How many times have you resolved to eat nothing but stuff that is good for you, only to fail after a few weeks? Yoyo dieting, or being on an on-again-off-again diet can actually do you more harm than good. One of the negative effects of yoyo dieting is that your body tends to be even more efficient in storing fat, so you end up gaining more weight than you lost in the first place.
You see, when you go on a diet (especially if it’s an extreme one) your body tends to think that it is being starved because of the restricted calorie intake. As a result, your metabolism slows down a little to conserve energy. However, you still lose weight as long as you keep burning more than you consume. The trouble starts when you give in to temptation and pig out. Your body will now hoard as many calories as it can in order to protect itself for the next “starvation” phase.
The key is to avoid the crash diet mentality, and instead, focus on committing to healthy eating for the long-term. If you feel that this goal is rather intimidating, then consider the tips below. Each of them has been designed to help you from falling off the diet wagon so that you can enjoy the trimmer and healthier body that you deserve:
- Set reasonable and realistic goals for yourself. Getting started on a new diet is exciting but don’t go overboard when setting goals. Fitness experts say that you should never consume any less than 1000 calories a day even when on a diet, or else your body starts to cannibalize its own proteins instead of fat. When that happens, you lose muscle mass instead of flab so you end up looking more pudgy.
- Deprivation only sets you out to fail. Thinking of certain food as off-limits or forbidden only makes them more tempting. Rather than totally swearing off your favorites, think portion control. That way, you don’t feel so deprived. By giving yourself a treat every now and then, you will find it possible to continue eating healthy.
- If you fall off the diet wagon, just shrug it off and climb right back up. No matter how much you have tried to control yourself, there will come a time when you will feel an intense desire to forget everything and eat like you used to. If that happens, take it as a learning experience. Examine what seems to trigger such episodes so that you can avoid them better the next time. And stop the self-blame: you are entitled time off as long as you don’t make a habit of it. The next day after a pig out, just pick yourself up and simply start eating healthy again. You don’t have to punish yourself or atone for yesterday’s sin by eating less than your body needs.
Most people find that having support really helps them stay on track. Consider going public with your weight loss goals and healthy living resolutions among family and close friends. By putting it out there, you may be more motivated and inspired.