When we go on a diet we seldom think about the fast weight gain experienced afterwards. More formally it's known as weight cycling...you lose you gain, it's that typical yo yo dieting pattern that's so common because of unhealthy dieting. The other time you are likely to experience fast weight gain is if you have been really ill.
But here's the typical dieting pattern....You're thrilled as punch, you've been on diet, you've been really 'good', the scale is your friend, and you've hit your goal weight, you're loving your new body, you're feeling great. Know what I mean? The farthest thing from your mind is weight rebound. And it's pretty devastating when that fast weight gain starts.
Yet to your horror the dress size you dropped starts to find you again. Does this sound familiar? If it does...there's some consolation: you're not alone - weight cycling is common, common,common. (Yeah, I know it really isn't much of a consolation is it?) In fact, it's pretty much a guarantee of dieting!
I used to think it was just that my fat and I were such good friends that we couldn't bear to be parted from me for long! The same applies to Oprah Winfrey her weight has yo-yo'ed between 150 pounds (she achieved this fter losing 67 pounds after eating no solid food for several months) and 237 pounds. In 2006, during a thin cycle, she weighed 160; in 2009 she was back at 200 pounds.
But this really is the same old, same old pattern dieters all over the world experience. Seriously, though, once you know the why you're regaining weight - you'll know that diets don't work because they can't....at least not in the long run.
The problem is - all those lose weight quick diets mess with your metabolism, in a way thats changes your body composition which is a pretty good reason never to diet again.
Well ...along comes life: your cat gets run over, you catch your child taking drugs or your husband having an affair, your best friend gets cancer or whatever. Next think you know, you're a-heading for the fridge. If you've used food for emotional reasons: to sooth or numb your pain - no diet in the world is going to help you change that because you haven't changed your underlying thoughts. It's not your body that needs to go on diet, it's your diet mentality that needs to change.
Now stop a moment and picture this. When the diet fails you and you tell yourself you're the diet failure , what are all the things you find yourself binge-eating?
All those 'diet foods' or so-called 'good foods' like carrots? Lettuce? Brocolli? Not a chance!
Naturally you gravitate towards all the so-called 'bad foods' - the stuff not on your eating guidelines of diet foods. Donuts, chocolate, candy, cookies and so on. All the foods you were deprived of. PS.... just so you know, there are no 'bad foods' there are just foods that have more or less nutrition. Saying foods are bad means you can't eat them - and anytime you can't eat them, that's when you crave them. This is the start of weight cycling because you're eating high calorie foods at a time that dieting has slowed your metabolism.
Slowed metabolism + high calorie foods = fast weight gain.
Please note it's dieting that has created both the slowed metabolism and the craving for high calorie foods. In addition, our body doesn't know when you're going to starve it again and will do everything it can to hold onto the calories you're now giving it to return to its setpoint because there are so many weight loss advice myths out there and one of them is that we need to be thin to be healthy. Not so! Fat people live the longest.
When my only focus was getting thin, I had very black and white thinking. This is not good thinking when it comes to weight cycling.
Many people who struggle with yo yo dieting are high achievers with perfectionistic tendencies. This means that they maintain control exceedingly well, but when they finally break even one dietary rule they get the "what the heck syndrome". What the heck, I've blown it - I may as well do a really good job. And so they prepare for the next episode of dieting by eating all the foods they aren't going to eat again. What the authors of Intuitive Eating call 'the Last Supper syndrome'.
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