Yo yo dieting is a cycle of weight loss and weight gain (weight cycling), often caused by an unsustainable, extreme weight loss program and inconsistency.
It can cause more harm than good, it can increase the risk of heart disease, mess with your gut health, blood pressure, mental health, increase stress, cause binge eating, an eating disorder, and so on.
When you want to lose weight, many people want to lose it fast, and they want to reach their goal weight as soon as possible.
So, they decide to go on these crazy and unsustainable diets, where they barely eat anything, deprive themselves of all of their cravings (and usually of things their body needs to function well), and they shock their bodies.
So, they end up losing weight, but in an unhealthy and unsustainable way, but it’s just short-term success.
And since it’s not a sustainable diet, they end up binge eating, and eating even more than before, because there’s no way their bodies can handle being on that kind of a diet for a long time. And then they gain all of the lost weight back (the reason their diet failed is obvious), and oftentimes, even more than before.
And that’s usually how yo yo dieting works (loss and regain of weight).
So, if you want to lose weight, you need to do it in a healthy and sustainable way, and not with a crash diet.
That’s why I’m writing this post – to help you learn how to stop yo yo dieting, and how to lose weight in a way that’s healthy for your body, and with a plan that you can easily follow for a long time, so maintaining weight after you lose it is easily doable.
How To Stop Yo Yo Dieting
Cook Your Own Food
Cooking your own food is very important when it comes to weight loss. First of all, you can plan and decide exactly what you’ll be eating. Second of all, by preparing the food yourself, you will know for sure what’s in the food you’re eating. Sometimes when you order something, it might sound healthy, but it in fact has many unhealthy things added to it. For example, some salads you order can have more calories, sugars, and fats (we’re talking about unhealthy fats and sugars here) than a homemade healthy burger. So, by preparing the food yourself, you’ll be able to control the levels of fat (so you don’t gain body fat), the calorie intake (but it’s not necessary to count calories at all), and overall what goes into your body, so you can develop healthy eating habits.
To make it easier for yourself, you can do meal prep for meals or ingredients, so you cook only a few times per week, and have healthy and homemade meals all week long.
Avoid Processed Foods And Refined Sugars
Another tip for healthy weight loss and avoiding weight gain or weight regaining is avoiding processed foods and refined sugars. You need to eat foods that nourish your body, give you the nutrients you need, and make your body feel good. Processed foods and refined sugars definitely aren’t that. They will not only help you gain weight if you eat too much of them, but they are not good for your overall health either. So, focus on fruits, vegetables, lean meat, healthy protein, and healthy fats, and not on fast food, processed foods, and refined sugars.
Eat More Vegetables
When you put food on your plate, put bigger servings of vegetables. Veggies are great for you, they’re healthy, and they have the nutrients you need. So, they will not only help you lose weight and reach your goal weight, but they will also help you do it at a healthy weight. By filling your plate with veggies, you can eat more food, but not gain weight, because you’re eating healthy and nutritious veggies, and filling yourself up with that.
You can eat veggies as a side salad, make a veggie soup, grill or bake them to eat as a side for your main protein, eat a big salad as the main dish, or even include them in sauces.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating means listening to your body. That means, when you’re hungry, eat. When you’re not hungry, don’t eat. If your body is telling you it craves carbs, eat carbs (but try to eat healthy carbs). If your body is telling you it needs more food than yesterday, eat more food than yesterday. Just listen to what your body is telling you, and that will help you develop healthy eating habits.
It’s also important to limit any distractions while eating, because that can help you practice mindful eating. Oftentimes, if you’re watching TV while eating, you won’t even notice you got full before finishing the plate. Instead, you’ll eat everything, and you’ll end up overeating because you weren’t paying attention to your body and the signs it was giving you that you’re full.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals is another huge part of avoiding yo yo dieting. You can’t expect to lose a ton of weight in a week in a healthy way. Instead, set little mini goals every week, ones that you can reach by maintaining a healthy long term diet. That will help you not only stay on track, but it will help you be happy and proud of yourself, because you’ll be reaching those goals. It’s much better to set small goals that you can reach and then reach them (in a healthy way), than to set unrealistic goals that you can’t reach without going on an extreme diet. Unrealistic goals will lead to an extreme diet, which can only bring you short-term success (in an unhealthy way), it won’t be sustainable weight loss.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is not only healthy for you, but it’s important for weight loss as well. You’re burning calories while you sleep, and when your body is not sleep deprived, it can burn calories easier, and faster.
Exercising is of course important for a weight loss journey. It will help you lose more calories, lose body fat, get toned, build muscle mass, and it’s overall very important for your health, and after all, your health is the most important thing ever. Having physical activity is very important for your health.