If you are trying to lose weight, this most likely sounds familiar to you: You lose weight and you gain weight, you lose and you gain. Nothing really seems to help. It's frustrating and it's pushing your self-esteem to the ground.
Know that you are not the only one caught in this vicious cycle of yoyo-dieting. For most people, diets don't work. Did you know that 95% of all people going on a diet never achieve permanent weight loss?
There are two reasons for that: Those fad diets are designed for short-term weight loss. And they don't teach you what you need to know to achieve long-term weight loss.
To break the yoyo-diet-cycle, you need to understand three things:
how your body works and what dieting does to it what is really leading to permanent weight loss how you can maintain your new weight
1. How does your body work and what does dieting do to it?
Your body assumes your current weight is its normal weight. If you go on a crash diet with tiny portions, it will suspect a famine and try to protect itself. Every calorie it can spare is then stored.
Additionally, restrictive diets can easily cause a lack of certain nutrients. All foods (except plain fatty and sugary foods) naturally are part of your diet, and all of them provide you with important nutrients you need. That's why diets make you feel tired, irritable and miserable.
When you stop dieting, your body rejoices that food is available again - and tries its utmost to restore its previous weight. Meaning: When you diet, you work against your body, and your body works against you. That's why crash diets don't achieve long-term weight loss.
2. What does really lead to permanent weight loss?
Your current lifestyle caused your overweight. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to determine what precisely made you gain weight, and you need to eliminate it. Not for a few weeks, but through permanent lifestyle changes.
As strange as it sounds, the most effective way to lose weight is changing your habits. Replace the habits that made you fat (eating lots of fast food and sweets, eating for the joy of eating, zero physical activity) with healthier habits (eating foods rich in nutrients rather than calories, e.g. fruit, vegetables and grains, reasonable portions, more physical activity).
It will take time, but it will be much more effective and much healthier than crash diets. Your body needs slow changes. It needs to get used to a different diet and more physical activity. If you lose weight gradually, you give your body time to adapt its self-image and accept the new "default weight".
3. How can you maintain your new weight?
If you lose weight through taking up healthier habits, you got a very good chance to keep your new weight for a long time, because you made lasting changes. You adapted a healthier lifestyle. You have learned to make healthy food choices, have adapted healthier eating habits, and you are active on a regular basis. You have successfully eliminated the causes of your overweight.
Now, all you need to do to maintain your healthy weight is to continue living this healthy life. And since you have made this your habit, this is now easy. This healthy lifestyle is your life now, and you happily live it without even having to think about what to do. That's how easy it can be.
Losing weight will always require lots of commitment from your side. You need the will to make changes, and you need to make them. But with this strategy, everyone should be able to achieve permanent weight loss. The most crucial factor for success is to ensure that your new healthier lifestyle is so great that you don't miss the old one. Change your lifestyle instead of dieting, and losing weight can even be fun.