Archive for the ‘Yo-Yo Dieting’ Category

Calling All Former Yo-Yo Dieters‏


We are working on a piece for FITNESS about real life ways to cut the yo-yo dieting strings, and we need YOUR help. We are looking for women in their late 20s to early 40s who have lost and re-gained the same 5 pounds (or 20 pounds, or 50 pounds…) over and over, but are now successfully keeping it off and maintaining your ideal, healthy weight.

Whether you changed your relationship with food, took up a new sport, or found inspiration in your family, we’ll discuss what worked for you, share your tips with our readers, and potentially publish a picture of your fab self in the mag. 

Want to share your story and help other women get their weight under control? Please send the following to our writer, Kenrya at by Friday, March 19th(but the sooner the better!): 

First and last name:
City, State:
Phone Number (for research):
Email Address (for research):
A brief summary of your yo-yo dieting experience:
How you cut the yo-yo strings once and for all: 

She will be in touch after she receives your email to discuss next steps. Thanks for your help! 


On Tuesday, 3/16/10 I saw the above on Facebook and sent an email to Kenrya with my answers to the above! 
Today, I got a reply email from her that said the following.
Hi, Laura.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with me. I love that you cut the yo-yo string using moderation and balance, not deprivation. I’d like to ask you a few questions to help me figure out if you’re a good fit for this article. Do you have a few minutes to answer them for me via email by Friday morning? After I take a look I might have to come back to you over the weekend for more info to complete the story. Does that sound like a plan? Let me know.  The questions are below.

Thanks again,

Check out her questions and my answers below! 


1. What is the most you have weighed?

At my heaviest I was 246 pounds.  I believe that I may have weighed more than that at one time, however the most I remember ever seeing on the scale was 246 pounds. 

2. When was that? How old were you?
That was “5 years ago”!  I was 28 years old. 

3. How much do you weigh now?
Currently, I weigh 143 pounds. 

4. How long have you maintained your weight?
Almost a year now.  I hit 146 pounds back in August 2009. 

5. How tall are you?
5 foot, 6 inches 

6. Why do you think you’ve had such a difficult time maintaining your weight loss in the past?

I have struggled with my weight since I was 12 years old and first realized I was overweight by about 15-20 pounds at the time.  That is when I started my first diet and started running/biking to burn calories.  I lost the weight but not even a year later it started to creep back on and my up & down cycle started and continued for years.  For me it was mostly “insecurity” and “emotions” that played a part in my Yo-Yo dieting as I would do good for a long time by dieting (eating healthy) and exercising (running, weight lifting, etc.) and then something bad would happen in my life and I would turn to food for comfort.  That is the exact reason that led me to gain 100 pounds.  It wasn’t until June of 2008 that I finally made permanent changes in my life and stopped my Yo-Yo dieting, which is almost 20 years after the entire cycle began! 

7. What made you decide to embrace moderation over dieting and deprivation?
After almost 20 years of Yo-Yo Dieting (going up and down in weight) I had finally had enough!  I was sick of losing and gaining.  I knew I could lose the weight but I knew how I was doing it up to that point wasn’t working as I would always end up gaining it back.  So in June 2008 I decided to “stop dieting”, start eating healthy as much as possible and in moderation and stick to a regular exercise (running & weight lifting) plan weekly.  

8. How, specifically, have you changed your eating habits?
I eat whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy and lean protein as much as possible.  I limit what I call “bad” carbs, items high in sugar, “bad” fat and rarely eat Fast Food or drink Soda.  I cook as much as possible and always bring my lunch to work.  I cut my portions in half (eat on smaller plates) and eat little meals often in order to keep me from getting hungry and going after bad food choices.  I also found that educating myself on the nutritional value of foods and trying new healthy recipes keeps me motivated. 
Here are some examples of what I eat now:

  • Instant high-fiber oatmeal (single serving size) with fruit, nuts & flax seed mixed in or a piece of fruit on the side
  • Whole-wheat frozen waffles (2) toasted with a tablespoon of peanut butter, ½ a sliced banana and a drizzling of syrup on top with orange juice
  • One serving size bowl of high-fiber cereal (Multi-Grain Cheerios, FiberOne Raisin Bran, etc.) with 2% milk and a glass of juice or a piece of fruit
  • Homemade frozen mixed berry smoothie made with milk & ice
  • Toasted whole-wheat bread with peanut butter and fruit on the side
  • A two egg omelet with tons of veggies (mushrooms, onions, peppers & tomatoes) and light cheese


  • Tuna/Peanut Butter on one or two pieces of high-fiber whole wheat bread with carrots, pickles & fruit on the side or frozen veggies
  • A medium size chef or chicken salad with tons of veggies (romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and peppers), beans (red, black or garbanzo beans), egg, sunflower seeds, a few croutons, a pinch of cheese and a little ranch or Italian dressing on the side
  • A bowl full of homemade vegetable soup with low-fat beef or hamburger & beans added and whole-wheat crackers on the side
  • A small plate of humus and whole-wheat pita crackers with a small side salad or raw veggies on the side and a piece of fruit
  • Small cheeseburger, small fries & water or unsweetened ice tea


  • Whole-grain taco shells with lean taco meat, lots of shredded romaine lettuce, diced cherry tomatoes and a little cheese with yellow rice mixed with black beans and salsa on the side
  • Small bowl of whole-wheat pasta with lean hamburger meat & marina mixed together on top and a side salad
  • Marinated lean pork loin with ½ a baked potatoes and vegetables (asparagus, corn, broccoli or cabbage) on the side
  • Homemade whole-wheat pizza with tons of veggies (mushrooms, green & red peppers, onions and tomatoes) and thinly sliced pepperoni and a small amount of cheese sprinkled on top
  • One serving size of pot roast with baby carrots & potatoes and a small salad
  • Small cheeseburger, small fries & water or unsweetened ice tea


  • One small serving size container of high-fiber and active culture yogurt with a tablespoon of granola and a handful of fresh berries
  • A small piece of homemade chocolate chip, walnut, raisin & flax seed granola and a fruit
  • A handful of whole-wheat pita chips and a scoop of humus and raw veggies
  • Occasionally a small cookie, piece of cake/pie or a small bowl of ice-cream

9. What foods did you used to overindulge in (and cut while dieting), that you now let yourself have a little of?
For me it was mainly “Fast Food”!  I ate it often, almost everyday when I was at my heaviest and I could polish off a whole key lime pie on my own in a week, which I did a few times.  =O  I also would eat very large portions of whatever I was eating.  I wouldn’t just have one donut I would have 3, or 2 tacos I would have 3 plus a buritto from Taco Bell. 
Below is a list of what I typically ate while I was at my heaviest:

  • Several servings (bowls) of cereal high in sugar
  • Fatty bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwiches several times a week
  • Large muffins or pastries
  • Hardly ever ate any “fruits”

Lunch & Dinner 

  • Cheeseburger, fries & coke
  • 3 tacos & a large burrito
  • Large portion sizes of pasta (lasagna, spaghetti, etc.)
  • Frozen Pizza’s or Pizza Bites (unhealthy versions, not Kashi)
  • Large salads with lots of cheese, croutons & fatty dressing  
  • Basically “large” portions of whatever I ate!!! 


  • Baked goods (donuts, cookies, cake & pie)
  • Chips 
  • Ice cream  
  • Soda (large glasses)  

Prior to my “huge weight gain” I would pretty much eat the same way when I wasn’t dieting I just didn’t eat as much and that is the only reason my weight wasn’t in the 200’s at that time in my life.
10. Why do you think practicing moderation over deprivation has helped you be successful in your weight loss?
Because “deprivation” only makes you want what you are keeping from yourself more and when you do finally give in and have it you will eat it and then some!  Thus, why after losing 50 pounds in the past I would in turn gain back more than half of it because I felt so deprived and when I finally gave to my carvings I couldn’t stop them and the weight creeped back on.  This happened to me several times over years.  Once I finally realized what was happening I stopped the vicious cycle, started eating healthy & in moderation and never felt deprived again! 

11. How have you applied the idea of moderation to your workout regimen?
Yes!  I used to feel extremely guilty if I missed a work out or run as I was afraid if I missed a work out or two that I may fall off the wagon so to speak but over time I realized that I was stronger than that and missing a day or two or even a week wasn’t going to kill me or throw me back into my old habits and I started looking at my workout regimen just as I look at food. 

12. What role do you think making lifestyle changes has played in keeping the weight off?
A HUGE ROLE!  In my eyes you can diet to lose the weight but you have to change your lifestyle in order to keep it off and ultimately be healthy, which is the most important thing to me as I don’t just want to be at my ideal weight I want to be healthy to and a good role model for my 9-year-old daughter.  I don’t want her to get stuck in the Yo-Yo Dieting cycle like me, I want her to learn healthy habits that she will have for life. 

13. How do you feel now that you’ve lost the weight and kept it off for so long?
GREAT!  I almost don’t believe I did it at times as I was obese for so long (6+ years) and struggled with my weight for so many years before that I thought I would never lose it all or be where I am at today.  But, I finally realized that it was possible, I just had to believe that and do it! 

14. What is the best thing about being at a healthy/ideal weight?
Being a good role model for my daughter, feeling comfortable and not having others look at me differently because of my weight!  

15. If you could offer women just one piece of advice to help them cut the yo-yo string for good, what would it be?
The only true way to lose weight, maintain your weight and be ”healthy” is to CHANGE YOU EATING HABITS & LIFE STYLE COMPLETELY!!!  Otherwise the weight will creep back on eventually, take my word for it I know this from lots & lots & lots of experience!!!   


Well that was a lot of writing above!  

Why don’t we move on to some pictures, some “food” pictures………=) 








50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day 


41. Head for the nearest hill. Go sledding with the kiddos for 1 hour and 5 minutes. You’ll burn 500-plus calories. 

*Might be a bit late for this one in some parts of the country, but it is a good tip and a fun one at that! 



42. Do an hour of circuit training and you’ll burn 544 calories. 

*I love “circuit training” as it is a great full body workout!