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Have you ever wondered how much exercise is needed to lose weight and keep it off? Research from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has helped to provide us with answers to this question. Established in 1994 the NWCR boasts an enrollment of 4000 members and the ongoing study provides valuable information about successful long-term weight loss. To be eligible for enrollment, individuals must have lost 30 pounds, maintained the weight loss for more than a year, and be older than 18 years.
One common trait that these successful losers had in common is an active weight loss exercise plan. Men reported an average energy expenditure of over 3,000 calories per week and women reported approximately 2,500 calories per week. This level of activity is equivalent to about one hour per day of moderate intensity exercise. A large majority (76%) of registry participants reported walking as their favorite exercise for weight loss. Other popular activities include weight training (20%), cycling (20%) and aerobics (18%). Research from registry participants suggests that exercise of less than 800 calories or 1-2 hours per week increases the chances of regaining weight. So, get out there and be active!