It is a tale as old as time. You start a diet, lose 10 pounds, stop the diet and gain it all back, plus some. Eek! This happens over and over again, up and down, up and down. The scale is constantly moving, but you're never really getting anywhere.
The number one reason why yo-yo dieting happens is that dieters don't treat dieting as a lifestyle change. Instead, they look at it as a short-term routine they'll have to put up with for a while to get specific benefits.
But the problem here should be obvious. If you only diet until you've lost weight and then go back to your old ways, you'll go back to your old weight as well. There's a reason why you ended up that way in the first place, after all.
So, when you're coming up with a nutritious way to eat, don't think of it as a temporary diet that you'll do until you see results. Think of it as a permanent lifestyle shift you're making. Since you're trying to create a new lifestyle for yourself, you've got to come up with something that you can stick to long term and feel happy with.
The Dangers of Restriction/Elimination
Whether you are restricting carbs, fat or calories, most diets require a restriction or elimination of some sort. While restricting certain foods may initially result in some weight loss, long-term food restriction or elimination can cause psychological stress, negatively impact your relationship with food, and damage your eating behaviors long term.
From a neuroscience perspective, we know that food restriction actually increases the reward value of that food. There is no pleasure, joy or ease about going on a restrictive diet, which ultimately causes us to desire those restricted foods even more. Caving into those cravings over and over can leave you feeling worthless and guilty, which can have a major impact on your confidence.
Because of its powerful impact on appetite, cravings, and your brain's reward system, dieting is also a big trigger for overeating and binge eating. The binging cycle is self-reinforcing and always starts with restrictive dieting and ends with shame, guilt, decreased self-esteem, and weight gain.
Work on Changing Your Behaviors + Habits
There is no one size fits all diet, exercise plan, sleep routine, stress management strategy or life satisfaction plan that works for everyone. Figuring out the best healthy lifestyle plan that works for you takes motivation, support, and experimentation.
Need help? Visit your local NUTRISHOP store and speak with a nutrition consultant about your goals and get on a meal plan that works for you!
– By Dr. Oemil Rodriguez, MD, Bio-identical Hormone and Nutrition Specialist