New study reveals that people who successfully lose weight do this

Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Game Improvement Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf. Today, we’re learning from a new weight-loss study.

One of the biggest challenges — perhaps the biggest challenge — for those who want to drop a significant amount of weight isn’t the actual losing of the weight. It’s keeping the weight off once its gone.

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Don’t get me wrong, losing weight isn’t easy, but many people accomplish it by revving themselves up to do it: They adopt a new diet, a new workout routine, and push through the sacrifices because they have a goal. And once they accomplish it? They take their foot off the gas, return to the bad habits that made them want to lose weight in the first place — and eventually, gain it all back.

Ultimately, the key to losing weight successfully is to make it less about the weight loss itself, and more about adopting new habits. Things you can actually sustain — which brings us to to a new study by Weight Watchers that should come as welcome news to golfers everywhere.

Sit less, walk more

The study, which was published in The Obesity Society’s flagship journal Obesity and you can read for yourself right here, tracked 4,305 people over more than three years who lost on average 54 pounds using WW. They found that those who managed to keep off the weight “spent three hours less per day sitting during the week (10.9 versus 13.9) and weekends (9.7 versus 12.6).” They also found that this same group spent on average about an hour per day in “on-work-related sitting.”

In short, people who lost weight and kept it off spent less time sitting every day, and more time moving than those who didn’t.

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“This study showed that physical activity was associated with improved weight-loss maintenance,” John M. Jakicic, PhD, FACSM, FTOS, Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute and the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, said. “Less sitting that results in more movement is what is key to weight loss maintenance. Hence, sit less and move more.”

So what does that mean for you, a golfer reading this? Well, apart from the obvious — that playing golf is good for your health — it’s a great reminder to stay on your feet more when you play. Forgo the golf cart and walk instead. It’ll keep the weight off, if that’s what your goal is, and your body will thank you for it.

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