How to End the Cycle of Yo-Yo Dieting

Finally Achieve Results that stick

Posted By: TeamTKN

Yo-Yo Dieting

A new perspective.


Losing 30 lbs is an achievement…the first time. 


The 5th time it feels like the harbinger of doom. You look in the mirror, tentatively proud of your accomplishment, but mostly dreading what comes next. 


And then the weight creeps back.


The GOOD news is that if you’ve already lost a significant amount of weight, you know EXACTLY what you need to do. You understand the rules and behaviors you need to lose weight. You’ve done it before.

Flooring the Gas While Slamming on the Breaks

So you’ve proven that you know how to push down on the gas pedal.


But if you aren’t moving forward, we are left with the question:

Why do you keep flooring the gas while also slamming on the breaks?


Why do you stop yourself? 


Often, if you’ve made noticeable progress and then begin backtracking, many coaches or well meaning friends may encourage you to “remember your WHY.” 

Don’t worry. That’s not where this is going.


We’re not trying to figure out how to propel you forward. Clearly, you know how to do that. We’re trying to figure out why you insist on stopping. 


There are many reasons why we choose to press on the breaks, but here are three particularly common ones:


  • A Temporary Mindset
  • Self Sabotaging Conversations
  • Using the Wrong Scorecard

Temporary Mindset=Temporary Results

What do you think about when you see these pictures?


For a lot of people, the first question is:

How long did it take for them to do that?


But if this is the first question that comes to mind, then you are already setting yourself up for temporary results.


Built into that question is, If I do what they did, when do I get to be done?


By framing a transformation as “going on a diet,” you have already planted the seeds of temporary change. 


If you plan to go ON a diet, that means you are inevitably planning to go OFF the diet.


You essentially begin the process PLANNING TO END UP WHERE YOU STARTED.


A perpetual cycle of weight loss and weight gain is a result of CONSCIOUS DECISIONS. 


You give YOURSELF permission to break the rules YOU set.

You give yourself the option to fall short of the standard you want.

Self Sabotaging Micro-Conversations

We are in charge of our choices, but too often we opt to self sabotage in our internal micro-conversations.


Self sabotage looks like: life is unfair and inconvenient. I will medicate it. Food makes everything feel better.

Self sabotage looks like: Look how much progress i made. I deserve a treat

Self sabotage looks like: I’m stressed out. Food and drink will calm me down.

Self sabotage looks like: My friends are in town. I have to show them a good time.

Self sabotage looks like: I need to clean my plate so this food won’t go to waste

Self sabotage looks like: Well I screwed up my plan. Since I’m already off, I’ll just eat whatever tonight, and I’ll start again tomorrow.


These micro-conversations give you permission to act silly, while also lamenting life’s unfairness. They allow you to create temporary rules, so you can do whatever you want in the moment. But you are filled with regret when you return to your original rules.


Once again YOU are the one giving yourself permission to hurt yourself.


This is good news.


It means you have the power to change it.

Keeping Different Scorecards

When it comes to your own life, it simply doesn’t make sense to assign responsibility to anyone other than yourself. When you accuse SOMEONE or SOMETHING else as being responsible for your actions, you rob yourself of the ability to change them.


But maybe you have already accepted responsibility for yourself and are convinced that you are doing everything right to keep moving forward. Maybe you are going through the correct motions, but your car is in reverse.


My guess would be that you are working with the wrong scorecard.


Often, when on “a diet” we keep a mental scorecard. And our rules for scoring usually follow a psychological binary:


Back and white

Good and bad

Healthy or unhealthy

On plan or Off plan


Your body, however, is also keeping score. And our bodies use a completely different scoring system: the biological continuum.


According to our mental scoring system, we expect that if we are on plan 8/10 days, we are entitled to at least 80% of the results.


But your body doesn’t care if you’re following the 80/20 rule. It doesn’t even know there is an 80/20 rule. Being “on plan” or “off plan” is meaningless because your body knows HOW MUCH we were off plan and for HOW LONG.

Dr. Trevor Kashey, How to end the cycle of yo-yo dieting

Our bodies keep EXACT measurements of everything we put in and stores that information. In fact, it stores that information on your waist, your butt, your thighs, and lots of other places you wish it wouldn’t.


You may honestly forget to add self-incriminating data to your score card, but YOUR BODY IS A MASTER RECORD KEEPER.


Weight loss is a numbers game, and even if you don’t believe in calories, they believe in you.

Life in the Driver’s Seat

Whether it was from a temporary mindset, self sabotaging micro-conversations or simply using the wrong scorecard, I have spent a lot of time with both feet on the gas and the breaks. All the while, I was also set on convincing myself I wasn’t even in the driver’s seat. It was exhausting


I was consumed with finding myself blameless. I was okay with my imperfections as long as I had a reasonable excuse. As a result, all of my energy went towards looking for excuses.


This led me to be both frustrated and exhausted. I was frustrated because I was perpetually caught in the same unpleasant situations. I was exhausted because all the effort that COULD have been spent solving my problems were wasted looking for my next scapegoat.


If only X were different, I could have been amazing, but poor me. I’m stuck here instead.


I was legitimately working hard. It was legitimately useless.


Instead of playing victim to your self sabotaging thoughts, and giving yourself permission to fail, you can use that energy to strengthen your cognitive consistency. 


By identifying, owning and addressing your micro-conversations, you get to inject logic. Instead of remaining a slave to your impulses. You get to choose your outcome.


It may feel daunting, and I can even hear the objections:

I’ve done this so many times before. I must have so many self sabotaging thoughts. 

Do you know how old I will be by the time I work through all of them!?


Well, my guess is that you’ll be the same age you would be if you don’t.


In the words of Victor Frankl, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Dr. Trevor Kashey, How to end the cycle of yo-yo dieting

Why do you keep flooring the gas while also slamming on the breaks?

Flooring the gas while slamming on the breaks

There are many reasons why we choose to press on the breaks, but here are three particularly common ones:

  1. A Temporary Mindset
  2. Self Sabotaging Conversations
  3. Using the Wrong Scorecard

About Jacquelyn Laporte

Jacquelyn LaPorte has had the privilege of working with TKN since 2018. The journey has been a wild one, but it has ushered her into the driver’s seat of her own life. She learned how to ask questions, answer them honestly and act on the answers. She has used this process to become a better parent to her 3 kids, a better wife, a better boss, a better learner, a better human. She believes that no experience is wasted, (not even majoring in a dead language with no career plan😊 or starting a business with 0 entrepreneurial spirit). Each experience gives the gift of new eyes. Perfect choices are not required, and that makes her free to choose.


“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, and every one of them sufficient.”

-Marilynne Robinson-

Trevor Kashey Nutrition

Team TKN

Team TKN cultivates, curates and shares Dr. Trevor Kasheys’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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