Have you fallen into the all-or-nothing trap, where you eat healthy one day and then abandon it the next? Is a vacation or a holiday a good excuse to eat foods that you’ve previously deemed “taboo”? There’s no denying that long-term sustainable weight loss is difficult. Dieters frequently cite the following reasons for abandoning their healthy eating goals – “I couldn’t take it any longer since I was so strict” or “It was far too difficult to get back on track following the holidays or vacation”. Some also state – “My favourite meals were missing from my diet” and “I despised watching others eat the foods I desired”.
It’s normal for people who are attempting to reduce weight to want to do it as quickly as possible. It is human nature to try to lose the weight gained in two years in two months, but the body does not react well to such radical change. The result of losing weight rapidly is that many of us gain all that weight we lost within few months after a “diet plan” or a “programme” ends, it is never sustainable. After a few months we see ourselves back on another weight loss program for a quick weight correction and this cycle continues.
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This is so common that we have a word for this, it’s the yo-yo effect. Yo-yo effect is a trend of losing and gaining weight repeatedly, causing your weight to fluctuate continually. In reality, yo-yo dieting while appearing to be healthy, can really harm your health over time, leading to heart disease, high blood pressure, and a higher BMI.
When most people think of weight loss, they think of slimming down. With the appropriate diet and mind-set, you can lose weight and keep it off.
People who lose weight gradually and steadily which is approximately 0.5 to 1 kg per week have a better chance of keeping it off in the long run. It’s not only about following a “diet” or “programme” to lose weight in a healthy way. It’s about consistently maintaining a healthy lifestyle that involves frequent physical activity and healthy eating habits. Consistency really is the key. Once you’ve reached a healthy weight, sticking to a healthy calorie counted meal and getting enough exercise can be enough to keep the fat away in the long run.
So, how can you make the principle of consistency work for you to have a sustainable weight loss? Firstly, staying consistent does not translate to 100% clean eating all the time & avoiding food that you like. Strict, restrictive eating is not sustainable and crash dieting is not a hack if you are looking for sustainable weight loss. Consistently being in a small caloric deficit is the road to a sustainable weight loss, whether you are following a Keto, Paleo, low carb, or balanced diet.
Once you are at caloric deficiency, find the sweet spot between super strict diet rules and eating anything and everything. Consider a scale of 1 to 10 for your eating habits. Number one is the place of rigidity that many dieters adore for a small period of time. It’s that time of year when you’re full of energy, motivation, and in the mood for some quick weight loss. Number ten is the opposite end of the spectrum, where a previous strict dieter might just remark, “I’ll eat anything I want because life is too short & you get to only live once.”
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Moderation is the key to sustainable healthy weight loss, and it falls between numbers 4 and 6. When someone is wanting to shed weight, number 4 is a good option. Number 5 is when you’re focusing on weight management and overall health.
Staying active and eating healthy, all moderately balanced are the main factors that lead to a sustainable weight loss. It sure might take time for your body and mind to get accustomed to it, but once you’re on track, there will be no looking back. Remember to be patient and consistent!
Author’s Bio: Dr. Pranjal is a certified clinical and sports nutritionist at ACTIVeat – a customised healthy meals subscription in Mumbai
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