding diet, exercise, and daily routines. The responses of 147 participants were evaluated, and a report on the findings were presented at the Obesity Week 2015 Conference Proceedings.

Here’s the skinny on the habits of the healthy weight adults (80% of whom were female) who answered the questions. If you are currently trying to lose weight, these habits could help put you on the road to success.

  • 96% said they ate breakfast
  • For breakfast, 51% included fruits and vegetables, 44% had fruit, and 21% included nuts
  • For lunch, 35% always had a salad
  • For dinner, 65% always included vegetables
  • 92% said they were conscious of what they ate. Eating mindfully and consciously can help prevent overeating
  • 74% said they never or rarely dieted
  • 50% said they weighed themselves at least once a week
  • 44% reported that they practiced at least one non-restrictive technique (but not dieting!) such as cooking meals at home instead of eating out, choosing nonprocessed, high-quality foods, listening to inner cues about food and eating
  • 42% participated in exercise five to seven times a week while 27% did so three to four times a week
  • 37% never drank soft drinks
  • 33% never drank alcohol
  • 7% were vegetarians

According to Brian Wansink, PhD, the study’s coauthor and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, “If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine, you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy!”

Paper:
Vuorinen A-L et al. Slim by Design Registry. An effort to increase understanding of lifelong success in weight control. Obesity Week 2015 Conference Proceedings, 71A

Source: EmaxHealth

Men’s Fitness – The Exclusive Online Global Weight Registry for Fit People Only

THE EXCLUSIVE ONLINE GLOBAL WEIGHT REGISTRY FOR FIT PEOPLE ONLY

The low-down on Cornell Food and Brand Lab’s forum and how it’s revealing the everyday habits of fit men and women.

Nutrition Insight – Routine Behaviors Key to Healthy Weight

Routine Behaviors Key to Healthy Weight, Global Registry Finds

18 Feb 2016 — Simple routine behaviors such as eating meals together have been associated with maintaining healthy weight, according to Cornell Food and Brand Lab researchers.

To shed light on the health behaviors of those who maintain a healthy weight, Cornell Food and Brand Lab researchers developed an online Global Healthy Weight Registry (formerly named the Slim by Design Registry).

Adults of healthy weight were invited to sign up for the registry and then answer questions about diet, exercise, and daily routines (see the infographic for more details about registry participants).

Increased cooperation, which was also associated with better work-group performance, was also found.

The researcher’s analysis of 147 adult Registry participants unveiled some common routine behaviors of those who stay healthy and slim. Namely, 96 percent reported eating breakfast, 42 percent exercised 5+ times a week, and 50 percent weighed themselves at least weekly.
Although 74 percent never or rarely dieted, 92 percent reported being conscious of what they ate. As part of their habits that lead to weight control, 44 percent reported at least one non-restrictive strategy (such as listening to inner cues, cooking at home, and eating high-quality, non-processed foods).
The study’s co-author, Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab and author of the book Slim by Design explains what stood out most in these findings:
“Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight. Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues. If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine, you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy.”

Nutritional Anarchy – Secrets of the Mindlessly Slim

Secrets of the Mindlessly Slim: Why Some People Don’t Struggle With Their Weight

By Lisa Egan / February 17, 2016

You probably know at least a few people like this.

Maybe she (or he!) is a coworker, or a neighbor, or one of the parents at your child’s school.

You never hear this person talk about dieting, or see them stressing over every little calorie.

They even eat CAKE at birthday parties and events – and don’t seem to feel one bit guilty about it.

And, they somehow manage to stay at a healthy weight.

You tell yourself they must have great genetics.

Or maybe they possess some kind of superpowers, or are one of the lucky ones who has an iron will.

Clearly, they have discovered the answer to maintaining a near-perfect weight.

If only they would share their secret with YOU.

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That person actually might – perhaps even unbeknownst to them – possess secrets to helping you (or others) who struggle with their weight.

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Researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab have begun to uncover the lifestyle secrets of those people – the “mindlessly slim.” The Food and Brand Lab researchers created the Global Healthy Weight Registry to survey adults who have successfully maintained a healthy body weight throughout their lives. Those who voluntarily signed up for the registry answered a series of questions about diet, exercise, and daily routines.

The researchers then divided the respondents into two groups. Group one, the mindlessly slim, consisted of 112 adults who reported that they didn’t maintain strict diets. The other group consisted of those who dieted regularly, thought about food frequently and were highly conscious of what they ate.

Brian Wansink, PhD, co-author, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, explains:

We wanted to see what health behaviors differed between those struggling to lose or maintain weight and the mindlessly slim. We wanted to find the small or simple behaviors that might have a big impact.

After comparing the responses from each group, the researchers found that mindlessly slim individuals were more likely to use strategies that differ from traditional recommendations for weight loss or maintenance.

These strategies include…

  • eating high-quality foods
  • cooking at home
  • listening to inner cues
  • not feeling much guilt about overeating
  • having an enjoyment-based, internally informed approach to food and eating

The researchers also found that of the mindlessly slim…

  • 48% don’t diet
  • 74% rarely diet
  • 92% are conscious of what they eat
  • 50% weigh themselves regularly
  • 29% never do
  • 10% exercise 0 days per week
  • 32% exercise 0-2 days per week
  • 27% exercise 3-4 days per week
  • 42% exercise 5-7 days per week
  • 33% don’t drink alcohol
  • 96% eat breakfast
  • 65% eat vegetables at dinner every night
  • 37% don’t drink soft drinks

Lead researcher Anna-Leena Vuorinen, of VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland, PhD student at the University of Tempere, and former visiting scholar at the Food and Brand Lab, said of the findings:

These results are encouraging because they imply that instead of putting restrictions on one’s diet and avoiding favorite foods, weight gain could be prevented early on by learning to listen to inner cues and putting emphasis on the quality instead of the quantity of food.

What stood out most to Dr. Wansink was:

Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight. Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues. If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine, you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy!

If you are a regular Nutritional Anarchy reader, then you might have noticed we are big fans of Dr. Wansink’s work around here. We appreciate the common-sense, real-world advice he provides. He also has a fantastic sense of humor.

We highly recommend this video of Dr. Wansink discussing Slim by Design and how to go from mindless eating to mindlessly eating better.

 

For more information on how to stop stressin’ over dieting and what you can do instead, please check out Why Humans Hate Dieting and What to Do Instead (Hint: Be a Diet Anarchist!)

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The site may offer health, fitness, nutritional, and other related information, but such information is designed for educational and informational purposes only. The information contained on the site does not and is not intended to convey medical advice and does not constitute the practice of medicine. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nutritional Anarchy is not responsible for any actions or inaction on a user’s part based on the information that is presented on the site.

Source: Nutritional Anarchy

ScienceDaily – Shedding Light on Lifelong Strategies for Weight Control

Shedding light on lifelong strategies for weight control

Date:
February 17, 2016
Source:
Cornell Food & Brand Lab
Summary:
If there is one thing to avoid when trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, it’s a restrictive diet. Instead, simple routine behaviors may be key, according to new research findings.

If there is one thing to avoid when trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, it’s a restrictive diet! Instead, simple routine behaviors may be key.

To shed light on the health behaviors of those who maintain a healthy weight, Cornell Food and Brand Lab researchers developed an online Global Healthy Weight Registry (formerly named the Slim by Design Registry). Adults of healthy weight were invited to sign up for the registry and then answer questions about diet, exercise, and daily routines.

The researcher’s analysis of 147 adult Registry participants unveiled some common routine behaviors of those who stay healthy and slim. Namely, 96% reported eating breakfast, 42% exercised 5+ times a week, and 50% weighed themselves at least weekly. Although 74% never or rarely dieted, 92% reported being conscious of what they ate. As part of their habits that lead to weight control, 44% reported at least one non-restrictive strategy (such as listening to inner cues, cooking at home, and eating high-quality, non-processed foods).

What stood out most in these findings according to the study’s co-author, Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab and author of the book Slim by Design was that: “Most slim people don’t employ restrictive diets or intense health regimes to stay at a healthy weight. Instead, they practice easy habits like not skipping breakfast, and listening to inner cues. If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine, you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy!”


Source: ScienceDaily