Are you one of those people that seem to lose and gain back the same 10, 20 30lbs, or even more every time you try a new diet? There are plenty of weight loss plans out there – there’s Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic, and the Weight Watchers program to name just a few. They all have benefits, and some are easier to stick to than others, but what is it that makes successful dieters lose that weight for good over the long term? Let us look at some of the reasons constant dieting can be bad for you and then look at some ways you can beat the yo-yo dieting syndrome and lose weight for good.
Two out of every five adults in the US ( 40% of us) are obese. Obesity is now referred to as a disease state because it increases the likelihood of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, and a host of other health conditions. 1 in 3 adults are overweight.
How do you know if you are considered obese or overweight?
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height and age. Rolling Strong members can ask your Wellness Coach, or you can do the math yourself. Click here for an online BMI calculator. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is overweight, and a person with a BMI over 30 is considered to be obese.
Obesity is a definite health risk, but why is it that so many people seem to try a new fad diet and take some weight off only to put it right back on again? This Weight Cycling or what some people call Yo-Yo dieting has some severe health consequences in addition to the health risks of obesity and may be even worse than staying obese or overweight.
Risks of Yo-Yo Dieting and Weight Cycling:
1. Most short-term dieters gain back 30- 65% of what they lost within one year and 1 out of every 3 ends up even heavier than they started.
2. Yo-yo weight cycling leads to even greater percentages of body fat and especially belly fat.
3. Yo-yo weight cycling causes you to lose muscle and gain more fat when you put the weight back on. The loss of muscle slows your metabolism down and decreases your overall body strength, and it speeds up the aging process.
4. Yo-Yo weight cycling can lead to Fatty Liver- Fatty Liver is a condition that changes the way the liver metabolizes fats and sugars and increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.
5. Yo-Yo weight cycling increases your risk of both diabetes and heart disease and may increase blood pressure.
6. Short term diets make you think about the rules you need to follow to get to your goal, but then you toss those rules when you lose the weight so you cannot sustain the loss and start back in with old familiar habits and ways of eating and thinking.
What makes those who lose weight keep it off for good?
It has to do with what you eat, and it also has to do with certain important habits as well as your mindset. A study published in January of 2020 illustrates how thousands of people took the weight off and kept it off and outlines a model for successful weight loss.
Here are the tips that the study discovered about those who kept the weight off for good:
1. Set daily food intake goals. This means thinking about what you are going to eat all day before the day gets started.
2. Write down what you eat. Write it when you bite it! If you use the Rolling Strong app, you can master step one and step 2 here very easily. When you look under the Nutrition tab under View my Food Log you can see how many calories, protein, carbs, and fats you need for weight loss and as you log each food you eat in the Log food section it will show you how many more calories, and other macronutrients like protein, fats, and carbs you need to eat for the day.
3. Measure your food. Do you grab a handful of nuts as your making dinner and not count it? Be mindful of the amount of each food you choose to eat.
4. Affirm yourself daily for each success and carry it forward in your mind. Working with a Rolling Strong Wellness Coach can help you stay focused and accountable and to be affirmed for your great steps.
5. Stay positive even if the scale goes up a bit. Once you reach your goal there will be times when you eat something you probably should not have. That does not stop a successful weight loss person from getting right back on track. Stay positive and remain positive even in the face of temporary weight gain.
Interestingly, the researchers found that these specific eating and thinking behaviors became ingrained habits over time as they were continually repeated, and these habits made for a great record of weight maintenance.
Over time, it became easier and easier to repeat these behaviors daily and not gain weight.
That is why it’s so important to pay attention – plan out what you are going to eat- every week, every day, every meal. write down what you eat, stay positive, and affirm the new you at your new weight. It will become easier and easier the more you do it.
Reach out to a Rolling Strong Wellness Coach today with any questions on how to get started and kick that weight cycling habit to the curb this year.
By: Cindy Luisi WHE, WHC, CCP Wellness Coach
Looking for more information? Check out our article on Get off the Dieting Road to learn more.