By: Dr. Keith Kantor
Yo-yo dieting is defined as a person who goes on and off diets including calorie restriction and major lifestyle behavior modifications. Most yo-yo dieters have a mentality of a quick fix and short-term compliance that results in weight loss and gain and emotional defeat.
Diets in general are moneymaking programs that facilitate a culture of dependence and the programs typically end up in long term failure. The diet industry is a multi- billion dollar industry that wants the consumer to feel helpless and dependant on their program. In order to break the yo-yo diet cycle the mindset has to be changed and individuals need to focus on something besides the scale and aesthetic changes.
If you follow a program that you can only tolerate for a short period of time then it is not going to give you long-term results. Nutrition meal plans should be individual based off of your activity level, goals, schedule, time availability, your skill and ability to shop and prepare meals. Everyone’s metabolism is a little different and that is why most rigid diets don’t work long term.
Do you want to know how to break the yo-yo dieting cycle?
Start Small. We can only adapt and change to so much, if we overhaul our workouts, meals, and sleep then we become overwhelmed, run out of will power and quit with a terrible feeling of failure. Start out by making small lifestyle changes like eliminating all drinks that contain sugar and replace them by drinking at least half of your body in ounces of water per day.
Find your purpose. Starting a program with a simple weight loss goal will only motivate you for so long. Dig deeper and think about why you want to lose weight and improve your health. Some examples could be you want to live long enough to walk your daughter down the isle, or get down on the floor and play with your grandkids, hike a national park or feel more confidant in a swimsuit. These reasons are more emotionally driven rather then superficial.
Remain educated. If you understand what and why you are doing something it will give your new healthy behaviors more of a purpose. Knowing that trans fatty acids found on processed food increases your risk for heart disease will give you motivation to avoid processed foods. If you have been given a rigid set of diet rules without explanation then you will eventually want to rebel simply because you don’t understand the details of your new plan.
Physiological Effects if yo-yo Dieting
Low calorie intake can trigger feelings of fatigue, anxiety, depression, isolation and an unhealthy relationship with eating.
Starvation mode is a term given to the effects that chronic dieting and over-exercising have on your metabolism, hunger levels and body weight. The body has a complex biological system in place that helps ensure that we get enough food when we’re running low and also that we rest more, yet unfortunately many people choose to override these important messages in an attempt to lose weight fast.
While they might lead to temporary weight loss, strict diets can sabotage your metabolism and actually becomes one of reasons people struggle to lose weight. Many research studies have found that sudden weight loss and cutting calories too low can reduce metabolic function due to the body trying to preserve energy from a lack of food.
The keto diet that we went over several times is the safest, healthiest diet with the best long term results from clinical studies and experts.