Losing weight and gaining weight. It seems like an endless cycle. Is that true though? Let’s talk about yo yo dieting and my 5 tips to quit yo yo dieting for good.
What is yo yo dieting?
For those who are unsure of what yo yo dieting is, here is a little explaination. Yo yo dieting is also known as weight cycling, referencing to the loss and gain of weight. The yo yo is used as a metaphor as it goes up and down all the time. When you are dieting you are succesful in losing the weight that you want at a first glance, but long term it seems that the dieter is becoming unsuccesful and begins to gain the lost weight back on. Then the dieter begins to look into new ways of losing the weight again and the whole cycle starts again.
How does yo yo dieting work?
So what happens here exactly? Well, first off it is the whole thing about following a diet. A diet is per definition something that is a short term approach. Most women (and men too) will starve themselves by undereating so that they will loose the weight. And of course they do, because as long as you eat less than what you burn you will loose the weight (though there are some hormonal exceptions). The diet is something that is not maintainable. So as soon as it is done, or people loose motivation, they will get back in their old pattern or just eating as they always have been doing. Which results into getting back on the weight.
I am going to start again on Monday
Hopefully you are with me that living this way is a no go. And don’t put yourself down just because you have been living like this before. I did too, I know. I lived with the ‘okay this Monday I am really going to start with diet A/B/C’. And then I would starve myself for a couple of weeks. Or I would have been ‘good’ during the work week and then I would binge on the weekends, eating everything that I have lost during the week and probably even more. Then I would feel so guilty that I would start again on Monday and the whole cycle starts again. Sounds familiar?
Out of control
I felt out of control when it came to food and diets. I thought I had to follow a diet to at least get some structure. To have guidance in what I should be eating. Because if I were to do it on my own, it could never be good. Or I would never loose the weight. Right? There are hundreds of YouTube video’s and blogs telling me how and what I should be eating, contradicting each other all the time as well. Or people telling me what and when I should be eating. They still do even, telling me ‘you don’t eat a lot do you?’ ‘wow are you eating again? You eat a lot!’ ‘what is that rabbit food?’ ‘can’t you just eat normally?’ It got me confused and frustrated. And nowhere even near to where I wanted to be.
Losing weight without yo yo dieting
And yet I still wanted to get where I wanted to be. Be lean and healthy and thriving and without the yo yo dieting and restricted thoughts around food. I didn’t want to follow the next big diet and I even wanted to hear less from people and their opinions about me, unless they are a accredited nutritionist and had the best intentions for me.
The mindset of a yo yo dieter
Of course, you have that goal too. And yet you keep on falling back into the same yo yo dieting cycle. Thinking and doing things like:
- Tracking everything you eat (or don’t when the plan isn’t working)
- You want to know what other people eat exactly and what they weigh
- You are restricting yourself from eating certain food groups like sugar, dairy, fat and gluten (unless you are intolerant of course)
- You are telling yourself you need to get back on track, or that you are in or out of shape.
- You are always starting again on Monday and giving up on Fridays.
- You eat good during the week and ‘bad’ during the weekend
- You have good and you have bad days
My 5 tips to quit yo yo dieting and losing weight long term
Does this resonate with you? And is this what you want to change? Stop the yo yo dieting? Just eating and using food as fuel? Great! Let me share how you can start doing that from today. Take it day by day, take small steps and you will realize that this sets you up for the long run!
- Take it day by day. What can you do and commit to for just today to eat and live healthy?
- Ask yourself: given what I ate and how much I ate during my last meal and what I have been doing since then, do I really need to fuel my body? Think about this logically and resist your body telling you it is time for your sugar rush.
- Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full
- Eat your food mindfully and without any distractions
- Use mantra’s like ‘I can do this’ or ‘I am making healthy (food) choices’ on moments when you have the urge to fall of the band wagon.