Yo-Yo Dieting By: Robb Wolf

The dieting merry-go-round is an interesting thing. So much
information and good intention, so few favorable results. One result is
a sense of failure on the part of dieters that takes on the likeness of
a relationship gone bad. Promises are made, only to be broken and a
sense of betrayal ensues. Instead of the dynamic describing two lovers
this is the personal hell that many people face. Rosy picture isn’t it!

Part of what makes this situation so difficult is that people are
facing tough biological, social and psychological issues when
attempting to alter eating habits. All of these issues end up stuck
together and the glue, not surprisingly, is carbs. WHOA! you might be
saying…that’s a lot to lay on a piece of toast or a plate of
potatoes…but in my experience this is exactly the issue. Lets take
these apart one at a time:

Biological- When folks mention they are yo-yo dieting they are NOT
having a problem eating meat, veggies, nuts and olive oil to excess.
Whatever the clueless Mcdougalites may say, it’s not being ON the low
carb diet that’s a problem, it’s going off the rails and eating every
carbohydrate in site down to the bark on trees! Calorie restriction
doesn’t work and just feeds into neurosis. It sounds great and plays
into our puritanical leanings but it is a failed venture. I’m not sure
why but everyone from the government to doctors to theologians LOVE
this whole calorie restriction thing…”Eat less, be prudent..have more
water dense vegetables…drink a glass of water before a meal to blunt
hunger.” Bullshit. None of that crap works and it just leads people
down a path towards failure.

The people who have success with this stuff find a level of carb
intake that “works”. This level is different from person to person but
it mirrors what people like the Dr.’s Eades and others have said for

Social- have you ever noticed that no one says a word to the folks
who eat a bag of chips and a coke for lunch but if you have a piece of
grilled meat, a bag of nuts and a salad you can sell tickets to your
lunch hour as a circus side show? It’s an interesting but well
documented fact that people do not like seeing others change or make
progress. Come from a poor or dysfunctional family? Did you work to get
healthy and perhaps wealthy? Are your family members excited about your
success or least bit resentful? We see this almost daily…one spouse
starts training and eating differently…they start making progress and
change and the significant-other freaks out. It either undermines the
efforts of our client or the couple tends to split. No shit here
folks…heavy stuff but we have seen this pattern play out dozens of
times the past 5 years. So part of yo-yo dieting is that people
undermine our progress. It kinda sucks to catch flack for trying to
affect positive change and sometimes it’s just enough to slide one back
to junk-food (that’s TOO MANY CARBS if you missed the section above).
Where does personal accountability come into this? Glad you asked…

Psychological- for some damn reason people have some kind of self
sabotage thing they get going. For some it relates to diet, for others
it’s betting on football and buying shit they do not need. Whatever the
issue is the individual knows better, sets their will for change…then
fails, feels like crap and the cycle continues. Some people do manage
to affect change…but no one knows what the hell it is they are doing
differently so it’s really tough to replicate. A growing number of
psychiatrists think that drugs, talk therapy and chakra balancing are
not very effective at helping people change. What is effective? Sleep,
omega-3 fatty acids, and a tightly controlled insulin level. I know
this is dragging things back to the biological but most of the yo-yo
dieting, bad relationships gambling…it’s all neuro-chemistry and you
either take steps to remedy the situation…or you don’t. If you are not
sleeping well (and enough), taking your fish oil and keeping your
insulin levels under control NOTHING YOU DO WILL WORK.

I’m sorry if this is a bit of a downer but some things just can not
be snuck-up on. Some things require a fundamental shift in how you are
doing things…if you want to kill the yo-yo dieting (and most behaviors
that are troubling) you need to do some combo of the following:

1-Best defense: Don’t be there. What his means is do not have crap
in the house. NONE. We do not have self control, we are not wired for
it. This is that deal where folks have 8lbs of beef cooked in the
refrigerator and they quip “I’m hungry…I’m bored with this…” You’re not
bored, you are addicted to crack and you need to decide how you are
going to handle the situation. If you absolutely MUST have some, go out
and eat it. Make it high quality and do not bring ANY home. No
Gad-damned Ezekial bread that can be gnoshed down at 2am as a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich. Meat & veggies, nuts & seeds…that’s
what you have on hand at home. If you are not convinced, let me use
this analogy:

Most people feel like they can pull off a committed, monogamous
relationship.They can avoid a bit of temptation, and do just fine.
Cool. What if you are drunk and you just took a whopping dose of
Ecstasy…and 10 of the hottest members of whatever sex you are into walk
into the room with you and insist on having their way with you. Refined
carbs are analogous to an alcohol soaked Ecstasy binge at the PlayBoy
Mansion. If you are OK with the consequences of that fact, fine but if
you are looking to affect change you need to know that will power will
fail you EVERY TIME. You need to plan and you need to keep your home
free of crack.

2-Rally the troops or go it alone. Tell the people near you, be it
family or friends what you are up to and that you need their help. If
they rally to your aid, great, it will really help things. If they
begin undermining you as I mentioned above you need to distance
yourself and minimize their influence. Obviously this can suck if it’s
your best friend, spouse or boss but things are tough enough. If you
let the people around you undermine your activities…bad on you. Your
eyes are open and you know better.

3- Give yourself a break. This may seem at odds with the
ass-whooping I’ve unleashed but you are only one meal away from perfect
compliance. Obviously this can not stretch into an infinity of
non-compliance (unless you are my parents!) but you need to take it
easy on your bad-self. You CAN do this but you actually have to DO it.

We see three basic behaviours in our clients with regards to food.
Some folks “get it”. They generally eat what they should, when they
should. They feel good and they make great progress at more or less a
constant rate. Some of our other clients are still stuck on the crack
and generally eat too much of the wrong stuff. They feel like shit
during workouts and make some progress, albeit slow. The final group
does not eat enough. Progress is stalled and in many cases retrograde.
This last group is actually a flavor of yo-yo dieting and it is hard as
hell to reach these folks.

Perhaps a line from Star Wars in closing:

“Do or do not, there is no try”. Yoda

3 thoughts on “Yo-Yo Dieting By: Robb Wolf”

  1. Amen to that Carrie. When I breakout my tuna, or veggies, or low fat cottage cheese for lunch, people just stare at me like I’m from the planet Pluto….I guess Pluto isn’t a planet anymore, so lets say Neptune.

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Mitch Langenfeld


Mitch grew playing ice hockey, roller hockey and Lacrosse in Minnesota and South Florida. He joined the Navy after High School in 2007, where he has served as a Helicopter Aircrewman and Rescue Swimmer since. It was in the military that he was first introduced to CrossFit in 2009 and he was hooked. He later joined CrossFit Coronado in 2010 and finally after 13 years received his CrossFit Level 1 certificate in April of 2023 and began his coaching career. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, playing in various washed-up adult hockey leagues, and completing in local CrossFit competitions. His favorite WOD is anything heavy so he can beat all of the smaller faster athletes in the gym or Murph.
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Desiree joined CrossFit Coronado during the pandemic when we were running classes from the car wash next door.  She quickly fell in love with CrossFit and is a wonderful addition to our coaching team.  Desiree helps run our youth programs.


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Margaret spent the first part of her life in competitive sports, starting with swimming, soccer, and softball as a young child and water polo throughout middle & high school (where her number was retired). She spent her summers teaching swim lessons to kids of all ages, developing a love for teaching & coaching in the process. She started CrossFit in April of 2016 on the recommendation of a friend. The group environment, positive atmosphere, and athletic challenge hooked her immediately. With her love for CrossFit and passion for helping others find their strength, it was a natural progression to get her L1 and start coaching at CrossFit Amundson in Santa Cruz, CA under the mentorship of Greg Amundson. She moved to San Diego in October of 2020 and found her new home at CrossFit Coronado.


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Mike came to CrossFit Coronado after a 26-year career in the Marine Corps. Having made fitness a way of life during his time in the Marines, he was searching for a means to maintain an elite level of fitness after he retired from the Corps. Maintaining a regimen of elite fitness was an elusive goal for him until he stumbled upon the back alley garage that is home to CrossFit Coronado. As the 8th original member Mike was at CrossFit Coronado from its very start and adapted to the CrossFit protocol like a duck takes to water. Mike was a devoted and dedicated coach and friend.  Unfortunately he passed away in march, 2018 from pancreatic cancer.  His spirit will always be a part of CrossFit Coronado.  He helped to build and shape this gym into what it is today.  Strong Like Bull.  Semper Fi Sir.


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Shannon’s love of exercise started with high school sports and continued through college. Her background includes over five years of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, her own at-home personal training company, and group fitness classes.  Shannon started CrossFit at CFC in 2011. As a new mom, she could no longer spend the hours required for marathon and triathlon training. She consistently attended the 6am CFC class for two and a half years, including through the entire pregnancy of baby #2. In 2014, the Navy moved the Campoamor’s to Japan and then to Italy. In Europe, Shannon took advantage of the global CrossFit community-making friends with fellow athletes all over the world. In 2019, the Navy moved the Campoamor’s back to Coronado, where they happily rejoined the CFC family.


CrossFit Level 2

BS in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech

MS in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University

SHANNON Hernandez


Shannon has been coaching CrossFit since 2012 when she earned her Level I certificate. soon after she earned her Level II and has since renewed. She went on to obtain her CrossFit weightlifting Level I and Level II certifications as well as the Catapult Weightlifting from Don McCauley. Shannon has been coaching with Crossfit Coronado since 2017. Shannon runs the Olympic Lifting program at Crossfit Coronado when it is offered. She’s competed in crossfit at a handful of local events and aspires to come last place at regionals one day.

Favorite movement is the Olympic Lift -Snatch & least favorite will always be running. Loves coaching at CrossFit Coronado because it’s a gym where everyone is welcome regardless of fitness level. You won’t find any clicks here, just some great people great community and coaches that are always working to be better each day.

Shannon’s go to saying ‘ I’ll quit tomorrow’.


CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

CrossFit Weight Lifting Level 2

USAW Level 2

Don McCauley Catapult Weightlifting

Hannah Chickering


Hannah started CrossFit in 2016 and soon thereafter began coaching while a senior in high school. Throughout college and graduate school Hannah took a “sabbatical” from CrossFit and embarked on her rock climbing journey, climbing world class routes in places like Yosemite and Joshua Tree. Hannah coached a myriad of functional fitness courses at climbing gyms and led a children’s climbing camp during this time. After graduate school Hannah settled in San Diego and decided to start CrossFit again. After trying a few gyms she found CrossFit Coronado and didn’t look back! CrossFit Coronado reignited Hannah’s passion for functional fitness.

Hannah loves CrossFit Coronado and its practical approach to fitness, building resilience, and fostering a supportive community.


CrossFit Level 1



Kimberly started doing CrossFit in 2010.  She quickly realized the awesome benefits of CrossFit and was eager to help Clint when they decided to take over as the owners.  She helps with our teen program and the behind the scenes work that needs to be done.  Kim works part time as an oncology nurse and is a full time to mom to their two little girls. Prior to that, she worked for the City of San Diego for over ten years teaching children of all ages and abilities how to swim and spent three years working as a substitute teacher for kids in grades K-12.  Kim took long-term sub positions teaching high school physical education and middle school science.  After seeing the lack of physical fitness with kids in the school systems, Kim wanted to help set up a teen program to give kids a positive physical outlet aside from school competitive sports.  After having kids and realizing how challenging it is to workout with little ones, she also created a program in the gym to offer childcare so that moms (and dads) can get their workouts in!  Email Kim


CrossFit Level I  

CrossFit Kids

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CrossFit Swimming

CrossFit Cycling

BS Human Biology from UCSD

BS Nursing from University of Oklahoma



Clint started as a customer with CrossFit Coronado in October 2008.  He became a trainer in August 2009, and the owner in August 2010.  He has been an athlete since he was young.  Starting with 7 years of gymnastics and martial arts, as well as high school football and track.  In college, he got into endurance running and swimming.  He was first introduced to CrossFit in the military.  A CrossFit athlete is one that is well rounded in all areas of fitness.   It was this, and the fact that there is absolutely no way to duplicate the results that CrossFit produces for the short amount of time the workouts require, that initially hooked Clint.  Clint has personally experienced improvement in every aspect of fitness, with much shorter workout times.  He competed in the SoCal Regionals in 2010 with a team and in 2011 and 2012 as an individual.  Clint thoroughly enjoys helping people reach their goals.  Clint recently completed a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the university of Saint Augustine and is excited to integrate PT into the gym. His goal is to help professionalize the fitness industry and bring educated and safe training to everyone.  Clint enjoys working with everyone, especially people who need more individualized attention or modifications.  If you’re interested in CrossFit Coronado or personal training, email Clint.


Doctorate in Physical Therapy

CrossFit Level I 

CrossFit Mobility

CrossFit Football

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CrossFit Cycling

USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach

BS Kinesiology from Texas A&M


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