What Is Yo-yo Dieting?
So, there’s this event coming up. Perhaps a reunion. Whatever the cause you wish to look your best. The previous depression had already begun to take its toll. You gained 20 pounds over the course of 3 weeks then lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks. Your weight seems to be on a roll-a-coaster ride with no stop in sight. This scenario perfectly describes yo-yo dieting. A yo-yo diet is a short-term cycle of changes in one’s activity and eating habits which bring about temporary changes in physical appearance. Simply said, the yo-yo diet, like the toy suggests, is an unstable eating pattern used for short term weight goals.
Why Is Yo-yo Dieting Detrimental To Health?
Yo-yo dieting disrupts the normal metabolic functioning of the body. Because it does not allow for one to find balance, it simply makes things go haywire after a while. Observe, that when someone drastically loses weight within a short frame of time, the weight returns almost immediately once the diet stops. However, regained mass is mostly fat and not muscle, which makes one feel very fatigued.
This additional fat increase often leads to heart disease, fatty liver, diabetes, and high blood pressure. All of these chronic ailments come about because of excessive weight loss or weight gain within a short time frame. Yup, 10 pounds gained or lost within a span of a week is not good practice health-wise.
5 Effects Of Yo-yo Dieting
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Bet you can already guess what some of the effects of yo-yo dieting are. Here we go.
- Risk of Diabetes
Yo-yo dieting creates the chaos within to welcome in type 2 diabetes. The rapid increases and decreases in insulin levels are an unhealthy response to the yo-yo diet. This, in turn, creates a favorable environment for type 2 diabetes. Several studies have shown that 4 out of 17 develop type 2 diabetes after continuous yo-yo dieting.
One study of 15 participants, regained weight 28 days after starting their yo-yo diet. The regained weight was mostly belly fat which contributes to diabetic conditions unlike fat stored in limbs and hips. Those who regain even more weight during their yo-yo diet cycles, tend to be at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
- Metabolism Malfunction
You’d think that rapid weight loss would help to ramp up your metabolism, right? Wrong. Research has proven that excess weight loss over a short period of time actually causes your metabolism to slow down. One may also observe that the weight loss is not evenly distributed throughout the body. Often leading to uncomfortable sagging skin in areas where fat and muscle stores have been too rapidly decreased.
To lose weight, many just perform a detox, reduce calories and restrict certain foods normally consumed. Therefore, the body feels starved when yo-yo dieting. This means that in the not too distant future, your body will actually regain more weight due to increased hunger prompts.
- Muscle Loss
Weightloss, in general, promotes the loss of both body fat and muscle mass. During weight loss, the body requires additional protein to supplement muscle mass. If this is not provided the muscle mass will be significantly reduced. Diminished muscle mass also leads to a decrease in physical strength.
Yet the yo-yo diet usually results in increased weight gain. This is because fat is much easily regained than muscle mass thus putting the body beneath further strain. Therefore, yo-yo dieting often causes wear and tear on the muscles resulting in an overall weakened system.
- Fatty Liver
The resulting weight gain of yo-yo dieting often results in fatty liver. This condition promotes excess fat build-up in the cells of the liver, thus promoting obesity. The liver changes how it processes the additional fats and this can result in pain, liver swelling and damage. Other conditions may develop as a result such as diabetes and heart-related diseases.
- Hormonal Upheaval
Yo-yo dieting encourages the disruption of smooth hormonal functioning. As you can imagine this has a ripple effect. Hormones help to maintain balance within the body. If the hormones aren’t being secreted in the right amounts or at the right moment, trouble is the result.
Of course factors, such as gender, body mass index, RMR also influences how hormones are distributed. Yet yo-yo cycles wreak havoc within the body as it attempts to adjust each time. The end result – each yo-yo cycle you regain more weight.
How To Avoid Yo-yo Dieting?
That’s simple – find balance. Weight loss should not be about trying out new diet fads but about lifestyle changes. Everyone has their individual resting metabolic rate (RMR), therefore what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.
If you are struggling with excess weight, remind yourself that it is as a result of the dietary habits you indulge in. The metabolic disruptions caused by yo-yo dieting can be reversed. Yes, that is possible. Simply support your gradual weight loss with strength training. That way you get to tone up your body while slimming down.
By gradual weight loss, we mean about a pound a week as a result of long term adjustments to dietary habits. Additionally simple activities such as:
- Getting sufficient sleep.
- Practicing stress relief patterns such as yoga and meditation.
- Avoiding trendy diets.
- Fuel up with healthy food options such as fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods.
- Limit starchy foods.
- Get more active, take walks, have a swim, tidy up your space, do something which encourages movement.
- Resisting the temptation to indulge in junk foods.
Take back control of your food choices with the help of Group Coaching and our Meal Prep Master Course
Ready for simple recipes, to create healthy meals which you can enjoy while finding balance? MPOF has the variety you are looking for. Let us know which activities helped you in achieving that joyful spark to quit yo-yo dieting.