5 Ways to Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting
Why Weight Cycling Is Bad for You

5 Painless Ways To Halt The Cycle Of Yo-Yo Dieting
Written by Isaac

Often when we set the resolution to start a diet, we go all out.

We cut out all of the bad foods and workout like fiends. Fad diets and insane workout plans sound awesome when you’ve got the willpower, but they also completely drain you, damage your body, and often result in the dreaded yo-yo dieting effect.

What is yo yo dieting?

Even if you do shed a lot of pounds this way, you gain them right back in no time. This is because extreme diets - as awesome as their promises are - straight-up don’t work.

Here are 5 tips to get out of the cycle of the yo yo effect and make a healthy diet a lifelong habit.

5 Hacks to avoid yo yo dieting

5. Pick A Plan You Can Stick To

Planner, healthy meal and girl working out holding a cup

"Without a goal, there can be no real success." - Thomas S. Monson

We’re going to be pretty hardline on this one: don’t do the fad diet or starve yourself on some juice cleanse.

For that matter, don’t even force yourself to cut out anything for good. It’s just too hard to radically change your diet. Instead, set goals you can really reach.

Eat less fast food, less processed foods, and less empty carbs. Find healthy food that you enjoy eating. Make incremental changes instead of a total overhaul.

4. Understand That Weight Loss Doesn’t Happen Fast

Open road, clock and girl in a sunset

If at first you don't succeed, fix your ponytail and try again!

Here’s a secret: plenty of testimonials from diet pills and even before and after photos are fake or wildly photoshoped. It’s unfortunate but true.

Weight loss simply doesn’t happen fast. It’s not a short-term project - it’s a journey. Don’t weigh yourself every week.

Consider taking a before photo to drive you forward, but don’t let yourself compare yourself to it for at least a month.

Remember too that muscle weighs more than fat. Instead of the scale, opt for a body composition calculator to see how your body fat percentage is decreasing. This matters a lot more than the number on the scale.

3. Eat Smart

Glass of water, plate of fruit, girl in a blanket

Care for your body. Eat. Hydrate. Move. Sleep.

There are so many cheat codes when it comes to dieting, and these ones are totally painless. Here are a few we love:

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    Drink water before and during your meal. You’ll feel fuller faster.
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    Eat mindfully - really pay attention to each bite, the taste of your food, and the feeling that you’re becoming full. Challenge yourself to eat slowly, setting down your fork between each bite.
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    Think of eating healthily as taking care of yourself. Being healthy is the best thing you can do for yourself, and it will improve your life in more ways than just changing your weight.

2. Ditch The Word “Diet”

Breakfast bowl and girl sitting in the field of flowers

Invest in your mind. Invest in your health. Invest in yourself.

The word diet sounds like something you’re just doing for a little while until you reach your weight loss goal.

In actuality, your diet needs to become part of your lifestyle for the long term. Remember rule number 1: Pick a plan you can stick to.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? The "Diet" or the "failed diet"? It's about a lifestyle change, not just torturing yourself for a couple of weeks.

1. Cheat A Little

Girl having a glass of wine, awesome sweets and a girl eating pizza

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Let yourself have cake at the wedding. Let yourself have a glass of wine (or two) after a hard week at work.

Final thoughts on Weight Cycling

This new healthy diet doesn’t have to be a death sentence, and it doesn’t mean you have to cut out anything for good. A healthy diet is about moderation, not starvation.

These are some tips that we believe will help you stop the cycle of yo yo dieting. It’s a hard cycle to break, though.

Are you or have you been a yo-yo dieter? What do you think is the best way to stop this weight cycling?

About the author


I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits.