If you’re a chronic dieter, you may find yourself on an endless rollercoaster of weight loss and gain. Many gravitate toward fad diets like Keto and Atkins which promise quick results, but expert sources and studies show that the majority of people tend to gain the weight back.
The truth is, traditional “dieting” may not be the most effective solution for achieving sustainable and lasting health results.
Let’s explore why dieting doesn't always work, especially for those who find themselves trapped in the cycle of chronic dieting. We'll also delve into the crucial role that the microbiome plays in metabolism and how it can be a game-changer for weight and overall health.
The Pitfalls of Chronic Dieting
When it comes to dieting, there’s generally a lot more happening than meets the eye. Chronic dieters often rely on quick fixes, crash diets, and extreme calorie restrictions to achieve rapid weight loss. This approach isn’t sustainable and rarely fixes underlying physical and psychological health problems that may be causing weight gain.
While some of us start strong, these types of extreme diets are nearly impossible to maintain long-term when life gets busy or we’re out of our normal routine, such as during social events. And whether you “cheat” and eat what you want or opt-out altogether, the lack of flexibility often causes a lot of guilt, anxiety, shame — and cravings.
Doesn’t Address Other Health Issues
These quick-fix diet solutions don’t address all the other factors that contribute to weight, including:
- Sleep habits
In addition, “9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime,” according to the National Eating Disorders Association. That means there are also a lot of mental and emotional strain surrounding food for many of us as well.
A holistic look at your health can often yield better results.
Yo-yo dieting — characterized by the cycle of losing and regaining weight — is a common outcome for chronic dieters. Research has shown that this pattern can impact your body, leading to increased stress, hormonal imbalances, and a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
The Microbiome's Role in Weight Regulation
Recent research has shed light on the significance of the human gut microbiome in regulating metabolism and impacting whether or not weight loss interventions will work. Your microbiome, a community of trillions of bacteria in the gut, influences how the body absorbs nutrients, stores fat, and manages energy.
One-size-fits-all diets rarely address the unique composition of an individual's microbiome. A diet tailored to support a healthy microbiome includes a variety of fiber-rich foods, fermented products, and supplements like Somaya Life. This approach fosters a diverse microbial community that promotes efficient metabolism and weight loss.
Tips for Sustainable & Healthy Weight Loss
While there are numerous factors that impact weight loss, there are some things that may help increase the likelihood of success.
Set Realistic Health Goals
Establish achievable, realistic, and specific health goals. Instead of focusing solely on the number on the scale, consider focusing on more healthy lifestyle goals, like incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your meals, increasing daily physical activity, or getting better sleep.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Consider focusing on a balanced and varied diet that includes whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid extreme diets or restrictive eating patterns, as they are often unsustainable in the long run.
Improve Gut Health
Since your gut plays an active role in metabolism, nutrient absorption, energy, and more, supporting it can help you on your health journey. Consider a variety of probiotic-rich foods like kimchi and sauerkraut. An ongoing supplement like Somaya Life can also help. The 10 Smart StrainsTM in Somaya Life were chosen to help boost the good bacteria in your gut, block pathogens, and improve communication signals between your gut and brain.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Our bodies can sometimes mistake thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated can help prevent overeating and support overall health.
Regular Physical Activity
A key piece of the puzzle that many fad diets ignore is physical activity. The Department of Health & Human Services recommends 150 to 300 minutes of physical activity per day for adults. Whether it's walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or strength training, find activities that fit your lifestyle and make them a consistent part of your routine.
Build Healthy Habits
Focus on building healthy habits rather than just trying to lose weight. Habits like meal prepping, planning workouts, and getting enough sleep contribute to overall well-being and make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Practice Mindful Eating
Practice mindful eating by paying attention to what you eat, savoring each bite, and recognizing when you're full. Avoid distractions like TV or smartphones during meals to enhance your awareness of food intake.
Get Adequate Sleep
Research has shown a correlation between sleep and obesity. Tiredness and lack of sleep can impact your body’s natural signals and lead to increased cravings and overeating. Midnight snacks, anyone? Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your weight loss efforts.
Find healthy ways to cope with stress, as stress can lead to emotional eating. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, to help manage stress levels.
It’s All About Balance
Chronic dieters, tired of the cycle of temporary solutions and quick fixes, can benefit from a paradigm shift in their approach to weight management. Recognizing the vital role of the microbiome in metabolism opens up new possibilities for sustainable and long-lasting results.
By embracing a diverse and holistic approach, you can foster a healthier relationship with food and your body and see ongoing health benefits beyond weight. It's time to prioritize holistic well-being over fleeting weight loss and embark on a journey toward a healthier, more balanced life.