Did you know that losing and gaining the same 10 to 20 pounds, over and over is bad for your health? This yo-yo dieting or weight cycling can alter your body composition in frustrating and even dangerous ways. Repeated weight gain and loss lowers the amount of muscle mass you have. This raises your body-fat percentage, lowers your body’s on going calorie burn, and reduces your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. All this is a setup for more weight gain and related health problems.
Muscle mass declines naturally with age; moving into your later years with a deficit due to weight cycling can leave you even weaker and more prone to balance problems. And if the extra body fat you’ve gained has settled around your mid-section, you’ll be at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, other researchers have found that yo-yo dieters have lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
If you’ve followed fad weight-loss plans- from the grapefruit diet to the low-carb craze to the low-fat craze- you may also have skimped on important nutrients like calcium or protein or the cornucopia of vitamins and antioxidants in fruit, veggies and whole grains.
Switching to a consistently healthy diet will end the yo-yo weight effect and adding strength training to your routine will rebuild muscle mass and get your metabolism back to where it belongs. The good news? All this can be achieved in a few months.
The obvious benefit is a sleeker, stronger, more energetic body – thanks to strength training, exercising will also improve your balance and prevent falls. Better nutrition will aid in lowering your risk for heart disease, diabetes and dying prematurely.
Here are some tips to turn this habit around:
Give up fad diets. It’s time to convince yourself once and for all that formal diets don’t work. Science shows over and over that short-term regimens or gimmicks to lose pounds fast aren’t healthy or sustainable. Eat healthy foods in healthy portions, and you’ll naturally get to a stable weight for your body. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for your age and body type.
Give up your feast-or-famine eating style. Instead, plan to have three normal size meals a day and three small snacks, too. Never allow yourself to get very hungry.
Focus on portion control. Most fad diets are built on demonizing certain foods or overstating the importance of others. But at the end of the day, only one thing matters for weight – whether you are eating too many calories. So rather than focusing on how much is on your plate. Portion control is the best method of all for losing weight. Learn to eat a little less at your meals, and the pounds will slowly but permanently disappear.
Rebuild lost muscle. Muscle is crucial to long life living and if yo-yo dieting has weakened you, you have an obligation to yourself to regain strength. Do something to challenge your muscles each and every day.
In summary, instead of a "diet" lifestyle we need to change our way of thinking to a "healthy" lifestyle. If we focus on eating healthy, rather than the latest diet crazes, and loosing that 5 or 10 pounds, just focus on eating healthier, by making better food choices, and your weight should take care of itself.
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