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Diet and Fitness Product Reviews | MyFit Yo-Yo Crash Diets Explained | MyFit - Diet and Fitness Product Reviews | MyFit

Yo-Yo Crash Diets Explained | MyFit

Team MyFit December 23, 2011 2

Yo-Yo Diets can be dangerous

What is it?

Yo-yo dieting is a repeated loss and gain of body weight due to excessive dieting by a dieter. This dieting is also known as Weight Cycling. The Yo-yo dieting term was first expressed by Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., at Yale University, in reference to the cyclical up-down motion of a yo-yo. In this type of dieting the follower become successful initially by gaining weight loss of the body but it can’t retain for a long period. They gain their weight back after some period of time and the dieter again practice the same cycle. When your diet includes bouts of starvation, missing meals, or very low calories – you are setting yourself up for the yo-yo effect. While it seems that good results can be achieved quickly, sooner or later, the body gets the hint that less calories are coming in. The body adapts, and decides that energy must be conserved – and metabolism (the way the body burns food for energy) begins to slow down. Often this can be a ‘plateau’ – the weight loss that was initially achieved begins to slow down or stop.

The yo-yo cycle

1.   You start a quick weight loss diet and don’t exercise, which results in a lowered metabolic rate (your body now burns less calories each day than it did before).

2.   You quit your diet.

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3.   Now, you return to eating as much food (or more—because of a sense of deprivation) as you did before your diet.

4.   As a result, you gain weight gain beyond what you previously weighed due to your lowered metabolic rate (and/or because you are binging on previously “forbidden foods”).

5.   Frustrated with your weight gain, you go back on a diet.

6.   Your metabolic rate lowers further; you regain lost pounds and add more weight in the process.

7.   The cycle continues….

Yo-yo dieting refers to repeated weight loss and weight gain. We can say it as a set of symptoms usually on a restricted-calorie diet, and then regains the weight.

Some danger signals of Yo-yo dieting are given below. You must be beware about it.

  • Emotional Snacking – Letting your emotions, good and bad, control you – you eat when you’re tired, lonely, angry, frustrated, bored, or happy.
  • Eating too fast – it takes 20 minutes for the brain to signal the body that its full.
  • Eating unconsciously – you decide to have one small cookie or cupcake and then the whole box mysteriously disappears.
  • Making poor food choices frequently – you eat potato chips, instead of an apple or have a milkshake instead of tea.
  • Binging – you feel anxious about social situations where there will be lots of food and eating too much.


Due to the above mentioned reasons you must avoid the dangerous phenomenon of Weight cycling or Yo-yo dieting. Some guidelines to erase yo-yo dieting is given below. Through this you can make a healthy, fit, metabolically active body:

You should stay away from fads that promise quick fixes, strive for a weight loss of no more than 2 pounds per week, preferably less, exercise regularly using your large muscles (i.e. the buttocks and the legs) doing activities such as walking, running, cycling and weight lifting, have small snacks throughout the day rather than large meals; each time you eat, your body experiences an increase in metabolic rate and you should also stave off extreme hunger by eating throughout the day

Nutrition Pattern to avoid Yo-yo dieting

  • Resist the lure of popular fad diets.
  • Develop pro-health rather than restriction mentality about eating.
  • Eat with moderation in mind.
  • Maximize fiber, protein and vegetables.
  • Develop a tailored plan.

Necessary mechanisms for a successful diet

Any sound weight loss/weight maintenance plan will include specific components, including eating foods in moderation, consuming a balanced plant-based diet, reducing saturated fat intake while consuming more poly- and monounsaturated fats, developing new daily healthy eating habits, and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Following are essential components of a sound weight-loss plan:

  • Set realistic goals.  The key is to lose weight gradually (no more than 1-2 pounds per week) by incorporating healthy eating habits into your daily life.  The concept of dieting is out and maintaining healthy eating patterns is in!  Incorporating healthy eating patterns into your daily life will help you reach and maintain a weight that is right for you.
  • There are no “good” or “bad” foods.  This way of thinking only leads to obsessive food habits.  Remember – everything in moderation.  Foods are the cornerstone of your health.  They provide the energy and building blocks for a healthy you. Make the changes needed gradually, one step at a time.  Try lowering your fat intake to more than 35% of your total calories and make sure to eat a variety of foods that you enjoy. Try new foods whenever possible.
  • Take your time when you eat.  Do not eat in the car or when watching TV.  What happens is that we do not pay attention to our internal signals telling us when we are full.  In addition, we have become a society that has become accustomed to “jumbo-sized” food portions.  Cutting down your food portion sizes is an excellent place to start.
  • Choose the healthy fats.  While cutting back on your saturated fat intake, increase the mono- and polyunsaturated fats in your daily eating plan.  A simple and tasty tip is to substitute olive oil for butter on bread.
  • Increase the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.  Take advantage of the many varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables that are currently available at most supermarkets.  If you are intimidated by the thought of cooking different grains or vegetables, consider buying a food steamer.  There are many inexpensive models out there to choose from.  They make cooking rice or steaming your vegetables a snap.
  • Increase your daily physical activities.  Walking is a great place to start.  A brisk walk, 30 minutes a day will help you to lose the weight and keep it off.  It will also help your emotional well-being!