“Yo-yo dieting” also referred to as “weight cycling” or “crash dieting” are terms used to describe the extremely restrictive dieting method used by those who wish to lose those pesky pounds as quickly as possible. These types of dieting habits cannot be maintained long term as they are just as unrealistic as they are unhealthy. Consequently, following this type of diet often time leads too many of the same dangerous and unsuccessful attempts at weight loss (hence the term “yo-yo”).
If you were to ask those who have made the decision to lose weight, I believe most would be compelled to agree that the faster their weight loss process, ultimately the happier they would be. Unfortunately this thought process then can influence those desperately wishing to lose weight to look for that quick fix approach, drastically cutting calories most often seen as the go-to solution. This mentality of wanting to lose as much weight as possible in the shortest amount of time though may seem to work for a short period, in actuality can end up doing more harm than good. Not only is type of diet unhealthy and unsustainable for long term success this habit can also cause you to gain weight! As if that’s not bad enough, the habit of yo-yo dieting can make losing weight the correct way even more difficult in the future. Here are just a few reasons why: slow and steady wins the race when it comes to your weight loss goals!
- Your Metabolism Takes a Dive
Under eating wreaks havoc on your body’s ability to burn calories! Drastically cutting calories can put your body into starvation mode. As a way to conserve as much energy as possible, because you’re eating so little, your body will slow down your metabolism in order to burn fewer calories. Think of your metabolism like a bonfire and food like pieces of firewood. In order for your fire to grow and burn nice and bright, you have to constantly be putting wood on the fire. Otherwise, it will burn out.
- Bye Bye Energy and Motivation
Because your body isn’t getting the proper nutrition it needs and your metabolism has slowed down, unfortunately your energy levels are sure to follow. Your body requires fuel for all processes. Your brain, muscle tissue, hormones, metabolism are all relying on you to feed it proper nutrition and a sufficient amount of calories so that they all can perform their best for you! Without it, your bodies lack of fuel result in energy loss, fatigue, irritability, loss of motivation, confusion and dizziness to name a few!
- Muscle Mass Become a Thing Of The Past
Your poor muscles are starving! One of protein’s main purposes it to be broken down in the body into amino acids, which are the building blocks of our muscle tissue. Not eating an adequate amount of protein will not only inhibit muscle tissue growth but make maintaining the muscle you currently have a an impossible challenge. Additionally, when you severely restrict calories your body tries to compensate by burning other things besides body fat, like your muscles, for fuel. That means any weight loss you may see on the scale when following a starvation diet may not be just body fat but in fact precious muscle. Maintaining muscle mass is so important for maintaining your weight as well as metabolism because muscle tissue is an active, fat burning tissue! The more muscle you have in turn, the higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn in a day and ultimately the more calories you could consume without gaining any weight. It is easy to become fixated by the number you see on the scale, however when following a calorie restrictive diet those temporary pounds lost on the scale can end up costing you a lot more in the long term.
- Hungry is the New Norm
It may go without saying, but severely under eating will cause you to be hungry, pretty much all the time. But not only that, because you are starving your body, it is going to try to do anything it can not only to sustain itself but also increase its chances of getting fed. It attempts to do this by increasing the release of a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone”, is released primarily in the stomach signaling to the brain sensations of hunger.
It’s safe to say when It comes to the losing weight, choosing to do so in a healthy matter will always be the right decision. A healthy weight loss is roughly about a pound per week. Take a realistic approach when it comes making changes in your nutritional habits. Making healthy choices and learning to make them lifestyle habits as opposed to a quick fix will ensure help long term success. And also remember, losing weight does not have to mean eating LESS but simply eat BETTER.