How to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

Are you constantly losing weight—only to gain it back again? You might be starting to wonder if you'd be better off just accepting your belly rolls. But we promise, the perils of being overweight still outweigh the risks of yo-yoing.

So how do you quit the cycle for good? It is possible:

Be realistic
"Make sure your diet is one you can stick with," says Anne Fletcher, R.D., author of Thin for Life. No crash diets or fads that will be impossible to maintain. In fact, reconsider the whole notion of dieting as a temporary fix. Think of what you're doing as a permanent lifestyle shift: "This is how I eat now."

Be patient
Don't try to lose too much too soon. A healthy goal for slimming down, according to the National Institutes of Health, is to reduce your weight by approximately 10 percent over six months.

Be supported
Researchers have found that socializing with others who have successfully lost weight improves your odds of maintaining your own weight loss. So enlist a buddy or join a group.

Be analytical
Record your mood changes and hunger levels so you can learn to distinguish when you're eating for emotional reasons. 

Be vigilant
"If you lose 30 pounds and then gain three, it's easy to think that's no big deal. But it's a slippery slope," says Gary Foster, Ph.D., director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia. Especially if you have a history of yo-yoing. Weigh yourself weekly, and have a clear plan of action ready if the scale swings too far. 

Be flexible
"Switch eating plans if you get bored," says Michael Dansinger, M.D., weight-loss and nutrition advisor for The Biggest Loser and assistant professor at Tufts School of Medicine in Boston. Research indicates you're more likely to be successful. 

Be active
Besides consuming a low-calorie, low-fat diet and being mindful about self-monitoring, you must exercise. This is the key strategy that keeps the 6,000 members of the National Weight Control Registry (an ongoing study of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a year) from regaining weight. That doesn't mean you have to train for a marathon: Half an hour of walking every day is all you need to burn calories, build muscle, temper cravings, and increase "feel good" endorphin levels. 

Be optimistic
"One of the most important tips for being a successful weight loser is not to let past failed attempts keep you from trying again," Dansinger says. "Every time you fail, you get more insight about what to do differently next time."


Post a Comment