Guest Post By Calvin Huynh
Here’s how to stop yo-yo dieting once and for all.
You’ll do something even more important than losing weight:
You’ll keep the weight off, once and for all.
You know how it goes. You lose a considerable amount of weight from trying a new diet or a new training program. But within a few weeks (and maybe faster!) the weight comes back like that clingy ex you just broke up with.
It all springs from misunderstanding the basics. Misinformation from companies with something to sell doesn’t help.
Stop the vicious cycle by downloading my free guide The Beginner’s Fat Loss Guide. It is a simple but effective guide to help you lose weight and keep it off — once and for all.
Right now, on to …
Reason #1: You Place Too Much Value on the Scale
Many people get so discouraged that they give up when the scale numbers go up. They place too much importance on a number on the scale, sometimes using it to measure their self-worth.
They may be trying to get back to their high school weight or trying to emulate fitness models.
But the scale is terrible at tracking pure fat loss. You could lose weight and not be losing fat. You could also be losing fat and be gaining weight.
Why does the scale fluctuate? There could be many reasons including time of day, meal timing, restroom patterns, sodium intake, carb intake, water intake, menstrual cycles, hormonal changes, muscle growth, or alcohol consumption.
Any of these factors alone can tip the scale as high as an extra 1-3lbs. No wonder that stupid number keeps bouncing back up. Your body does this by retaining water, nutrients, and body contents. Keep in mind that these factors are part of everyday life and are completely normal. None of them will make you fat. (Yes, not even alcohol will make you fat.) But if you place too much value on a scale number, you will get discouraged and begin binging. And that which will cause you to gain fat!
Here’s what to do: Learn that the scale is not that important. It’s a good indicator of long term progress, but don’t check it too often especially, if you have a bad relationship with it. A better way to track is by taking progress pictures or waist measurements.
Reason #2: You Don’t Understand How Diets Work
Many people will be successful with a particular diet that restricts a certain group of foods. The moment they start bringing those foods back into their lives, they begin to gain weight. They mistakenly conclude that the food made them get fat.
But the real reason you lost weight was simply that you ate fewer calories while you were “on the diet.” It doesn’t matter whether your diet is low carb, low fat, paleo, or keto. Any diet will work if you are in a “caloric deficit”, a fancy way of saying you are burning more calories than you are eating.
If you were successful with a particular diet, it’s not necessarily because you cut out certain foods. More likely, it’s because that diet forced you to eat less calorically dense foods, resulting in in a caloric deficit. If the scale numbers creep back up, it’s because you didn’t understand why you succeeded in the first place. It’s not because “carbs make you fat.”
Here’s what to do: When coming off of a restricted diet, be sure to adjust portions. By adding back a certain food group you are adding back calories. You need to compensate by reducing other calories. Eat what you like. Just plan ahead and adjust portions to match your goals.
Reason #3: You’re Losing More Than Just Fat
When you lose mostly fat steadily, the weight is more likely to stay off. If you are putting back a lot of the weight you lost it could be because the weight you gained back was either water, muscle, or glycogen.
Extreme measures like waist wraps and fad diets make you lose a ton of scale weight. But the weight comes back up as soon as you rehydrate. That’s because what you lost was mostly muscle and water, not fat.
Worst, fad diets with excessive caloric restriction deprive you of essential nutrients. You lack the energy to train properly and your hormones can get out of whack. That’s why fad diets are unsustainable.
Here’s what to do: Put a priority on strength/resistance training a few days a week. Understand that steady fat loss will be more effective than dramatic methods. Eat enough protein to hang on to the muscle you currently have. Aim for 1-3 lbs of weight loss each week instead of the 20lbs that Kim Kardashian’s diet promises.
Reason #4: You’re Not Addressing Bad Habits
If you get sick a couple of times a year, it’s normal and a little bit of medicine will get you through the day.
If you get sick dozens of times a year, medicine will still probably get you through the day. But you should also tackle lifestyle issues that may be contributing to your poor health. So make sure you get enough sleep and avoid bad nutritional habits like emotional eating, binging from stress, trigger foods, or not listening to hunger/fullness signals.
Here’s what to do: Learn which bad habits you might have. Take action on them while you are losing weight. For example, if you had a bad habit with not being mindful of fullness signals, your action steps would be to:
– eat more slowly
– drink more water when you eat
– eat t less often in front of a screen.
This ensures when your current diet ends, you won’t regain all the lost weight. You will have the healthy lifestyle habits required to maintain your weight. And you can then decide whether to lose more weight or move into to a muscle building phase.
More than 90% of people who lose weight fail to keep it off. Don’t be among them!
You’ve heard of the wealthy 1%? Well, how about being among the healthy 10% who keep off the weight they lose?
It has been done. It can be done. And you can do it, too. You now you have the correct tools.
Don’t confuse your worth as a person with a number on a scale. Understand how dieting works. Focus on losing fat steadily. Correct bad habits that have been hanging around for too long.
If you do this, the weight really will come off — and stay off — once and for all.
P.S. Need a place to start your weight loss journey? Download my free Beginner’s Fat Loss Guide.
About The Author
Calvin Huynh is a California trainer who creates custom online programs for busy people who may not have been in the jock crowd in high school but want to lose weight and get stronger and happier. He blogs at Calvin Huynh Fitness.