The Problem with Yo-Yo Dieting and the Solution


So maybe you’re going to ignore the scale until after the holidays are over. But once Jan. 1 rolls around, that might be a different story.

Every year millions of people set goals or New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. But too often, not in a healthy way. Fad diets, crash diets, long periods of fasting and restrictive diets can help you lose weight.

But these types of diets generally aren’t sustainable. You lose weight. Then you gain it back. For some people, this becomes a way of life.

It’s called yo-yo dieting. And research suggests the revolving door of weight loss and weight gain raises your risk for heart-related problems, including heart disease, heart attack, and early death.

So what kind of diet should you follow to help you manage your weight and lower your risk for heart disease?

The Mediterranean Diet. It’s the way people in the Mediterranean have eaten for centuries, and it’s one reason there’s a concentration of people there who live past 100, compared to other parts of the world.

So what’s the Mediterranean Diet? It’s really more of a lifestyle than just a meal plan. Following a Mediterranean Diet means your meals mostly consist of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Red wine

In the PREDIMED study on the Mediterranean diet, researchers found that eating this way cut the risk for heart disease by 30 percent. These foods are also lower in calories compared to fast foods, processed meals, and desserts, and help support weight management efforts.

People in the Mediterranean also typically have stronger social ties with family and friends. They tend to tend to walk more and be more active than sedentary populations, such as in the United States.

Want to control your weight and protect your heart? Follow the Mediterranean Diet, and check out these meals:

  • Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice & Minted Carrots
  • Breaded Pollock, Peas with Mushrooms, Onions, Red Peppers, Carrots
  • Crab Cake, Brown Rice & Mixed Vegetables
  • Salmon & Vegetable Linguini
  • Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach
  • Tilapia & Rice Pilaf with Mushroom & Artichoke Hearts
  • Tilapia with Miso Ginger, Black Beans, Rice with Peas & Carrots
  • Vegetable Caponata with Orzo & Spinach