health

Yo-Yo Dieting and its effects

Good morning! As promised, a post from my assigned homework! Yo-yo diets and their effects. 

85% of people who ‘diet’ without behavioral support will gain the weight back within two years. This added weight will put pressure on your organs to release substances to increase blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. All of these lead to inflammatory pathways eroding the body’s defenses. This is known as metabolic syndrome. 

Guys. This. Is. Not. Good.  I want to help you all understand yo-yoing and how to not throw away all the hard work you have started. 

It is very challenging to change your eating habits. It will be super stressful fighting with yourself every day among the rest of your responsibilities. But, please please know — IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT YOU ARE FAT.

I’ll explain … We live in a 10,000 year old body. Our bodies have been programmed, for longer than we have been trying to lose weight, that when there is food–it is time to eat and eat it all.

Let’s go to an example…we all know food was far and in between for cavemen or cave-women. It also took a lot of effort and energy to obtain food. When our ancestors made a kill or found a huge bush of berries, they ate all of it since there was no certainty of more food later that day or week. This is how they survived. And it worked because … large amounts of food intake cannot be used all at once so our bodies convert the unused nutrition into fat. Which works out pretty well since our bodies are made to run on fat. This is a crazy concept, I know! I will write a blog later to explain! 🙂 Please leave the example with this: It is not your fault you are fat. 

Continuing to why you yo-yo. Okay, so we know our bodies store fat. This sounds awful. But it isn’t. It is a high efficiency system working to keep us alive. Minimal effort of eating with a maximum output of energy. It is amazing how our bodies run and we need to recognize this fact. But, eating the pint of ice cream the same as our ancestors would eat the bush of berries due to our natural instincts will not work. We all know that ice cream makes you fat. If anyone disagrees. You are lying. 

So we are fat or larger than we would like to find ourselves. And we want to lose weight to look better or be healthier. Our doctors are telling us. Our insecurities are begging us to lose the weight. We set out to find a cool new ‘diet’. We are so excited to try something new and feel better. We stay strict on the ‘diet’ for a few days. Everything is going well until … we convince ourselves this is not worth the struggle. The ice cream our roommate or spouse bought is sitting in the freezer right now. You are starving. You need it. That biological instinct kicks in again  — When will you ever have ice cream again? This ‘diet’ sucks! And the ice cream is eaten. Whoops. 

Or. You stick out the ‘diet’ and you finally got back into those jeans you wore last year. You did it!! Now you give yourself permission to have a few spoon fills of ice cream. It is date night and you split a dessert. It is Sunday and you want a Starbucks frappe with your friends. You don’t realize but over time you are gaining the weight back. 

Back to square one. We are fat again. And we want to lose weight. 

A vicious fat cycle. It is awful to be stuck in and seems near impossible to get out. Trust me. Been there, got the tee-shirt. BUT I NEVER WANT TO GO BACK!


Scientifically, here is what happens. 

Losing weight with these fad ‘diets’ lower your total energy expenditure. (You weigh less, you burn less calories simply existing) 

This causes your metabolic rate to slow down. Your body is reset to a lower but more efficient burning state. 

When you gain weight back and have that slower metabolic rate … You cannot burn bad food as you once did. It will be harder to lose the weight again with a slower metabolic rate.


The yo-yoing is from a combination of your choice to go back to the old eating habits AND the fact that our bodies store fat if too much food is consumed at one time.  You can change your eating habits. You cannot change the way your body works. It takes motivation and proper choices to be healthy. 

Remember. Your body should burn fat as an energy source not glucose. Your body became more efficient by losing weight. Do not curse it for working better for YOU! Respect your body for what it does for YOU! This is the fact of how our bodies work. How will you use this information to challenge the way you look at food? Not just today, but next week. Next month. Next year. Honestly, our bodies are amazing. And now you know it!

Until next time my friends. I really hope this has helped at least one person. Please leave comments to discuss your thoughts on the topic! I am interested to hear them!

❤ Vivien

Source: Dr. A’s Habits of Health

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