Blog: Diet Backlash, Rebound Eating, Yo-Yo Dieting
It is estimated that 80-95% of people who go on a traditional “diet” to lose weight, end up gaining it all back. This tends to lead to a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting, meaning a person goes on a diet, gains the weight back, and then goes on another diet. The issue with “diets” is that they are based on restriction. No matter how it’s phrased, from the keto diet to intermittent fasting, the main strategy of the diet is to restrict how much food is consumed in a day or to cut out certain foods ultimately leading to less overall caloric (energy) intake. When someone is restricting their food intake, they may experience diet backlash, or rebound eating. This can occur during the time period that someone is dieting, or after the diet is “over”.
Symptoms Associated with Diet Backlash
Binge eating episodes
Loss of control while eating
Lack of mindful eating
Assigning terms like “good” and “bad” to certain foods and eating habits
Lack of belief in self-control or willpower around food
Constant thoughts about food and eating
The truth about diets is that they don’t work. The only way to make lasting changes is lifestyle modification. This lifestyle is one that includes balance, stress management, self-care, mental and emotional health, and mindful movement. Otherwise, these symptoms associated with diet backlash could reduce your quality of life. If you feel like you are stuck in this vicious cycle, consider speaking with a registered dietitian.
Speaking to a registered dietitian can be helpful in breaking these cycles and making lasting lifestyle changes.