Weight management is a struggle for many people and while a healthy focus on weight loss is necessary to help our country’s growing obesity epidemic, some measures for weight loss need to come with caution tape!
Yo-yo dieting, which is repeatedly losing and regaining weight, has been proven to be detrimental to our health.Yo-yo dieting has been linked to higher weight after each weight loss attempt, increased risk for heart disease, slower metabolism, and increased risk for depression, body image dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. When someone loses weight, especially quickly, it is often lean muscle and water. After ditching the diet, the weight creeps back on as fat which usually settles in the abdomen. It is well-known that abdominal fat is linked to increased risk for heart disease and insulin resistance.
On the other hand, numerous studies have shown that modest weight loss for someone who is overweight or obese can improve many factors related to their health including cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure and so on. It is vital though when we are looking at lifestyle changes for weight management that we not only focused on decreased numbers on the scale but also on long-term success.
When looking to change your diet and lifestyle habits to lose weight, focus on making changes that are sustainable. You should be able to picture yourself following this pattern for over 1 year. Start with small changes and build on them over time. Remember, SMALL CHANGES can add up to BIG CHANGES! Zone in on your motivation and keep that somewhere visible to remind yourself why you are making these changes.
The National Weight Control Registry has followed more than 10,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept if off for at least 1 year. Some of the lifestyle changes that these people have in common include:
90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day
78% eat breakfast daily
75% weigh themselves at least once a week
62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week
SO forget the fad diets and yo-yo weight cycling! Yo-yo dieting focuses on short-term change for short-lived results. Healthy food choices, increased movement, and a healthy attitude will always prevail as the winner for our health.
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