The Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle

May 17, 2023

Infographic: The Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle. Yo-yo dieting is the practice of repeatedly losing weight by dieting and subsequently regaining it.  The Diet: Extreme crash diet and calorie deficit to lose weight. Metabolism slows. The Plateau: Weight loss plateau and unable to lose weight. The Fall Off: Return to old eating habits. Body weight increases from excesses food intake. The Relapse: Weight returns or increases. Return to crash diet with a slower metabolism.

Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle: A number of factors contribute to the yo-yo dieting cycle. One such cause is the desire for quick weight loss. People often resort to crash diets or fad diets to achieve this quickly, only for it to lead them down an unsustainable weight loss path that they are more likely to regain once their diet ends.

Yo-yo dieting is also caused by lack of consistent exercise routine. When an individual relies solely on dieting for weight loss, their metabolism will slow and their muscles may atrophy as a result, making it more challenging for them to maintain long term success with their diet and weight loss efforts.

Emotional eating can also contribute to weight cycling. When individuals use food as an outlet to cope with stress or emotions, they can easily fall back into unhealthy eating patterns which lead to weight gain.

Yo-Yo Dieting Can Have Negative Consequences:

Weight cycling can have serious adverse repercussions for an individual's overall health and well-being, with insulin resistance contributing to inflammation in the body - two key contributors in the onset of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Weight cycling increases your risk for these conditions.

Weight cycling can have serious repercussions for an individual's mental health, leading to feelings of frustration, low self-esteem and depression.

Breaking the Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle

Reducing weight cycling involves making long-term lifestyle changes. Here are a few strategies that may help individuals break free of this vicious cycle:

  • Focus on a Healthy Diet: Instead of resorting to restrictive or crash diets, plan for developing a sustainable and healthful eating pattern by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your daily meal plans.
  • Implement exercise into your routine: Regular physical activity is crucial for weight loss and muscle building. Aim to complete at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity most days of the week.
  • Practice Mindful Eating: Mindful eating means paying attention to physical hunger cues and only eating when needed, as well as being aware of emotions or thoughts which might trigger unhealthy eating patterns.
  • Find Support: Breaking free from yo-yo dieting can be challenging, so it is essential that you remember you do not need to do it alone. Seek guidance from registered dietitians, therapists or support groups as needed.

The yo-yo dieting cycle is an all too familiar situation that can have lasting negative repercussions for an individual's overall health and well-being. By adopting healthy behaviors and making long-term lifestyle changes, individuals can break free from this pattern and reach their weight loss goals more sustainably. To learn more schedule a consultation.