Have you ever dieted only to regain lost weight pretty soon? Are there the periods during the year when you naturally gain or lose more weight even without dieting? We have experience with that. It’s called yo-yo dieting or "weight cycling". We also know how to avoid it. In short, "weight cycling" is a repetitive pattern of weight loss and weight gain. Much like a yo-yo, what you discard ends up returning right back at you. With additional disappointment, of course.
Why is this happening?
Scientists say… Well they say a lot of conflicting things and it might get a bit confusing trying to sort all of these out. So, we’ll start with the things we know for sure.
In most of the cases, the yo-yo effect is caused by the extreme dieting, or so called "crush dieting" . You want to get in shape by adopting new meal plan. You cut the calorie intake and start exercising regularly. After a while you see the results and you lose some weight, but what do you do then? Well, most of us returns to their old eating habits. And you might visit the gym less regularly, or simply lose your membership card. It happens, we've been there.
Then your calorie intake gets extremely increased compared to what you consumed during the diet, and you might not spend as much as you did while trying to lose weight. And you regain all that you lost. You might even get few extra pounds. Some people get depressed over their failure and resort to emotional eating gaining much more than few extra pounds. Further than that, our body has learned to use the energy more economically, so our basal metabolic rate gets lower than before the crash diet.
How to avoid the yo-yo effect and still lose weight?
Put the celery down, and no one needs to get hurt. Don’t get us wrong, we totally agree with recommendations saying you need to adopt healthy diet and regular exercise. We also might suggest some more concrete advice later on, but we do know very well that few people has the discipline or resources, or support of their environment for extreme and permanent changes towards healthy lifestyle. We suggest honesty.
If you know that you can’t deny yourself some fast food, some sweets and see nothing attractive in lettuce – then start there. If you know you won’t be exercising regularly – then don’t waste money on the gym membership. It’s like buying additional feeling of guilt for failing your promise to yourself.
You can make a meal plan that starts with what you already eat, and what you’re most likely to eat after you reach your desired weight. If you’re ever to discover the beauty of lettuce, it’s more likely you’ll accept it as a side dish to something you already like than trying to put it instead of that delicious pizza from that place around the corner. Most of us resorts to the lifestyle that keeps us overweight because it’s practical or simply the easiest to fit our other obligations.
But it is possible to lose weight by simply calculating the number of calories we take in usually and cut the intake in order to lose weight. So, if it’s that simple why aren’t you already doing it? There is a bit more to food and how our body uses it than mere calorie count. Stay tuned and we’ll tell you all about how our body uses the energy it gets from different food groups, why we feel hungry or can’t seem to notice the amount of food we intake.
You can also learn all about it in “Diet! No thanks, I’d rather lose weight” and return here for discussion and support. But the most important thing is to become interested in the food you’re eating, and to be honest with yourself: will you maintain your new diet? If the answer is no, then you’ll probably end-up yo-yoing. And what’s the point in that?