Tips to Stop Your Yo-Yo Dieting Habit - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Healthy Living Online

Published on January 01, 2015

Yo-Yo Dieting

Tips to Stop Your Yo-Yo Dieting Habit

Yo-Yo DietingYo-yo dieting – losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight and then gaining it back again – is unfortunately a cycle that many of us know all too well. And, the New Year brings a slew of diet fads and people with resolutions to lose weight. Sound familiar?  If so, here are some ways to keep the weight off this year and without the ups and downs of a yo-yo diet:

Take a Look at Your Lifestyle

A change in lifestyle will keep you in the best shape – mentally and physically. By getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising routinely, eliminating toxins such as smoking and minimizing substances like alcohol, your body will change and feel healthier over time.

Drink Enough H20

Time and time again, we hear, “drink more water.”  Water is the key to flushing out pollutants from the human body. The amount of water each person needs depends on their size and activity level; the more active you are the more fluids you will need. It is recommended that you drink enough water so that your urine is mostly colorless and odor-free. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), water helps the “muscles and brain stay hydrated for optimal physical and mental performance.”  Best of all, water is calorie-free.

Plan Your Meals

Do not overlook the importance of meal planning which will help you to stay on course with your healthy changes.  By taking some time on a day off at the beginning of your work/school week to plan meals and snacks, can really help deter you from begin tempted by vending machines and the fast-food drive thru.

Track Your Calories and Monitor Your Activity Level

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a neat tool called “SuperTracker”  that can help you plan, analyze and track your diet, activity levels and weight. The USDA says that this tool can also help users determine what and how much to eat. The tracker can be personalized for each user with functions such as goal setting, virtual coaching and journaling.

Don’t Be Too Strict

Alter your meal plan to something that you can actually stick to. Going from one extreme to the next usually does not work. Start to wean yourself off of the comfort or junk foods that made you a yo-yo dieter in the first place. Eventually, it will be easier to keep to a healthy diet because your healthy habits will become second nature. Don’t deprive yourself of that small piece of birthday cake and then binge on a box of doughnuts later. It is all about moderation and portion control.

Find a Support Group

Join a weight-loss group. Talking with others who are in a similar situation often makes maintaining a healthy lifestyle easier and provides a sense of accountability which helps to keep to weight loss goals. You can find a group by searching online. PIH Health also holds several 12-week class sessions throughout the year called “Why Weight,” where participants can learn healthy habits and are guided along their weight-loss journey. The next series of classes begin on Thursday, February 5 and costs just $25 (materials fee). Call 562.698.0811 Ext. 12918 if you are interested.

Get to the Bottom of It

Look for the real reasons why you gain weight. Is it an emotional reason, laziness or stress? If so, try to prevent these triggers, and look for ways to get active vs. being sedentary. Identify healthy food options that can make you feel better emotionally. Exercise is often a good stress reliever – all you have to do is find the type of exercise that best suits you.

All in all, yo-yo dieting is harmful in the long-term and most people end up gaining more weight back because their metabolism is thrown off from the constant back and forth between weight gain and weight loss. Hopefully these tips* will help you avoid the yo-yo cycle and kick off 2015 right!

*PIH Health Family Medicine physician Grace Jae MD, and Andrea Adams, Lead Clinical Dietitian, Food and Nutrition Services at PIH Health Hospital - Downey has reviewed and recommends the above tips. 

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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