Beating The Yo-Yo Dieting Weight Loss Cycle

by admin 

One of the common pitfalls many dieters experience is losing weight and then regaining it after the completion of their diet. This practice is commonly referred to as yo-yo dieting.

If you’ve tried to lose weight before, you may be painfully familiar with this concept. You go on a diet and stick with it perfectly. You lose plenty of weight and feel great. That’s where the problem begins with chronic dieters.

Why is this a problem? Well, for the yo-yo dieter, the thinking goes something like this – because I look great and I’ve lost all this weight, it won’t hurt to splurge just a bit. And after the splurge, nothing bad happens. The next morning, the scale still shows a nice respectable weight and the clothes still fit well so no harm was done, or so it seems.

This cycle continues to repeat itself. Another opportunity to have an extra goodie comes along and so the former dieter goes ahead and enjoys it. After all, nothing bad happened the last time. Little by little the weight creeps back on and it goes largely unnoticed until it’s an obvious problem again.

After all of these seemingly innocent splurges, the scale now shows a heavier weight which is often the same as or more than the dieter’s weight before she began the first diet. Dieting has given her a fatter body composition and possibly left her with more pounds than before. Does this sound familiar to you?

Dieters often end up fatter than when they started because they have incurred damage to their metabolism. When calories are cut the body adjusts itself to use less energy because it doesn’t realize that we are restricting our calories on purpose. Our genetics are wired to believe we are in danger and need to preserve our energy stores when calories are significantly reduced. The result is excess stored fat.

When we simply diet without including proper workouts and nutrition to preserve muscle mass, this lean component is often the first to go – before the fat loss we desire. Further, once we start eating an increased number of calories again after the diet is over, the body is unable to burn them off due to its decreased metabolism. We end up with more fat as a result.

It is unfortunate in this scenario that the weight we lose is often lean muscle and the weight we regain is pure fat. This means the same number of pounds looks fatter each time we regain weight.

Aside from the health implications caused by yo-yo dieting, there is also an emotional component involved. Sometimes a dieter punishes herself by beginning a strict diet because she feels she shouldn’t have gained all that weight in the first place. This restriction works for awhile but typically cannot be maintained long-term. As a result, the dieter will either “cheat” on her plan or binge after the diet has been completed. If this sounds like a pattern you are involved in, special help may be called for. Sometimes it is necessary to seek counseling to break this up and down cycle and regain healthy eating habits.

In order to solve the yo-yo cycle and put it behind you, it is important to learn appropriate and healthy methods for reaching your fitness goals. A sound plan will focus on nutrition, fitness and motivation and embrace a lifestyle mentality rather than a short-term diet approach.

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