What Is Yo Yo Dieting And What Some Tips On How To Stop It?

So you have heard of it but were still asking yourself - what is yo yo dieting and what some tips to stop it? This article details gives 8 best tips on how to stop yo yo dieting and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle

What Is Yo Yo Dieting And What Some Tips On How To Stop It?

So you have heard of it but were still asking yourself – what is yo yo dieting and what some tips to stop it? This article details gives 8 best tips on how to stop yo yo dieting and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

We’ve all been there. Your diet is going well; you lose the weight you’ve been working on shedding for so long. But then a few months later, the pounds start to creep back on. Devastated, you have to start the weight loss all over again! This cycle of losing and gaining weight is the simplest explanation and answer to the question: ‘what is yo yo dieting?’ – which is also sometimes referred to as weight cycling.

If kept up over a long period of time, it can have serious negative effects on your overall health. We’ll cover how people fall into yo yo dieting, some of the long-term effects a yo yo diet has on your body, and how to stop yo yo dieting.

What Is Yo Yo Dieting?

The pattern of dieting to lose weight, regaining it and then dieting again is what is yo yo dieting, or weight cycling. However, you can’t have long-term change without changing habits for the long-term, which is why yo yo dieting is not sustainable.

Some people rely on this cycle to lose weight for certain events, only to gain it back, and then try to lose it again. If you’ve ever thought “I want to lose 20 pounds by [date] for [event]”, then you may have fallen trap to yo yo dieting.

What are the causes of Yo Yo dieting?

Yo yo dieting is often caused by the dieter wanting to lose weight quickly. They may mistakenly think that they can create a ‘shortcut’ to losing weight. The idea of losing weight quickly can be exciting; however, over time, their lose-weight quick diet becomes impossible to sustain. Eventually, the dieter goes back to their old habits and gains all the weight back. In fact, they may even gain more weight than they originally had.

Here are key causes of yo yo dieting:

  • Desire to lose weight quickly
  • Wanting a ‘shortcut’ to lose weight
  • Impossible to sustain diets
  • Person feels deprived of favorite foods, causing them to binge later

Does Yo Yo dieting work for weight loss?

Perhaps the only pro of yo yo dieting is that many people have used it to lose weight fast. However, the idea that you can eat whatever you want most of the time and go on a hyper-restricted diet to lose weight quickly and keep it off is false. You may lose weight in the short-term, but in the long-term, your body will likely be much worse off.


What are the health risks and dangers of Yo Yo dieting?


what is yo yo dieting


Yo yo dieting can have many unintended consequences that lead to long-term weight struggles, a greater risk of obesity and even gut dysfunction.

  • Long-term weight struggles

A study from the University of Exeter and Bristol found that long-term repeated diets can actually lead to weight gain, the opposite of what you intended. According to the study, the average weight gain for those who diet is higher than for those who never diet because yo yo dieter’s bodies adapt to store more food after repeat dieting.

  • Greater risk of obesity

Yo yo dieting can lead to cravings and even binge eating, making it extremely difficult to keep the weight off. Plus, studies show that yo yo dieting can cause a higher body fat percentage causing you to lose muscle and gain fat, further increasing your risk for obesity.

  • Gut Dysfunction

A study by the University of New South Wales found that drastically changing your eating habits can be especially rough on your gut. It can affect the balance of healthy gut bacteria, which can lead to inflammatory bowel disease and even obesity.

8 Best Tips On How To  Stop Yo Yo Dieting


what is yo yo dieting

If you’re ready to quit the cycle of what is yo yo dieting, then try some of these healthy habits.

1. Redefine ‘healthy’ 

Health is much more than a measure of weight on a scale. How can you feel stronger, more energized and happier? Redefine healthy to those things.

2. Set a long-term goal

Instead of trying to lose weight for an upcoming event, think about how you will feel if you can stay fit for the rest of your life. Set a new goal with a long-term perspective

3. Cook at home

Instead of eating out, opt to cook healthy meals at home as much as you can.

4. Clean out your kitchen

If you’re ready to change your habits for the long-term, change up your kitchen as well. Create space for meal prepping and organize healthy foods that are easy to grab.

5. Drink more water

Swap out sodas for water whenever you can, and overall, drink more water each day.

6. Increase your fruits and veggies

Only 1 in ten adults in the U.S. get their daily in-take of fruits and vegetables as recommended by nutritional guidelines. If you want to lose weight for good and change your lifestyle, you’ll need to be part of that 10%.

7. Trust your hunger cues

To stop yo yo dieting, you’ll need to become more in tune with your body and its cues. Instead of depriving yourself, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. But be sure to learn the difference between hunger and cravings!

8. Get regular exercise

If you want to change your health for the long-term, you can’t just exercise a few days a year. Find movements that work for you and your lifestyle and stick to them regularly.


Dieting to weight quickly, only to gain it back and diet all over again, is what is yo yo dieting. The idea that you can lose weight fast for a specific event or try extreme diets to shortcut the time it takes to lose weight is unsustainable. Short-term diets will only help you lose weight in the short-term. Over time, yo yo dieting can cause long-term struggles with weight, a greater risk of obesity and gut dysfunction.

If you’ve fallen into the yo yo dieting trap, you can use the tips listed here to stop and reclaim control over your health. The key is consistency; the healthier habits you can create for the long-term, the better off your health will be.


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