Whenever you talk weight loss there is one statistic that is thrown out that paints a hopeless picture. It is commonly quoted that 95% of those people who lose weight gain it all back and then some, no matter the method of weight loss. UGH!!!! However, Consumer Reports recently did a study (published in the June issue of their magazine) that says the news may not be all that bleak. In the largest weight loss survey ever conducted, they discovered that nearly one-quarter of the 32,213 respondents -- approximately 8,000 people -- had lost at least 10% of their starting weight and kept it off for at least one year. In fact, about 4,000 of those surveyed (called supersuccesses) had lost an average of 37+ lbs. and had kept it off for 5 years or more. Losing 10% of your body weight and keeping it off for one year may not sound like success but it is the standard definition within the industry and healthcare of weight loss success. Which is why many programs can claim large percentage success rates among their program followers. The number one reason for weigh maintenance and weight loss success based on respondents -- regular AND rigorous exercise, not diet programs. Those surveyed who lost and maintained their weight loss exercised at least 3 times a week. A second finding -- those who lost the most weight and had sustained/maintained that loss for a long period of time had done so without any special plan or dietary regime. And people who did use a program to lose weight were more success at losing weight and keep it off when they used the meetings or one-on-one counseling sessions that were part of the overall program. There were some commonalities among the respondents. Most reduced portion sizes, ate more fruits and vegetables, cut back on fat, and avoided sweets and junk food. Those who succeed were more persistent and consistent than those who failed (duh!). More than half of the successful responsdents said they applied those strategies to their diets every day. Most of those who failed at weight loss applied it 35% of the week or less. So there are no big surprises here...and you're probably wondering why I'm putting this up. I don't intend for this to depress you. I hope it will help you understand the hows and whys of weight loss and bring you to the big picture for success. To be successful in maintaining weight loss, you must make it a lifestyle change. Period -- end of story. Pick a diet you can live with for the rest of your life. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine -- even if it starts out as just taking the elevator instead of the stairs every day. And even when you have lost the weight, continue all your good habits. Has anyone here lost a great deal of weight? How long have you been able to maintain your weight loss? Are these findings consistent with your experience? Let us know! And finally, a recipe that I received a while back at a WW meeting. I make it about once a week (with modifications which I'll add at the bottom). Enjoy it and have a great holiday weekend! Saucy Chicken Makes 4 servings 2 cups chicken broth ¼ cup seasoned flour (flour mixed with a dash of salt and pepper) 4 (4 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 can (16 oz.) stewed tomatoes 3-4 scallions, chopped non-stick spray 1. Pour ½ cup of broth into a wide bowl; place flour on a plate or waxed paper. Dip each breast into the broth, then coat both sides with the flour mix. 2. Spray 12 inch non-stick skillet with non-stick spray. 3. Cook chicken over medium heat, turning once, until browned on both sides. 4. Remove from skillet and set aside. 5. Add any remaining flour to the skillet and brown it, stirring constantly. 6. Slowly add ¼ cup of broth to skillet and cook until thickened. 7. Gradually stir in remaining broth; cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. 8. Add tomatoes and scallions to the skillet; bring to a boil. 9. Reduce heat to low, add chicken to the skillet and simmer until cooked through (approx. 10 minutes). 4 points per serving. You can also add other veggies at Step 8. I like to throw in sliced mushrooms, summer squash, eggplant, broccoli or green beans (or combinations of these veggies) -- they don't add any more points. I've also made with fresh chopped tomatoes and it's tasty too!