Yo-Yo Dieting Health Risks
You go on a diet, lose weight, stop dieting, gain weight, and repeat this cycle over and over. Sound familiar? Other than being annoying and frustrating, yo-yo dieting could be harmful to your health. One of the biggest negative effects of yo-yo dieting is that it can actually cause you to gain more weight over time.
Most people that lose weight will regain that lose weight (if not more) within one year. This is because they are not practicing healthy weight lose and weight management habits.
Related: Best "Diet" For Lasting Weight Loss
Dieting and the body's reaction
The pressure to lose weight is high. Obesity problems are getting more and more media and public attention and many people respond by making dramatic temporary changes to their diet as a effort to lose weight.
What happens when we restrict our calorie intake is that we don't only lose body fat, but we also lose muscle mass. Losing muscle mass triggers the body to fight back. It fights back by slowing down the metabolism and encouraging more fat storage. Why? Because your body thinks that it is being starved. It's panicing and trying to slow the metabolism and store fat to get you through this period of starvation.
This is bad news if you want to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight you should be taking steps that will increase your metabolism, not hurt it! Restricting food can also do a couple more things to us that are counter productive. When you restrict certain foods they become even more appealing and this can lead to overeating or even binging on food!
Related: How to go on a Sugar Detox
What happen when the diet stops?
So because of food restriction we lost some weight but in the process we put our body in starvation mode. Since we lose weight, we are happy and stop the diet to return to our normal eating habits. How will the body react?
Since your body was in starvation mode, trying to increase fat storage, it will end up regaining more fat than was originally lost! The body's goal is to regain the lost muscle mass but fat is regained first and will continue to be regained until the lost muscle mass is fully restored.
It's easy to see how cycling this whole process repeats over and over again. Yo-yo dieting causes your body to be uncertain whether or not it will have food. To prepare for the periods of time you restrict calories the body increases fat storage with each time you go on a "diet".
Yo-yo diet health risks
Studies have indicated that cycles of yo-yo dieting can lead to increase in body weight over time, a increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
Yo-yo Dieting Solution
So what can we be done to fix this? It's simple, rather than going on a restrictive diet change your approach and take a more wholesome approach to weight loss. To lose weight and keep it off you need to change your eating habits and lifestyle.
You don't have to change everything, even small changes can give you great results. Learn how to eat healthy and the correct portion sizes. The best guide to teaching healthy eating that I've found is The Two Week Diet, it will outline everything for you and it's super simple and easy to follow.
Dieting is not the only thing that you should be doing if you want to lose weight. Exercise is also really important to burning fat. Cardio, strength training, yoga, and HIIT workouts are all great options for staying active and building lean muscles. My favorite fitness plan is Jen's Bikini Body Guide, it's fun and great for any fitness level. If you are looking for a fitness option that is low impact but still effective for burning fat than I would recommend Yoga Burn!
Weight loss and healthy weight management is more than possible, you just need to be committed and have the right tools!