Research has shown that up to 50 percent of women are on a diet at some point in time and out of those 50%, 35% of these women become addicted to dieting.
Dieting can act like a drug. Just one hit or one sip and you feel great...then time passes and you crash, ultimately starting the cycle back over. Diets typically begin with hope. You start strong deligently following the diet's rules, then a couple of days (or even weeks/months) may pass and you begin falling back into old patterns leaving the individual feeling like a failure.
Are you really the failure or were you set up to fail because the diet was not realistic or sustainable?
Inevitability you fall off the wagon, "re-start" the next day, week, or month and so the cycle continues. So why does Yo-Yo dieting happen? The main reason is the lack of sustainability. Diets are not typically flexible and when life happens, we need to be able to be flexible. The diet may be attainable for a set period of time and you may lose the desired weight, but unless you change your behavior with food, once you stop the diet, you will re-gain all lost weight plus some.
Also if the diet does not meet your basic carbohydrate, fat, or protein needs...then eventually you will crave these foods, "give in," and over eat these foods at some point. Often times once individuals stop the diet, the foods that are restricted are then eaten in excess. Many people describe increased desire or craving for foods forbidden on the diet, which can lead to over eating or binge eating that food.
Negative Weight Consequences to Yo-Yo Dieting
Weight loss achieved through yo-yo dieting or extreme dieting habits does include loss of body fat, but consequentially results in muscle mass loss as well. Lean muscle mass increases our basal metabolic rate, plus allows our bodies to function day-to-day (read: very important). Once a person discontinues a diet, the body regains a higher body fat percentage than before the diet began. Carrie Dennett calls this process “Fat overshooting.” This process occurs because your body is attempting to regain the lost muscle mass and inadvertently stores more body fat.
So if diets do not work, what is the answer?
We must listen to their bodies in order to know when to start eating, when to stop eating, and what to eat. We want to eat foods that are within our preferences and allow us to feel physically well. To learn more about listening to your physical cues see my post on the Hunger & Fullness scale or contact me to schedule a session and begin getting rid of the diet mentality.
More Information and ideas on the perils of Yo-Yo dieting check out this article: