By Peter San Nicolas
YO, YO, 1-2-1-2
No I’m not kicking off a hip hop career. I’m talking about yo-yo dieting this week and the issues and repercussions associated with it.
We just launched our seventh Ramona’s Biggest Winner competition, where teams of four complete bootcamps, nutrition classes, one-on-one coaching sessions and team challenges, all in an effort to lose the most in six weeks. We have over 150 motivated individuals fired up and ready to lose some weight for the summer and, my hope, the rest of their lives.
The latter is not always the case. I have seen a number of participants compete in multiple Biggest Winner events and I welcome them with open arms, but I want to see long-term success.
Here is my encouragement: Strive to keep the weight off long term. Yes we may gain a pound or two or three over the holidays, but in general I would categorize one as a yo-yo dieter if one has gained and lost 10 percent to 15 percent of their body weight three or more times.
Yo-yo dieting will suppress good fat burning hormones and increase fat sparing ones, along with altering your mood and psychology. It will cannibalize lean muscle. Why does this occur and how can one prevent the bulge from returning?
First it is critical NOT TO DIET AT ALL. Diets have a beginning and an end. Healthy eating is for a lifetime. As in life, we have to strive to do what is maintainable and sustainable.
Second, GRADUAL WEIGHT LOSS is key. If you lose 30 pounds in a month, you most likely have lost a significant amount of lean body mass and in turn slowed your metabolism down. Do this year after year and your calorie burning furnace, muscle, will have diminished, and even your calories burned at rest will decline. When you lose over a longer period of time, you give yourself a chance to learn new eating habits, retrain your appetite for healthy food, and learn a healthy living routine.
Next, it’s imperative that you pick stuff up, move it around, put it down, and repeat. In other words — LIFT WEIGHTS. I’ll say it time and again: Resistance training is king. This will keep that furnace we spoke of earlier, muscle, stoked and burning like a So-Cal wildfire!
Strive for long-term change and sustainable results. Make a commitment to yourself, your famliy and friends and your body to STOP the yo-yo cycle.
Good luck and check out my website www.ramonastrainer.com for articles, workouts, videos, and how you can get started on your path to you, only better.
Peter San Nicolas owns Ramona Fitness Center.