According to the American Heart Association, less than 20% of those who lose weight are able to maintain their new body weight, while the rest (an impressive 80%) regain the pounds they lost in less than 2 years! In addition, recent studies have shown a relationship between “yo-yo” dieting and health conditions such as high-blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
What Is Yo-Yo Dieting
“Yo-yo dieting” or “weight loss rebound” is a cycle of successively losing weight only to gain it all back, commonly as a result of “fad diets” which might entail more trouble than benefit.
When we go on a very restrictive diet, we lose muscle mass and body fat really fast. The problem is that, as soon as we stop dieting, we feel hungry and eat in excess, which lead us to regain weight, mostly body fat. This changes the balance between fat and muscle mass, necessary for appropriate functioning of most of our body systems, such as the production of hormones.
When we lose fat mass, we reduce the production of leptin (hormone in charge of signaling satiety), and increase the one of ghrelin (which tells us when we’re hungry). When we’re dieting, being hungry seems normal, so the changes in our hormonal levels do not affect us. The problem comes when we stop dieting. According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011, these levels remain altered for at least a year after! These drastic changes on hormonal levels make us hungrier, which makes it easier to regain weight.
How To Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting
Keeping the weight and image, you have achieved may seem hard at the beginning. But following these pieces of advice, might make it more likely.
- Eliminate liquid calories: Even without noticing it, we consume a large number of calories through sweetened beverages. Try to drink plain water, and don’t add sugar to your coffee or tea.
- Pay attention to what you eat: Don’t eat under stress or in front of the TV. When we eat being anxious or distracted, we eat excessively; besides, most of the food we have is highly caloric and non-nutritious. [insert link to mindful eating blog]
- Plan your meals ahead: If you keep only healthy food in your kitchen cabinet it’ll be easier for you to not fall into temptation of available unhealthy options. Before going out to a restaurant or social event, think about a strategy for consuming just the appropriate amount and quality of food (like eating something healthy and lower in calories at home before the event).
- Sweat at least 1 hour per day: Exercising will help you burn fat as well as to increase your muscle mass and metabolism.
- Manage your anxiety: If your work is really stressful, or you go around all day long, it’s very likely you’re producing more cortisol than you should, which is not good news if you want to maintain your weight. Try to find yourself an activity where you can relieve your daily stress. And remember you can always come back to us for Auriculotherapy for stress and/or anxiety.
- Munch on more nuts: According to a study from Harvard University, people who eat at least one ounce of peanuts or a mix of nuts per day are more likely to keep a healthy weight.
- Be nice with yourself: It’s normal to be discouraged when we regain some pounds. If it’s hard for you to maintain your weight loss on your own, talk to your therapist. Here, at Forma Vital, we have an excellent maintenance and FREE program which will help you keep the weight you so hardly achieved.
Being eternally on a diet it’s not a permanent solution. To lose weight safely and, especially, to maintain that weight loss, we shall make substantial changes in our lifestyles. Don’t hesitate anymore, #DecideItNow