Weight Loss

The Yo-Yo Dieting Horror Show

Lesson 4

How many times have you said or thought...

“Next week I start my new diet”
“My new year’s resolution (like last year and the year before) is to start a new diet” “I need to get back on my diet”
“I need to find a new diet that really works”
“I’m going to stuff myself this week because next week I start my new diet.”

Yo-yo dieting or weight cycling is defined as small spurts of weight loss as a result of some diet, and then a regain of the weight, and then another diet and more loss and regain, which develops into a vicious and never ending cycle.

For example, you are able to lose five pounds quickly by quitting carbohydrates altogether. However, the next week, you binge and gain the five pounds back plus an extra two.

You start the process over again and this time, you gain even more. This type of dieting is damaging to your health.

According to MedicineNet, studies have shown weight cycling (yo-yo dieting) to have certain health risks, including, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and gallbladder disease. They also state that this type of dieting can have a negative effect on your psychological health as well. You soon fall under the spell that what you are doing is healthy for you, although it is not.

The small successes feel good only to be met with larger gains that make you feel bad. Eventually, you may decide that your lifestyle with any diet is better than this horrid cycle, but that is far from the truth.

There are serious diseases associated with being obese:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Complications and risks for premature death from belly fat
  • Gallbladder disease
  • And others...

Yo-Yo dieting also includes risks to your health, including:

1. Increased Risk Factors for Disease

The extreme calorie restriction commonly seen in yo-yo dieting increases cortisol, a stress hormone that causes negative effects on the body over prolonged periods of its existence including, increasing risks for developing type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. 

2. Weight Gain

While yo-yo dieting may deliver results in the short term, over the long term most will regain the weight. Researchers at UCLA have found that dieting is not ony ineffective, but can often make you gain more weight than you originally had after a small loss of usually only 5 to 10%.

3. Less Muscle, More Fat

Extreme diets that restricts mass calories lead to loss of critical lean muscle mass, and once the diet is over, the dieter is left with less muscle and more fat. 

4. Less Energy

Yo-yo dieting is believed to actually slow down metabolism, which results in low energy levels and hinders the body's natural ability to burn calories throughout the day. When the body is deprived of the calories it needs to function, it makes adjustments that can result in fatigue, irritability and limited brain function. 

You try one diet only to find out yourself gaining the weight back. So, you try another. That one doesn't work either. This cycle repeats over and over until you are in the middle of a yo-yo lifestyle. 

This is why it is important to change your lifestyle instead and get off the yo-yo merry go round.

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