Have you successfully lost weight in the past only to regain it again and again? A lot of people struggle with this
dilemma most of their lives.
What causes weight cycling (or yo-yo dieting)?
Cutting drastically on your food intake
for quick weight loss may seem like a great idea. However, your body sooner or later prepares itself for a decrease in calorie
intake. The body will adjust to this lower calorie intake by decreasing the way it burns food for energy (metabolic rate)
and conserving energy as well. Eventually, the initial weight loss slows down or stops.
By this period in time, many
of these folks struggle to keep up with their diet program. What happens next? The weight slowly creeps back up. To
make matters worse, the decreased metabolic rate induces the body to survive on diminished calories. Every low-calorie dieting
episode makes the body more efficient.
The strict calorie limitation also causes a loss of muscle tone. Common signs
of this are flabby upper arms and sagging buns.
How to break the yo-yo diet
Instead of hoping for a quick weight
loss, take a more long term sustainable approach. Your goal should be for a modest weight loss. If you plan to decrease
calorie intake, do it gradually. I recommend a decrease of 200-500 calories a day depending on how much you have to
Think of your diet as a healthy living design instead of a temporary weight loss program. Increase your level
of physical activities by incorporating them in your daily life. For example, take the stairs or try something you enjoy
such as dancing or hiking.
Plan on eating frequently throughout the day. Eating frequent smaller meals will prevent
you from overeating later on.
Overeating and Emotional Eating
Okay, maybe your problem is not yo-yo dieting. It's
possible that you are a habitual eater. Example, eating junk snacks while watching TV. Perhaps it is emotional.
When you are stressed, you do not eat all day. Then when you get bored, you raid the refrigerator.
or habitual eating
If food is feeding an impulsive need in your life, then it's time to examine what is causing it.
substitutes to eating instead. For example, instead of celebrating your birthday with cake (childhood ritual), invite
your friends to play miniature golf instead. Have healthy snacks such as an apple or carrot sticks on hand. You can
grab them quickly when you are too stressed to find time to eat at work. Or you can just clear your head by taking a
brisk walk during your lunch break.
Control your appetite by eating multiple small meals a day. Never go hungry,
because if you do, you are more likely to overeat or make poor choices.
Do not eat to 100% fullness! Yes, you
can train your body to be satisfied at 60% capacity. It's okay to leave food on your plate. You are not helping
poverty-ridden countries by cleaning your plate.
If you know that you cannot cease at just one potato chip, get rid
of it. As a matter of fact, just dump the junk food that is detrimental to your goal.
It may sound corny, but
try to do things to keep you focused on your goal. Put a sign on over your bed that says: "The difference between
fat and fit is I." Stick a sign on your dashboard that says: "None of these foods taste as good as a size
8." (Add a picture of a cheeseburger and fries).
Lastly, do not fall off the wagon. It's okay to overeat
as long as you get back on track right away instead of punishing yourself and feeling miserable.
RAC for Women, Health Club for Women in Rochester NY and Personal Fitness Trainer Rochester NY provide exercise classes and fitness training to its members.
Rochester NY Personal Training for Women is a fitness
club with certified personal trainers who help women to reach their goals in getting toned, lean and healthy.