The Yo-Yo diet, also known as “cyclic weight,” describes the pattern of losing weight, regaining it and then dieting again. It is a process that causes the weight to rise and fall like a yo-yo. This type of diet is common: 10% of men and 30% of women have done it. This article will discuss some of the problems related to the Yo-Yo diet.
1. Increased Appetite Leads to More Weight Over Time:
During the diet, fat loss leads to decreased levels of the hormone leptin, which usually helps you feel full. Under normal circumstances, fat stores release leptin into the bloodstream. This tells the body that there is energy in the stores, which tells you to eat less. As you lose fat, leptin decreases and appetite increases. That increased appetite occurs as the body tries to replenish depleted energy stores. In addition, the loss of muscle mass during the diet causes the body to conserve energy. When most people use a short-term diet to lose weight, they will recover 30-65% of that weight lost within a year. On the other hand, one in three people who do the Yo-Yo diet ends up heavier than before starting the diet. This weight gain completes the “rise” phase in the Yo-Yo diet, and some people may try to start the diet again and thus begin another cycle of weight loss.
Summary: Weight loss causes the body to increase appetite and cling to energy storage. As a result, some people who are governed by yo-yo diets gain more weight than they lost.
2. Higher Percentage of Body Fat:
“In some studies, the Yo-Yo diet has generated a higher percentage of body fat”.
During the weight gain phase of the Yo-Yo diet, fat recovers more easily than muscle mass. This may result in the percentage of body fat increasing in several cycles of the Yo-Yo diet. In a review, 11 of 19 studies found that Yo-Yo diets increase the percentage of body fat and the amount of fat in the abdomen. This is more pronounced by following a weight loss diet with more subtle and sustainable lifestyle changes, since it may be responsible for the yo-yo effect.
Summary: Most studies show that the Yo-Yo diet leads to a higher percentage of body fat. This can lead to other changes that make weight loss more difficult.
3. It Can Lead to Loss of Muscle Mass:
During weight loss diets, the body loses muscle mass, as well as body fat. Because fat recovers more easily than muscle after losing weight, this can lead to greater muscle loss over time. Loss of muscle during the diet also leads to a decrease in physical strength. These effects can be reduced with exercise, including strength training. Exercise tells the body to increase muscle mass, even when the rest of the body is losing weight. During weight loss, the dietary requirement of body protein also increases. Eating enough sources of quality protein can help reduce muscle loss. One study showed that when 114 adults took protein supplements while losing weight, they lost less muscle mass.
Summary: Weight loss can lead to muscle loss, and this can deplete your muscle mass when you are in the Yo-Yo diet cycles. Exercising and eating unprocessed protein sources helps mitigate muscle loss.
4. Weight Gain Causes Fatty Liver:
The fatty liver is when the body stores excess fat inside the liver cells. Obesity is a risk factor for developing a fatty liver, and gaining weight particularly tends to suffer from fatty liver. Fatty liver is associated with changes in the way the liver metabolizes fats and sugars, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also sometimes cause chronic liver failure, also known as cirrhosis. A study in mice showed that several cycles of weight gain and loss caused fatty liver. Another study with mice showed that fatty liver caused liver damage in mice under cycles of weight gain and decrease.
Summary: Weight gain leads to fatty liver, which can cause liver disease. In mice, this is mainly caused by the cyclic increase and decrease in weight, although human studies are necessary.
5. An Increased Risk of Diabetes:
The Yo-Yo diet is associated with a higher probability of developing type 2 diabetes, although not all studies found such evidence. A review of several studies showed that a history of yo-yo diets predicted type 2 diabetes in four of 17 studies. A study of 15 adults showed that when participants regained weight after 28 days of weight loss diets, it was mainly the fat in the abdomen. Fat in the abdomen is more likely to lead to diabetes than fat stored in other places, such as the arms, legs or hips. One study showed an increase in insulin levels in rats that spent 12 months under the weight cycle, compared to those rats that consistently gained weight. Increasing insulin levels such as these may be an early sign of diabetes. Although diabetes has not been seen in all human studies of the Yo-Yo diet, it is more likely in studies with people who end up with a greater weight than they had before starting the diet.
Summary: In some studies, the Yo-Yo diet increased the risk of diabetes. The risk is greater in those who end up with a greater weight than they had before starting the diet.
6. An Increased Risk of Heart Disease:
Cyclic weight has been associated with coronary artery disease, a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrow. Increasing weight, even more than obesity, increases the risk of heart disease. According to a study of 9,509 adults, the increased risk in heart disease depends on the size of the swing in the weight – the greater the weight lost and recovered during the yo-yo diet, the greater the risk. A review of several studies concluded that large variations in weight over time doubled the chances of death from heart disease.
Summary: The risk of heart disease increases with weight gain and fluctuating weight. The greater the change in weight, the greater the risk.
7. May Increase Blood Pressure:
Weight gain, including the rebound effect or weight gain after the Yo-Yo diet, is also related to the increase in blood pressure. Making matters worse, the yo-yo diet effects can mitigate the healthy effect of losing weight on blood pressure over time. A study of 66 adults found that those with a history of Yo-Yo diet had less improvement in blood pressure while losing weight. A longer-term study found that this effect may fade after 15 years, suggesting that the effects of cyclic weight during youth may not affect the risk of heart disease in middle or later age. A third long-term study also found that the previous harmful associations of the Yo-Yo diets were stronger when the Yo-Yo diet had occurred recently, rather than long before.
Summary: Weight gain, including weight gain rebound effect by the Yo-Yo diet, increases blood pressure. This effect may persist for years, but seems to disappear over time.
8. It can Cause Frustration:
It can be very frustrating to see the hard work you put into losing weight during weight gain disappear due to the rebound effect of the Yo-Yo diet. In fact, adults with a history of Yo-Yo diets say they feel dissatisfied with their lives and health. People who apply the Yo-Yo diet also report poor self-efficacy regarding their body and health. In other words, they feel a sense of being out of control. However, the Yo-Yo diet does not seem to be related to depression, self-control or negative personality traits. This distinction is important. If you have had problems with the Yo-Yo diet in the past, you should not allow yourself to feel defeated, hopeless or guilty. You may have tried some diets that did not help you achieve the results you wanted in the long term. This is not a personal failure – it is simply a reason to try something else.
Summary: The Yo-Yo diet can make you feel out of control, but it is not a sign of personal weakness. If you have not found the long-term health changes you need after a diet, it is time to try another alternative.
9. It Can Be Worse Than Obesity:
Losing weight if you are overweight improves heart health, reduces the risk of diabetes and increases fitness. Weight loss can also reverse fatty liver, improve sleep, reduce the risk of cancer, improve mood and extend the duration and quality of your life. In contrast, weight gain leads to the opposite of these benefits. The Yo-Yo diet is somewhere in between. It is not as harmful as gaining weight, but it is definitely worse than losing weight and maintaining it in the long term. It is controversial, not all studies agree that if the Yo-Yo diet is worse than maintaining a stable long-term weight. One of the largest studies available followed 505 men aged 55 to 74 for 15 years.Their weight fluctuations were associated with an 80% higher risk of dying during the study period. Meanwhile, obese men who maintained a consistent weight had a risk of dying similar to normal weight men. One difficulty with this research is that researchers did not always know why participants were in cyclic weight, and it could be that changes in weight were related to some other medical condition which shortened life expectancy
Summary: As for the available research, it is still unclear whether it is better to continue with the Yo-Yo diet or remain overweight. What is clear is that making small, healthy and permanent lifestyle changes is the best option.
10. Short-Term Thinking Prevents Long-Term Changes in Lifestyle:
Most diets prescribe a set of rules to follow for a certain period of time, usually to meet a weight loss goal or other health goal. This type of diet tends to fail, because it teaches that the rules must be followed until the goal is met. Once the diet is over, it is easy to fall back into the habits that caused the weight gain with which the diet began. Because the body increases appetite and keeps fat stored during the diet, it causes a temporary diet too often to become self-defeating, leading to temporary improvement followed by weight gain and disappointment. To break the cycle of temporary changes to produce temporary success, it is necessary to stop thinking in terms of diet and start thinking in terms of a healthy lifestyle. A large study of more than 120,000 adults in the United States found that various habits could help gradually decrease and maintain weight over a long period of years.
Here are Some of the Behaviors That Work For Long-Term Weight Loss:
- Eat healthy foods:like yogurt, fruits, vegetables and nuts (not peanuts).
- Avoid junk foods:like French fries and sugary drinks.
- Limit starchy foods:Limited use of starchy foods such as potatoes.
- Exercise:Find something active that you like to do.
- Sleep well:Get 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
- Limit TV viewing:Limit TV time or exercise while watching TV.
By making permanent lifestyle changes that promote a healthy weight, you can have permanent success and break the Yo-Yo diet cycle. Importantly, a study of 439 overweight women showed that a lifestyle intervention designed to optimize gradual and consistent weight loss over time was equally effective in women with or without a history of Yo-Yo diets. This is encouraging, showing that even if you may have had difficulty maintaining weight in the past, making long-term lifestyle-based changes can help you lose weight.
Summary: The Yo-Yo diet is a cycle of temporary changes that produce temporary results. To break the cycle, it is necessary to start thinking in terms of permanent lifestyle changes.
The Yo-Yo diet is a cycle of short-term changes in diet and activity. For these reasons, it only leads to short-term benefits. After losing weight, your appetite increases and your body stores fat. This leads to weight gain, and many dieters end up with a little more or much weight than they had when they started the diet. The Yo-Yo diet can increase the percentage of body fat in exchange for muscle mass and strength, and can cause fatty liver, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. To break the frustrating cycle, it is necessary to make small permanent lifestyle changes instead of Yo-Yo style diets. These types of changes will prolong and improve your life, even if the weight loss is slow or small.