Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone, but for some it’s much more difficult than others. Sometimes one’s age, genes, and lifestyle can play a major role in their natural body composition, making it hard to manage their weight. When this happens, people typically look for different techniques, trends, and tools to get the weight loss results they want—but nothing seems to work. As they continue trying new diets and exercise plans, they may find that they don’t stick with anything for very long, subsequently moving from one diet to the next every few months or even weeks. If this sounds like you, you may have slipped into a routine known as yo-yo dieting.
Defining Yo-Yo Dieting
If you like to change things up every now and again while watch your weight, you probably aren’t engaging in yo-yo dieting. This type of dieting is completely results driven and can turn into a serious problem for people who aren’t careful. Yo-yo dieting can be plainly described as jumping from one diet to another in a short amount of time because you’re solely seeking results. This means that if on one diet you don’t see the results you want within a few weeks, you quit it and move on to the next one.
Yo-yo dieting also occurs when the dieter cannot implement a permanent healthy eating plan that includes profound and lasting eating habit changes that will bring permanent results.
So they lose 10 pounds on one diet, gain it back, then try another lose another ten, gain that back, and the vicious cycle continues, sometimes as long as a lifetime.
Not only does this never result in any lasting weight goals, this type of lifestyle is obviously dangerous and can cause serious stress to your body over time.
Why It’s Dangerous
Your body is in constant search of homeostasis, or balance, which means it strives to keep all of your systems in check in order to maintain health and wellness. When you diet, your body has to reevaluate this balance in order to keep you feeling like your normal self. Normally, shifting to healthier and foods and beginning to exercise will help your body transition into a healthier state of homeostasis, but in the case of yo-yo dieting, this lifestyle can only harm your body.
When you engage in yo-yo dieting, you force your body to acclimate itself to a new lifestyle every few weeks or months, which can cause serious stress. Typically, it takes about that long for your system to get used to a change—either when taking new medication, slipping into new habits, trying new exercises, and of course, taking on new diets. Usually, you can’t know how your body is going to react to a new diet for some time, which is why abruptly switching to the next one only forces your body to start over in the process of becoming accustomed to a sudden change.
Such sudden changes can potentially send your system into shock. This can present itself in fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, and other physical problems that can do a lot of damage to your body in the long run. You have to keep in mind that the body takes change gradually, and since food is literally your body’s fuel, you can’t switch it up randomly in an attempt to get thin and fit.
The Mental Connection
A lifetime of yo-yo dieting also has a mental and emotional, effect. Many of these types of dieters will be impacted by low self-esteem as a result of this type of eating because it is inherently self-defeating since it never brings lasting results. Each failure, and regain of the weight may chip away at one’s confidence, and create a more negative self-image. What yo-yo dieters fail to realize is that the yo-yo race can never be won, no matter how much effort they may place towards it.
What You Should Be Doing Instead
If yo-yo dieting has become your way of life, there is a way to turn things around. The first thing you need to understand is that you must have patience when it comes to dieting and weight loss.
Nothing worth having will come easy, and treating your body gently will work better than pushing it relentlessly towards the results you want to see. Instead of trying every new diet that pops up, stick to something tried and true: eating better, eating less, and exercising.
This simply means cutting down on junk food, adding fruits, veggies and proteins to your daily meals, eating smaller portions, and getting your heartrate up with exercise for at least 30 minutes two or three times a week. This simple diet plan is sure to bring about the results you want in time, so be patient, be gentle, and do your best to take care of yourself.