Yo yo Dieting

Hi There,
I’m really having a hard time with yo yo dieting. I’ve done Dolly Parton’s water-and-popcorn diet for a month, but it always comes back. Plus, when I’ve stuck to a diet for 3 months or so, I plateau and can’t seem to drop more. What am i doing wrong?


Thanks for your question. The best thing I can recommend for you is to move away from crash-dieting (or yo-yo dieting) and really develop some healthy eating behaviors that you can stick to for life. Did you know that yo-yo dieters actually have a harder time losing and maintaining their weight than non-dieters? That’s because a continuous cycle of going on and off diets will actually slow down your metabolism. Every time you go on a low calorie diet (such as the water and popcorn you mentioned) your body thinks you are starving. So instead of cooperating with you, it stores what you eat as fat in preparation of further starvation. Additionally, crash diets deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Take a look at our weight loss plans in the diets section. You’ll notice that the menu for each day is composed of balanced meals and snacks. The key is limiting portion sizes. Our plans provide a wide variety of foods so you don’t feel deprived. There really is no reason to deprive yourself – just eat sensibly following a low fat, high fiber diet that is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Your body will thank you!
Regarding your plateau, that is an indication that you are eating the amount of calories you need to maintain your body weight. If your goal is to lose more weight the only way to do this is to burn more calories than you take in. Are you currently exercising? Besides being good for your health and helping to reduce your risk of various chronic diseases, regular exercise can help you lose weight and maintain your goal weight once you get there. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. If you’re looking for some new exercises to do take a look at our Virtual Trainer in the workouts section – it will help you target specific muscle groups. And try to change your exercise routine every 6 weeks or so, to keep your muscles from becoming lazy. If you have further questions feel free to chat with me live M-F 9-5 PST. Just go to the diets section and click on Dietitian chat.

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