Stop Your Yo Yo Dieting Already!

If you want to lose weight, you have to do it the right way. Skipping meals, not starting your day out with breakfast, or following an extremely low-calorie diet is not in any way going to help you lose weight. Calorie deprivation only sets you up for yo-yo dieting, or “weight cycling.” Your weight will continue to go up and down for the rest of your life.  You need to learn what to do to have permanent weight loss.

You might have initial success on one of these extreme diets, but the toll it takes on your body is not at all worth it. Extreme diets that promise big weight loss in a short amount of time cut out macronutrients like carbs and fats — which is horrible for your hormone balance and your metabolism.  I do not worry too much about fats and my carbs are just kept low and healthy carbs is the way to go.

Some people want to desperately want to lose weight for a special occasion and figure that only a couple of weeks at 800 calories a day can give you results you want. And maybe it does…but when you go back to a normal eating pattern, your body is messed up.  According to Jillian Michaels, “While you weren’t taking in enough calories, your levels of T3, the thyroid hormone that boosts your metabolism, plummeted and you slowed down your metabolism. Also, your response to insulin has taken a hit, so instead of glucose entering your cells, where it can be used for energy, your body lets it roam around in your blood, where it can cause trouble. Your sensitivity to leptin (which regulates appetite) is also reduced, so you’re never quite sure when to say, “Enough!” at the table. Plus, the hormone that tells your brain you’re starving, called ghrelin, shoots higher than ever. That is just the beginning of your problems. When you inevitably start gaining back weight, you start the cycle of yo-yo dieting all over again. It gets more and more frustrating every time you do it.”

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So, stop calling it a diet and start looking at your choices in eating as a lifestyle change. Shift your thinking from merely “cutting back” to simply eating proper portions of the right, nutritious foods. Whole  foods will repair, nourish, and support every cell so that your body will work for you and not against you.

Diet / Binging

Diet deprivation, especially in the beginning stages of weight loss can cause someone to crave the foods that you have cut out.


Binging simply means you have temporarily lost control over the amount and type of food you planned to eat.  I have seen this so many times.  You are doing fine and then someone brings in cupcakes, brownies, etc.  You break down and have some and before you know it, you do it more and more. Here’s what you can do to help protect your weight loss plan.

Even occasional binging adds unwanted calories to your diet. The key to weight-loss success is to be aware of your weaknesses and actually make room for them in your diet.

“I don’t think you should give up everything. That’s the key. You can budget in a sweet item every day or else I would really be crabby.  For me, having my Nature Valley Protein Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter bar, Power Crunch or my Carbolite helps get me through those moments.  They all have protein and low carbs vs. a plain chocolate bar or regular ice cream or frozen yogurt, laden in gobs of sugar and carbs and little protein.  I add the carbs in my choices into my 50 to 100g of carbs per day.

Smart dieters (way of life for me now through maintenance) find ways to adapt this strategy to their diet plan and achieve the right balance of calories. You can also have a end up having a sliver of what you are craving, and if you are dedicated during the week, then make it your one cheat day. The cheat day isn’t a binge, but more of a maintenance day — no calorie reduction, but no excess calories taken in either.

Another balancing option is to avoid temptation entirely when you’re at home, and have strategies for when you eat out. In other words, simply don’t buy food that will sabotage your weight-loss strategy.  Have healthy snack options at home.  I have protein bars, Greek yogurt, nuts, cheese, meet choices, veggies and fruit.

One approach is to  find “calorie bargains” that are similar to the treats you crave. Look for healthier alternatives or “light” versions of favorite snacks. But be sure to read food labels carefully — some reduced-fat treats have more added sugar and are not lower in calories.  Be careful though on carb counts.

Even though the occasional binge adds calories to your day and is a threat to your weight-loss goals, it isn’t usually unhealthy. However, when binging becomes a way of life, it may signal an eating disorder that requires professional help to overcome:

  • Binge-eating disorder is when you binge frequently and feel shame or embarrassment, but cannot stop doing it. People with this disorder are often overweight or obese. Because it is associated with anxiety and depression, it can be treated with some antidepressants.
  • Bulimia nervosa is when you binge and then try to “purge” or get rid of the calories by vomiting, taking laxatives, fasting, or exercising to an extreme. People with bulimia often appear to be of normal weight, but are obsessed with weight gain or loss, unhappy with their body, and ashamed of their binging and purging.

These eating disorders are more common in women, but can also be a problem for men and boys. If you are binging frequently and feel anxious or ashamed, seek help from your doctor.

For the occasional binger who wants to stop the overeating-dieting cycle, you should be able to avoid binging by budgeting calories/carbs to include the treats you love. When you find a way to balance these calorie-dense foods with better nutritional choices, you won’t be as tempted to overindulge.