9 Ways To Stop Weight Cycling For Good
When talking about dieting, the term “weight cycling” will always make its way into the conversation. Those weight fluctuations appear when our body receives too few calories. It fears a famine approaching and holds onto all its fat reserves to be prepared, thus converting any energy (food calories) we do consume into body fat.
Our body reacts to the reduced calorie intake by slowing down the metabolism. At the beginning, we actually lose weight — but instead of getting rid of our muffin top, we lose water and valuable muscle mass.
Every single diet harms your body’s metabolism. That yo-yo game is not a fun one, and it doesn’t even make sense. Because the better your metabolism works, the easier it is to reach and maintain your desired weight.
Follow these tips to avoid weight cycling after a dietary change:
Be one step ahead…
…and find strategies against cravings
Protein is your friend
A lack of amino acids, like tryptophan, is often responsible for our cravings. Make sure you always have cheese, sweet potatoes and spinach at home to avoid cravings.
Snack on vitamin bombs
When you feel you need a sweet treat, snack on a handful of dried fruit. It provides you with valuable vitamins and minerals which help dispel cravings.
If you feel them creeping up, try this: Lightly press your index finger on the center point between nose and upper lip – hold for 1 minute. The pressure sends signals to your brain which are said to stop cravings.
…and boost your metabolism
Drink, drink, drink
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. To avoid this, drink a glass of water or a cup of tea every hour. Your body burns approx. 100 cal per liter of water. That’s what we call killing two birds with one stone!
Fuel up first thing in the morning to provide your body with the necessary energy to keep burning fat throughout the day. Plus, regular breakfasts help regulate your appetite and satisfaction hormones.
Don’t skip dinner
Especially when stressed out, some people tend to skip dinner because they lack time for cooking. Don’t do it! Skipping dinner increases your cravings. Try to plan your dinners beforehand – light, but regular meals are ideal.
…and avoid frustration
Know your weight might increase again
So, you’ve lost a few (or more than a few) pounds and want to keep your weight stable now. If you expect that you might regain 5-10% of the weight you lost during your diet, you won’t panic if it really happens. This helps you cope with possible fluctuations much better and prevents you from nixing your plans if your scale shows a bit more again one day. You’d just end up like most people — weighing (on average) 7% more than before their diet.
Follow the 5:2 rule
To maintain your desired weight, focus on a healthy, balanced diet and live according to your nutrition and fitness plan five days per week. The remaining two days you can cut yourself some slack and get a special treat or spend a day on the couch every now and then.
Take pics of your food
Taking photos of your food (and sharing them with your friends) comes with several benefits: Firstly, you’ll make sure it looks nice; secondly, you’ll try out different recipes more frequently; and thirdly, it enhances your awareness for what and how much you eat each day.
Practice these strategies and say good-bye to weight cycling. Just try them out, there’s nothing to lose! Besides a few extra pounds, that is.