In order to get off the yo-yo diet rollercoaster, there needs to be a serious mindset shift. As an Eating Psychology expert, I tell clients all the time that any change you make on the outside (i.e. your weight) is only going to be permanent if you are willing to change on the inside (i.e. your mindset).
The number one tip I can give someone looking to stop yo-yo dieting is to stop using the word "diet". The word diet has a negative connotation in everyone's mind. It means going without, punishment for poor choices, that you are going to miss out on things you want. Instead, start looking at this journey as establishing a healthy lifestyle. When someone is establishing a healthy lifestyle, it's much more positive oriented. You are helping yourself feel better, look better and live longer.
The second tip that I have for a wannabe ex-yo-yo dieter is to operate proportionally. What I mean by this is that on average, we make about 250 food choices per day. If you can average out about 80% to 90% of those choices in a week being the healthiest one for you, then you should be on the right trajectory. This means that yes, most of the time you are eating healthy whole foods, but also yes, you can have that dessert at dinner on Saturday night.
The third tip for stopping the yo-yo dieting is to find an eating plan you are happy to follow (mostly, remember the 80-90%) for the rest of your life. That means no, the cabbage diet is not an option. You would die of malnutrition trying that for the rest of your life. Explore different ways of eating. We all have different lifestyles. Some people have time and energy to meal prep and freeze meals way ahead of time. Others thrive on eating a home cooked meal once a day and supplementing with healthy snacks. Some people do very well on higher protein eating plans because it makes them feel fuller longer. Others are very happy eating nothing but veggies. The bottom line is, if you can't sustain the eating plan for years and years, you need to find one that meets that criteria.
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