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How to avoid Yo-Yo effect while losing weight

How to avoid Yo-Yo effect while losing weight

Losing several kilos in a short time without great effort, that sounds infinitely tempting. Forget this idea again. It does not work!. As a nutritionist, I’m 100% sure. And if you’re honest to yourself, you know it just like me. Because you’ve already succumbed to this diet, right? After short-term small successes, you became even fatter – the famous Jo-Jo effect had struck. There is only one small consolation: this is how it is for anyone who falls into the diet trap.

How diets cause the Yo-Yo effect

Every diet is based on the reduction of calories and/or on one-sided malnutrition. If you try to severely limit your calorie intake, your body will be reluctant to lose weight: it fears for its life and does everything it can to stop or hinder the loss of weight. And what the body can do: it reduces the metabolic rate. What does that actually mean for somebody who is trying to lose weight and restrict the amount and calorie content of food?

Basal metabolism

Regardless of whether we are active all day or lying on the couch, our body uses calories to ensure its basic functions of internal organs like breathing or blood circulation. The metabolic rate of metabolism is the number of calories that the body requires per day in complete rest, by the temperature of 28 °C (82.4 F) to maintain its basic functions. Every person has its own metabolic rate that depends on age, height, sex.

You can simply calculate your personal basal metabolic rate:

For women: (height-105)*24

For men: (height-105)*1.1*24

If you are taller than 175, you should subtract 110; if you are smaller than 165 you should subtract 100

By most men and women the metabolism rate decreases when we get older, caused by the loss of muscle mass. Measurements of the body fat percentage by athletes showed that regular training counteracts this. So weight does not have to increase with age.

Why is basal metabolism important?

Perhaps you will be surprised but the most of the energy (60-70%) our body uses not for sports or heavy physical work but for “doing nothing”: for the vital basic functions of the body such as breathing and heartbeat, that means for the basal metabolism. Only 20-30% will be used for sport and exercises, and 10% to keep the body temperature stable.

How does Yo-Yo effect occur

  1. At the beginning of the diet the metabolism speed is still high and when you start to limit the food and calories, you may lose weight very quickly
  2. On the second stage, if the body gets less food than it needs, it continues losing weight but it gets into a shortage, and that’s why it also starting defends itself. Especially our brain but also the other vital organs suffer massively and have to help themselves so that they can continue to function. For that, our body starts to do 2 things:
    1. He starts to save energy – basal metabolism gets lower
    2. He breaks down the muscle mass. It additionally reduces the metabolism speed.
  3. At the third stage you achieve the plateau effect when the metabolic rate is low and no matter how much you limit yourself to eating, you do not lose weight.
  4. What happens after you finish your diet? The muscle mass is reduced and the metabolic rate is low: if you start eating more you will start also gaining weight and after a while, it increases even more than before the diet.

how does yo-yo effect occur


How to avoid Yo-Yo effect

100 kcal more basal metabolic rate

If you would manage to increase your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy your body needs for all vital functions, you will lose weight. Because your body burns calories not only in the movement but throughout the day more calories. Already 100 additional calories consumed per day bring an additional consumption of 36,500 kilocalories per year. That’s equivalent to a total of 5.2 pounds of fat.

how to prevent yo-yo effect

Proper nutrition for the metabolism

Our body needs daily carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the right amount and quality.


Too little carbohydrates slow down the metabolism. My recommendation for a healthy metabolism is: do not cover more than 40% of your daily calorie intake with carbohydrates. These should primarily come from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. They not only contain valuable nutrients, but also fill you up for a long time. It is important that the carbohydrates are supplied to the body in biorhythm. Because the body has a different need during the day and at night.


The metabolism benefits from the healthy fats: they should cover a maximum of 30% of the daily calories. Do not consume more than 0.7 – 1 grams of fat per kilo of body weight (= normal weight).


Protein is necessary for building muscle and fast metabolism. Eat enough protein but not too much, as it can lead to acidification of the body. As a result of hyperacidity arises, for example cellulite but also many other diseases.


Enzymes ensure the fast metabolism. They are found in large quantities in raw vegetables and fruits and are sensitive to high temperatures. Eat fruits and vegetables fresh. So the necessary enzymes are not destroyed.


For fast metabolism, the body needs about 30 millilitres of water per 2.2 pounds of body weight: two-thirds of it should have been drunk until the early afternoon. Drink a large glass of warm water after getting up. For breakfast you can make a big pot of green tea or herbal tea (unsweetened). Every hour after breakfast you can drink a large glass of still water until the afternoon. From the afternoon on, drink regularly in small portions. Before going to bed again drink a large glass of warm water.

Eating according to biorhythms will help your metabolism to become fast.

Muscles – important organ of metabolism

Our muscle cells consume 30 times more energy than our fat cells. Only 1 kilo of new muscle mass would, therefore, be sufficient to increase the basal metabolic rate by at least 50 to 70 kilocalories per day. That does not sound like much at first. But in the course of a year, this adds up to about 7 pounds of body fat. They disappear without having to do anything about it.

Muscles are the metabolically most active organ of the body. But without adequate physical activity, metabolism can never be fast. Already everyday activities help. Move as often and as long as possible. Even standing is better than sitting so that the metabolism increases (when sitting is consumed about 1 gram of fat per hour, standing already 2).

Also, regular exercises are important – both cardio and power training. Doing sport you can’t burn more than 30% of daily calories, even if you train a lot. The most important is that sport increases the speed of metabolism.

There are also many other aspects of quick metabolism and health, all of which can not be considered in this article. But you can find them in other interesting articles on this website.

Eating for fast metabolism

Eating for fast metabolism

The biological rhythm of our body

Our body works in a certain biological rhythm. Research has meanwhile proven comprehensively that it is not only important how much and what we eat, but when we eat.

Our metabolism is particularly active or inactive at certain times. According to that our body needs carbohydrates, fats and protein at completely different times. For our metabolism to be fast, which is a necessary condition for weight loss and feeling fit and full of energy during the day, we need to consider this body clock.

With our nutrition, we can support our metabolism and run faster, or brake and disturb. The breakfast is a basis for the metabolism, we have discussed in this article:

Breakfast for fast metabolism

Breakfast for fast metabolism

Lunch for fast metabolism

After an intense morning, the body needs new energy. In addition, vital substances must now be produced so that the metabolism stays fast. At noon, therefore, the plate should look like fresh from the farmers market: a lot of vegetables, fruits, fish or meat.

Lunchtime snacks from the bakery, fast-food chains or large portions of noodle should not be part of the lunch, because of their high carbohydrate and fat content, if you really want to lose weight or stay fit. Perfect would be the combination of a vegetable salad with some fish or meat.

Evening food

Carbohydrates should also not be eaten in the evening as the body will recover and regenerate. The same with fats – the body does not need that in the evening. Instead, building material must come from here and that means protein. Do not you feel like cooking in the evening? A protein shake can help to recharge amino acids.

Never more than 18 hours without food

If you want to miss dinner, postpone your lunch for later. If you are having breakfast at 8 AM and want to skip dinner in the evening, don’t have lunch before 2 PM. If the body gets no nutrients and vital substances for at most 18 hours, it immediately starting to slow down the metabolism.

Breakfast for fast metabolism

Breakfast for fast metabolism

Our metabolic clock

Our metabolism is particularly active or inactive at certain times. According to that our body needs carbohydrates, fats and protein at completely different times. For our metabolism to be fast, which is a necessary condition for weight loss and feeling fit and full of energy during the day, we need to consider this body clock.

During the day and at night, the work and the efficiency of the metabolism are constantly changing. There are periods of the highest efficiency, usually between 10 and 12 o’clock and once again from 17 to 19 o’clock. Our nutrition can promote or counteract these phases.

Breakfast is the gas station for the day

In the morning you create the basis for the fast or slow metabolism. After the first 120 minutes after getting up, your activation hormones are ready to get you started for the day. The daily hormones serotonin and adrenaline are now screaming for food and this is exactly the right time to support the fast metabolism.

Within the first two hours of the day, you should, therefore, supply your metabolism and every cell of your body with energy. This means mainly carbohydrates and some fat. Because that’s what the cells need to be able to adjust to the energy metabolism after the night. Without these morning energy bombs, your metabolism will slow down and you will not be able to perform well during the day. That’s why you should never miss the breakfast!

Cravings for sugar

Cravings for sugar

Cravings for sugar, which can normally turn into uncontrolled eating attacks, is a common phenomenon. There are at least 4 causes possible:

  • Fluctuations of blood sugar level with marked hypoglycaemia
  • Emotional reasons
  • Intestinal fungal infection
  • Sugar addiction

Any combination of these 4 points is possible.

Fluctuations of blood sugar level

A nutrition that based on isolated carbohydrates or high glycemic load foods that end up in the body without fibre causes the pancreas to produce too much insulin. Large amounts of insulin cause the cells to get too much glucose. The blood sugar level is now sinking too low so that it comes in a short time to low blood sugar. Typical symptoms of low blood sugar include palpitations, sweating, tremors, rapid pulse, headaches.

Emotional reasons

Eating sweets are regarded by many people as a reassurance and self-reward after stressful situations. Often these are people who, as a child, received sweets rather than time and love from their parents. And so they spoil themselves as adults with sweets and feel after their consumption a pleasant sense of well-being and a kind of peace of mind. Often such people suffer from a significant overweight.

Intestinal fungal infection

Intestinal fungi mostly feed themselves from sugar. If someone eats too much sugar, they get too much nutrition and energy that they multiply explosively and bring the intestinal flora out of balance. If the affected person does not eat as many carbohydrates as the fungi need, it will sometimes be extremely hungry for sweets without knowing why.

Sugar addiction

A sugar addiction is noticeable by the fact that the sugar consumption is no longer under control. The clear sign of a sugar addiction, however, is when you feel withdrawal symptoms, as soon as you have eaten some sugar for a few hours: irritated, extremely bad-tempered or aggressive.

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