Yo-Yo Dieting

Your body weight will fluctuate on a daily basis whether you are dieting or not. This is a natural occurrence and is caused by the food we eat and the water we drink. This will mean your weight will change regularly, which becomes a problem when people become obsessed about weight in relation to their fitness and health goals.

It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people who start yo-yo dieting and end up further behind than when they started. This is a vicious cycle. Try to stay away from the trap.

What Is Yo-Yo dieting?

Yo-yo dieting can be defined as repeatedly gaining and losing weight.

What are the problems with Crash Dieting?

Further weight gain

The reason some people find it very difficult to see any positive results when yo-yo dieting is due to the fact that this kind of diet can end up slowing down your metabolism. This means when you aren’t exercising you are not burning as much fat as you could be.

It also promotes an unhealthy attitude towards food. By completely cutting out foods you will find yourself craving foods and are more likely to have lapse and binge eat. Both of these issues are discussed in more detail below.

Diets that include a high calorie deficit usually have 2 outcomes.

o    You will experience an increase in appetite

o    Your metabolism will slow down

The human body is designed to survive through low calorie diets (such as in caveman times when they would go long periods without food). The body will hang onto fat stores as this is the most profitable source of energy, making it difficult to burn fat.

When you diet, the size of the body’s fat cells are reduced. The number of fat cells in the body however, is not actually reduced.

Towards the end of your diet, at a time when you are most vulnerable to over-eating and craving the junk food that you most probably skipped during dieting, smaller and more sensitive fat cells are made in the body and this can cause a return over time to your pre-diet weight!

The massive problem with this is that now your body is more likely to store even more fat that it had done previously.

Unhealthy relationship with food

Dieting in this way will definitely promote an unhealthy relationship with food.

o    By not allowing yourself any foods you like over a period of time will almost certainly result in a binge on said food.

o    If you go off plan and have a ‘bad day, then the overwhelming feeling of guilt will make you feel terrible for straying from the program.

o    You will start to hate food and will constantly feel hungry.

Slower metabolism

Your metabolism can slow down in many ways. A bad scenario is that you alternate from one extreme to another in quick succession.

A typical situation is that many who diet will see some weight loss and therefore, when they come off their ‘diet’, will begin to eat the foods that they were eating to begin with. This will then result in the person ‘dieting’ again. This will continue to be repeated. By hitting a hard diet again so soon, their metabolism has not been allowed to become strong again.

This time around, cutting calories are no longer an option as they are already very low from the last dieting phase and there’s no room to reduce them farther. This can be a real problem.

To combat this, people tend to:

o    Perform extra cardio. However this will most probably be high after the first phase of dieting and intensive cardio. By lengthening a cardio routine allows less time for muscular resistance training, which will result in a decrease of muscle mass, further decreasing your metabolism.


By yo-yo dieting, you not only create an unhealthy relationship with food, but you place yourself in danger of slowing down your metabolism, and you also place yourself in danger of low self esteem.

The best way to beat all of this is to not hit a diet really hard. I suggest that you eat wholesome, healthy foods, and exercise 4-5 times per week. Allow yourself some of the foods you love now and again, but do this in moderation. This way you are far less likely to want to binge.

Also drink plenty of water to keep hydrated throughout the day. 2.5 – 3 Litres per day may seem a lot, but this will help you feel energised and also help your digestive system work correctly. By drinking regularly throughout the day you will also stave off hunger pains and you will feel less hungry. Drink little and often and you will feel fantastic!!

Stay Strong!!