Dieting again? Losing the same weight you’ve already lost before? That’s Yo-Yo Dieting. Been there, done that, too many times over – say the women that come into my practice.
Why Diets Don’t Work
We do what we do based upon the thoughts we think and the emotions we feel. Diets focus only on eating behaviour when the underlying thoughts and emotions are what really make or break success.
I cringe using the word “diet” because it usually represents a very temporary behaviour. We temporarily change eating behaviour until we either reach or abandon a goal.
But Yo-Yo Dieting runs deeper than just the behaviour. With repeated weight fluctuation over the years (and keeping several sizes of clothes in your closet to accommodate this), you set yourself up for perpetual dissatisfaction with yourself.
Diets don’t work because they focus on the behaviour instead of focusing on the root cause of the behaviour: your thoughts and emotions.
Your weight is always driven by what you think, believe and feel.
In working through my own history with fluctuating weight, I’ve developed passion and expertise in counselling women who want to get to the root of old patterns with weight/food, and stop sabotaging themselves.
I help women not only achieve and sustain their goal weight but to feel better about themselves AT ANY WEIGHT. Diets don’t work when you can only be happy if you achieve a certain weight.
Most Common Causes of Yo-Yo Dieting
Body image is what you think, believe and feel about yourself and your body. Yo-Yo Dieters often think: “If only I lose these __lbs, then I’ll be happy.”
This kind of thinking sets up conditions for self-satisfaction or self-love (i.e. happiness). You need to eliminate the conditions. We all need unconditional self-love.
Love yourself first and the weight will drop off easily and stay off. Why? Your eating behaviour will come from healthy, happy thoughts and feelings, leading to EASY healthy, happy eating behaviours! You gain power and the food loses the power it previously had over you.
According to a recent study, women who had counselling to improve their body image lost a higher percentage of weight than those who did not see a counsellor.
Yo-Yo Dieters often tell me, “But I love food, that’s the problem.” Believe it or not, it is possible to love food AND maintain your ideal healthy weight. So if that’s not happening, it’s a sign that there’s another problem. Usually, it’s a sign that underlying thoughts, beliefs and feelings (about self and about food) need to be changed.
Imagine loving yourself fully and without judgment or regret no matter what the scale says. This is hard for many of us.
Put conditions on loving yourself and your weight will be a Yo-Yo over time. When you come to love yourself as you are now, the food and the weight lose their emotional attachment. What you eat and what you weigh become choices driven by healthy, happy thoughts and feelings.
Yo-Yo Dieting is associated with emotional eating, or comfort eating. This happens when you’re not eating for hunger, or to fulfill physical needs, but to FEEL better. Ask yourself why you need to feel comforted by food?
I’ve heard countless stories of women reaching their goal weight and then gaining it back when they realize (mostly subconsciously) that life isn’t suddenly perfect, and they aren’t suddenly as happy as they thought they would be. This feels bad. Feeling bad and thinking bad go hand-in-hand, and this is a setup for self-sabotaging eating behaviour.
The vicious cycle: bad thinking and feeling lead to “bad eating,” self-sabotaging eating, then feeling bad about what you weigh or how you look (which feels bad), then eating because you subconsciously think food will get rid of that bad feeling, then feeling guilty or bad about what you ate, leading to more feeling bad about yourself and thinking you SHOULD be able to just get this under control but you can’t, maybe there’s something wrong with you, and on and on…
Comfort eating often comes into play because most of us were never taught healthy coping skills for managing stressful/upsetting emotions.
The Cure for Yo-Yo Dieting
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Neuroscience is designed for this. CBT is a particular form of counselling that targets unhelpful thoughts. You learn to take control of negative body image and emotional eating by gaining understanding and control of your thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and the behaviours that follow.
I’ve found CBT is incredibly effective for my clients, in combination with holistic solutions to managing difficult emotions and stressful situations. It has worked so well, that I even created CBT Meets Fitness level one coaching certification for health and fitness professionals to gain CBT skills to use with their clients.
“I can’t believe how easy it is now to lose the weight!”
It was a joy to hear one of my clients say this the other day. She knows it’s because she now has her thoughts and feelings (about herself and about food) under control. She’s in charge now.
Ready to take your first step to gain control over Yo-Yo Dieting traps? Register for the Neuro-Slim Masterclass!