About one to two-thirds of individuals who have gone on a diet regain the weight and more within four to five years. This isn’t to say that weight loss juice fast diets or juice diets and detoxes are bad necessarily. But it’s important to note that sustainable weight loss can only truly be achieved with permanent lifestyle changes.
This means that a diet is a great break for your body, yet, constant dieting often leads to metabolic dysfunction which causes many individuals to regain the weight they lost. In this article, we’re going to dive into why this happens and what you should do instead.
A Diet vs A Permanent Change
Most individuals don’t simply gain weight overnight. Generally, this tends to happen gradually over many years. Eventually, you might get fed up with how this excess weight is holding you and your health back, so you decide to try a diet to quickly lose it. As humans, we love instant gratification!
However, it took you years to gain the weight. This means it’s unlikely that you will be able to quickly lose the weight and sustain it overnight. Why? Because the body requires time to adjust.
Additionally, a diet is rarely a permanent lifestyle change. Usually, it’s a temporary change. For instance, maybe you cut your calories down significantly or perhaps you cut out all junk food. Yet, once your diet is over, you jump right back into eating just as many calories and all the processed and pre-packaged foods you were before. In other words, diets rarely stick. This is why many health professionals encourage making healthy and permanent lifestyle changes if you truly want to lose weight and improve your health.
Yo-Yo Dieting: The Trap
A ton of people also jump from one diet to the next. Perhaps one diet involves eating shakes only for months on end or eating 1000-1200 calories for a period of time, such as until you reach your goal. Rarely is this sustainable. And this also creates various other health problems.
When you starve your body for long periods of time, it goes into survival mode or the ‘stressed’ state. In this state, your body isn’t getting enough food to sustain its current functions. The stress hormones also disrupt the regular functioning of your hormones and various systems. This is often why many individuals on these very restrictive diets experience sleep problems, digestive issues, and more.
In other words, these diets often are creating even worse situations. However, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to lose weight. We’ve got a few tips!
How to Lose Weight & Sustain It
So, how can you lose weight and sustain it? First off, it’s a process. Don’t rush it. Great things take time - so does sustainable and healthy weight loss. Check out the following tips for more details.
Find a Lifestyle That Works For You
What can you do for the rest of your life? This question is something you want to ask yourself. Then, consider your options. Perhaps, you’re able to lead a vegan or keto lifestyle without issue. Or maybe eating more fruit and veggies is exactly what you’re body has been missing and you find you’re more satisfied and you crave less. And maybe this involves some planning, such as meal prep.
We can’t stress this point enough! You want to find a method that works for you and your life. It has to be sustainable. It has to be something you can do for the rest of your life.
Eliminate Non-Real Foods
Processed and pre-packaged food items are great occasionally. But they shouldn’t be your meal or snack for every time you eat. For the most part, you want to stick with real foods. This means buying produce and snacking on fruit, as well as making meals from scratch.
And this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of your favourite foods on occasion. Try limiting these to 20% of the time, while eating real and whole foods 80% of the time.
Move Your Body
The human body is meant to move! Without movement, illness and pain will inevitably occur. Aim to move for 30 minutes a day. If this seems like a lot right now, try 5-10 minutes at first, and slowly and gradually increase this amount. Find an activity you enjoy - this makes it easy for yourself to stay motivated and get moving!
Reduce Stress in Your Life
Stress is a major contributor to weight gain, especially when you’re on constant diets. Aim to reduce the stress in your life. Dive into relaxation techniques or find quiet ‘me-time’ for yourself to relax and unwind. We like to think we can do it all, but everyone needs a break from time to time.
Temporary Solutions Are Never the Answer
And this includes quick-fix diets! Don’t get lost in a rollercoaster of diets. Instead, focus on changing your lifestyle and make permanent changes. And try not to do it all at once. Go slow. Add a little bit in at a time. This can help avoid overwhelm and make these habits last a lifetime.