If you’re caught in the frustrating spiral of yo-yo dieting, you’ll already know how upsetting it can be. But the problems go beyond your emotions. Here’s why yo-yo dieting is a problem for your body and mind. Who’s ready to get off the diet spiral for good?
Why do we yo-yo diet?
If losing weight was easy, nobody would have a problem and there would be no diet industry. The fact is that weight loss might be simple, but it’s not straight forward. That’s because we are complex human beings with individual characters, habits, and behaviours. If you are a yo-yo dieter, it’s important not to blame yourself. But you do need to tackle the problem for the good of your health.
When we first start to diet, the process can be exciting. We start to see results, and feel exhilarated at our new challenge. But then the restriction of the new diet can feel limiting. We might start to feel fatigued, depressed, or unable to enjoy social situations. All it takes is one slip up, and we can spiral off the diet. Before long, we throw all our progress away and find ourselves back where we started.
Why does this happen? Each new diet does nothing to actually address our habits, choices, and decisions. Fad diets, generic diet plans, and diet products can help us lose some initial weight. But they don’t teach us how to maintain it. And they don’t encourage us to look at why we had a weight problem to begin with.
A better approach to weight loss
The most successful style of dieting is slow and individual. It identifies bad habits and damaging food behaviours. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dieting for weight loss. Although there are some fundamental truths to weight loss, like creating a calorie deficit.
To stop yo-yo dieting forever, you need to find a way of eating in a calorie deficit which is healthy and sustainable. Don’t ban any foods or create a black and white mentality towards food. Design a plan of eating which sees you losing weight. But make sure it is something you can incorporate into your lifestyle for the long-term.
How does yo-yo dieting affect your health?
The kind of diet which leads to yo-yoing is often restricting and low calorie. So you might lose muscle mass as well as body fat whilst you are on the diet. This is not a good outcome, because we all need to hold on to muscle mass as we age. An extreme diet can lead to hormone imbalances which affect your sleep, mood, and ability to manage your hunger. Cravings are common on yo-yo diets (and can be one reason for falling off the diet).
Many experts think that yo-yo dieters actually end up heavier and fatter after each diet cycle, although there is no proof that yo-yo dieting increases body fat. It’s common to see people slowly get fatter over the years, unless they address the underlying issues for their weight problems.
Losing and regaining weight can increase your risk of certain health problems. These include high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, and high cholesterol. And there are risks to your emotional health, too. Constantly dieting and failing to reach your goals can be depressing and discouraging. Yo-yo dieting can have a huge impact on your self-confidence which affects your body image, work, and relationships.
Fad diets and extreme dieting are no substitute for figuring out an individual healthier lifestyle. If you’re ready to stop yo-yo dieting, turn to long-term healthy living for the answers.
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