Are you constantly losing weight, only to gain it back again?
If so, you’re not alone – many people have trouble maintaining their losses, and often find themselves back where they started time and time again.
Although obesity is far worse for your health, this type of weight cycling, more commonly known as ‘yo-yo dieting’, can damage you physically and psychologically.
So, while aiming to lose weight will always be the best choice, it’s important to take steps to ensure that this time it’s for good, rather than throwing yourself into another impossible-to-maintain fad diet.
Here, we explain the dangers of yo-yo dieting and how you can make sure that you don’t gain the weight back!
The Causes of Yo-Yo Dieting
Usually, yo-yo dieting is the result of trying to lose weight using extreme methods which are difficult to sustain in the long term, such as extremely low-calorie diets or diets that exclude too many foods.
These types of limiting diets make you feel deprived, tired, and often depressed. Almost inevitably, you begin to revert back to your old eating habits, now with the added emotional effects of failing to lose weight through this restrictive diet.
This emotional state can also lead to many people eating more than they would have before dieting, causing them to gain weight rapidly.
Even when people can lose weight, using short-term methods to achieve this weight loss means that once they stop the diet, as many as 80% will gain this weight back.
Understandably, people want to see results, but resulting in quick fixes means that dieters don’t then learn how to change their way of eating permanently and will easily revert back to their old habits once they feel they have ‘finished’ with dieting.
While diets have an endpoint, healthy eating does not. Without permanent dietary changes, weight gain is almost inevitable, and so the cycle of yo-yo dieting continues.
The Dangers of Yo-Yo Dieting
Some studies claim that it can lead to increased body fat, an accumulation of dangerous visceral fat around your middle, and a decreased metabolism. Still, others have failed to find evidence to support these claims.
What is true, however, is that your metabolic rate slows as you get older, so, with each new cycle of dieting, the same methods that you used before may become less and less effective, which can be very demotivating.
So, weight loss becomes harder, and weight gain becomes easier.
Research using animal subjects supports this, as animals made to yo-yo diet were more efficient at gaining weight. It is suggested that this also may be a result of increased hunger as a way of compensating for past deprivation or in anticipation of future deprivation.
Additionally, research shows evidence of a link between yo-yo dieting and increased health risks such as hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and gallbladder disease. However, these are all also linked to obesity.
Repeatedly losing and gaining weight may also be detrimental to psychological health; studies show increased levels of psychological distress and life dissatisfaction and a lower quality of life among yo-yo dieters.
Female yo-yo dieters were also found to have lower self-esteem, worse body image, and reduced levels of self-belief.
Break the Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle
Losing and regaining weight is not recommended as a way of maintaining a healthy weight.
However, the health benefits of losing weight greatly overshadow the potential drawbacks of yo-yo dieting.
So, here are some tips to help you break the yo-yo dieting cycle for good:
Permanent Change Means Permanent Results
Are you prepared to change your lifestyle for good?
If so, then you’re already halfway there. However, if you plan to go back to your old ways once you’re done with your diet then you’re more likely to go back to your old weight.
They say that the biggest mistake we make is to expect different results from the same behavior, so change your behavior, and your results will change too!
Eat Better, Not Less
Dieting is short-term, but eating healthily is for life.
You might be an expert in how many calories there are in every food after years of yo-yo dieting, but losing weight isn’t just a case of eating fewer calories – you need to be sure you’re getting your calories from the right sources.
This means getting your vitamins, prioritizing protein, filling up on fiber, enjoying a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, getting enough calcium, and avoiding eating plans which exclude healthy sources of carbs.
Actively Seek Success
While the majority of dieters are likely to gain the weight back, it’s a different story when exercise comes into the equation.
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is tracking the weight loss statistics of 10,000 adults who have lost at least 30lbs and kept it off for over a year, and have found that 90% of these success stories exercise for about an hour every day.
This doesn’t mean that you have to train for a marathon – just try to include more activity in your day, such as going for a walk at lunchtime.
Exercise also has many other added benefits, such as boosting self-esteem and improving body image, therefore helping to undo the psychological damage that yo-yo dieting might have caused.
Look Back To Move Forward
If you were successful last time, what caused you to gain the weight back?
Instead of looking back on your past attempts to lose weight as failures, try to pinpoint what changes or habits lead to you gaining the weight back.
For example, if you started getting back into bad habits due to stressful life changes, take steps to learn how to manage stress to avoid this happening again when life challenges you in the future.
If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight in a healthy way will always be the most beneficial thing you can do for your health and well-being.
However, the findings on how yo-yo dieting can affect your ability to maintain a healthy weight in the future show that the best way to approach your weight loss journey is to see it as a permanent lifestyle change.
For this reason, we recommend Phen Caps as a way to continue the good work. Phen Caps boost energy and suppress appetite, so they can help you to continue your good habits until you’re ready to go it alone, giving you even more chance to break the yo-yo dieting cycle!
Has your weight gone up and down in the past? Let us know by commenting below!