The Yo-Yo effect

No, I am not referring to the rapper Honey Singh here 🙂 Instead, going to shed some light and create awareness about the very common and big mistake people do when they are out to lose weight. What’s that? Its called ‘Yo-Yo dieting’.

A typical query that I get at least 3 times a day:

“I went on a diet from a very famous dietitian and you know it worked like a charm! Lost 14 kgs in just 2 months however I have regained more than I lost in the last 4 months and also going through the problem of hair loss and body weakness. I really don’t know what to do now but need to lose weight quickly.”

yo-yo diet

Yes, she went on a ‘yo-yo diet’. In order to make you understand in very simple terms, ‘yo-yo dieting’ (also called weight cycling) occurs when you go on a diet and lose weight but as soon as you return to normal eating you regain it back. A ‘yo-yo diet’ encourages skipping meals and consuming very less calories. This slows the metabolism.

Yo-yo dieting operates in such a way that it is harder each time to lose weight. The diet follower may find weight loss success harder and harder to maintain as time goes by, leading to depression and demotivation. As soon as the dieter starts attempting to eat normally again, all the weight regained will be stored in the form of fat. This type of diet essentially tampers with a healthy body’s normal fat-to-muscle ratio, which is a primary aspect of good health.


Bad effects of ‘yo-yo dieting’

  • Muscle loss
  • Weekness
  • Hairfall
  • Heart disease
  • Gall stones
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Demotivation
  • Stress

What’s my say on this?

Yo-yo diet is not a healthy way to lose weight in the long run. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to adopt a healthy lifestyle – which includes healthy eating and regular mild physical activity. There is no other way to do it. We are all responsible for our own health. We have to make sensible changes to make sure we will be healthy. And this is what I assist you with.


Some tips for you:

  • Aim for realistic weigh loss goals. Typically, healthy weight loss is not more than 4 kgs a month.
  • Never skip your breakfast
  • Get off your chair, bed or sofa and go for a walk, cycling, jogging. Physical activity will help you keep your muscle mass while you lose weight. You want to lose fat not muscle mass.
  • Never starve your body. Decrease the amount of calories at a slower pace/rate.
  • Do not eat when you are bored! Eat when you are hungry.
  • Set long term goals
  • Don’t think of your diet plan as if you are dieting. Don’t restrict yourself too much. Just eat healthy.
  • Don’t stress out and don’t worry about counting calories all the time. Nutrients are more important.
  • Share your meals
  • Have patience, dedication, discipline and consult a good dietitian, not a famous dietitian 🙂 Your weight will take care of itself.

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Dietitian Lavleen

Dietitian Lavleen

***Winner of Best Dietitian in Chandigarh in 2015 organised by Global lifestyle awards. Most promising Youngest dietitian in 2016 organised by International health care awards. Best innovative class in 2017 organised by Global achievers forum. Weight loss specialist - Chandigarh, diet consultations, online diet plans - 7 years experience in Nutrition and Dietetics - Worked at PGIMER and Inscol hospitals.*** My passion is helping others achieve their health goals through optimal nutrition and diet. "Don't diet, rather eat correct food!" It has always been my dream to create and promote good health and fitness through good food. My aim is to guide, educate and motivate my patients about how healthy eating can contribute in bringing health, wealth and happiness together in their lifestyle.

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