Escape from the YoYo Diet
A quick search through Google or Yahoo for "weight loss" will net you
hundreds of links to pages that scream things like, "Weight Loss made
Easy!", "Lose Weight Now!", "Lose 10 pounds in 2 Days!", and "Lose
all the weight you want while you sleep!". These exact same claims have
been around as long as I can remember (and I'm not getting any younger!)
In fact, headlines like this have been prevalent in Women's Magazines, Daily
Newspapers, Local Yellow Pages, and even tacked to Grocery Store bulletin
boards for many, many years now. But with each year, the rhetoric of the diet industry
becomes more bold in its claims. Each new issue of Women's World, or Redbook
declare boldly on their covers things like, "Finally! A Diet that Works!" or "The Last
Diet You'll Ever Need!". Hmmmmm... didn't they say that last week? If
last week's diet was the "last I'd ever need", why a new one this week?
The fact is, there's big business in keeping both confusion levels and failure
rates high. Like the carnival huckster, they're selling not just a product, but
a dream. With quotes like "Weight Loss Secrets Finally Revealed!" they imply
that it was never your fault weight loss eluded you before. The true way to
lose weight has been some big conspiratorial secret. But for a few bucks, this
is your chance to finally KNOW the secret formula (no doubt held in a heavily
guarded vault in the Nevada desert.)
Of course the only weight you really lose - at least long term - is whatever the
hard earned money in your wallet weighed. Why we fall for it over and over again
is a discussion better left for another time. But the damage from the "Yo-Yo" effect
that trying - and failing - a parade of diets can do, is what we're talking
Let's look at why the "Yo-Yo" effect happens:
Whenever a person goes on a diet that restricts total intake of food,
drastically reduced calories, or very low fat, the body reacts to this
dieting as if famine had set in. Each time you diet, your body's metabolism
slows down in order to store fat. The more you diet, the slower your
metabolism, and with each successive diet it becomes more
difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight.
Most current research confirms the view that the ultimate result of this
deprivation is an increase in stored fat. Dr. Kelley Brownell of the University
of Pennsylvania found that yo-yo dieting increases the activity of an enzyme that
promotes the storage of fat. Losing and regaining cycles demonstrably increase
From an evolutionary point of view, the survival of our species may be directly
related to our body's ability to store fat in times of plenty for use in times of
famine. Like the animals who gain weight in anticipation of hibernating for the
winter, people in northern climates were originally heavier and larger than those
in southern climates. Their lives depended on it.
With the great equalizer of warmed homes and stocked groceries, this imbalance
no longer exists... in fact, with every corner store bulging with rows and rows of
sugar drenched products, we can all rest assured that the fat is equally
distributed onto all our bodies.
So, how to escape the cycle? If you haven't already guessed, the exception to
the fat-storing education the body gets from low-fat and low-cal diets is LOW CARB.
With a properly maintained low carb diet, there's no spring that must "give" from
being wound too tight from constant hunger. There's been no slowing of the metabolism.
Done right, low carb can truly be the end to years of the yo-yo. It means no hunger.
It means rich, satisfying foods. And don't let anyone tell you it excludes nutritious
veggies and an allowance of whole grains and lots of fiber. Or that it's boring
since you eat just meats and cheeses... we enjoy some of the most creative baking and
cooking of any diet, giving us cookies, ice cream, cakes, waffles, and so much more.
It's healthy, it's satisfying, and it will be the scissors you use to snip the string
of that yo-yo.