What is yo-yo dieting and why it’s dangerous

July 24, 2019

Hi, this is Ilene Smith, here at Healthy Futures to speak to you about a recent study that was published on yo‑yo dieting and cancer. The study concluded that yo‑yo dieting does not increase your rate of having 15 different types of cancers.

I’m not sure what the specific ones were, but the point is that what the study did not discuss was the emotional cancer that comes along with yo‑yo dieting. What’s emotional cancer? Emotional cancer is the shame, depression, sense of failure, sense of loss, sense of hopelessness that comes along with yo‑yo dieting.

A part of the issue is that yo‑yo dieting also changes a person’s relationship with food.

Often people become obsessed with food and over focused on food and their body. We work to, for lack of a better word, to undo that relationship or reorganize it so that food can be a part of a person’s life and not be lover, best friend, or a way to escape living in the world.

What we teach you here at Healthy Futures is that diets don’t work. The statistics tell us that. 99 percent of people that go on diets gain the weight back within one to five years. One might ask, “Well, why?”

The main reason is because if you don’t go on an emotional diet and resolve the underlying emotional issues that cause you to overeat and binge eat, you can’t live your life successfully. When I say that, I mean if you can’t love who you are and love the body that you have, you are setting yourself up for failure.

What we do at Healthy Futures is we work in several different areas. One is we work to help you find tools to manage your emotions, emotional regulation, distress tolerance. We teach mindfulness. We teach about connecting, connecting with others versus connecting with your food.

The other components of our program include nutrition, movement, and talk therapy. A combination of all of these things often leads our clients to find their inner voice, find ways to speak their truth rather than using food as a voice.

What we often see is that people leave Healthy Futures living their life more wholeheartedly, living a fuller life, living a life that’s not focused on food.

Neon sign that says EAT

How Healthy Futures can help

Healthy Futures can help address the underlying emotional “cancer” that is affecting and shaping the relationship with food. It is a center that wants to help discover the root of why you eat and will help you reorganize feelings towards food to make a healthy connection and not have it be your best friend or way to escape. People can become obsessed with food or over focused on food or their body.

Treatment centers like Healthy Futures will help manage the emotions associated with eating, teach mindfulness, you will learn about nutrition and movement. It also provides a place to connect with people, to connect with yourself and learn how to make a healthy, beneficial connection with food.

Ilene Smith

What’s emotional cancer? Emotional cancer is the shame, depression, sense of failure, sense of loss, sense of hopelessness that comes along with yo‑yo dieting.

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