After I lose weight, I fully expect to gain a portion of that weight back. I call this yo-yo weight loss and I believe this is the way our bodies naturally respond to dieting.
If you don’t expect a weight gain in your quest for a lean body, then you may feel bad when it happens. I hear about so many people who give up and feel like failures the minute they put on 2-3 pounds.
It is unfortunate because this is based upon a faulty belief system. You can have weight loss success
[This picture reminded me of The Matrix and belief systems…”The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes.”]
Isn’t Yo-Yo Dieting a Bad Thing?
The difference between yo-yo dieting and yo-yo weight loss is a matter of magnitude. Yo-yo weight loss typically becomes a yo-yo diet when the dieter freaks out about a quick weight gain.
They feel like a failure for putting on weight and then just think to themselves…”screw it, I just don’t have what it takes to get lean”. These people then proceed to sabotage their diet and eat large amounts of food, get depressed, etc.
I Will “Yo-Yo” off These Last 5 Pounds Before Summer
I am pretty lean, but wouldn’t mind losing 5 pounds before summer. My game plan is to just lose 1-2 pounds per month. This sounds like slow weight loss and it is, but losing that last little bit of weight is the trickiest…especially if you want a normal social life.
Also, one of the things I have found is that when you lose the last few pounds slowly, you tend to keep them off longer than if you “starve away” the final 5-10 pounds (a topic for a future post).
I Thought About This Subject on Sunday Night
This past Sunday, I went over to my girlfriend’s parents house for dinner. Her mom is an amazing cook and she invited us over for lasagna and dessert. I used to be kind of “neutral” on lasagna but her mom made me a convert.
I had two large helpings, 3 pieces of sourdough bread, and 2 helpings of berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream….but I’m trying to lose weight, right?
Sometimes You Lose the Battle, But Win the War
I don’t really view eating a large delicious meal as losing a battle, but as far as dieting goes it means that I will put back on some of the weight that I lost. The cool thing is that this Monday I still was slightly lighter than last Monday.
Also, I did one of my two weekly fasts on Monday, had an intense workout in a fasted state and a medium salad for dinner. I’m back in business!
How Losing Weight is Like Playing a Sport
If you are playing basketball, you can’t expect to stop the opposing team from scoring.
Same with weight loss…you can’t expect to lose weight without ever gaining some of that weight back.
Also in basketball, there are times when a team is behind for a quarter or two. When losing weight, you may weigh more on Wednesday than you did on Monday. This is natural, just make sure that you push extra hard on the rest of the week to come out slightly ahead on Wednesday.
Some Weeks You Will “Barely” Win the Weight Loss Game
For me, last week was a “small win”…I only lost a tiny bit of weight. I still consider this a win and I still consider this forward progress. All of these small wins will add up to reaching my goal of getting really lean for summer. What if I would have gained weight last week?
I would have made a big adjustment in either my diet or exercise plan and aimed for a “small win” this week. Over time this is a great approach to ensuring weight loss success.
Two Steps Forward and One Step Back
You can expect to lose 3 pounds, gain back 2 pounds…lose 4 pounds gain back 1 pound…lose 1 pound gain back 1 pound. I call this “zig-zagging” your way to a lean body.
This is really where I came up with the term “yo-yo weight loss”. A more accurate term would be zig zag weight loss, but that wasn’t as catchy.