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Ending the Rollercoaster Ride

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss at 1:18 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
RollercoasterWeight fluctuates. Your hormone levels, the types of food you eat and many other factors add and subtract ounces on a daily basis. Nothing reminds you of this more than yesterday’s perfect-fit jeans being a tad too tight today. But, sometimes the ups and downs are more than normal day to day changes. Sometimes, they are a part of weight cycling, the repeated loss and regain of pounds.  When weight cycling occurs, a person can bounce back and forth within five to 10 pounds or even 50. The regain can be fairly depressing and, unsurprisingly, can hurt your health.

A recent study of 140,000 postmenopausal women found that a history of weight cycling significantly increased the risk of having renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer.  In fact, going through at least 10 weight cycles more than doubled a woman’s likelihood of developing the disease.  This is the first study of its kind, as other negative health effects have been theorized but never proven.  However, it is believed that they exist. And when the cycling leads to an extreme, whether it’s being obese or underweight, the concerns contributed to either are obviously present. So, weight cycling is something that you want to avoid. How?

The best way to not yo-yo is to make long-term changes. Often, when people go on a diet, they are looking for quick fixes – 10 pounds in two weeks or a dress size in the blink on an eye. As such, they make decisions that are only effective for a limited period of time and are generally extremely strict.  As soon as their resolve weakens, the pounds return. So you want to do the opposite. Finding a balance of diet and exercise that can, first, enable weight loss and, then, maintain the new weight is ideal.  You can do this by planning your meals, creating an exercise regimen that will compensate for slight diet slips, not abandoning habits developed during the diet and viewing your healthy choices as normal. Once you have, you may still experience the normal ups and downs of weight, but you won’t find yourself on a rollercoaster ride.

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