Yo yo dieting – Why is it bad ?

Yo yo dieting – What is this?

  • Yo-yo dieting sometimes referred to as “weight cycling,” is the practice of cutting weight, gaining it back, and then starting a new diet.
  • It is a process that results in yo-yo-like fluctuations in weight. Ten percent of males and thirty percent of women have engaged in this kind of dieting.
  • Some of the issues with yo-yo dieting will be covered in this article.

Over Time, Higher Appetite Causes More Weight Gain

  • Leptin, a hormone that usually makes you feel full, is secreted in lower amounts when dieting results in fat loss.
  • Leptin is normally released into the bloodstream by your fat deposits. This signals your body to stop eating and lets it know that you have energy reserves.
  • Leptin levels drop and appetite rises when fat is lost. As a result, hunger is heightened as the body attempts to replenish its exhausted energy reserves.
  • Furthermore, the body conserves energy when dieting because it loses muscular mass.
  • Most people who adopt diets that are only temporary will gain back between 30 and 65 percent of the weight they lost in a year.
  • In addition, one in three dieters gain more weight than they did initially.
  • The “up” phase of yo-yo dieting is over with this weight gain, which could lead dieters to start another cycle of weight reduction.

Greater percentage of body fat

  • Yo-yo dieting has been linked to higher body fat percentages in certain studies.
  • Fat is more quickly acquired back than muscle mass when dieting for yo-yo cycles results in weight gain. Over several yo-yo cycles, this may lead to an increase in your body fat percentage.
  • A history of yo-yo dieting was found to be a predictor of higher body fat percentage and larger belly fat in one review, which included 11 out of 19 trials.
  • This may be the cause of the yo-yo effect and is more noticeable when a weight reduction diet is followed than when more modest and long-term lifestyle adjustments are made.

It Might Cause Muscle Loss

  • The body loses both body fat and muscle mass when on a weight loss regimen.
  • This can eventually result in additional muscle loss because fat is recovered after weight loss more readily than muscle.
  • Physical strength is also reduced when dieting causes muscle loss.
  • Strength training is one kind of exercise that can lessen these consequences. Even when the rest of the body is losing weight, exercise encourages the body to put on muscle.
  • The body needs more protein from food when it is losing weight. Consuming adequate high-quality protein sources can aid in preventing muscle loss.
  • According to one study, 114 individuals who used protein supplements while trying to lose weight lost less muscle mass.

Gaining Weight Causes Fatty Liver

  • When the body stores extra fat inside the liver cells, it results in fatty liver.
  • Gaining weight increases your risk of getting a fatty liver because obesity is a risk factor for the condition.
  • Type 2 diabetes risk is increased by fatty liver because it alters how the liver metabolizes carbohydrates and fats.
  • On rare occasions, it may also result in cirrhosis, or chronic liver failure.
  • A study conducted on mice revealed that fatty liver was generated by several cycles of weight growth and reduction.
  • Another study on mice revealed that when weight-cycling animals had fatty livers, their livers were harmed.

A Higher Chance of Diabetes

  • A increased risk of type 2 diabetes is linked to yo-yo dieting, albeit not all research found support for this.
  • A study of multiple studies revealed that in four out of 17 trials, a history of yo-yo dieting predicted type 2 diabetes.
  • In a research involving fifteen people, the majority of the weight that participants gained back after 28 days of weight loss was belly fat.
  • Diabetes is more likely to result from belly fat than from fat that is stored in the arms, legs, or hips.
  • In one study, rats that underwent a 12-month weight cycling program had higher insulin levels than rats that regularly gained weight.
  • These elevated insulin levels may be a precursor to diabetes.
  • Diabetes has not been observed in all human investigations of yo-yo dieting, but it is most likely to be more common in those who gain weight after their diet.

A Higher Chance of Heart Problems

  • The illness known as coronary artery disease, in which the arteries supplying the heart narrow, has been linked to weight cycling.
  • Being overweight does not increase the risk of heart disease as much as weight gain does.
  • A study including 9,509 adults found that the extent of the weight swing—the more weight lost and gained during yo-yo dieting, the higher the risk—determines the increase in the risk of heart disease.
  • A comprehensive analysis of multiple research found that significant fluctuations in weight over time quadrupled the risk of dying from heart disease.

It Could Raise Blood Pressure

  • Blood pressure elevation is associated with weight growth as well, especially rebound or yo-yo weight gain following dieting.
  • To make matters worse, yo-yo dieting has the potential to offset the beneficial impact of weight loss on blood pressure down the road.
  • People having a history of yo-yo dieting showed less improvement in their blood pressure during weight loss, according to a study including 66 people.
  • An extended investigation revealed that this impact would diminish after 15 years, implying that weight cycling in childhood might not have an impact on the risk of heart disease in middle age or beyond.
  • Additionally, a third long-term study discovered that the negative effects of previous yo-yo dieting were more pronounced when the diets had been shorter in duration than decades earlier.

It Could Become Discouraging

  • Witnessing the hard work you put into losing weight disappear during the rebound weight gain associated with yo-yo dieting can be quite disheartening.
  • Adults who have experienced yo-yo dieting actually express a sense of dissatisfaction with their life and health.
  • Yo-yo dieters also report having low body and health self-efficacy. Stated differently, people have a feeling of being uncontrollable.
  • Yo-yo dieting, however, does not seem to be associated with poor personality qualities, self-control, or sadness.
  • This is a crucial distinction. If you have struggled with yo-yo dieting in the past, try not to let it make you feel guilty, helpless, or dejected.
  • It’s possible that you’ve tried a few diets that didn’t provide you the desired long-term effects. This is just an excuse to try something else, not a reflection of your personal shortcomings.

Maybe It’s Worse Than Continued Overweight

  • If you are overweight, losing weight lowers your risk of diabetes, strengthens your heart, and increases your level of physical fitness.
  • Along with improving sleep, lowering cancer risk, elevating mood, and prolonging life, losing weight can help reverse fatty liver.
  • On the other hand, gaining weight has the reverse effect of all of these advantages.
  • In the middle is yo-yo dieting. It is undoubtedly worse than losing weight and keeping it off, even though it is not as dangerous as gaining weight.
  • Not all research support the notion that maintaining a stable weight is healthier than yo-yo dieting, which is a contentious topic.
  • A more extensive study that lasted 15 years tracked 505 males between the ages of 55 and 74.
  • Throughout the study period, there was an 80% increased risk of death linked to their weight changes. Conversely, the chance of death for obese men who stayed at a steady weight was comparable to that of men of normal weight.
  • One problem with this research is that it’s not always clear why the participants were weight cycling, and weight fluctuations could be a sign of a different illness that caused the participants to live shorter lives.

Short-Term Reasoning Avoids Long-Term Modifications to Lifestyle

  • The majority of diets provide guidelines to adhere to for a predetermined amount of time, usually in order to achieve weight loss or other health objectives.
  • This type of diet sets you up for failure by teaching you to stick to the guidelines until your objective is achieved.
  • It’s simple to revert to the behaviors that initially led to weight gain when the diet is over.
  • Because dieting causes the body to retain fat stores and increase appetite, transitory diets frequently backfire, resulting in weight gain and dissatisfaction after only a brief period of improvement.
  • Consider your lifestyle more than your nutrition in order to interrupt the pattern of short-term adjustments leading to short-term results.
  • A major American study involving over 120,000 adults discovered that a number of behaviors could help people lose and keep off weight over time.
  • It discovered the following habits to be effective for sustained weight loss:
  • Consuming nutritious foods: Nuts, fruits, veggies, yogurt, and tree nuts (not peanuts).
  • Steer clear of junk food, like potato chips and sugar-filled drinks.
  • Restricting starchy foods: Consume starchy foods sparingly, such as potatoes.
  • Exercise: Choose an activity you enjoy that is physically demanding.
  • Sleep well: Aim for 6-7 hours of sleep per night.
  • Reducing the amount of time spent watching TV: Try to watch less TV or work out while you watch.
  • You can achieve long-term success and end the yo-yo cycle by adopting sustainable lifestyle adjustments that support a healthy weight.
  • Significantly, a lifestyle intervention intended to support steady, progressive weight loss over time was equally beneficial for women with or without a history of yo-yo dieting, according to a study including 439 overweight women.
  • This is encouraging because it demonstrates that long-term lifestyle adjustments can still aid in weight loss, even if you have previously struggled to maintain your weight loss.


  • Yo-yo dieting is a pattern of intermittent reductions in food and exercise. Because of this, it only produces temporary gains.
  • Your body retains fat after losing weight and your appetite increases. Weight gain results from this, and many dieters regain their initial weight or worse.
  • Yo-yo dieting can lead to fatty liver, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. It can also raise your body fat percentage at the expense of muscle mass and strength.
  • Instead, adopt tiny but long-lasting lifestyle adjustments to escape the annoying cycle.
  • You will live a longer and better life if you make these kinds of changes, even if you lose weight slowly.

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