What Is Exactly the Yo-Yo Effect and How Can You Prevent It?
How to prevent the yo-yo effect is a much-discussed topic on the internet. And rightly so, because it is a pitfall that many people have to deal with when they are losing weight.
In this article, I want to explain to you what the yo-yo effect is exactly, and how you can prevent the yo-yo effect. Important information. Not only for weight loss, but also for your overall health.
What you will learn in this article:
- Why there is such a thing as the yo-yo effect
- How you can prevent you from arriving again
- How you can lose weight quickly and healthy
Do You Recognize This?
When you were just married, you still looked very slim. Every now and then you look back at the wedding photos, and with melancholy, you look at that tight belly and those sexy buttocks. Involuntarily you stand in front of the mirror and find that many pounds have been added in all those years. Unnoticed you have become heavier every year. That tight belly has not been around for a long time, not to mention those tight and sexy buttocks.
Quickly you sit behind your screen to search for a solution. Google refers you to a whole series of pages about diets, especially crashes. Of course, you are talking about: losing 5 kilos a week!
Motivated you to start your diet and amazed you look at the scale every day. The kilos really fly off! After two weeks you lose 8 kilos and satisfied you look at the space between your belly button and the band of your pants.
Well, you lost that. And now? You go on with life and food as you used to, and soon you notice that the newly bought pants (2 sizes smaller) just don’t fit anymore. All lost kilos come back and after a while, you are already heavier than before.
Frustrated, angry and disappointed, you determine that the diet has not worked and that you have to take your belly and fat buttocks for granted. Nothing more to do!
What is happening here?
Right, you’ve probably already guessed it:
The famous yo-yo effect!
What Exactly Is The Yo-Yo Effect?
We all know what the consequences are of the yo-yo effect: The lost kilos come back very quickly! Frustrating and disappointing!
But what exactly is the yo-yo effect? Why do those hard-fought pounds come back so quickly?
To make this clear I will go through with you step by step what happens, from the moment you start with a crash diet:
- You start with the crash diet. You eat an average of 900 kilocalories per day, significantly less than the required 2,000 kilocalories for women or 2,500 kilocalories for man.
- Soon you get results: You lose a lot of pounds at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, this is initially only water, and later also muscle mass. But not any, body fat!
- After a day or two, your body starts to react: Your body thinks that a food crisis is going on, and puts the body in the low-energy mode. Your metabolism goes down to save energy. In other words: Your metabolism slows down, which also puts fat burning in a lower gear. The saved energy is immediately stored as body fat whenever possible, in case the crisis lasts for a long time. On the other hand, you still lose fluid and muscle mass.
- Your health leaves something to be desired now. A clear lack of nutrients is starting to take its toll. You feel tired and lifeless.
- After the crash diet, you look at the scale with satisfaction and you notice that you have lost 9 kilos.
- To celebrate that, you go to the local MacDonalds for a while and then you fall into your old diet.
- Suddenly you get enough calories again, but your body does not respond immediately. This is still in the low-power mode.
- This makes the extra calories, and that is suddenly very much, cheerfully converted into body fat. Because your body has not forgotten the last crisis!
- Slowly but surely the lost pounds return very quickly, and after a few months you are back to your old weight. And as a bonus, you have probably got a few extra pounds!
- Meanwhile, your metabolism is as before, and the whole story starts again from the beginning …
After this cycle, your first reaction is probably that the diet is not right or that the diet was not right for you. But is not it more sensible to first look at yourself?
Remember to yourself that it might be better to look at WHAT you eat, instead of just looking at HOW MUCH you eat.
How Can You Prevent The Yo-Yo Effect?
The yo-yo effect is the biggest pitfall for many people who want to get rid of it. It is all too often the reason that all attempts are stopped because ‘I never succeed’. Do not let the courage drop, because it is perfectly possible to avoid the yo-yo effect. But then you have to lose weight in a different way.
To achieve this I want to give you ten tips on how to prevent the yo-yo effect:
Preventing the Yo-Yo Effect 1: Stop (Crash) Diets
Crash diets are the biggest monsters in the world of losing weight. A crash diet is a diet where you cut very extremely in your calorie intake so you often get less than 1,000 kilocalories, instead of the normal 2,000 kilocalories for women and 2,500 kilocalories for men. The idea behind this is quite simple: by taking up less energy, your body will automatically address the stored energy sources. This should quickly lose a lot of body fat. Unfortunately, the truth is the opposite!
Of course, you lose kilos, but that is not due to the use of body fat. At first, you lose a lot of fluid. In addition, your body will not solve the lack of energy by addressing the body fat, but by breaking down your muscle mass. The cells are broken down one by one, giving you a weak feeling, and of course less strength.
In addition, you get a chronic lack of many important nutrients. Due to the lack of many minerals and vitamins, a number of important body processes are going to run at half strength, with all the consequences.
And last, and most important, point: Your body gets stressed: There is a food crisis. Your body responds immediately by saving energy with the help of lower metabolism. The saved energy is immediately stored as body fat in case the crisis takes a long time. All in all, the opposite effect!
Still, a crash diet is still highly recommended on the internet. Just type in the word ‘crash diet’. Unbelievably many results, where one promises even more than the other.
Just a few shouts that you will come across:
- “… slimming 3 to 6 kilos per week with the healthiest crash diet in the World. Fast results with less effort … “
- “… A lot of research shows that this can be very healthy for the body …”
- “… Prevent these pitfalls from slimming with a healthy crash diet …”
- “… With the crash diet, you quickly lose the excess pounds. A nice start and a new start to live healthily and lose weight .. “
Do not believe it all. The only purpose of these sites is to sell some vague product. The only thing that will eventually slim down is your wallet …
Just stop this nonsense!
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 2: Do Not Just Eat Less, But Especially Eat Healthier Food
“To lose weight you just have to eat less” A common cry, but this requires a little explanation. The cry is for large part nonsense. Of course you are eating too much right now, otherwise, you would not suffer from excess pounds. Less food is, therefore, the part that is definitely true. But that is not the only thing. Much more important is to simply eat healthily.
But what is healthy eating? Healthy eating has nothing to do with all those ‘healthy’ products that you can get in the supermarket. The word ‘healthy’ is in most cases wrongly used on the packaging. Therefore ALWAYS read the ingredients list to see if it is really healthy. But in many cases, you will be deceived.
Two small examples to give you an idea about these ‘healthy’ products:
- In Quaker Muesli Nuts, a product that you think is healthy contains almost 10% added sugars.
- One tray of Activa Yogurt, for example, mango-grains taste, of 125 grams contains no less than 4 lumps of sugar.
To give you a first step towards eating healthier, I would like to point out three important pillars of healthy nutrition:
- Avoid sugars: Sugar is nowadays found in all kinds of products, even products that you would not expect. Did you know, for example, that sugar is added to soup? Or that sugar is processed in ham? As a result, we receive too much sugar, which is disastrous for our health. It’s no longer about that sugar cube in your coffee, but about the terrible amounts of sugar that the manufacturers use to ‘improve the taste’. You also need to pay close attention to the so-called ‘natural sugars’. Take for example the sugar in fruit or in honey. These are natural, unprocessed sugars and are often touted as ‘healthy’. Of course, fruit and honey are super healthy because of all the good nutrients and fibers, but the sugar itself remains unhealthy, natural or not. Your body makes no distinction here: Sugar is sugar! Eating fruit is all right, but do not overdo it!
- Replace fast carbohydrates with slow carbohydrates: All carbohydrates you eat are converted by the body into glucose, the fuel for your body. Fast carbohydrates are absorbed directly by your body and converted into glucose in its totality. This creates a peak in your blood sugar level and as a result of a peak in your insulin level. You only take advantage of this energy boost for a short time, and the excess energy is stored by the insulin as body fat for possible later use. So you become fatter. It is better to eat slow carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly by your body, so that there is no peak in your blood sugar level, and therefore no peak in your insulin. Ultimately, you profit optimally from the energy that is slowly released. You also keep feeling full in your stomach for longer. Slow carbohydrates are mainly found in wholemeal products: So wholegrain pasta, wholemeal bread and brown rice.
- Avoid bad fats and trans fats: Your body needs fats. Both the bad fats and good fats. The big problem is that this relationship is completely lost nowadays. We eat too many bad fats, at the expense of the healthy fats. Bad fats can be found in deep-frying products and in many industrial products from the supermarket. Due to the excessive use in our current diet, you can hardly ignore it. Avoiding 100% is impossible, and you do not have to. But try to avoid it as much as possible. In addition, you must eat more healthy fats. These fats are found in many types of fruit and in oily fish, such as mackerel, herring and salmon. So put fish on the table at least twice a week!
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 3: Still Counting Calories
We have already established that a strong calorie-restricted diet does not work. Of course, you lose a lot of kilos, but they come back very quickly thanks to the famous yo-yo effect.
The basic recipe for weight loss remains simple: If you eat fewer calories than you consume, you lose weight.
But the trick is to set this calorie restriction in such a way that you do lose weight, but that your body does not get the idea that there is a food crisis, so that it will still absorb body fat in case the crisis lasts for a long time and metabolism in a lower gear will work to save even more energy.
You do this by taking no more than 300 kilocalories less than your normal daily calorie requirement. Keep a close eye on whether you are you’re losing weight anyway, and whether you do not lose weight too quickly. Based on these data, you can adjust your calorie intake later.
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 4: Move More!
Firstly, it is important to know that healthy eating is the most important thing when losing weight. Healthy eating is about 70% of the whole work. Then 30% remains to move more and exercise more. If you want to get the most out of your healthy diet, it is a sensible decision to exercise more. Or rather Sports!
Strength training is also useful for building muscle mass. No, you do not have to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his better years, but more muscle mass has its advantages: Besides the fact that you will look better physically, muscle mass also ensures that you burn more calories, even if you do nothing!
Your basal caloric need, the number of calories you need to make all the basic functions of your body work, goes up with this which is very positive for losing weight. Two birds with one stone!
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 5: Cheating Allowed …
Huh? Can you be cheated? Hell yes! But I want to clarify that, before you attack the fridge now.
To make it easier for yourself to have certain delicacies, you can cheat one day a week. You can eat anything you want, in any desired quantity. Not only does that give you something to look forward to every week, but it also has a reason for losing weight:
Even if your daily amount of kilocalories modestly adjusts by 300 kilocalories, so that you do not suffer from the yo-yo effect, your metabolism will drop a little. By inserting a cheat day, you naturally get far too many carbohydrates, so far too many kilocalories.
This directly affects two hormones. Hormones that play a very important role in losing weight:
- Leptin: The more leptin in your body, the more body fat you burn.
- Ghrelin: The less Ghrelin in your system, the less you suffer from a hungry feeling.
The result of the cheat day?
Your Leptin shoots up, and your Ghrelin falls like a brick.
In other words: your fat burning goes into a higher gear, and you no longer suffer from any hunger.
Ultimately, the knife cuts on two sides: A cheat day contributes to weight loss, and for you, it is a welcome extra. Ideal right?
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 6: Provide A Social Safety Net
Healthy eating seems very simple, but it is definitely not. Daily life is full of temptations. Just look at all the advertisements. Complaints that tell you that your product should eat XYZ, because it is so healthy. But if you read the ingredients list, it turns out that there is 40% sugar in it.
Not so healthy at all! And then your colleagues: They are enjoying a chocolate bar that they just pulled out of the vending machine behind their desk, and you’re sitting there with your bowl of salad. A birthday in the offing? Very difficult to resolutely say ‘no’ to that delicious piece of cream cake. All these temptations are very difficult to offer resistance.
At times when you have a hard time, it’s nice to have a social network behind you. This does not have to be a large group of people. If you can fall back on 2 or 3 good friends, there is always someone available where you can share your story.
And believe me: You go wrong once. One day you’ll go all the way to that delicious piece of cake or that big pack of chocolate bars.
Is not bad, can happen! But chances are that you will feel very bad and that you walk around with the thought of stopping at all with that ‘healthy stuff’. Retire yourself, and go talk to one of your friends. You will see that such a conversation, with an encouraging hug, relief. You can do it again!
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 7: Organize Your Home and Your Family
This is an incredibly important point.
You can imagine that it will be very difficult to keep your healthy lifestyle if there are all kinds of good things everywhere in the house. So look critically in the kitchen cabinets, in the fridge and in the freezer for food that no longer fits your healthy intention. Check cabinet for cabinet and put aside what you do not want to have in your home. Of course not throw away, but give away to someone who can use it or bring it to the food bank.
This is, of course, fine if you live alone.
But if you live with a family in one house, it becomes more difficult. Well, your kids would like to have those delicious cookies at home, and those magnum ice creams are very tasty in summer. It then becomes very difficult for you to stick to your good intentions, while there are all goodies in the house, and you see your partner and your kids also regularly enjoy this. There is also a big chance that you have to cook twice:
Look around you: Is it useful for the rest of your family to also pay attention to their weight? Are they overweight? Then it would be a good idea for them too. But whether they are overweight or not, eating healthier is always good. Talk to your family members and try to convince them that healthier food is better for everyone’s health. You can then all just eat the same, while you are a little less in connection with the calories. Everyone healthy, everyone happy!
On the other hand, you can also choose to just say nothing.
You do anyway? You decide what is on the table?
Just step by step. Chances are they love it without being aware of anything.
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 8: Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting consists of not eating during a fixed period of the day. It is now a proven fact that Intermittent Fasting has no effect on your metabolism. The period is too short for your body to respond, but it can be important support if you want to lose weight. So you do not suffer from the famous yo-yo effect.
Another advantage of Intermittent Fasting is the fact that your blood sugar level does not make any peaks, as a result of which your insulin level will eventually decrease. Your body, therefore, relies more quickly on the consumption of body fat in order to be able to deliver the necessary energy to the necessary body processes.
By applying Intermittent Fasting, in combination with a slightly reduced intake of calories, you will notice that the combination of these two strengthens the process of losing weight. And without the yo-yo effect!
Preventing Yo-Yo Effect 9: Take It Easy
We have already seen it in the crash diet: losing weight at a rate of 5 kilos per week does not last long. In addition, it is also super unhealthy! You learn more about it in this video:
You can use the general rule that a rate of 1 a kilo per week is a healthy goal.
Slow weight loss = sustainable weight loss
Whatever way you lose weight to keep a close eye on whether you are indeed are losing weight, and especially if you do not lose weight too quickly. As soon as you notice the latter you have to adjust your diet to prevent your body from reacting by slowing down your metabolism.
Preventing Yo-yo Effect 10: Building Muscle Mass
We have talked about sports and exercise before, where we have determined that strength training is not the way to burn body fat directly. But strength training does build muscle mass, and that has a huge advantage!
To maintain muscle mass, a relatively large amount of energy is required. The more muscle you build, the higher your basic need for calories, the more you burn. Even when the muscles are at rest! This can make an important contribution to losing weight.
In addition, you also look better with some more developed muscles.
How beautiful it can be: just sit back on the couch for your favorite movie, and still burn your calories!
And then this:
Preventing this yo-yo effect is a hot topic on the internet.
One says this, the other says that. Yet it is not complicated to prevent the yo-yo effect. Ok, it requires some adjustments in your lifestyle, but then you get a lot in return.
Not only a healthy weight, but also health and vitality in a beautiful and sexy body!
Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)
Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes!
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