Why It Is Important That You Keep Your Cycle When Losing Weight?

A study by the American Psychological Association went through thirty-one diet researches and confirmed that a third of dieters who went through rigorous diet plans for two years, weighed more than what they weighed before starting the diet. 

What a disappointment it is to see you lose weight and gain it all back again! People who wish to lose weight, the increasing numbers are too painful to handle. Many people stick to their diet plans for years and get really proud when they reach their weight loss goals. But, the real problem starts when people intentionally give up on their stringent routines. And, there you are! All the lost weight comes back to haunt you again. 

The feeling is like losing a reward you took years to earn. Nothing could be worse than this! A term called “yo-yo dieting” has been coined that refers to the process of weight cycling. Going on and off on a diet plan is the major reason behind falling in the trap of weight cycling. 

In technical terms, when an individual gains and regains about 20 pounds in a repeated cycle of 2-3 times, weight cycling is often the result. The process is nerve-wracking as people deal with both the physical and emotional toils in turn. Before you learn everything that is essential to maintain an effective cycle, let’s get a clear idea of metabolic math. 

An Insight into the Metabolic Math

If the gain and regain values are unnoticeable, it is pretty acceptable! The problem creeps in when the gain and regain frequency increases with the weight value being above 10 pounds. Instead of blaming your luck in such a scenario, try and look at the bigger picture. The culprit is sometimes hidden in the diet plan you thought is doing wonders for you. Wondering what diet is being talked about? Any guesses? Yes, it is your very own low-calorie diet! You may have proudly followed the diet all this while and must have appreciated how it transformed your life for good. Isn’t it exactly what you did? You may find it hard to digest the fact, but a low-calorie diet is often the result behind your weight cycling. 

Initially, the low calorie-diet helps you shed those extra pounds no doubt, but it is not a diet that works really well in the long run. And, even a study backs up the findings and also states that people, who follow a rather flexible diet, are likely to achieve better and consistent results. 

If we look deeper, it is not you who is to blame. But, the societal pressure of an image they wish to see you in. When you get too inspired to lose weight and want people to accept you, fast weight loss techniques are what you seek for. What comes next is limiting calories to unreasonable values. The change may seem new, but soon your body adapts to the low calories concept. Then, what causes the weight regain?  The author of “The Beck Diet Solution,” Judith Beck says that the moment you try and hike up your calories by even 1000 a day, you start gaining weight all over again. 

There is yet another theory that backs weight cycling. Here it goes; when an individual first limits the calorie intake, nothing feels better than it. One becomes confident and proud to give up on calories and starts rejoicing when they even lose a pound. But, this does not go for long! As time passes by, sticking to a hypocaloric diet seems impossible. And, as the dieter gives up on the willpower, they are found diverting back to their old ways. This time around, they eat more calories, more than what they used to before. And, bingo! The weight gain becomes inevitable as they get more comfortable with “binge eating,” or aptly the art of overeating. 

Reasons behind Weight Cycling- In Brief

Yes, it is saddening to see you lose weight and gain it all over again. This yo-yo effect lowers down your self-esteem, and also leads to the emotional turmoil that follows. This is not it; there have been reported health issues too that have been related to weight cycling. But, why does weight cycling occur in the first place? Let’s uncover the mystery.

  1. Giving Up To Cravings: With stringent dieting plans and restrictive diets, boredom with similar plans is quite normal. And, when you see your friend having your favorite donut, you are likely to give in to your hunger urges. While you do that, all the efforts you put into losing weight go into the drain. 

Your appetite forces win when you can’t resist eating what you like.

  1. Weight Overshooting: Weight loss tends to diminish body fat along with the fat-free mass. This loss further leads to metabolic shifts that, in turn, assist in lipid storage. When that happens, weight overshooting is the result, i.e., fat gain exceeds the weight loss. When such a cycle continues, your future weight loss goals suffer.

Weight cycles that continue over several cycles can lead to obesity.

  1. Adaptive Gain Weight: When you lose metabolism due to lowering down of calories, it does not bounce back to normal even when you retort to your normal diet. This further implies that you would be eating more calories and hardly burning any. In such a situation, weight gain is the only result. 

When you feed the calories back, your body may not learn to adapt to the diet havoc you create

Reasons You Shouldn’t Cut Back Unreasonably On Calories

  1. Worsens The Metabolism: When you suddenly give a shock to your body by stealing calories from it, starvation is often the result. When starvation creeps in, metabolism suffers the most. With fewer calories, there is less energy, and thus less of metabolism.

  1. Muscle Burn Becomes Inevitable: When calories intake lessens, two things happen. First, you burn the fat as a source of fuel, and second, you start burning muscle mass. It is the balance of burning materials, i.e., half of your fat stores gets burned and a half of your lean tissue mass that leads to ruined efforts.

  1. Cravings Increase Manifold: Giving up on calories leads to starvation. Sounds strange? But, this is one true fact! The cravings could also be a result of the increase of a hormone called, “Ghrelin.” When you are starving and suddenly see food, you jump on it like you have been hungry for ages. Yet another reason for that vicious weight cycle. 

  1. Irritable to the Core: When you can’t relish your taste buds with what you love, you sort of feel disappointed. When you see your sibling teasing you with your favorite burger, irritation and anger are evident. 

  1. Getting Tired All Too Soon: Lesser the calorie intake, more are the chances of developing hypothyroidism and lack of adrenaline. When that happens, you need to make extra efforts to make a move. Not exactly what you expected, right?

  1. Dizziness May Strike: Lack of energy leads to colder bodies, slow heart rates, and reduced blood pressures. All these issues can together become the reason for you passing out anywhere and at any time.

  1. Weight Gain, Of Course: Strict diets that truly boycott calories seem to be effective in the beginning, all because the calorie expenditure gets more than the intake value. However, in the long run, the lost pounds may knock at your door all over again. 

FAQs Related To Weight Cycling

  • When you regain weight, would it be harder to lose it?

  • A person, who is a victim to the yo-yo effect, finds it easier to lose weight when compared to any first-timer trying to lose weight. Weight cycling is not known to affect the metabolic rate of the body, thus ensuring that the future weight loss efforts would not be impossible. 

  • Are more fats and less muscle the result of weight cycling?

  • The fats and muscles are known to balance out in the process of weight cycling. Studies have been conducted that show that the amount of fats and muscles that existed after weight loss is similar to the time when one gains the weight all over again. But, yes, the people who follow their exercising schedule when under the influence of a weight cycle; gain muscle. 

  • How Does Weight Cycle Affect Health?

  • Yes, there is a chance that your health would deteriorate when affected by a weight cycle. Be it high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or gallbladder infection; the risk of developing any of these may increase. You need to reach a considerable weight and stick to it. If you are obese, try losing weight and keep it that way. And, in case you are not obese, try and maintain your weight as it is. 

  • What are the psychological effects of the weight cycle?

  • Like losing weight can get you excited, gaining it back can lead you into depression. The chances are that you will feel lowly of you and start hating yourself, your fate, and your body too. The negative psychological effect can make you lose hope in life as you consider yourself as a failure. But, giving up should never be an option on your checklist. Know what is happening, why it is happening, and what can be done about it and bounce back again with more enthusiasm. 

    Ways to Keep Your Cycle When Losing Weight

    It is essential to keep your cycle when losing weight! A balance needs to be maintained so that you lose the intended weight but do not gain it back again. How can you make it possible? Here are some tips to keep weight cycling at bay. 

    1. Hire A Personal Trainer: If you are tired of the weight-loss-regain cycle, seeking external help is an evergreen formula. You may have heard so many theories that may have led to weight cycling, but knowing how to combat it could be the trickiest job. This is why; hiring a personal trainer would not only help you stop weight cycling, but would also help fight emotional challenges. 

    1. Follow A Realistic Diet Plan: The saying, “slow and steady wins the race,” fits well here. Whenever the idea of getting fit strikes you, plan a diet that is realistic and practical to follow. Rather than bidding goodbye to calorie-ridden food, try and reduce the intake. Another advice, do not take the Atkins’ or the Keto seriously as the low-carb diet can lead to other health issues. 

  • Ditch The Crash Diets: When you desire to lose weight quickly, you often adapt to unrealistic diets called the “crash diets.” The problem with crash diets lies in their short-term existence. One can’t stick to such stringent diets for long! If you wish to make some real changes, do not entirely give up on your calories.

    1. Focus on Habits: Fitness experts suggest you to stop being conscious of your weight loss journey. Let yourself loose and stop bothering about the scale. Try and focus on habits that change your lifestyle for good. When you follow this simple practice, your body naturally adapts to the changes and offers you a result that stands the tests of time.

    The right way to measure progress: You might not be where you imagined you to be. But you are certainly not where you used to be.

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