Losing weight is seldom a smooth process, and you may find yourself losing weight, then gaining weight and then losing weight again; a cycle that is often referred to as "yo yo dieting." Yo yo dieting is a common dieting problem, and it can be very demoralizing. You should not be discouraged if it happens to you; instead, you can take a number of steps to break the cycle and lose weight for good.
Get Rid of "Gimmick" Diets
While popular diet programs are effective in helping you lose weight, most of them do not result in permanent weight loss. The main problem with these diet programs is that they do not inculcate good eating habits. Most of them rely on special meals, beverages or pills to achieve weight loss, and they do not introduce or encourage a permanent change in eating habits.
After you have successfully completed one of these programs, it is likely that you will go back to your old eating habits, and you will begin to gain back some of the weight that you have lost. Instead of using these programs, you should just follow simple and effective rules of dieting. Consume fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy. You can give yourself a treat occasionally, but try not to do so more than once a week.
Identify Your Deterrents
Another thing that you must do to stop yo yo dieting is to identify the emotional triggers that can cause you to consume food that you should not. For example, you may notice a slight increase in weight after dieting for some time, and you are so discouraged that you decide to comfort yourself by overeating. Some other factors that can trigger overeating include stress, fatigue and relationship problems. After you have identified your emotional triggers, you have to find ways to deal with them. If stress at work causes you to overeat, you can go for a stroll in the park, do some sports, or take a hot shower to counter the stress.
Add Small Goals to Your Diet Program
You may have set monthly goals for your weight loss program, but that is not good enough to stop yo yo dieting. Setting daily goals will improve your eating habits, and it will give you weight loss results that last. For instance, you can make a point to eat 3 servings of vegetables and fruits everyday for the first week. At the end of the week, you can add another goal to your diet program, such as drinking more water, eating whole grains, taking multivitamins or doing more exercises. After a month or two, you will find that you are leading a much healthier lifestyle.
Record What You Eat in a Diet Journal
One of the most basic laws of dieting is that you will lose weight as long as you are burning more calories than you are consuming. As such, it is important that you keep track of your caloric intake everyday. Write down the caloric value of every bit of food you eat, and calculate the total amount of calories you consume in a day. If the number of calories you consume is consistently lower than the amount you need, you will stop your yo yo dieting.