You know the drill, lose ten pounds for that special event, then gain fifteen once it comes and goes. Do you know this type of dieting can be very detrimental to your health? What yo-yo dieters may not understand is that this pattern puts them at a higher risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The constant strain of going up and down in weight has the potential to damage arteries and can cause muscle wastage. In addition, people who yo-yo diet have higher levels of body fat overall.
Most people who yo-yo diet starve themselves on low calorie diets to lose the weight. This practice can increase the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol can cause them to gain more weight once they go back to their normal eating habits.
When a yo-yo dieter decides to go on diet they may initially lose some fat, but the constant poor pattern will put them in a greater place of weight gain every time they revert to their old ways. The constant yo-yoing leaves them with less muscle, which in turns makes it harder to lose weight. This becomes a vicious cycle with no benefit.
Need another reason to stop yo-yo dieting? It will slow down your metabolism drastically. Which is why each time the yo-yo dieter finds they have to restrict themselves even more to see the scale move ever so slightly. Not only will your metabolism slow down, your energy levels plummet. Some of the side-effects to a slower metabolism are fatigue, irritability and even our brain function can decrease, causing you to have trouble recalling information.
Now that you understand that yo-yo dieting is dangerous, how do you lose weight consistently, and safely? Number one you must change your mind-set of losing weight as a short term fix. I know you have heard it said before, but it must become a lifestyle. Understand, that if you have a history of yo-yo dieting it will take your body longer to adjust and begin to lose weight because of the damage you have done to your metabolism.
So how do you break the cycle and gain control? You must get off the starving yourself mode and begin to eat more protein. Make it a habit to include a little protein in each and every meal, including snacks. Consider adding some strength training to your exercise routine. Why? More muscle equals a faster metabolism.
Another important factor is to make sure you are including more of the healthy fats in your diet. Not only will it speed up your metabolism but it will keep your hunger and cravings at bay. Educate yourself on the latest facts on saturated fats and understand that these fats are not what causes weight gain. It’s all the bad carbohydrates, especially those found in over processed foods that are making you store fat. When your body gets the rush of insulin due to a high carb diet, it can’t use it all and stores the rest as fat.
To turn off that yo-yo diet switch, stop starving yourself and begin a low carb diet. Give this plan time as your body adjusts from the constant abuse. Measure yourself, because the scale is not the best indicator of what’s occurring. Perhaps, the scale is not moving as quickly as you like, but you are losing fat and that’s the goal.
Get off the merry-go-round to nowhere. Begin to take the necessary steps to stop yo-yo dieting once and for all.