Do you remember how a few months ago, you were well on your way to achieving your goal weight? You probably celebrated by going on a shopping spree for the new and improved version of you, because nothing motivates a weight-watcher like some retail therapy!

Then, you got a promotion, a better job offer, moved to a different part of the city, or for some reason had to switch or renew your gym membership, which seemed so tedious—besides, you’ve almost lost all that you need to, so why bother? But, before you know it, you’re back to your old eating habits, and have packed on the pounds like a bear in hibernation, and now all you have to show for it is some sagging skin, and old new clothes that just won’t fit any more. They lay intact—label and all—in your cupboard, so in a moment of weakness, you resolve to take on a cleanse or drastically alter your eating habits, starting tomorrow; no wait. Starting Monday!

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Welcome To The Circle Of Hell—You Are Now Officially A Yo-Yo Dieter
Yo-yo dieting—or weight cycling, as the experts call it—is perhaps the nation’s favorite hobby. Think about it, who do you know that hasn’t have this happen to them at least once? And if you find comfort in numbers, you’ll be surprised to know that approximately 54 percent of the nation’s population are currently trying to shed pounds. Why else do you think weight loss meals, detox drinks, health juices, and the likes are suddenly all the rage?

And if that mere 54 percent is alarming, research also shows that most people are likely to regain almost all the weight they’ve lost, within the year, no matter what ‘brand’ of diet they employ. “We have this mentality that a diet is something to go on and then get off as quickly as possible,” says Fitness advisory board member Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Weight Management Center. “But, lasting weight loss requires making lifestyle changes that will work long-term,” she adds.

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Why Yo-Yo Dieting Is The Pits
Did you know that it’s not only your waistline that suffers from yo-yoing? “Repeated crash dieting increases metabolic hormones, such as insulin, and elevates levels of sex hormones, including estrogen,” says Andrea Pennington, MD, author of The Pennington Plan for Weight Success. “These changes cause you to start putting on weight around your middle, which research has linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

And if you’re wondering why you keep feeling down in the dumps ever so often, it’s because your confidence takes a severe beating with this yo-yo effect. According to Keri Gans, RD, a dietitian in private practice in New York City, “The more times you go through the gain-lose-gain cycle, the less convinced you become that you can break free from the constant ups and downs. No one wants to diet forever; it’s hard work.”

So, if you’re serious about losing the weight, we recommend you pace your weight loss, and always find time to hit the gym. Change your perspective: Do it for good health. This will help you make eating right a lifestyle, and teach you to differentiate between nutrition and calorie deficits, training and over-training, eating and emotional/stress eating, and other triggers that will prove to be your downfall.

PS: Here’s an exhaustive list of Diets For Weight Loss.
Also, head here to catch the latest in Fitness Trends.

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Charlene Flanagan is a lifestyle journalist whose love for language drove her to earn her Bachelor’s degree in English literature, as well as pursue her Masters in Arts. Over the last five years, she’s contributed to a number of leading publications, and has particularly enjoyed reviewing books and restaurants, as well as interviewing celebrities. Her recent switch to a holistic lifestyle has her looking at her food choices very differently—although she won’t admit it. When she’s not busy writing up about workouts, home remedies, and skincare essentials, she spends her time being the quintessential city girl who’s excited to see what life has in store for her.