5 Ways To Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

5 Ways To Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

 

Yo-yo dieting. Many of us have been there. That exciting allure of starting a diet on Monday and completely falling off of it on Friday. Unfortunately, the effects of yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling, can be detrimental to your heart, bones, psyche, and overall health. Here are five ways to stop yo-yo dieting. 

#1: Stop hoping for fast results

Losing weight should happen gradually over time, not over a period of weeks. According to the National Institute of Health, a safe rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. When you expect to lose weight quicker than that, you end up participating in unhealthy behaviors that can cause harm to your body. 

#2: Stop going on fad diets

When it comes to losing weight, there’s no quick fix. Folks who are trying to say otherwise are likely also trying to sell you something. Fad diets are rarely researched and studied properly to determine short- and long-term effects. While some of these fad diets might result in short-term weight loss, many are not doable for a long period of time. This means you will “fall off the wagon,” which can be harmful to your psychological well-being. Fad diets also will most likely result in weight gain, perhaps even more than when you started the diet.

 #3: Don’t restrict major food groups

Cutting out carbohydrates or fat is never a good idea. Our bodies need every macronutrient (carbohydrate, fat, and protein) and the micronutrients they carry (vitamins and minerals) in order to perform basic cellular functions. For example, carbohydrates are the only source of energy for our brains, fat provides cells with their protective barriers, and protein is needed to build muscles and transport nutrients. In addition to providing essential biological functions, eating these three food groups together will also keep you fuller longer which will prevent overeating in the near future. 

#4: Listen to your hunger and fullness cues

We were all born with the ability to listen to our hunger and fullness cues. When you observe babies, they cry when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. Unfortunately, when you’re on one diet after another, you lose your innate sense of knowing when you are hungry and when you are full because you are only listening to what the diet is telling you to do. This, in turn, can mess up your innate hunger cues.

 #5: Incorporate satisfying foods with nutritionally dense foods 

When you tell yourself that you can’t have pizza, chances are the only thing you want to eat is…pizza. There is scientific research that shows when you restrict foods, you end up wanting it more and eventually binge on the exact food because you won’t allow yourself to have it. That’s why, in addition to eating a well-balanced diet, it is important to eat foods that are also satisfying and ones you are craving (in moderate portions). In order to make sure you are eating a healthy overall diet, check out My Plate, which teaches you to fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with grains. All foods, including pizza, can fit into a healthy, balanced diet.   

 

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