What REALLY Causes Yo-Yo Dieting?



Many of our clients come in when they are 30, 40 or 50 with a similar story.  The story goes something like this… “I can’t lose weight like I used to!  I used to have this system of ________ (insert extreme calorie cutting method).  But it just doesn’t work anymore!

Does that sound like a familiar scenario?  If so, it’s not your fault.

You did not know any better and you certainly didn’t realize that you were likely doing more harm than good.

Today I am going to show you why extreme deprivation/calorie cutting diets lead to up and down cyclical yo-yo dieting.

When you cut calories drastically your body loses a lot of muscle, which slows down your metabolism. That means, you can’t eat what you used to in order to lose or even maintain your weight.

But, there is an alternative.  Focus on changing your body composition.  In other words, do everything that you can to lose only body fat and maintain muscle.  This will look a lot different that just drastically cutting calories.

Below I have an example of why it is important to focus on body composition and not just weight.  This example was taken from Tom Venuto’s book “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle.”

Tom Venuto

Tom Venuto

Sample Character Chris

Before the Diet

  • 200 lbs body weight
  • 36 lbs (18 percent) body fat
  • 164 lbs lean body mass

After the Diet

  • 179 lbs body weight
  • 26.5 lbs (14.8%) body fat
  • 152.5 lbs lean body mass
  • 21 lbs weight loss
  • 9.5 lbs fat loss
  • 11.5 lbs lean body mass LOSS

Six Weeks After the Diet Ends

  • 200 lbs body weight
  • 41.1 lbs (20.5%) body fat
  • 158.9 lbs lean mass

In this example Chris gained back all the body weight that he lost including 5lbs more body fat than what he had to start.

So that is it!  That is one of the main causes of yo-yo dieting.  It is not lack of willpower or wanting to lose weight and get healthy.  The main cause is not understanding how your body works!

When you go on a severely calorie restricted diet you are doing more harm than good.

To lose weight or body fat for life and not just a couple of weeks you need to do things the right way.

Burn the fat and feed the muscle!

If you are not sure where to start give DeVetter Fitness a call for a free health and fitness consultation. If you have any questions or comments, make sure to leave a comment below.


About devetter

I am a fitness coach in Omaha, NE who loves to help people achieve their health and fitness goals
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