(NC)—If weight loss is on this year’s resolution list – again – you may be comforted, and inspired, to keep this biological possibility in mind:
We do not fail our diets. Diets fail us.
Anyone who has ever successfully lost weight knows how difficult it can be to keep it off. Dropping a few pounds is often just a prelude to adding a few back on, sometimes more than we lost in the first place. Repeatedly losing and regaining weight is called the dreaded, yo-yo dieting.
So why does it happen?
This syndrome is often (and rightly) blamed on low calorie diets. Severely restricting calories slows down the metabolism and since your body thinks it is close to starving, it suddenly becomes more efficient at storing fat.
Health professionals also tell us that low calorie diets encourage people to rely solely on measured portion sizes and diet plans, causing them to ignore natural hunger cues and feelings of fullness. As a result, dieters feel deprived and that can lead to binging, weight gain, subsequent frustration and lowered self-esteem. In an effort to lose the regained weight, another diet is attempted, and the yo-yo cycle continues.
Keep It Off
People who want to lose weight and keep it off should take a measured approach, experts say. By making gradual, simple changes in your eating patterns, in addition to increasing physical activity levels, can help you reach your healthy weight and improve overall health and well-being.
If you need help along with way to reaching your healthy weight, think about calling EatRight Ontario and speaking one-on-one with a Registered Dietitians for free. Helpful food and nutrition information is now available to all Ontario residents, by calling 1-877-510-510-2 toll-free, from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
Here are a few more tips on this topic from the experts at EatRight Ontario:
Healthy Weight Tip
– Aim to lose one to two pounds per week. To be successful, weight loss must be gradual.
– Eat breakfast. Start your day off with a nutritious breakfast and it will prevent you from overeating during the rest of the day.
– At all meals, take smaller food portions and use smaller plates. Eat slowly to allow time (about 20 minutes) for your stomach to tell you it’s full.
– Eat a healthy snack in between meals to keep you from becoming too hungry.
– If too much snacking is your particular weakness, shop for healthy snacks that are high in vitamins and fibre, like pre-washed fruit and veggies. What you don’t bring home, you won’t eat.
– Take a walk after meals whenever possible.
– A healthy meal plate is: 1/2 vegetables; 1/4 lean protein (such as a fish, poultry, lean meat, low-fat dairy); and 1/4 whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain pasta and breads.
– Choose whole grain foods often. They are more nutritious, and can keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
– Drink more water and pure juice and cut out sugar-laden soft drinks altogether.