Thursday, September 29, 2011

“Yo-Yo” Dieting, Can This Cloud Have A Silver Lining


“Yo-Yo” Dieting, Can This Cloud Have A Silver Lining

The MoneyWalker is an NFL fan (professional football), specifically a New Orleans Saints fan. This past week-end watching the Saints defeat the Houston Texans was stressful. The final score, Saints 40, Texans 33 was a back and forth game with the Texans dominating for much of the game. Still Saints quarterback Drew Brees found a way to win. After the final knell down, the MoneyWalker went for a long walk.

Walking is great therapy for flushing out football-induced stress—win or lose.
During the walk, the success of Drew Brees reminded me of the developmental theories of Erik Erikson. Erikson believes that “crises” or “problems” play an important role in successful maturation and problem solving. Brees’s performance provide a “yo-yo” of emotions for Drew as well as his fans. His first interception was a “low” and then he threw a touchdown pass, a” high.” Then another interception, then a series of passes that resulted in several touchdowns and an eventual victory.

Erikson believes that Brees’s successful problem solving (touchdowns) could not have occurred without his negative past experiences. Brees like all of us learn to solve difficult problems with the successful solving of earlier less demanding problems. When we are successful, the event provides the courage and confidence to attempt even more difficult problems.

This brings us to “Yo-Yo” dieting or medically, “weight cycling.” Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight. We diet, lose weight, and then gain it all back, often gaining back more than we lost.

Is there hope? Can we use the “Yo-Yo” concept to help resolve the goal of losing weight and keeping it off? The MoneyWalker thinks that we can use weight gain in an Erikson way. We can use the success of losing weight as a positive experience. Then when we regain weight we can teach ourselves to remember that we lost the weight once, we can do it again. The key is cognitive self-talk. Rather than succumb fully to binge eating, we can say “Slow down the eating. Go back to a strategy based on portion control and food choices. Get some exercise. Weight every day. Eat breakfast.” Make sure that each plateau of the Yo-Yo work for you, not against. On the next trip down, lose more weight than the last trip. On the next trip up, gain control so that the next weight gain is not as high as the previous gain. In this way, the success at both ends of the Yo-Yo trip will give you the courage and confidence to finally reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Yo-Yoing is not medically dangerous and the experience can provide a silver lining.

On our next blog we will present a case study of how a minister in New Orleans gained fame by eating at least one meal in more than 900 restaurants in New Orleans over a three year period and still lost weight. His tips will help you defeat the Yo-Yo effect.


Money found since last post = $6.02 over 4 walks, average $1.51 per walk

Weight since last report = 174.4 lbs, "-"

1 comment:

  1. Yo-yo dieting is quite common, unfortunately. It is basically any event that you lose a lot of weight while you are dieting only to gain as much or more back after going off the diet in question.