For a lot of women, losing weight is challenging but the even greater challenge is keeping it off. The term “yo-yo dieting” was coined by Kelly D. Brownell, scientist, professor, and internationally renowned expert on obesity, referring to the cyclical up-down motion of a yo-yo. The dieter starts off doing well and loses the weight but then they can’t keep it off, long-term, and then ends up gaining it back. The dieter then starts over again and the cycle begins again.
A better approach to losing weight and then keeping it off is to make long term lifestyle changes, such as exercising more and eating healthier food. Rather than go on a diet for a short time and then risk gaining the weight when the diet is over, it is better to make changes that can be sustained in the long run.
The following are the main reasons why people fail at losing weight and keeping it off:
Diets Are Hard To Do
Most diets involve a significant change in a person’s normal eating habits over an extended period of time. But habits die hard; we cling to them because they fit in with our lifestyle and the people around us.
And changing something that is second nature to us very often results in stress – especially if that change is at odds with the habits of those in our social and family world.
Dieting is also hard because it relies on our willpower to keep us on the right track. Willpower is often very strong at the start of a diet when we are desperate to change, but it can ebb and flow with the state of our health and the pressures and triggers of day-to-day life.
Dieters rarely think of rehearsing how they will manage in difficult situations such as going out to dinner with friends; they just hope their willpower will hold up and punish themselves if it doesn’t. Willpower is hard to maintain for extended periods of time, especially if our dietary rules are too strict. There’s also the danger that when we feel like we’ve made some progress in our diet, we become less inclined to put ourselves through the struggle of restricting our food.
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