Along with the temporary weight loss, you also run across the many dangers of yo-yo dieting. This repetitious battle of losing and gaining weight comes with many physical and psychological perils. Our bodies are deprived as we lose the weight, and then our self-esteem plummets as we put the weight back on. If yo-yo dieting is controlling your weight, take advantage of the following recommended tips to break the cycle:
Remove the word “diet” from your vocabulary. Diets are temporary and we only see results when we are dieting. But what about after you’ve reached your goal weight? You need to think of getting control of your health as a lifestyle change which you can continue throughout the rest of your life. Diets don’t work in the long term.
DO NOT completely eliminate your favorite goodies and snacks. Limited self control is part of how we end up overweight in the first place. Are we really going to have enough self control to keep away from these foods forever? It’s highly unlikely. And when we don’t satiate our cravings, we end up cranky and unhappy. Don’t make your lifestyle change an unhappy experience by banning foods.
Set reasonable goals for yourself. It’s completely unhealthy and counterproductive to aim for high weight loss each week. During the first week most will lose quite a few pounds, which is mostly water weight, and think this will be the continued rate of weight loss. Don’t fall into this trap or you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment. Set your goal at 2 to 4 lbs a week, and no more. At a minimum this is more than 20 lbs in the first three months.
Create a balanced meal plan with a caloric intake of around 1,200 to 1,400 (for women) per day. You can easily stay within these limits and still feel full if you pick the right foods. Remember to keep fiber content high and fat content low. Knowing the facts about fat will help you choose better foods. Add in fresh fruits and veggies and you’ve got a great, healthy start to your new lifestyle change.
Control your portions. Fill your plate two-thirds full at mealtimes or use a smaller plate to get better control of your portions. If your snack is a single serving of low-fat snack crackers, buy those in single servings or buy a bigger box and put single servings in plastic baggies for easy grabbing. Sitting at your desk with the whole box will only tempt you to eat way more than you should. Also, try eating 5-6 smaller meals per day rather than 3 large one’s. This will help you burn calories more efficiently by boosting your metabolism.
Get active. Start walking, join an aerobics class, get involved in a sports league, design an exercise routine – whichever you choose it needs to be tailored to fit your life and something you will continue. The key is finding slimming exercises you enjoy! Sometimes having a workout buddy helps keep your mind off the actual exercise and it turns into more of a group activity. This also helps with being held accountable to stick with the program.
Stay busy. If you keep busy and limit your idle time, you’ll have less time to think about food. Instead of eating junk food in front of the TV you could be getting involved in any number of hobbies or out socialising with friends.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been yo-yo dieting for years, or even decades, you can still break the chain and ease your way into lifestyle changes to help you lose weight and get into shape. If you follow the steps above you’re headed in the right direction for a slimmer, trimmer and healthier you!