I have read my previous post of weight cycling, or the so-called yo-yo effect, and decided I have some more tips to share. So, the yo-yo weight effect or yo-yo dieting is a condition when a person loses weight, but then gains it back pretty quickly, and as the result may weight even more than before starting a diet.
Yo-Yo Dieting vs Workouts
If you have already googled yo-yo effect, you have probably noticed that there is “yo-yo dieting” term, but not “yo-yo workout” or “yo-yo fitness” effect. There is a sound reason behind it. In most cases, when we start workouts to lose weight and reduce fat, we can’t do a very lot to burn tons of calories at once.
So we do physical training starting from smaller and moving to bigger. Fat gets burned GRADUALLY, that’s the key. Moreover, with each workout, even light one, we strengthen the muscles, so they continue burning fat long after the workout session is over.
Most people believe that only their weakness and lack of character don’t allow them to reach the result they want.
Shock! To Lose 20 Kgs In Two Weeks, Just Eat Two Spoons Of…
A totally different shit happens when most people decide to jump into another crash diet, to have it all right now. They don’t care they have been gaining their 20+ kgs during all their life, that it is impossible for the body to lose this amount healthy in a month. Nope, they see another advertising “To lose 20kgs in two weeks, you simply have to eat two spoons of…”, and the party begins.
Another fad diet is followed for a week or two, the body gets no proper nutrition, eats its own muscle and skin, and starts to reduce its expenses on underskin fat because the “master” obviously went crazy and god knows when they both manage to eat normally.
What I like most about these newbies’ is their blind determination. “I have been eating excessively all my 40+ years, now I am starting a new life, and in two weeks I will eat only apples to reduce all fat. No, eating anything at all seems not efficient enough, I think I shall try fasting”. And they do!
Fasting Is A Bad Idea
Fasting is a complicated practice and one should do that only after he is totally ready, both physiologically, and psychologically. Not all people who may be considered ready actually try fasting. But newbies regard this option as one of the basic things they must try, not an extreme, but a must-have.
After one or two weeks of fad diet – or fasting! – the number of calories the body can afford itself to burn is reduced and starts to match the number of calories the person consumes. In fact, the person sees that he/she continues to suffer from hunger and discomfort, but nothing happens anymore.
The weight does not go down, so all the struggling becomes useless. In most cases, people become depressed and start eating as usual. Some become so disappointed in all this nonsense that they plunge into binge eating. And here comes the yo-yo part.
NOBODY, unless forced by a situation (like being lost in the desert, or becoming a monk) will be able to tolerate a low quality of life, depriving themselves of comfort for a long period of time.
Four Definite Negative Effects of Yo-Yo Dieting
Doctors and researchers still do not have a shared opinion on whether the weight cycling is so harmful for health. Some say it creates additional problems for heart and liver, others say it doesn’t.
In terms of appearance, however, there are two main totally negative effects that yo-yo dieting has. The first effect is stretch marks on the skin. Overall, women are prone to this more than men, but weight cycling leads most people to become “tigers”, especially in places where most fat tissue is concentrated – on the belly, on the back and sides, on hips, on upper arms even. Obviously, stretch marks do not add to your attractiveness and beauty.
Boobs Go Away
The second effect is more about girls than boys, especially younger girls. Due to heredity, constitution, and proper endocrine profile, many girls have a beautiful shape despite being somewhat overweight. They have nice breasts, a small waist, and wide hips, their underskin fat layer is even and not bumpy, skin is smooth and clear.
However, many of them make attempts to lose weight, to meet the modern beauty standards and to see the desired number on the scale. And here, only one, single weight swing can send their endocrine profile into a spin. Fat tissue cells may lose some of their qualities due to hormonal changes and chemical processes in the body.
When such a girl gains her weight back, she might notice she lost her boobs. Her hips and belly may be as they were, but no boobs now. Or no waist. Or massive cellulite all over the body. So if you have a stunning shape and you are only concerned that it does not fit into beauty standards, think twice. You may end up with the same weight, but merely shapeless.
The third effect that yo-yo dieting has is that each time, the weight that is gained may exceed the initial weight, but the problem is that each time, it is even harder to lose weight at all. The metabolism slows down, the body is stressed with hunger period and hides each calorie it can get and puts it into a vault (yes, your butt). Each next diet scares the crap out of the body (don’t get me wrong here; however, with fitness teas, it can literally do so), and the body resists to burning its precious fat.
Self-Esteem Goes Down The Toilet
The fourth negative effect of the yo-yo dieting is despair and disappointment, and also your self-esteem lower than your floor. Most people believe that only their weakness and lack of character don’t allow them to reach the result they want. If only they could tolerate fasting for one more week! If only they could live off of only water and dry bread for another month! It is only they to blame, nobody else.
It is important to understand that IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, it is the only possible scenario. NOBODY, unless forced by a situation (like being lost in the desert, or becoming a monk) will be able to tolerate a low quality of life, depriving themselves of comfort for a long period of time. The body mechanisms are the same, and in 99% of cases, they do the same to all people, in the same situation. So, to avoid depression and inability to believe in yourself, avoid yo-yo dieting.
How To Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting
The first thing everyone has to remember is that it is always better to stick to a long-term strategy instead of planning to lose 10 kgs in a week. Do not put unrealistic deadlines, and you won’t have to disrupt them.
So, if you want not only to lose weight but to keep the result:
- stick to the plan. Follow your plan step by step, make sure you are able to live according to it for a long time (a month at least), without dropping your quality of life in the toilet
- NEVER RESTRICT YOURSELF MORE than it was according to your plan. If you limit the number of consumed calories too much, your body will “get scared” and will reduce the amount of fat burning immediately
- NEVER TOLERATE HUNGER UNLESS YOU ARE COMFORTABLE. If you are on a walk, or on an event, and feel that you are a bit hungry but that doesn’t matter much – you can wait a bit more until your meal. If you are roaring hungry, never try to tolerate this condition. You risk fainting due to the levels of sugar dropping in your blood.
- protein is your best friend. Eat proteins (eggs, meat, fish, beans, cheese) with each meal. You will provide muscles and other tissues with nutrition and building material, meaning the body will not chew on its own muscles or skin.
- try to eat your breakfast, at least a fruit and a cup of tea. Never skip your dinner, so keep the steady level of sugar in the blood and thus avoiding the binge eating late at night.
- If you crave some foods, do not limit yourself, this is a stupid solution that leads only to frustration. You have two options – to fill your stomach with healthy foods first, and then enjoy some food you want so much! OR replace one food with another (like nuts instead of chips, fruit ice instead of ice-cream, boiled chicken instead of hamburger, etc).
- find out WHY you eat. Are you hungry? Is it time for a meal, or you just snack? Maybe you are bored? Maybe you are stressed out or angry? If you find out that the reason for eating is not hunger, do not forbid yourself to eat immediately, this will only increase your stress. Calm down first, do something else, relax, and then go and have a snack.
Basically, most amateurs in weight loss face the weight cycling problem, which means they really need more education in the field. Or, what is even better – to find a reliable nutrition expert and fitness coach. But even those professionals can’t sit at night under your fridge to prevent you from stuffing your face hysterically after you had a quarrel with your Mom.