What’s the Yo-Yo Effect and How to Avoid it?

In order not to become frustrated and avoid the yo-yo effect, it’s important to design a strategy. This allows you to not only achieve the first major goal, but to also maintain it. After all, having the perfect body is a lifetime project.
What’s the Yo-Yo Effect and How to Avoid it?

Last update: 11 March, 2019

Losing weight is a relatively easy task. Although, maintaining the perfect body and your ideal weight is far more demanding. The objective is to avoid the negative yo-yo effect.

Dieting, why do we do it?

Before starting any diet it’s necessary to understand what our final objective is. Oftentimes we summarize it in one statement: weight loss. However, it can also be used to build or tone and shape muscles.

When our goal is to lose a percentage of fat, having a good physical appearance isn’t enough. Being healthy and taking care of our bodies is also important.

Woman eating healthy to avoid Yo-Yo effect.

Extremes are always bad!

When it comes to dieting there are no exceptions. Eating too much is as bad as not eating enough. The first step to win the battle against the yo-yo effect is to adopt a balanced diet. Skipping meals is a strategy that doesn’t work.

In the vast majority of diets, the people who eliminate a certain food (and the protein, calories and other nutrients that those foods provide), often give up halfway through. This, combined with eating too much, (often times unhealthy food), results in gaining weight.

Even those who do make it to the end of the process tend to suffer from the yo-yo effect. The end of a diet marks the end of restrictions and many bad habits often return. 

Realistic goals against the yo-yo effect

After years of following unhealthy diets and gradual weight gain, getting back in shape isn’t a matter of days or weeks. In some cases, not even months.

Woman losing weight Yo-Yo effect.

The ideal amount of weight to lose is about 2 pounds per week. This is a very realistic goal, which will help you to achieve your final objective.

In order to accomplish this weekly goal, it’s important to make sure that perseverance and discipline are always part of your diet. Furthermore, statistics say that the faster you lose weight, the easier it is to suffer the yo-yo effect.

This yo-yo effect, due to losing weight extremely fast, is another reason to be suspicious of extreme methods, such as hypocaloric diets.

Changing habits

Losing weight makes no sense if bad habits eventually return. With or without a special diet, there’s food that you should only consume in moderation.

This list includes saturated fats, flour, salt, and sugar. The same principle applies to processed food, especially those that have “diet” or “light” on the packaging.

Sedentary lifestyles lead nowhere

It isn’t a metaphor that a sedentary lifestyle puts your body at risk. Moreover, the human body is actually designed to be in constant movement. If possible, you need to maintain a constant exercise routine.

Woman sleeping more to avoid Yo-Yo effect.

It isn’t necessary to perform intensive workouts to be in good shape and remain active. Going for a daily walk for 30 minutes, 5 days per week is more than enough.

Without physical activity, your body is incapable of burning calories, which are accumulated as fat. Of course, the solution shouldn’t be to eliminate food from the menu, since we’d be depriving our muscles and organs of its fuel.

As we can see it isn’t necessary to go to a gym or go running every morning. Just 40-45 minutes of cardio, 3 times per week is more than enough. One of the keys to avoiding giving up is to choose an activity that’s fun and enjoyable. Exercise must never become an obligation.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.