Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman – How Do I Stop The Cycle Of Yo-Yo Dieting?

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet, and health questions.

Want to know which foods to curb sugar cravings? Or, what should you eat before a workout? Ask Keri anything!

Keri will choose one great question a week to be answered Thursday in our Healthy Hollywood column.

To submit questions for Keri, click HERE!

This week’s question — Sara S. asks, “I have been dieting on and off for years and I think that I have tried almost everything, but no matter what I do, once I lose the weight I always seem to put it back on. Am I just destined to be a certain weight?

Keri says…

Sounds like you are a classic yo-yo dieter (the repetition of losing and gaining weight). Don’t feel bad, you are among a large group! This type of diet pattern can occur for various reasons. The most common one? People often slip back into old habits and eating patterns. There is also a theory (known as the set-point theory) that claims the body has its own mechanism for controlling your weight causing you to maintain a “set-point” (the weight range in which your body is genetically programmed to be.) This theory is still up for debate so KEEP reading and don’t “give up” based on this theory.

Let me first address why yo-yo dieting is something to take seriously. The continuous cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain can take a serious toll on both your physical and mental health. The frustration of putting back on the pounds that you have worked so hard to shed is well, depressing. This is no emotional merry go round, it is a roller coaster!

There are serious physiological complications that can occur with this diet pattern as well. Yo-yo dieting can lead to a slowed metabolism and ultimately increased weight gain (you end up heavier than you were when you first started dieting.) The more frequently you engage in yo-yo dieting, the greater the magnitude of these adverse effects. Meaning, every time you diet, it can be harder to lose and you may gain back more weight than the time before.

Yo-yo dieting can also increase unhealthy eating behaviors like binge eating, uncontrollably consuming an excessive amount of calories in short period of time. Overeating in conjunction with a slowed metabolism is the perfect recipe for weight gain. Weight gain alone can lead to cardiovascular complications, but the actual act of yo-yo dieting and constant weight fluctuation can contribute to poor heart health as well. High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and reduced efficiency of blood flow can be side effects of yo-yo dieting placing you at a greater risk of developing heart disease.

So, what to do? First, do NOT give up! Take a look at your diet history and pinpoint what works for you, what doesn’t work and what poor behaviors you may be slipping back into. Then, come up with a game plan to attack those poor habits. If you have been trying fad diets, you are probably not sticking to healthy long-term changes. Next time you try to lose weight, instead of thinking about “dieting” make changes that will be life long and be consistent adhering to them. Exercise is also an important component to maintaining weight loss. Create an exercise program that you can keep up for the long haul. It’s time to put that yo-yo away and tailor your life be your healthiest and happiest YOU!

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