Yoyo dieting is most likely the No. 1 complaint that dieters have. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight and maintain the loss can probably attest to the fact that once the actual dieting is complete; the weight tends to resurface, and in many cases bring extra pounds with it.
Yoyo dieting simply is when you lose weight, usually a significant amount of weight in a short period, and then rapidly gain it all back. Constantly repeating this cycle is called the yoyo effect. There are many causes of yoyo dieting, some more popular than others, but all consist of not eating properly and not approaching weight loss in the correct manner. Here are 3 main causes of yoyo dieting and practices you should avoid:
1. Losing Weight Rapidly
The recommendation for healthy weight loss is no more than two pounds per week. Some diets, however, encourage you to lose more than that. You may have seen the ads for the latest diet with claims that you can “lose 20 pounds in two weeks!” When you lose weight too quickly your body will think it is literally starving and will go into “starvation mode”. Your body believes that you are in a state of famine and will therefore conserve whatever fat and energy it has. This will eventually stop your weight loss and may cause you to give up on the diet, which will in turn lead to you regaining the weight.
2. Not Exercising
When you choose to start an unhealthy diet that promises to allow you to lose massive amounts of weight with no exercise at all, that just seems too good to pass up. This is a mistake because exercise is an integral part of weight loss. It not only increases your health in general but also builds muscle. It is as simple as this: increasing your muscle mass allows you to burn more calories. Even when inactive, if you have more muscle in your body you will burn more calories. Therefore, excluding exercise from your diet is counterproductive.
3. Old Eating Habits
The fad diets that encourage unhealthy eating by way of dangerously low calorie intake or another type of rapid weight loss technique, do not teach you the proper way to eat. A proper diet regime includes educating yourself about what foods will give you the proper nutrition and vitamins and the quantity of food to consume each day to lose weight at the appropriate rate. After a fad diet, you are left without the knowledge about how to sustain your weight loss–that’s where the yoyo aspect comes in. Once you return to your old eating habits, you will regain the weight.
The best way to avoid yoyo dieting is to select a diet that teaches you a healthy way to live. A successful weight loss program consists of healthy eating habits, exercise and overall lifestyle change for life, not just for the duration of the weight loss process.