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How To Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting

yo-yo dieting mindset is something we never intend when we start a diet. When we first sign up to the latest and greatest dieting plan, it really is with all of our best intentions. We also genuinely believe in the results we’ve witnessed others achieve and find ourselves spending a lot of money on supplements (depending on the diet plan).

However, it doesn’t take long before some of our past unhealthy habits start to slowly creep in again when life gets busy. This is normally when we either decide to start again “next Monday” or we completely give up only to start a new diet fad in the following January.

Research has shown us that yo-yo dieting can do us more harm than good. When we fail miserably with one eating plan and jump into the next one, our bodies take on the pressure and strain.

What Is Yo-Yo Dieting?

The word diet is often used in conjunction with the idea of our goal weight or our perceived goal weight.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word literally means, “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight.”

This often leaves most of us with a mindset kind of like this one, “when I reach my goal weight; I don’t need to follow this restrictive eating plan anymore.” 

Slowly these unhealthy habits that made us overweight in the first-place start to creep back into our daily routine. As we start to get into the swing of things, and stress begins to take its toll on our bodies. The last thing we want to do when we are busy or stressed is our intended ‘dieting routine.’

This causes us to pick up weight as well as leaving us with unhelpful feelings of failure. It is at this point that we are usually determined to feel better and so we start the next fad diet, leading us into a yo-yo diet mindset which puts pressure and strain on our bodies. 

Surely, Dieting Is A Good Thing?

Let’s be honest, when we want to start a diet, we have all the best intentions. We believe in ourselves, we see the picture of what we want to look like, and we begin, knowing it won’t always be easy.

BUT, Research shows us that 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it within 1-5 years, and there are a few reasons for this. 

  1. Many of us think that diets are a temporary plan, however, when we have “completed” our diet, we simply boomerang back to unhealthy eating patterns.
  2. Deprivation of restrictive diets may lead to a diet-overeat or diet-binge cycle. This is unhelpful when our bodies require good regulation. 
  3. Our body responds to overly-restrictive dieting by slowing our metabolism down, which makes it much harder for us to lose weight.
  4. Restricting certain foods may lead to a lack of essential nutrients. This leads to all kinds of uncomfortable things, some including headaches and constant tiredness.
  5. Often the root of dieting is feeling a lack of value. 
  6. Social norms and traditions can change over time. 

Intuitive Eating Is Better Than A Diet

Intuitive eating is a lifestyle take on health, more than a set of rules to follow, and foods to avoid. It is based on the foundational idea that you know best what your body needs most. 

It is a way of thinking about food differently, keeping track of the signals your body communicates to you, and then eating accordingly. Intuitive eating is quite simple. When you have the right information available to you it’ll be easy for you to trust the natural way your body responds to certain foods.

Our advice would be, remove the restriction, the rules and start listening to the natural signals your body sends you. Ultimately, go with your gut.


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