The constant cycling of gaining and losing weight is a heavy load on your mind, but it also has very real repercussions on your body's ability to metabolize what you eat. With a new season upon us, there's no better time to set some healthy intentions and get the yo-yo out of your diet — I'm exhausted just thinking about it! Here are five tips to take to heart if you're ready to stop the cycle.
- Losing weight doesn't happen overnight. For those of us who have become accustomed to years of yo-yo dieting, it's time to change our perception of weight loss. Healthy weight loss does not happen overnight, or right before your best friend's wedding, or two weeks before you want to wear a killer party dress. While it's tempting to restrict heavily before a big event, just say no. The weight will come back on your bod and only get harder to take off with time. The slower you lose weight, the longer you will keep it off.
- Time to retrain that brain. Food can become quite a security blanket. Instead of finding stimulation or solace by chowing down, it's time to start thinking differently. Take this tip from food journalist and professor Michael Pollan: "If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you're probably not hungry." When you go to grab a big bag of chips or check out what fun things are happening in the fridge, honestly ask yourself: "Am I hungry? Or am I just bored?" The more self-awareness you gain, and the less likely you are to mindlessly eat, the more stability you'll bring to your diet.
Keep reading for three more ways to stop the yo-yo diet cycle.
- Recognize that it's a lifestyle change. The good news is your old days of going from binging to harsh diets are over. The other news is that if you want to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way, your relationship with food is about to change in a big way. If you're guilty of the yo-yo cycle, you may be surprised to learn that this constant crash dieting only makes your body cling to the calories you eat more. The reason? It's not sure when you're going to feed it next.
- Quit the constant calorie count. While understanding the calorie breakdowns can give you a good picture of where you can cut out extras, simply cutting out calories will not help you keep off weight in the long run. Stop perpetuating the yo-yo cycle and look at the big picture: if you want to lose weight in a healthful way — and keep it off! — you've got to exercise in addition to shifting your food patterns.
- Be kind to yourself. Above all else, give yourself a little break. We are all human, we're allowed to indulge from time to time, but if you make yourself and your health your priority, good things are bound to come. There's no reason to constantly battle it out with your body.
Do you have any tips or success stories of how you stopped yo-yo dieting? Please chime in with your experience below! Who knows? Your story may help someone break the cycle today.