Dangers of yo-yo dieting

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional. In my weightloss journey, I researched online for anything that may help me achieve a healthy weight. Many forums advised on the perils of yo-yo dieting and it seemed like a valid point so I searched for online articles on the subject and found many. This post is just a collection of what I learned through my research and my thoughts about yo-yo dieting.


Most people who are desparate to lose weight, would have tried different diet techniques that promise faster and easier results. But many dont realize that we're not just setting ourselves up for failure with these fad diets, but we are actually worsening our health. So I would like to discuss the dangers of yo-yo dieting in this post.

The term yo-yo dieting refers to the process where the person pursuing weight loss initially experiences limited success in losing the weight, but is usually unable to maintain the weight loss because of the inability to carry on with such low-calorie consumption for a longer time. Most regain the lost weight and pack on even more pounds.

This whole process of losing and gaining weight repeatedly over the years may cause some serious damage to the body. Many healthcare professionals mention the following as the dangers of yo-yo dieting:

* Loss of muscular strength

* Deficiency of Vitamin, iron, mineral etc due to low food intake

* Fainting, weakness and slowed heart rates

* High risk of heart diseases

* Messed up metabolism and blood pressure

* Memory and co-ordination issues

Starving yourselves to get 'thin' (and I use this term very loosely, because the parameters seem to very from person to person) is of no use if you're not going to be healthy to enjoy being 'thin'. So, IMHO, it is very important to choose a healthy way to lose weight. That is why I recommend visiting your physician first, and finding out if any other factor is keeping you from losing weight - like a thyroid or other harmonal imbalance. You can get your physician's or nutritionist's advise on a suitable meal plan for you. They'll be able to tailor a meal plan with correct calorie control for your blood sugar and pressure levels. Next, set yourselves some reasonable short-term goals. Unreasonable and infeasible goals dont drive you to success, they'll just drive you mad! Why would you want to set yourself up for failure at the very beginning with unreasonable goals?

The next thing that I recommend is to maintain a food journal - they will help you to keep track of your daily intake of food and if you feel you've crossed the calorie limits on a day and want to adjust your portion on the next day, it will aid you plan for the day's meal. I used to log my daily food intake regularly on the online food journal Myfitnesspal.com. I dont do it so religiously nowadays, but the one year that I did has taught me portion control like the back of my hand lol.

Now, with a tailor made meal plan, how can things go wrong? It can ofcourse, if you dont have the commitment to follow it through. I have no idea how one finds the inner strength to follow through a committed plan. But this is what I did to motivate myself to stick to the plan: I took a full length picture of myself and I pasted it on my dressing table mirror. There is no higher motivation than seeing your success physically. You may ask - wont the mirror show that? I dont know if it is just me, but I always seem fine in my mirror. Usually, I didnt even realize that I was huge when I used to see myself in the mirror. I guess my mind kinda blocked what it saw, IDK. Anyway, pictures - now they are the hard facts. They dont lie (unless you photoshop them lol). That was a huge inspiration for me to lose weight - I wanted to look good in the pictures.

Next thing - and for me this was (and still is) the hardest part - try to be more active. Sedentary lifestyle is very common in today's urban society. But we have to stop looking for excuses for not working out. I'm still learning this.

Finally - give yourself time. Dont rush the process. I know it sounds cliche'd, but you didnt put on the excess weight overnight. So dont expect it to melt away overnight. Accept that you have to do the hardwork and that there is no 'easy' solution.

All the best in your journey!!

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