The thrill of losing weight fast with a diet is amazing. But when that weight creeps back on and you find yourself having to diet all over again to lose it – it isn’t that much fun anymore. You’re falling into the trap of yo-yo dieting.
What Is Yo-Yo Dieting?
Like its famous namesake, the yo-yo dieter swings between extremes. Losing weight and getting to their ideal number only to put it all back on again and fill out completely. This tends to happen to those who use fad diets or other extreme diets to lose weight fast in a short span of time. Because these diets are based on unrealistic diet plans and sometimes on very low calorie intake, they aren’t sustainable. Sound familiar? If that’s exactly what you’ve experienced then you’ll also know that once you go back to your old style of eating, it is inevitable that those lost pounds come right back too.
Weight Cycling And What It Does
This movement of constant weight gain and loss in cycles is known as weight cycling. It is something that
Health Risks Of Yo-Yo Dieting
1. Bad News For Your Heart
There has been research in the past that suggested weight variability could mean higher total as well as cardiovascular mortality making dieting potentially hazardous to your health.3
An extensive study on the impact of weight cycling and yo-yo dieting on the cardiac health of postmenopausal women was presented to the American Heart Association. The researchers found that while overweight and obese women did not see any impact from weight cycling on heart disease linked death, the problems arose for normal weight women. For this healthy weight group, those who weight cycled had 3.5 times
In addition, weight cycling may also be linked to visceral fat accumulation, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension and changes in fatty acid composition of adipose tissue.5
2. Weight Gain
Ironically, a fallout of yo-yo dieting is weight gain. When you constantly subject your body to repeat diets, your body begins to believe it is starving. And during this diet which your brain sees as a short famine, it gets your body
3. Gut Dysfunction
Yo-yo dieting can also mess with the hearth of good bacteria in your gut. The good gut flora or bacteria that your body needs to maintain healthy immune function among other things, can be adversely impacted by yo-yo diets. Because of all the calorie and food restriction, the
|↑1, ↑5||Montani, Jean-Pierre, A. K. Viecelli, Anne Prévot, and Abdul G. Dulloo. “Weight cycling during growth and beyond as a risk factor for later cardiovascular diseases: the ‘repeated overshoot’theory.” International Journal of Obesity 30 (2006): S58-S66.|
|↑2||Yo-yo dieting dangerous for women’s hearts, study says. CNN.|
|↑3||Jeffery, Robert W. “Does weight cycling present a health risk?.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 63, no. 3 (1996): 452S-455S.|
|↑4||Yo-yo dieting dangerous even if not overweight. American Heart Association.|
|↑6||Higginson, A. D., and J. M. McNamara. “An adaptive response to uncertainty can lead to weight gain during dieting attempts.” Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 2016, no. 1 (2016): 369-380.|
|↑7||Weekend binge just as bad for the gut as regular junk food diet, study suggests. University of New South Wales Sydney.|
|↑8||Kaakoush, Nadeem O., Sarah I. Martire, Mukesh Raipuria, Hazel M. Mitchell, Shaun Nielsen, R. Fred Westbrook, and Margaret J. Morris. “Alternating or continuous exposure to cafeteria diet leads to similar shifts in gut microbiota compared to chow diet.” Molecular nutrition & food research 61, no. 1 (2017).|