Losing weight is hard – keeping it off is even harder. There’s nothing worse than shedding all of your unwanted pounds – reaching your goals and feeling like you’re on top of the world – only to gain every ounce back.
Actually, there is: putting on even more weight than when you started the program. It’s a very common phenomenon amongst most dieters. As such, this article will focus on why this happens and what you can do about it.
Let’s start with the why…
In general, we’re all a bit greedy. And when it comes to weight loss, we’re even greedier. We want those pounds and inches to go away… yesterday. So, it’s no surprise we’ll do anything to speed up the process. And while there are healthy ways to go about this, most people push the envelope too far. As a result:
- They do lose the weight much faster – but at the expense of their lean mass. In other words, they lose too much muscle in relation fat. So, even though they might weigh less, they’re actually “fatter” (i.e. their body fat percentage is higher). This is extremely important to consider and we’ll discuss it in moment. But first, let’s go over the next point…
- In order to achieve this rapid weight loss they have to severely restrict calories. Furthermore, they deprive themselves of all the things they enjoy (yes, sometimes it’s good to indulge – even if it’s junk food – just to keep you sane and on track).
Alright, now here’s what ultimately happens…
Because these dieters are now fatter (even though they weigh less) their metabolism is slower. That’s because lean mass is more metabolically active than fat mass. In other words, a pound of muscle will burn more calories – even while you’re resting – than a pound of fat. Therefore you want to have as much muscle on your frame in relation to fat as possible (i.e. a low body fat percentage).
Now, couple that with the fact that when someone goes off a diet, they tend to binge on all the foods they deprived themselves of and you get a perfect storm. They take in more calories, more of the wrong calories, and with a metabolism that’s slower than it was before the diet.
The end result?
All that weight comes rushing back. But it doesn’t stop there. Their lower metabolism can’t keep up with all those calories so they end up packing even more pounds. This is the classic yo-yo dieting cycle that, as mentioned at the start of this article, plagues the majority of dieters.
With that said, let’s discuss how to put an end to this to achieve lasting results…
For starters, be patient. It’s understandable to want to shed the weight as fast as possible, but look at this this way: when done right, every pound that comes off will stay off (for good). That’s because not only will you be losing mostly fat, you’ll also be forming good habits that will carry you through the rest of your days. Finally, you won’t need to deprive yourself, and thus, won’t feel the need to binge the first chance you get.
Next, get on a sensible program. This shouldn’t be a crash diet. It should be something you can do for the rest of your life. Because… at the end of the day, this is biggest secret to lasting weight loss: if you can’t stay on the program that caused you to shed the pounds – for life – you’re destined to put them on again.
As such, what you choose should be:
- Not restrictive.
- Compatible with your personality and overall lifestyle.
And for more information on choosing the right diet plan for you, be sure to read this article. By doing so (and acting on the advice within) you’ll be able to end, or completely avoid the yo-yo diet traps that will keep you fat.