It’s not uncommon for people to get fed up of repeated loss and gain of weight due to dieting and want to know how to avoid yo-yo dieting. First of all, it’s important to understand just what exactly is yo-yo dieting. These are dieting practices that result in weight going up and down in cycles, usually ranging anywhere from 5-20 lbs. While such dieting patterns are very common, what most people are unaware of is that yo-yo dieting is actually quite harmful to long-term health.
Some potential disadvantages of yo-yo dieting are:
- Increased chances of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
- Constant feeling of tiredness and lethargy
- Muscle wasting
- Increase in levels of body fat
- Damage to blood vessels
Now that we have established that yo-yo dieting is not good for you, it’s imperative that we find out just how to avoid yo-yo dieting.
Don’t Lose Too Much Too Fast
This is the surest way to feed the yo-yo effect: losing too much weight too fast. There are a thousand ways to lose weight; you can simply stop eating or go on a severe calorie restricted diet, but you’ll gain it right back. One of the keys to losing weight and keeping it off is to lose weight sustainably, which means no more than 4 to 5 pounds per month. If you are significantly overweight, when you start your eating plan, you may lose a little more but then the weight loss will slow down. So do not plan to lose more than 4 to 5 pounds per month. This works out to just a couple ounces a day, 1 pound per week, and is very easy to do. By taking this moderate, sustainable approach, you are more likely to alter your set point and keep the weight off. When you achieve your ideal weight and form, you won’t be altering you’re eating plan and lifestyle much to keep you there. This is sustainability.
Avoid Binge Eating
Yo-yo dieting is often a result of your inability to control stress eating. Stress eating, which often leads to binge eating, is something everyone has gone through. Just watch a bag of chips disappear when you’ve got a deadline at work that you’re fretting about. In such circumstances, it is very hard to keep track of what you’re eating since you’re eating so fast. You have to stop doing this.
Whenever you feel yourself reaching for snacks while stressed, distract yourself. Take a deep breath and calm down. Make a conscious effort to refrain from eating out of turn.
Pick a diet plan that is easy to stick with
As far as how to avoid yo-yo dieting is concerned, one of the most important things to remember is to pick the right diet plan. When you’re looking for ways to lose weight, you will most often go with an option that promises results. You might not realize that a diet plan that you chose might actually be impractical for you to follow. If you do pick an unrealistic diet plan, the chances are that you won’t really stick with it for too long.
When selecting a diet plan, make sure you pick one that is not asking for drastic changes in your lifestyle. These hardly ever work. What you need are subtle changes that are practically possible to implement.
Stay motivated by using someone else
One of the most common reasons for yo-yo dieting is motivation or lack of. How to avoid yo-yo dieting? Stay motivated. Well, this one sounds easier than it is. For some people, a look in the mirror is all they need to stay motivated. For others, it might not be so easy.
What we advise is take help from your wife, husband or friend. Ask such a person to help you keep motivated. They could do this by partnering you or making sure you stay on track.
Stay away from fad diets
We know it’s very hard to say no to these fad diets that just keep popping up out of nowhere. Drop 10 kg in 4 weeks, etc. But you have got to seriously think before you give in to your urge. Most of these fad diets are exactly that, fads. You would be better off adjusting your regular diet and exercise schedule slightly.
Regular exercise is necessary if you want to avoid yo-yo dieting. It is the best way to keep in shape and keep excess weight off. This does not mean that you have to train like you’re going to run a marathon. Just half an hour of jogging or cardio exercise should be enough to maintain weight and improve “feel good” endorphin levels in the body.
Still not sure how to avoid yo-yo dieting? Pick a flexible, healthy lifestyle that is easy to maintain. Don’t run after fads, don’t starve yourself. Understand what sets off your yo-yo. Make positive changes in your life to address these situations.