The yo-yo effect is always related to weight loss and diets and plays a key role in targeted fat burning. Often people complain that after a diet the lost pounds are back on faster than lost with the diet. Even worse, not only are the lost pounds made up, but sometimes a few extra pounds are put on. If this process is repeated, one speaks of the so-called yo-yo effect. Understanding a few terms is a prerequisite for understanding why this yo-yo effect occurs at all.

Basal metabolic rate:

The basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories that the body burns throughout the day under resting conditions.


The labor turnover is the amount of calories that the body burns in calories during physical work, sport etc. during the day. It already includes the basal metabolic rate.

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Why do you get fat at all?

For the body, the calories ingested through food are nothing more than a very valuable store of energy. The body stores energy for bad times and this is done solely through the accumulation of fat. Unfortunately, evolution is still a bit behind and stores this energy for bad times, which is known to no longer exist in our civilization. The body is able to absorb that Fats save. In addition, it also succeeds in metabolizing the absorbed carbohydrates convert (all kinds of sugars) into fats. The accumulated calories are then clearly visible on the hips etc. as fat deposits.

Why is the yo-yo effect particularly bad after radical weight loss?

To achieve radical weight loss, the body has to be supplied with significantly fewer calories than it needs, or more calories have to be burned. In response, the so-called Basal metabolic rate shut down. The organism adjusts to an apparently impending phase of hunger and wants to save energy in order to adapt to the lower calorie supply. If you eat normally again after the radical weight loss or if fewer calories are burned, a very pronounced yo-yo effect often occurs.

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A smaller proportion of the energy supplied with food is now burned than before weight loss within the framework of the basal metabolic rate. A large part of the remaining energy supplied is therefore available for replenishing the fat stores. Even if you eat a little less than before the radical weight loss, there is often still a pronounced yo-yo effect. In addition, radical weight loss is usually not just fat, but above all Water loss leads to weight loss. If you eat normally again, you will quickly gain weight again after the diet due to water consumed.

Therefore, for long-term weight loss, you should lose weight slowly and continuously. This prevents a reduction in the basal metabolic rate and a yo-yo effect does not occur so quickly.

What is the yo-yo effect

As the name yo-yo effect suggests, it is a process in which the body after a phase of Energy deficit (Diet) accumulates more fats in the body than at the beginning of the diet. The weight often fluctuates between more than 10 kilos. In the long term, this leads to massive problems, which not infrequently lead to further serious health problems. The more you diet, the fatter you get.

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Why does the yo-yo effect arise

This problem is again to be sought in evolution. Food used to be an extremely scarce commodity and the body had to manage it optimally. If you withdraw enough energy from the body, the logical consequence is weight reduction. If this happens too drastically, however, an energetic deficiency is signaled to the body and the organism then drives all metabolic processes into the basement. The result is a reduced basal metabolic rate (see above). If at the beginning of a diet 2000 kcal were burned a day at rest, after the diet it is only 1500 kcal. So there is a deficit of 500 kcal. (The numbers are fictional and are for understanding only). The body thus learns to get by with less energy. During the diet this is not a problem for weight loss, as the body receives very few calories and you continue to lose weight. If, however, habitual eating habits arise after the diet, the body stores a disproportionately large amount of energy. Many magazines promoting short-term weight loss through diets should take this into account and mention it.

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How can you prevent the yo-yo effect?

However, there are also many ways to lose weight intelligently and without the yo-yo effect. As mentioned earlier, food intake (calorie intake) is the first factor in weight management. The other more important factor is the amount of calories lost per day from work. You can drive this up through adequate sport. In particular, the targeted build-up of muscle mass (see muscle build-up) helps you lose weight, because the muscles alone are our fat burners. Those who have more muscles also burn more energy. In endurance sports, many roads led to Rome. It doesn't always have to be a slow pace, it doesn't harm the body to step on the gas in between. Targeted weight loss does not work entirely without exercise, and those who set themselves the goal of burning fat should be sufficiently motivated to achieve success through exercise. However, the state of health should be confirmed beforehand by a doctor.

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Read more on the subject at: Tips on how to best lose weight

To prevent the yo-yo effect, one should take care to approach the weight loss slowly. If you lose half a kilo a week, you are on the safe side and ultimately achieve your goal. With the short-term radical diets hardly any fat is burned anyway, but more muscle mass is broken down in order to gain energy. In addition, there should be a general change in diet in favor of fat burning.

In order not to drive a carousel with the energy budget, you should not eat little. The body must receive sufficient nutrition, especially in connection with increased exercise.

Read more about this under: Lose weight without the yo-yo effect - how does it work?

Prevent the yo-yo effect through exercise

By reducing the calorie intake as part of a diet, a "saving program" is stimulated in the muscles. This persists even when more energy is supplied again through food, which leads to the replenishment of the fat stores. As a result, you often gain more weight than you have lost. At this stage you can the yo-yo effect can be prevented through targeted physical activity. The muscles are stimulated again to a higher energy consumption and a renewed weight gain can be counteracted.

Other measures that prevent the yo-yo effect

The most important measure to counter a yo-yo effect is one sustainable change in diet and lifestyle habits instead of time-limited diets. This is particularly regular physical activity important. It should be at least thirty to sixty minutes a day. In addition, one should not have too high expectations when dieting and should not aim for a large weight loss in a short time. Those who continuously lose some weight over a long period of time are more likely to be spared a yo-yo effect. Are also recommended regular meals, preferably three a day. A long, filling, sufficient breakfast is particularly important. For example, a muesli with high-fiber whole grain cereals is suitable. Another measure that can be used to prevent a yo-yo effect is one regular weight control by weighing.

How can you prevent the yo-yo effect after fasting?

Studies have shown that through targeted physical activity a yo-yo effect can be counteracted after fasting. In addition, a long-term maintenance of the achieved weight loss is one Change in diet and lifestyle important. In addition, after fasting, the body often demands more increased calorie intake in order to regain the lost weight. This can be counteracted by a conscious and low-calorie diet that is still filling.

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What influence does the yo-yo effect have on the intestinal flora?

Recent scientific studies have shown that the intestinal flora can play a role in the development of the yo-yo effect. How exactly the bacteria in the intestine affect the weight gain after an initially successful diet, however, is not yet explored. If necessary, new possibilities will arise in the future to specifically counteract the yo-yo effect by influencing the intestinal flora.

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