The Yo Yo
by George Pierce
Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The "Yo Yo Effect" in weight loss means your body's tendency to go down in weight and then back up in weight, like a yo yo. Why does this happen? Why so easily? Why do we seem to gain even more weight back than we lose?
The "Yo Yo Effect" will likely happen when you make a change in diet and/or exercise and then revert back to your old ways. Your body does not readily and willingly accept a diet very well, and thinks that you are having trouble finding food, so it goes into a "starvation mode".
This starvation mode means that your body knows that you have been losing weight and thinks that losing weight means starvation, so it tenaciously hangs on to that which you are trying to lose, and to hang onto it harder than ever. This is one of the reasons why you and everyone else tend to reach "plateaus" during weight loss. Our bodies have to adjust to a lower intake of food, carbs, calories, fat grams, etc. When your body does adjust (realizes that this new reduced intake is 'normal' and not starvation, then you will start to shed more weight again.
"Plateaus" are like Weight Loss Barricades:
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The fact that you can "plateau", both physically and even mentally when losing weight are a result of your body's natural response to weight loss. This plateau effect, however, often makes your weight loss efforts frustrating, since you find yourself working hard to lose weight and "nothing seems to be happening".
What happens to you? Frustrated, angry, disappointed, aggravated, negative, and unhappy, you are ready to quit. Your results seem to be none since you are stuck, temporarily, at a plateau. Your body is just doing what it is supposed to be doing...but...you may feel as if you have reached a dead end. You must have chosen another one of those diet plans that works for everyone else, but not for you! Wrong! You need to give your body time to adjust, and have faith that you have made a good decisions regarding weight loss and you need to stick with your decisions.
What does all this have to do with the YoYo Effect?
Most of us have all kinds of good reasons (EXCUSES), why we stopped our weight loss plan. More often than not, you are more likely to stop or quit, when you are at a plateau. Your body has not yet adjusted to your lowered intake, so it is still in "starvation mode", and if you revert back to your old ways, your body may tend to store even more reserves than before! Your body is protecting you from starvation, so it is simply doing what is natural. Whatever weight loss that you have achieved may rapidly come back and then some.
One simple trick:
Most of us do quite well with our weight loss efforts, initially. Initially? How long is initially? For most of us, at least, it is until we hit that first plateau.
To keep from quitting and later to maintain, say to yourself " I have invested all this time, all this effort, all this thought, will power, fortitude, dedication, etc., and I am not about to "throw it all away".
"I know I need to lose weight (during the weight loss part), and I know that I need to keep the weight off (during the maintenance part), and I must protect my investment. I have too much at stake to quit."
The Yo Yo Effect reflects your feelings about Weight Loss!??
A study by Baylor College School revealed the fact that 95% of people that lose 40 or more pounds, are likely to gain this lost weight back. Certain factors were found that contributed to the 95% that gained the weight. Certain factors were found that contributed to the 5% that maintained their weight loss.
The 95% that regained the weight had negative feelings about their weight loss, their weight loss abilities and/or their weight loss choices. These negative feelings also allowed excuses like work or personal reasons to interfere with exercising. They used stress, work, too busy, etc. as excuses to being consistent with new eating habits. Instead of coping or correcting these problems, excuses were offered.
Two other negatives that the 95% were guilty of were "testing themselves" and "returning to old habits".
Testing ourselves when on a diet is normal....what can you get away with regarding eating and exercise. The problem is that the 95% fail to draw the line. Finding out what you can get away with, can easily get out of hand.
Returning to old habits is simple to do. Returning to restaurants with delicious meals that you cannot eat and returning to fast food restaurants and returning to junk food snacks are some of the most common back sliding events. Returning to these old habits for a brief visit on rare occasion may be alright, but the 95% return and stay...arghhh!
What are some of the factors that were found that contributed to the ability of the 5% to maintain?
The reason for your weight loss has a lot to do with the fact that your weight loss will be permanent or temporary. If you are losing weight for summer or a class re-union or wedding or the like, your weight loss will be temporary (in most cases). If you are losing weight for yourself or your family, your likelihood of maintenance of higher.
Enjoying whatever exercise you have chosen will greatly improve your chances of being able to succeed with your weight loss goals and to be able to maintain. If your exercising is a major chore, can you make changes so that it is not a chore, or even chose a new type of exercise? The same applies to your eating regimen.
Enjoying weight loss benefits has a lot to do with your weight loss becoming permanent. Weight loss benefits can range from feeling good about the way you look, enjoying wearing smaller sizes, being able to move, walk, run, breathe, bend over, swim, dance, bowl, play with your kids, and more.
Need more help to stay on track?
By faith, I mean faith in yourself and faith in your decision or choice as to which weight loss method or plan is best for you. First, take your time and do your research, so that your weight loss choice will be the one that works, actually, the one that works best for you.
Doing a good job, even before you start your weight loss plan, will insure that you do choose a plan that works and one that best fits your lifestyle. How this helps you, is that you already know that you have made a good choice, before you even start. Thus, you can have faith in your decision. Faith will prove to be a helpful tool in your weight loss arsenal.
Your faith in your decision will be tested, especially when you reach a plateau or other obstacle. Faith will help you to overcome doubt.
Doubt such as: Did you really make the right choice?
Your weight loss efforts have stalled. This is not working. By making the best choice and being aware of it, you know (and can remind yourself), that you have made a good choice, this weight loss plan does work, you did your homework and you know this works.
Then the 'AHA Moment', you know it works, so you figure out what you need to do (or not do) so it will work for you!
How do you stop the Yo Yo Effect?
Is that it? Never diet or diet forever?!
- Never diet again
- Never fall off the diet wagon!
Yes...but hang on just a little longer. Why you fail to maintain or why you return to your old weight is because you may fail to realize and to understand that you are NOT choosing a diet, you are choosing a weight loss plan.
The weight loss plan you choose must include long term planning, as well as short term.
Choosing a weight loss plan that has both short term and long term goals will help you to physically bridge the Yo Yo gap, and especially, mentally. You know, right from the start, that this is a long term commitment...but ...since you have done your research, you have also discovered that this is not a jail sentence, that you can and will live a BETTER LIFE and a life without hunger.
The Yo Yo Effect is very real for 95% of us.
The best way to stop this effect is with careful decision making and research about weight loss before choosing a weight loss plan. When you consider a weight loss plan, be sure that it is one with both short and long term objectives. Chose a plan that you feel will work best for you.
Making a good choice will also help you later, because you will have more faith in yourself, your choice, and the knowledge that your weight loss plan will work and will continue to work.
Thank you for reading, my friend, much success on your weight loss journey.
WIn At Losing Weight Founder