Sustainable weight loss for the beach: Insights

Heather Campbell
 min read

Sustainable weight loss for the beach: why crash dieting is a bad idea, what the yo-yo effect is, and what a healthy diet looks like.

Sustainable weight loss for the beach: InsightsSometimes it’s very tempting to lose a lot of weight in an unhealthy way, even if it’s to achieve a healthy weight.

Everyone has heard of crash diets and the yo-yo effect, but what are they really?

Avoid these and focus on sustainable weight loss instead, so you can feel more confident to strut around in your swim wear once summer season is upon you.

Tip: If you’re not much of a strutter on the beach, perhaps you’d be interested in checking out these beach chairs that are top rated for over 300 lbs.

Sustainable weight loss for the beach: Introduction

Strangely enough, the bottom line is that no diet is a better way to lose weight. With a diet, you’re offered a structure of what you can(not) eat, resulting in losing weight quickly.

This seems great, but usually, you gain all the pounds back (or even more) when you stop the diet.

In other words: it’s not a matter of dieting but adjusting your diet.

So you could think of it as a lifelong diet where, after an adjustment period, you hardly notice you are dieting.

To understand why you need to change your diet to stay at your target weight, let’s first talk about the fat-burning basics.

Basic principles of fat burning

In prehistoric times, nobody knew how to store food. Instead, they were constantly gathering food by hunting and picking berries.

Then once they had the food, it had to be eaten immediately. This allowed them to store their food in their bodies in the form of fat.

In times of food shortage or during winter, they could convert that stored fat into energy, being the only way they could survive. In addition, women needed extra fat to bear children and care for them.

Although our lives have changed incredibly since prehistoric times, this basic principle remains in force in our human bodies.

Everyone is born with some fat cells; this number is genetic. Sadly, you can’t get rid of these fat cells. You can only gain more depending on your diet). You can’t get rid of existing fat cells either.

This does not make losing weight impossible! You don’t lose weight by losing fat cells. Instead, your fat cells need to shrink to lose weight.

When you drop weight, your fat cells shrink together like deflated balloons. But, of course, it is not smart to eat many fatty foods when trying to “drain” the fat cells.

This is why a good “diet” or eating pattern is low in fat. In addition, to lose weight, you need a calorie reduction. It’s mainly the percentage of calories from fat that needs to go down.

You can do this by changing your diet while also exercising more.

Avoid crash diets and the yo-yo effect for sustainable weight loss

It is unhealthy to immediately swear off all fat and drastically reduce your calories per day.

Your body simply needs a small amount of fat. In addition, it is essential to take in enough protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.

This is the so-called recommended daily allowance that you find on many products.

When you consume too few calories, it does help to lose weight quickly. But in the long run, you fall back to your old weight.

This is the well-known yo-yo effect because humans are genetically protected from starvation.

During long food poverty, the body will slow down your metabolism and burn less energy (read: fat) to survive such a period.

A certain part of the brain called the hypothalamus regulates this survival instinct.

The brain picks a point where the weight needs to be to feel comfortable.

Once the weight drops below this point (because you are losing weight), the body goes into survival mode. This is when your brain thinks you are going to starve.

This point is determined in part by your diet. If you have overeaten for a long time, that point is high, maybe even higher than healthy.

Cause of the yo-yo effect

You temporarily eat very little in crash diets, with as few calories as possible. You then lose weight rapidly until you reach that point.

Then your brain starts protecting your body, and weight loss stops.

This is because your metabolism slows down to conserve as much energy as possible. As a result, you burn less fat, and your body will be greedy.

Because your metabolism slows down, you get hungry, and hunger makes you eat more. Often, you start craving the things that you banned from your diet.

As a result, you regain all the lost pounds at lightning speed. This is because your body starts hoarding.

Your body desperately wants to get back to the point where it feels comfortable. It often goes overboard to prepare for the next lean period.

People who crash diet usually get trapped into the yo-yo effect and end up in a vicious cycle:

Lose weight quickly, gain it all back (often a little more), lose weight quickly, gain it all back, and so on.

This is not healthy, usually frustrating, and disastrous for your self-confidence.

A good diet is a changed diet

How can you get around that survival instinct? How can you compensate for slowed metabolism? The answer is not to eat less, but to change the balance of your diet.

Eating less fat does not mean eating less overall.

You will need to reduce the number of calories. This is a core ingredient for losing weight.

More importantly, you will specifically have to lower the calories you take in from fats. That way, your body doesn’t panic and think it’s starving.

As a result, it will not slow down your metabolism, so you continue to lose weight without feeling hungry.

High-fiber plant-based foods as the key to successful, sustainable weight loss

We recommend lowering the amount of fat and replacing it with good, low-calorie, high-fiber plant-based products.

You will fool the brain because it’s still getting the amount of nutrition it needs. In fact, you can probably eat more and feel more satisfied when you take in fewer calories and fats.

Plant-based foods (with lots of fiber) digest more slowly in your stomach, so you keep a satisfied feeling longer.

As a result, you’re less likely to get cravings and appetites. This means you’ll feel less like eating unhealthy snacks.

Plant-based foods are perfect for basic energy and muscle building because they are rich in:

  • vitamins
  • minerals
  • trace elements
  • carbohydrates
  • proteins

This allows your body to burn excess fat more quickly.

Conclusion: Slow but sustainable weight loss is the goal

We’ve gone over the basic principles of fat burning, what a crash diet and the yo-yo effect are, and we’ve described what a healthy diet consists of and what to look out for.

Healthy weight loss lasts the longest. So don’t lose your patience! Instead, try not to lose more than one pound every week.

Never forget that a lowered body weight and staying at your target weight is more important than how fast you lose weight. Don’t lose heart!

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About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More