Yo-Yo Dieting: Avoid the Ups and Downs

Though losing weight has many positive health benefits, could the rapid weight cycling of yo-yo dieting be harmful to your health in the long run?

Posted on | Comments ()

Some dieters psychologically treat diets as an all-or-nothing ordeal. Once they deviate even slightly from a diet or healthy eating plan, they figure they might as well drop the whole thing. This starts a cycle of weight gain and weight loss that’s hard to escape: We’re fat. We try to lose weight. We deviate just a little. We fear rejection for the perceived failure. We isolate ourselves from people. We stop talking about it. We mow through a pound of cheesecake, and we get fat again. The cycle continues. 

What Should I Do About It?
If you’re a yo-yo dieter and consistently struggle with weight, keep trying. Don’t give up. Trying to achieve a lower weight and reaping the potential health benefits from diet and exercise outweigh the possible risks of weight cycling. However, the trick is to avoid weight cycling altogether and lose weight for good. Here are some tips to accomplish that:

  • Lose Weight Gradually: The best way to lose weight and keep it off is through a gradual, consistent loss of weight of around two pounds per week. Not only does it help keep the weight off, it’s healthier for you.
  • Diet Just for You: One crux to dieting involves the societal disdain for obesity. Many yo-yo dieters stop dieting after many attempts in order to avoid the shame of failure. They calculate that it’s better to not be on a diet and be overweight than to be on a diet and eventually prove to the world that they can’t succeed.
  • Be Positive: If you blame yourself for your weight, if you are depressed about your weight, or if your mood is low because of your weight, then your first job is to refocus. You’ll need to think about what you can do, how you can do it, why it’s good for you, and how you’ll succeed.
  • Add Some Support: Develop a support system of people who know your goals, know your weaknesses, and know your strengths. You can even find support buddies online. This person will be your sounding board, your comfort system and your measure of accountability. With a positive support system, you’re more likely to make a permanent change.