Yo-yo effect: why it is so difficult to maintain weight after a diet

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The standard scenario is known: by today, you no longer fit into anything but pajamas. And even a fasting day on kefir is not able to save you from the centimeters and kilograms gained over the holidays. You forgive yourself until the end of the Christmas holidays (don’t throw away the Olivier!), but then you intend to go on a diet again to get in shape for Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day we usually have chocolate and eclairs. And then again the diet – by March 8. Before May, you can relax and eat, on May – barbecue. And then the toughest tin – preparing the body for the beach season! On vacation – a buffet, tastings and vacations … Well, then (there is nothing left to lose) we eat until November, and then we again begin the exhausting preparation for the New Year and a new dress.

Why do we go on a diet

In general, the plan for the next 12 months is scheduled: lose weight – eat off – lose weight – eat off … In modern nutrition, such jumps are called the “yo-yo effect”. You know, this toy, two discs on a string: throw it down – it jumps back. So is your weight: dropped – jumped, dropped – jumped.

The most annoying thing is that each time the weight jumps higher and higher, and it is more and more difficult to lose it. Why is this happening, is it possible to stop these crazy games? Grigory Pavlovsky, psychotherapist, specialist in the correction of eating behavior at the IntuEat Center for Therapy of Eating Disorders and Eating Behavior, says:

Each person has a physiological weight inherent in his body. Someone has a 37th foot size, someone has a 42nd. Some have blue eyes, some have brown. Someone has a height of 160 cm, someone has a height of 170. Nobody is trying to argue with this. But the idea of ​​\u200b\u200b”normal weight” or at least the ratio of height and weight is actively and even aggressively imposed on us from the outside.

Physiological weight is not a point, but a range (set point) with a spread of about 3-5 kg. That is, it is wrong to say that “your normal weight is 62 kg.” It is correct to recognize that your set point is 60-65 kg. Within these limits, the weight can fluctuate – and this is not a yo-yo.

Yo-yo starts when you go on a diet (weigh 65 and want to weigh 53). Some evil person told you that it is indecent to wear clothes larger than 44 sizes – and you believed it.

Remember the article about girls holding weight? Two out of three did not need to lose weight at all. Their body protests and strives for its physiological norm. And the third lost weight without doing anything special – she also came to the physiological norm, but, trying to overcome it, she began to get sick.

The problem is that you are constantly under the pressure of social requirements for the body, figure, food – you go on a diet not because you need it, but because you are under pressure.

Why are we breaking down

Ashamed and guilty, you starve. When losing weight, praise yourself and be proud of yourself. That is, your emotions, just like your weight, are rushing about in yo-yo mode: take off – fall, take off – fall. In the process of dieting, guilt becomes less, life becomes easier. But you are a normal girl. One day the New Year comes – and you think that you deserve at least one pie … And then you start throwing everything that is not nailed into yourself. The weight is growing. Along with guilt.

Approximately 15% of people can maintain weight after a diet. Willpower has nothing to do with it. More ancient instincts are at work here.

The evolutionary mechanism is designed so that a person survives. Humanity has been living in a situation of abundance for only about 60 years – in historical terms, this is less than a minute. Our bodies have not switched to a constant satiety mode. They don’t believe in him. That is why, after the first diet, they begin to gain more than they give. Hunger threatens survival, which means that as soon as food appears, it must be stored. This is a biological mechanism.

Your set point shifts up after the first or second restrictive diet. That is, you weighed, say, 50-55 kg, this was your physiological norm. Now the frightened body will hold the last frontier with all its might – and not a step back! Your new normal may be 55-60 kg, and it will be difficult for you to return to the previous round.

You will begin to scold yourself again, not realizing that your fault is not here. Diets, weight loss programs, severe restrictions, exhausting physical activity can eventually lead to eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia).

After completing the diet, the weight gain is not due to cakes, but due to overeating. Overeating is (in most cases) a response to starvation. You won’t starve, and you won’t overeat. Everything is simple.

Yo-yo is not only about throwing weight and emotions, it is also about throwing your eating behavior from starvation to gluttony. If the diet becomes normal, then the weight is normalized. With this, you should not contact a nutritionist, but a psychologist and psychotherapist – a specialist in eating behavior.

If you do not like your weight, but you do not have bouts of overeating, your tests are normal, you can walk a couple of kilometers at a brisk pace and not suffocate, then you have nothing to worry about. If you do not have health problems, you do not need to lose weight.

Photo: shutterstock.com, istockphoto.com

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