Our body weight and physique are two things that we tend to think about altering from time to time.
Whether it’s gaining weight because you’re “too slim”—chiefly by hitting the weights and scarfing down massive amounts of calories—or the more common practice of wanting to shed a few pounds for good looks (or legitimate health reasons), our weight is something we are very cognizant about whether we care to admit to it or not. Thanks, society.
If you ask most people though, they want to lose weight, and immediately jump to dieting as the obvious route to take. People want results, and lucky for them, there’s a ridiculous amount of diet fads out there that can help “solve their problems”. And I personally know quite a bit of people who, because they want a quick fix, jump from diet to diet, or practice bad dieting habits (more about dieting habits here on my other blog, F3 For Answers). It’s certainly not a bad thing to want to get healthier, and channel that motivation to take a lot of action.
Consistency, however, is key to actually making proper strides in dieting.
Bouncing from diet to diet
A recent study by Health.com (and also reported by Time magazine) found that “yo-yo dieting”, or bouncing from diet to diet or weight to weight, is actually pretty dangerous for your long term health. What happened in the study, was this: 9,509 men and women from the ages of 35 to 75 (all diagnosed with coronary heart disease and high cholesterol) were tracked for about five years and assessed every six months. What they found was astonishing:
“Overall, people with the largest average weight changes (as much as 8.6 pounds between check-ins) experienced 136% more strokes, 117% more heart attacks, and 124% more deaths during the study than those with the smallest shifts (just under 2 pounds) in weight. For every 1.5- to 2-pound change in weight fluctuation, the risk of any coronary or cardiovascular event increased by 4%, and the risk of death by 9%.”
Uh, WHAT? Those are super high percentages of not-good-at-all health problems! Later on in the article, Dr. Sripal Bangalore added this:
“Bangalore says the message here should apply to anyone trying to lose weight, not just people with heart disease. ‘I often see patients trying to lose a ton of weight, and once they achieve it they try to relax and go back to their old habits,’ he says. ‘Whatever you can do to reduce weight is important, but once you do all that hard work, it’s also important to try to keep it off.’”
Other reasons why you should stay consistent dieting
Those are some staggering statistics, for sure. Besides those, there are a number of other reasons why, if you’re dieting, you should seriously keep in mind forming healthy and consistent habits.
- Consistent healthy eating makes enforcing all of your healthy habits that much easier.
- With drastic eating changes, you can lose sleep, which in turn effects pretty much everything in your day-to-day work.
- You can actually increase cravings for unhealthy foods if you don’t consistently keep on track with healthier options, thus defeating the goal of dieting in the first place!
It should be said that there are probably a variety more of different ways sudden waxing and waning changes in diet can negatively affect you. For me personally, if I try to jump from my normal healthier habits to, say, binge eating pizzas and burgers, I get absolutely wrecked physically—I feel like crap pretty much as long as I am not exercising and trying to get back on track; my sleep doesn’t feel fulfilling; I gain unnecessary weight; I am not nearly as athletic as a B-boy—and am way more susceptible to emotional breakdowns—I get sad a lot quicker, or go down depressing paths more easily; I overthink a lot quicker; and happiness seems a little slower to come than usual.
And I’m sure some of you might also feel those same symptoms, in which case, you should keep in mind how important steady dieting is to leading a healthy lifestyle!
Slow and steady may seem boring, but the guy or girl with a 136% less chance of stroke ends up living a lot longer.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach