google-site-verification=YlOewhUYEmcEg2izGamQcLoUky39Usv2UP2u3YVvujs What are the risks of yo-yo dieting?

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What are the risks of yo-yo dieting?

Updated: Feb 13


Are you a yo-yo dieter? Do you follow a diet, stop the diet, gain the weight back again, then a year later try a new diet. Then you are not alone; most people who diet tend to yo-yo diet. And most people struggling with weight issues don’t enjoy weight stability, they are what we call “weight cyclers”.

Dieting is so common nowadays; the benefits are always touted, the risks rarely mentioned. But there are risks to dieting and if you’re a yo-yo dieter, these risks can be serious.

Years of yo-yo dieting can cause inflammation and stress on your body. Yo-yo dieting leads to disordered eating patterns, binge eating behaviours, slow metabolism and nutritional deficiencies. One study found that participants with large weight fluctuations (+/- 4kg) had an increased risk of stroke and heart attack, compared to those with the smallest weight shifts (+/-1kg) (1).

Worst case yo-yo dieting can lead to an eating disorder; In fact eating disorders often innocently start with a diet. In 2012 it was estimated that almost 1 million Australians were suffering from an eating disorder and the rate of eating disorders in males and females is on the rise(2). Eating disorders are difficult to treat, and once developed, are often chronic, requiring long-term treatment. And did you know that almost half of those in the ‘obese’ BMI category suffer from Binge Eating Disorder (BED)? further highlighting the link between repeated weight cycling and binge eating behaviour.

If you are a yo-yo dieter or a binge eater and have spent so much effort and energy weight cycling year after year, maybe it is time to try something else? Intuitive eating offers an alternative to dieting to manage your weight and your health. You can find out more about Intuitive Eating by downloading the information booklet on our website or by following us on Facebook and Instagram.


1. thecardiologyadvisor.com/prevention/cvd-risk-increases-with-weight-fluctuations/article/650835/

2. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2212110/


Disclaimer: Please note that the information in this or any other blog posts on this site may not be suitable or apply to you, depending on where you’re at in your mental health and/or eating disorder/diet recovery journey. This information is for educational purposes only and not meant to be a substitute for medical or psychiatric advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before making any changes

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