Some very dear friends of mine presented me with a topic to address several weeks ago that certainly hits close to home for many who struggle with their weight. Dropping pounds then gaining them back, over and over again is not a cycle in which anyone wants to find themselves. It’s a challenging (not to mention potentially dangerous!) phenomenon and I think it’s about time to present some tips to help us stabilize the results of all our hard work and AVOID the YO-YO once and for all. Try to stick to the tips below as honestly as possible and begin to steer clear of this hazardous trend.
No more gimmicks! Don’t waste your time with them. Fad diets, trendy fitness tools or anything out there that doesn’t come naturally and promises XX results in XX amount of time more often than not sets you up for something completely unsustainable. In most cases, even if you did reach or get close to your goals with these methods, as soon as you return to your regular habits, so do the pounds. There are always exceptions to every rule, of course, but the majority will need to find health and wellness strategies they can actually maintain long-term. Your best bet is investing your time and energy in something that influences your lifestyle in a positive and moderately impactful way rather than something aggressive or extreme that you will never want to try again.
Pace yourself. In my opinion, yo-yo dieting is a result of choices that encourage losing weight way too quickly. When this happens, your body has little time to adapt to the physical changes and you don’t really get a chance to establish any modifications to your overall habits. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself! There’s no reason to approach weight loss as a race for some miraculous end result. Instead, embrace the idea of making small healthy choices every day that help you feel better but also seem minimal at first. These adjustments to your daily routine may be subtle but as you accumulate them over time you’ll soon be looking at some significant results AND at a pace that is safe enough for you to reach and maintain them.
Pay attention to your clothing. The other side to dropping weight too quickly is the gradual increase of pounds and inches that we ignore which ultimately results in that yo-yo effect. Let’s be honest—our clothes talk to us much more quickly and much more effectively than anything else. For anyone who has swung on the pendulum of weight loss, you can probably recall a moment where (at your healthiest weight) your favorite jeans, dress or outfit suddenly felt a little snug. What I imagine happened after that, was a moment of discouragement or frustration that made you not want to try that article of clothing on again and suddenly, you’re headed down that slippery slope of denial. From now on, as you begin to drop the inches, commit to the loss and appreciate your accomplishments. With that pride, tell yourself “Never again!” (as I had declared) and get rid of every piece of clothing that no longer fits well. When your clothes that do fit feel a little tighter, let that be the bell that goes off to tell you to step back, adjust and reevaluate your habits again before it gets worse. Healthy living and losing weight is not a linear process. Allow yourself to rework your habits, adjust and slip now and again so you can learn your body and do what’s necessary as it—slowly—adapts to the new, healthier you.
Above all, I feel that it is important to note that yo-yo dieting can only exist if we remain in the dark and deny ourselves the truth about what’s happening to us and our bodies. Honesty and appreciation are essential when it comes to following advice and reaching goals. Even if you kept all of these tips in mind every single day, if you’re not seeing yourself clearly and not okay with the person you are, you won’t be able to distinguish what it is that you need to change. My husband has been my first main influence when it comes to this mindset which I continue to work on daily. I have always been overly concerned and overly sensitive to outside factors where he has a very direct and honest approach to life. He was the first to help me really be truthful with myself and appreciate my body for what it is because it’s mine and no one else’s. Commit to seeing things clearly and know how amazing your body is in what it does for you. Honesty will keep you true to yourself and appreciating your body will help you to always do right by it.