One of the more frustrating aspects of being overweight is when you experience success, drop a few pounds, only to see it all come back.
There’s good news and bad news.
The good is that you have the personal discipline to follow a diet plan to lose unwanted body fat. The bad news is that you’re likely repeating similar mistakes with every new diet attempt, causing the weight to return.
To understand how to lose weight and keep it off permanently, let’s examine the most common diet flaws people encounter.
Why The Weight Comes Back
When you try diet after diet, and get the same or similar results — you regain all the weight you lost — you begin to think it’s you. That you’re the problem. It must be genetic, or there’s something physically wrong with you.
While this is true in rare cases, for the overwhelming majority of people trying to lose weight, the problem is often attributed to repeated behavioral patterns that follow you from diet to diet.
It’s more likely something you’re doing, or not doing, rather than a hormonal problem that requires medical treatment.
Anatomy Of The Yo-Yo Diet
You lose weight, then it comes back. You lose it, then it comes back. It’s like a yo-yo swinging back and forth.
The common thread that binds all diet failures is sustainability. Can what you’re doing to lose weight be sustained indefinitely?
Or are you counting down the days to when you don’t have to do it anymore and go back to eating the way you want?
What you’re looking for is a sustainable change in eating behavior. It has to be something you can accept as normal, and continue for the foreseeable future.
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Common Mistakes That Brings Weight Back
The One Food Diet
You know what I’m talking about. Just eat this one food all day every day and you’ll lose a ton of weight. And sometimes this is true, you can actually lose weight on these diets. The problem is it’s only a temporary behavioral change that doesn’t establish a permanent eating pattern to keep the weight off.
Let’s say you were successful and lost twenty pounds on a grapefruit diet. Are you going to do that for the rest of your life? No, and because it was a gimmick diet it didn’t address any pre-diet behavior that caused you to gain weight.
So when the one-food diet ends, and it will, you go right back to the eating behavior you knew and established prior to your grapefruit orgy.
Weight will always come back with a one-food diet.
Calories Are Too Restrictive
This is kind of like a dam waiting to burst. You feel so deprived and almost like you’re being punished that when you finally give in, you go big. Real big. You don’t just eat a slice of pizza, you eat the WHOLE pizza.
You then go on a three day bender filled with ice cream, cupcakes and everything chocolate related. Not only do you regain all the weight you lost, you proceed to add another ten pounds.
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Exercise Routine Is Too Demanding
This may not be you, but everybody has that one friend that plows forward 200% full speed ahead until they crash and burn. It’s not enough to exercise twice a week, no, they need to exercise six times a week for an hour or more.
They’re committed. And for the first two weeks, they’re on point. Six days a week. An hour each workout. Nothing can stop their success.
And then they hit the wall, and realize what they’re doing isn’t something that fits into their long term life goals. They just want to drop a few pounds, not try out for the Olympics.
Then, as quickly and passionately as they started — they quit.
What’s worse is most people feel as if they’ve failed. It’s a depressing cycle that contributes to overeating and weight gain.
The best way to approach weight loss, including restrictive diets, is to establish a transitional maintenance diet. It’s a meal plan that allows you to maintain your current weight AFTER your weight loss diet ends.
What you can’t, and don’t want, to do is return to your pre-diet eating behavior.
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