As we have always maintained, only a healthy diet and regular exercise, leading to calorie deficit, can help burn fat and help you reach your goal weight. Though there are many different ways and fad diets that promise quick results within a short span of time, a majority of people do end up gaining back all the lost weight and even more. It does not mean that people who have lost weight through a healthy diet would never put on weight – they just have to stop “yo-yo dieting.” Studies have revealed that up to 80% of people who lose weight, do end up gaining all lost pounds because they fall back on their old eating habits and sedentary lifestyle once they have reached their goal weight. The biggest mistake yo-yo dieters make is to not make dieting a part of their lifestyle. They usual resort to crash dieting and fad diets to lose weight which are not at all sustainable in the long run. Your ultimate aim should be to get healthy and not to reach a particular number on the weighing scale. Yo-yo dieting is quite common, but more so in people who have tried pills, potions, fad diets, and laxatives to lose weight. This weight cycling, or yo-yo dieting, is extremely frustrating, and will prevent you from sustaining the weight loss success. In this post, we tell you all about yo-yo dieting and how to stop it and keep the weight off forever.
What is Yo-Yo Dieting?
A professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Director of World Food Policy Center at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Kelly D. Brownell, had coined the term “yo-yo dieting,” or weight cycling, which is a process, where one loses weight and then gains it back, in cycles, resembling the up and down motion of a yo-yo. In simple language, it means, a person goes on a weight loss journey, reaches the target, is unable to sustain the weight loss, and gains all the extra weight back again, in a cyclic manner.
What are the Triggers to Yo-Yo Dieting?
3. Lack of time to cook or exercise.
4. No motivation for exercise.
5. Your body has reached homeostasis where the body refuses to burn fat and instead stores it for future use or shifts it to another area of the body, and no amount of dieting or exercise will move or burn that fat. When this stage has been reached, it’s easy to throw in the towel and go back to “pre-weight loss life and lifestyle.”
Why Yo-Yo Dieting is not Okay?
1. Yo-yo dieting can cause fluctuation of hormones including that of insulin, estrogen, ghrelin, leptin, etc. This kind of weight cycling can trigger insulin resistance as well.
2. Unless you are weight training, weight loss would burn fat as well as muscle. But with yo-yo dieting, you will gain back more fat than muscle.
3. With yo-yo dieting, you tend to put weight around the abdominal and tummy region, which as we all know, is extremely difficult to burn off, more so the next time around.
4. As it is, weight loss can be quite a stressful process for some people, and when you put your body through such up-and-down cycles, long-term effects on mental stress cannot be undermined.
5. The next time around you decide to lose some weight, you would not lose it as quickly as the previous time and in fact, you are likely to gain more weight quickly. That’s because the body sets to a low resting metabolic rate during the weight loss and sticks to it even after you have increased the calories.
15 Tips to Stop Yo Yo Dieting and Keep the Weight Off Forever:
1. Make workout a priority in life: Keep aside at least 40 minutes for yourself from your busy routine everyday to relax, meditate and exercise (not necessarily hitting the gym). Some studies have revealed that yo-yo dieters drastically reduce their movement once they reach their goal weight and that’s one of the reason body stores fat instead of burning it out. Exercise at least for 40 minutes five times a day every week to sustain weight loss.
2. Get enough sleep, at least 7 hours every night: You can workout like crazy and severely restrict calories, but if you haven’t slept for 7 hours straight at night, your metabolism will slump to its lowest and that will lower the pace at which body burns fat. Lack of sleep also raises cortisol level, which can lead to rapid weight gain.
3. Practice Water Preloading: Water preloading is a healthy and almost effortless way to aid weight loss. In this strategy, experts recommend to consume 500 ml of plain water half an hour before each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Such a quantity of water before the meal will significantly stretch your tummy and as a result, there would be lesser release of the hunger hormone “ghrelin.” Read more about water preloading here.
4. Reduce stress and emotional dependency on food: Comfort food is probably one of the main reasons why someone gains weight rapidly. Most of us turn to high-calorie, high-sodium, sugary delights to find solace and comfort from the daily grind. Detach completely from food as a mean to find comfort and find other ways or hobbies to take your mind off stress.
5. Do not eat less, eat right! Stick to healthy eating and that’s where Rati Beauty diet programs are successful because it revolves around healthy eating to lose weight without compromising on nutrition, and sustaining weight loss when goal weight has been reached. Healthy eating does not have to be boring, Rati Beauty encourages you to try new things instead of limiting yourself to eating the same food day in and day out. Follow Rati Beauty Weight Loss – we concentrate more on healthy eating, and do believe in eating right and not eating less to lose weight.
6. Meal prep and cook your own food: Most of us indulge in junk and processed food when we are confused about what to eat. Meal prepping for the entire week helps to reach out for healthy ingredients to cook food when we are hungry and have less time in hand. It’s easy to take out boxes of pre-packed ingredients from the fridge and cook them. In fact, note down snacks also in your meal prep.
7. Keep a food journal: It helps to be on track. Jot down every meal that you consume into a notebook because it helps to eliminate potential fattening and unhealthy food. A food journal also helps one set a food routine and reduce the frequency of snacking. All of these factors would prevent you from gaining weight.
8. Don’t deprive yourself completely of one major food group: It takes a lot of effort mentally to try and eliminate certain food groups completely, especially carbs. Cut down carbs, but keep the healthy whole grains in your diet. As soon as you restrict too much, the body reacts by slowing down the metabolism. When you have reached the goal weight, a low metabolism coupled with regular eating habits, will only make gaining of pounds faster.
9. Concentrate on the positives – Remember, when you were lighter, how good you felt waking up every morning and had energy to take on the entire world? If you want those feelings to remain with you forever, stop yo-yo dieting.
10. Stop shopping for chips, junk and packaged, processed food – out of sight is definitely out of mind.
11. Train your brain to dislike junk food: Here are 20 Clever Ways to Train your Brain to Resist Junk Food.
12. Train your brain to like healthy food: Yes, you can train your brain using these 23 tips to like healthy food, so that weight gain is out of question once you have reached goal weight.