Keeping weight after a diet is a challenge, as factors such as hormonal changes, loss of muscle mass and advancement of age slow down metabolism and decrease the body’s ability to expend calories.
What is Weight Cycling?
Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight. When weight cycling is the result of dieting, it is often called “yo-yo” dieting. A weight cycle can range from small weight losses and gains (5-10 lbs. per cycle) to large changes in weight (50 lbs. or more per cycle).
Some research links weight cycling with certain health risks. To avoid potential risks, most experts recommend that obese adults adopt healthy eating and regular physical activity habits to achieve and maintain a healthier weight for life. Non-obese adults should try to maintain their weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity.
Is weight cycling harmful to my health?
Some studies suggest that weight cycling may increase the risk for certain health problems. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gallbladder disease. For adults who are not obese and do not have weight-related health problems, experts recommend maintaining a stable weight to avoid any potential health risks associated with weight cycling. Obese adults, however, should continue to try to achieve modest weight loss to improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing obesity-related diseases.
Losing and regaining weight may have a negative psychological effect if you let yourself become discouraged or depressed. Weight cycling should not be a reason to “feel like a failure.” Instead it is a reason to refocus on making long-term changes in your diet and level of physical activity to help you keep off the pounds you lose.
There are ways to end the vicious cycle — and they’re not complicated, though they do require some advance planning. These tips should get you in the mindset to get the weight off and keep it off, for good.
Make sure your diet is one you can stick with. No crash diets or fads that will be impossible to maintain. In fact, reconsider the whole notion of dieting as a temporary fix.
Don’t try to lose too much too soon. A healthy goal for slimming down, according to the National Institutes of Health, is to reduce your weight by approximately 10 percent over six months.
Researchers have found that socializing with others who have successfully lost weight improves your odds of maintaining your own weight loss. So enlist a buddy or join a group.
Record your mood changes and hunger levels so you can learn to distinguish when you’re eating for emotional reasons.
Switch eating plans if you get bored. Research indicates you’re more likely to be successful.
Besides consuming a low-calorie, low-fat diet and being mindful about self-monitoring, you must exercise. This is the key strategy that keeps the 6,000 members of the National Weight Control Registry (an ongoing study of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a year) from regaining weight. That doesn’t mean you have to train for a marathon: Half an hour of walking every day is all you need to burn calories, build muscle, temper cravings, and increase “feel good” endorphin levels.
Do not forget: Consult your doctor and a nutritionist for them to evaluate your weight loss problem. They will show you at what points you are failing to pursue the goal of losing weight and which ones you are being correct.