How to avoid your Yo Yo weight cycle


When you try to lose weight with dieting you may get trapped in a cycle of weight loss and weight gain. It can be as small as 5-10lb regain or large as 50lb regain. Whether you try to lose weight for the first time or after weight regain, success can be achieved either way.

Your metabolism can however slow down with weight loss and age.

A 5 to 10% reduction in body weight can reduce resting metabolic rate by as much as 20% in some individuals.

Older people can be less active than young. During the process of ageing ,it has been estimated that BMR reduces about 150 kcal per decade after age 20 as a result of changes in neuroendocrine factors( the release hormones which control many functions such as growth, reproduction, sleep, hunger and metabolism) into the blood and sarcopenia (sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass that can affect people in their 30s and beyond)

Some studies have shown that people who have more fat around their stomach than before they entered the yo yo weight cycle, increased their risk of : type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, increased blood cholesterol and gall bladder disease as well as have negative psychological effect of being discouraged and depressed.

Here are 8 tips to escape this cycle and launch yourself to permanent future health.

1. Avoid crash diets that are unrealistic. Most rely on special meals or beverages, pills and are expensive. Think permanent lifestyle changes

2. Be slow and steady in your future plans. The national institute of health recommends 10% of your current body weight loss in 6 months. You could start with 5% body weight loss.

Setting yourself simple, measurable, achievable, realistic with a time frame goals and introducing non-food rewards will help.

3. Surround yourself with good supporters who have successfully lost weight or join a group. People who are positive can help you stay positive too.

4. Reflect-by writing not only your food diary, but exercise and emotional diary so that you can see areas to improve and what triggers you to give up , can help you stay in control. Triggers can be : stress, tiredness, relationship problems, past experiences that never leave your mind. Instead try and relax and reward yourself for good behaviour so you can repeatedly instil good habits. Affirmations e.g. repeatedly saying"I can change past habits and rituals" will really help.

5. Weigh yourself weekly same time same place and with similar clothing so that you can recognise early on when you are regaining weight and reflect so you can change direction.

6. Try a varied and healthy balanced diet approach to your portion control with the support of your local Dietitian who can provide your personal guidance with regards to your calorie requirements to lose weight. Slowly and safely. This will stop you becoming bored.

7. Keep active. The minimum guidelines for exercise is half hour daily walking for 5 days a week where you are able to do the sing talk gasp test. If you are talking whilst walking, this is good. Strengthening or weight training exercises can help especially as we age. Muscle burn more calories than fat and can offset your slowing metabolism.

8. Change the way you think. Remember the 3 P’s: Persevere, be patient and persistent. Be mindful when you are eating - check my previous blog .

Reference: PEN- practice evidence base nutrition

For specialised Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby kabeer

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