How to avoid the yo-yo effect

What should a diet be like to avoid regaining weight?


How to avoid the rebound effect of losing weight

The first step to avoid the yo-yo effect is to follow a healthy weight loss diet. Eating too few calories and not exercising is a guarantee of regaining lost weight.

healthy salad
Salad with lettuce, chicory, tomato, avocado and sesame seeds. Although it contains fat, it is very healthy and could be found on a weight loss diet menu

Healthy fats such as avocado, walnuts and vegetable oils (1st cold pressed) should not be missing in a weight loss diet. It is a myth that all fat makes you fat.

If you have followed a very strict diet, one of the most effective remedies to avoid regaining all the weight is physical exercise.

During a diet, exercise helps make it much easier to lose weight and keep the kilos off.

After a strict diet, physical exercise increases metabolism and muscle mass, and prevents the rebound effect.

It is recommended to put yourself in the hands of a duly qualified personal trainer and follow the following tips to plan the time of physical activity.

No “miracle diets” to lose weight very quickly

All doctors and dietitians strongly recommend against miracle diets or prolonged fasts. The decision to make these types of options is personal, but it should be made with knowledge of everything it entails: Many people do not know that strict diets activate emergency or calorie-saving metabolic pathways, which cause a slow metabolism, with which it is much more difficult to maintain the lost weight afterwards.

If you want to lose weight healthily, we recommend these simple steps before attempting a diet.

All weight loss diets should be supervised by a doctor and a nutritionist.


Walk every day at least 1 hour at a brisk pace (so that the exercise does not allow you to talk)

    • A diet should provide at least 1,500 kcal daily. Eating less than these calories is impossible to provide enough nutrients. Many women who want to lose weight during menopause follow this type of diet without success and with consequences such as the rebound effect, as well as bad mood, irritability, etc.
    • Do not prolong strict diets, such as fasting or mono-diets, for more than 2-3 days. Rest during this time.
    • They should have an adequate protein intake: legumes, eggs (both the white and the yolk contain protein), fish, white meat and, to a lesser extent, cereals.
    • Do not use meal replacements: Many times miracle shakes or meal replacement bars are advertised to lose weight.

These foods do not satiate and make you hungry in a short time. They also contain sweeteners that harm the intestinal microbiota, maltodextrins and other refined sugars, etc. Even if vitamins or minerals are added, these products never match the benefits of natural foods. Cases of hepatotoxicity have been reported with the use of these weight loss products.

    • They should contain a minimum of carbohydrates: The WHO estimates that the minimum amount of carbohydrates that a diet should contain is 100 g. a day, equivalent to 120 g. of rice.
    • Diets with an abundance of raw plant foods, such as fruits, salads and vegetables. Getting into the habit of eating healthy foods is what will maintain your weight in the long term. Vegetables rich in vitamin C and rich in folic acid, such as avocado, are recommended.

You should accompany the diet with physical activity and relaxation

Exercise and relaxation are recommended

Intense or moderate exercise will help maintain and, if the diet is sufficient, increase muscle mass and, therefore, combat and avoid the yo-yo effect and maintain the lost weight in the long term. Daily physical activity is vital for our body.

Relaxation techniques can also be very suitable. People with food anxiety should accompany these changes with yoga, meditation or mindfulness.

These techniques have shown many benefits in both healthy people and people with irritable bowel syndrome or autoimmune diseases.

Integrate these healthy habits into daily life and in the environment

It is the only real guarantee of maintaining the weight lost in the long term. One of the important points is to completely eliminate processed foods, such as soft drinks, buns, cookies (even whole grain or diabetic ones), etc.

Industrial foods are very practical, tasty, relatively inexpensive and easy to eat. However, these products are harmful, not because they provide many calories (there are also sweetened options), but because they have such an intense flavor that they cause addiction or cravings for sweets. Furthermore, their consumption predisposes to obesity and diabetes.

It is very interesting to learn to eat well on weekends, during vacations or during celebrations to prevent lost weight from being regained.

What can you eat on special occasions?

On those days when you feel like eating something more special, there are options that allow you to eat sweets while still eating healthy foods: Cocoa truffles, flourless brownie, homemade cocoa cream, fruit skewers, personalized pure chocolate, chia pudding or some delicious nuts and seeds truffles.

Homemade guacamole sauce or homemade ajoaceite sauce are much more nutritious and healthy than any industrial mayonnaise. 100% heart-healthy and recommended!

punto rojo More information on yo-yo effect

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

1 February, 2024

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