Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yo-Yo Dieting

In honour of national yo-yo day .. I thought I would submit a post about my least favourite type of yo-yoing. Yo-Yo dieting!

I used to be a chronic yo-yo dieter. I’d try fads, drastic weight loss methods and not surprisingly they would work... buuuuttttt in the end I’d gain all that weight right back AND more. Yo-yo dieting, which is sometimes referred to as weight cycling is when you are drastically gaining and losing weight which can be a loss of anywhere from 5-10 lbs to 50 lbs per weight loss/gain. Basically it is to diet and then not diet on and off which results in the frequent fluctuation of your weight. This can happen by being on a restrictive diet until you reach goal and start eating normally or by giving up on a diet before you reach goal when it becomes too tough or stressful to stick to your “rules”. 

Yo-Yo dieting is actually more hazardous to your health than steadily keeping your weight in the “overweight” range. Does that not scare the pants off ya?

A lot of yo-yo dieters end up gaining more weight back after their initial loss as it can be accompanied by shame and stress which can potentially lead to emotional eating. Emotional eating can lead to that individual eating WAYY more (binge eating) than they usually would (been there, done that). It also can bring health issues later in life. Studies have shown that yo-yo dieters who have just entered menopause have an increased risk of heart disease. Dr Oz. says that the link between yo-yo dieting and heart disease “involves the cells that line the blood vessels called endothelial cells”. When individuals consistently gain and lose weight the blood in these cells is not able to flow freely because the cells have been damaged by the extreme drop and increase of weight. This restricts the flow of blood to the heart (um.. that’s scary) and can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and gallbladder disease. 

Not only is yo-yo dieting harmful to your physical health it is also hazardous to your mental health. Studies show there is an increased risk of mental distress, sadness and being unsatisfied with your life/depressed when your weight is constantly fluctuating. A lot of Yo-Yoers also have the mentality that if they deviate even just a tiny, tiny bit from their “diet” that it’s all lost and that they might as well quit…thus the weight gain…the cycle.. and in the end the continuation of the yo-yoing. 

Ways to prevent yourself from Yo-Yo dieting  
- Don’t give up! If you have a “no quit” attitude... you won’t!
- Go slowly and have patience. Slower is better and it allows the weight to stay off much longer. If you’re upset about not dropping 5 lbs in a week there is something wrong. Aim for 1 lb per week instead. To be successful weight loss must be gradual. 
-  Do it for yourself. How many people lose weight for others and then start a yo-yo effect? If you’re doing it for yourself you’re more likely to want it and stick to it.
- Have support. Losing weight is soo much easier when you have a buddy system. I used to talk to my friend Autumn (who I initially met on r/loseit on reddit which is a weight loss forum) ALLLLLL THE TIME about our weight loss and it really motivated me to stay on track. I think I am going to start talking to her more often about this stuff as she is really motivating :). Also if you need advice or guidance and don’t know where to start find a board online. This subreddit on the website Reddit is AMAZING and can give you lots of motivation and inspiration. Seriously check it out!
- Commit to a lifestyle change. This should be considered a “lifelong lifestyle change”. THIS is what will keep your weight off. Make sure this is something you will be able to stick with and nothing TOO drastic (at least at first). 
-  Be active. Changing your eating habits will only get you so far. Having an active routine will help you to control cravings, burn calories, gain muscle and will overall make you feel great! If you’re only just starting out.. gradually increase the amount of activity over time. I love the quote “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch”.
- Keep your kitchen stocked with healthier foods. If you have it around you... you’ll be more likely to eat it!


I want you all to remember this one thing. If you have lost weight and are beginning to gain it back.. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!! You have had a slip up and it only takes one simple decision to get back up to start feeling better, confident and get yourself back on your journey. Just do it the healthy way! 

Hope you were able to learn something! If you’re a yo-yo dieter I hope this has inspired you to rethink things.

Have a great day!

Steph

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