I have to believe that a lot of us have had this happen. You have a goal to lose a certain amount of weight, but instead of getting down to your goal weight, you lose five pounds and then gain it back. You lose the same five pounds and gain it back. Or you might lose 20 pounds, and then keep staying in the same five pound range for months, even though you still need to lose some more weight.
That should be in the dictionary under the definition of “frustration.”
This first happened to me after I got married and started gaining weight. I’d diet and lose a few pounds and then the next week they’d be back. Unfortunately, as I gained the “lost pounds” back I also added a few more pounds to them. So I’d start out at 175, lose down to 170 and then gain up to 180. It was a horrible cycle.
And then, of course, I gained 150 pounds total, which made those 5 pound problems seem very small, but just as frustrating. Even during the 14 months it took me to lose my 150 pounds I had period of time where I kept gaining and losing those same five pounds. Fortunately that time, I didn’t stay in the five pound yo-yo world for very long, and went on to lose all my weight.
If you find yourself in the 5 pound yo-yo cycle, know that it doesn’t have to stay that way forever. In my own experience, and with helping a lot of other people, there can be several reasons for these yo-yo times within weight loss.
- You have reached a balance point with your weight. You have stopped eating/burning enough calories to lose weight and are eating/burning maintenance calories.
- You are becoming complacent. This isn’t bad, it happens to a lot of people – myself included. You’ve lost some weight and then find it hard to really keep things moving in the right direction.
- You feel some fear. This is very common and not often acknowledged. I’ve seen this a lot and it usually occurs close to the mid-point of the journey. It did for me too.
- You have stress in your life. I found that when things got stressful I would stop my forward progress and begin the mini yo-yo cycle. When the stress subsided often times the weight went on down.
- You are purposefully maintaining for a while, even though you aren’t “done.” This is a good thing because this time gives you practice for lifetime maintenance.
To get off the mini yo-yo cycle you have to determine what is holding you in one place and change it. You may decide not to change it for a while, or you may not be able to change the circumstances. Whatever the case, understanding why you are where you are is very important to move forward.
Ever had a mini yo-yo time? What did you do? Diane