Yo-Yo Dieting: Why It’s Harmful and How to Avoid It
We’re constantly seeing messages about the newest fad diet: low-carb, low-fat, keto, and so on. With so many choices, it can be hard to select one that fits your lifestyle. You might even find yourself bouncing between diet plans or constantly starting and stopping your new eating pattern. This isn’t your fault – few fad diets are designed to provide lasting change, and many are so restrictive that it’s not realistic to adopt them long-term.
Unfortunately, following a diet inconsistently can undo all of your weight loss efforts, causing you to regain those pounds you worked so hard to shed. This is called yo-yo dieting, and it’s a common practice that can be harmful to your overall health.
Below, we’re discussing yo-yo dieting, what it is, why it happens, and how to avoid it. Read on to learn more.
What Is Yo-Yo Dieting?
Yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, is the process of repeatedly gaining weight, dieting in response, and regaining the pounds again. This happens because your body is trying to maintain a weight that’s comfortable and familiar. If you stay at a specific weight for an extended period, your body gets used to it and will try to snap back to it as soon as you return to your original eating patterns.
How Does It Happen?
Fat cells in your body produce a hunger-suppressing protein called leptin that tells your brain that you have acquired enough fat. However, having fat doesn’t mean that your body has enough other nutrients, so it naturally gets hungry the next day. Over months and months, your body learns that this level of leptin is normal. When you start losing fat cells, you also begin losing leptin, but your body interprets this as a signal that something is wrong.
In response, your body starts packing on more fat, and it gets harder to lose weight (and easier to regain it). Furthermore, when you lose weight, you may lose muscle too unless you maintain a high-protein diet and a regular exercise routine. With less muscle, you are burning fewer calories than you were at the beginning, you are hungrier than usual, and your body is primed to gain fat faster than it did before. It’s a losing proposition.
How to Lose Weight Safely
Fad diets like keto are difficult to maintain over a long period of time because they’re highly restrictive. Therefore, it’s best to avoid anything that cuts out large food groups (unless recommended by your doctor). Instead, you should adopt healthy eating patterns and choose nutritious foods that leave you feeling fuller longer. Couple this with regular exercise, and you’ll create a sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off.
No diet plan is going to make you reach your goal weight rapidly. However, following safe diets for weight loss, like increasing your protein intake, can help you lose weight safely and maintain your new physique. Eating more protein helps you feel fuller longer, and you won’t feel tempted to binge on unhealthy snacks and other foods. Plus, when you choose options from Proti Foods, you’ll still get to enjoy the delicious flavors you know and love.