Practical Advice for Ending the Yo-Yo Dieting Roller Coaster

Yo-yo dieting is practically a national pastime. According to Fitness Magazine, an estimated 54 percent of people in the United States are currently trying to shed pounds while the typical dieter starts a new weight-loss plan four times a year. That’s a lot!

And these numbers aren’t just coincidental. In fact, they speak to the larger truth at hand. If more than half of the national population is on a quest to lose weight, why does the cycle keep repeating? Why do we have so much trouble keeping the weight off?

Our Approach is Half the Battle

First, let’s not discount the fact that our bodies are protective. When we lose weight, they often start to work against us by fighting to bring it back out of defensiveness. This process is driven by our hormones and metabolism, and it’s a big reason for why we struggle with weight.

But another part of the equation is the way we tackle our plans to lose weight. Most of us are probably guilty of fad diets, rushed efforts and all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to what we eat and how we exercise. To maintain progress, we need to think of weight-loss differently.

Tips for Breaking the Cycle

Abandon the Deadlines

If you have any expectations for the amount of weight you should lose by a certain date, nix them. Instead, focus on making your efforts stick rather than making them speedy.

Look to the Longer Journey

We often get caught-up in “right now.” With every weight-loss intention you set, ask yourself, “Can I stick to this long-term? Will it serve me well in the future?”

Eat with Moderation

Rather than sticking to a strict menu with little room for small indulgences, allow for moderation. This gives you balance and protects against uncontrollable cravings.

Include Other People

Never walk your weight-loss journey alone. Find support in your friends, family, a support group or even health professionals such as physicians, dietitians and counselors.

Make it a Lifestyle

Healthy eating, exercise and self-care shouldn’t be things you only do if you’re trying to lose weight. Think of them as lifestyle habits you want to cultivate and keep.

Ease-up on the Scale

It’s easy to become obsessed with the number on the scale and how often it moves. While you’re weight is important, it’s your health that truly matters. Focus on lifestyle changes that will make you healthier in mind, spirit and body. The scale doesn’t always reflect that.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain it, remember that all of this is part of the journey. Focus on health, making habits that stick and enjoying the ride. Your efforts will pay off!

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