It goes by a few names: Yo-yo dieting. Weight cycling. Crash dieting. But they all mean the same thing. It is the typical dieting sequence that happens throughout the calendar year for so many. And it never works. The problem is not just that the cycling effect is demoralizing, but that there is a very real problem of what this weight loss-weight gain does to our metabolic system. It alters our metabolism, making the weight harder to lose each time we rebound diet. And more bad news-frequently we have even MORE weight to lose than before. Why is this?
Studies have shown that cycling through times of extreme weight loss/gain increases metabolic hormones (insulin) and also sex hormone (estrogen) that not only puts on more unwanted weight, but also has far more drastic health consequences such as high blood pressure linked to heart disease, and insulin resistance linked to diabetes. All things no one wants to play around with! But what is the answer? How can the cycle be broken?
The first one is not new advice on this website:
- Stop dieting. That’s right you heard it here. Just stop it! We here at MPOF are about LIFESTYLE changing, not dieting. We have said it before, dieting is just plain hard work. Dieting is drudgery. It takes so much effort and the rewards are temporary or worse, non-existent. In fact, as we stated before, you might be in a more daunting situation because of it. Never start a diet again.
- Get educated. Become your own nutritional expert. There is so much information on this website (and the internet!) about nutrition that there is no reason why, with a little effort, you can’t become quite knowledgeable about what to eat and when to maximize your efforts to stabilize your metabolism and lose weight at a steady and sane pace.
- Make a lifestyle change. Do not consider a trimmer you to be a temporary goal. Consider it to be the “new you”-all the time! Once you are educated on what to eat, resolve to eat that way a majority of your life; at least 80% of your life. If you are staying the course 80% or the time, there is room for error and you don’t then need to berate yourself for having a little splurge now and then. Or temporarily “going off the rails” as all we humans tend to do from time to time.
- Set a new goal. There will always be those occasions that you want to fit into some special outfit or look good in shorts or whatever it is for you, but no longer make those short-range desires be your goal. You want your goal to be a fully orbed healthier you. Start with what you are eating daily and then move onto exercise.
- Start simply. You don’t have to be a complete expert all at once. If you have been weight cycling (like the majority of the western world) likely your confidence has taken a hit and that can tempt you to give up before you have barely begun. Don’t put that pressure on yourself! Learn what you need to do and enjoy the process.
- Track your progress. Nothing motivates us to push forward more than seeing progress. So don’t deny yourself that pleasure. But, on the other hand, don’t obsess about small setbacks to your onward progression. By tracking your progress, you allow yourself grace to see where you need to adjust and roll with it, realizing life has its ups as well as its downs.
- Meal Prep. One of the best ways to keep yourself in control of your food intake is in meal prepping. No surprise that a website called “Meal Prep On Fleek” would be endorsing this course of action, eh? If you are new to meal prep, this is an excellent place to start to introduce you to this easy concept. Not only will meal prepping help you to be in charge of eating in a healthy way, but it will also help you come to understand portion control as well, which is key.
Do yourself a favor and resolve to never diet again.
Make this year a year to make a resolution to change your lifestyle instead. Start yourself on the road to a healthier way of living. We would love to be a part of your journey and we have many ideas, recipes, and articles to help you on your way!