Keeping It Off
To fight her body's impulse to hold on to every calorie, Gilkey, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation communications analyst, keeps close tabs on the scale. “If I gain 2, 3 or 4 lbs., I'm at my max,” says Gilkey, 28, who once weighed 256 lbs. That's her cue to step up her five hour-long weekly workouts. “Exercise plays an important role,” in maintaining weight loss, says Dr. Aronne. Specifically, he recommends high-intensity activities such as interval training or using a treadmill on an incline, which prevents the metabolic rate from going down.
Gilkey complements her workouts with homemade meals of grilled chicken, vegetables, brown rice and salad. Recently promoted at work, she credits her new look with giving her confidence during the interview process. Could the promotion owe anything to the weight loss? Possibly. According to an Ohio State University study published in July 2005, people who significantly lowered their body-mass indexes also upped their wealth by between $4,480 and $12,720. “When you walk in a room, the first perception is physical,” notes Gilkey. “People say they don't discriminate by the way you look. but they do. They do.”