Yo-Yo dieting, or weight cycling, is an almost tragically easy habit to get into that can cause you no end of troubles.

Essentially, “Yo-Yo Dieting” is when you bounce from one diet to another, trying to lose weight for a period of a few weeks to a month or two. Then, whether you’re seeing results or not, you fall off the wagon for a time, binge eat and gain weight again before jumping into the next diet for a similar period of time.

As you might expect, this doesn’t lead to consistent weight loss. The problems run much deeper than that.  Here are a few of the other negative effects you’ll see:

  • It makes it harder to lose weight – This is especially true if you put yourself on very restrictive “starvation diets” followed by a period of binge eating. When you’re on an extremely low-calorie diet, your body essentially goes into emergency mode and tries to store as much as it can as fat, which works against your weight loss goals.  Then, when you binge, the excess calories are also stored as fat, giving you that much more weight to ultimately lose.
  • It can cause headaches and fatigue – This is true of not just yo-yo dieting, but any time you present your body with rapid changes. It doesn’t quite know how to react, and so, it rebels, and you wind up paying the toll.
  • It can dampen your sex drive – This by itself should be enough to dissuade most people from yo-yo dieting. A plummeting sex drive can really damage your ego and self-esteem. In addition, sex can be a very fun way to exercise! You don’t want to miss out on having fun while you work out!
  • It fosters bad eating habits – If your eating habits are in an almost constant state of flux, it makes finding a sensible diet and actually sticking with it for an extended period that much more difficult. Some habits are notoriously hard to break!

If you’re interested in losing weight and keeping it off, the best approach is a sensible diet you can stick with in the long term, coupled with a good exercise regimen.  There’s no magic to it, but it does take time and discipline.