Yo-yo dieting is common among those struggling to lose excess pounds, and can be highly disappointing and frustrating when you’re constantly dealing with weight-loss ups and downs. Dieting often requires lots of discipline and hard work, and is essential to improving your health and losing weight. But if you start viewing healthy eating and your “diet” as a permanent way of life and not as a temporary fix, you’ll be on your way to achieving lasting weight loss fewer ups and downs along the way.
Here are some tips on how to stop yo-yo dieting so you can get past weight-loss plateaus and experience smoother sailing toward your weight-loss goals.
Increase your berry intake
Berries like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are high in flavonoids — natural polyphenolic compounds that give berries their bright, colorful hues. Flavonoids can boost your energy levels, reduce inflammation, and decrease fat absorption. Buy fresh berries from your local grocer and farmer’s market, or purchase frozen berries that lack sugar and other additives.
Upgrade to Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt contains double the amount of protein than regular yogurt, which will boost fat-burning and drive weight loss. Look for plain Greek yogurt brands without sugar and other additives, and use natural sweeteners like honey or Stevia to enhance its flavor.
Don’t forget breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning will jumpstart your metabolism and lend to accelerated fat burning. When you skip meals, your body pulls energy from your muscles rather than fat — which reduces your lean muscle mass. Eat a variety of healthy foods for breakfast every day, such as hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, and fruit.
Experiment with higher protein sources
Since high protein intake is associated with weight loss, look for other sources of protein you can add to your nutrition meal plan. Step outside of your chicken and turkey comfort zone, and increase your intake of salmon, halibut, and tuna. Other foods especially high in protein are almonds, cottage cheese, and broccoli.
Reduce the time you spend sitting
Sitting for prolonged periods of time increases the risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease — even if you’re getting in a daily workout, says research published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Find ways to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting, especially if you work in an office setting that requires you to sit. Make a point of standing up at least once every 30 minutes, and go for more walks around the office, at home, or in your neighborhood to keep your metabolism high and avoid weight gain.
Stop feeling guilty or stressed about dessert
Indulging in dessert every now and then, or once a week on cheat days isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you keep portion sizes moderate. If you’ve been eating healthy and want to enjoy a piece of chocolate cake on your day off from the gym, don’t feel guilty — since feelings of guilt have been shown to interfere with stress hormones and contribute to weight gain. Try sticking to dark chocolate or desserts made with natural ingredients, and allow yourself to savor and enjoy dessert without feeling an ounce of guilt or stress.
Find out what works for your body
Everyone reacts to food and exercise differently, due to genetic variants that influence the use and storage of energy, the absorption of nutrients, and the production of various hormones. Obtaining your personalized genetic blueprint can help you determine which foods, nutrients, and exercises will yield the best results for your genetic makeup. Vivaliti DNA — a cutting-edge genetic test developed by Dr. Garcia — analyzes 80 different genetic markers to give you unprecedented insight into how your body works. Learn more about Vivaliti DNA.
Need help developing a weight-loss and nutrition plan that works for you? Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers deliver customized plans, complete with personalized supplements and consistent support to help you reach and maintain your health goals. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on September 13, 2017