What is yo-yo dieting?
It’s when you follow a very strict diet like the keto diet and you lose 10 pounds, just to gain it all back. Then a few months later you lose it and then gain it back again. Many people trying to lose weight struggle with yo-yo dieting because they take part in fad diets and lose a bunch of weight.
The problem comes when they try turning that diet into their lifestyle, people struggle to break their bad habits and the pounds begin to pile back up.
Yo-yo dieting doesn’t just affect your ability to lose weight it can also have consequences for your health. Here are the different ways yo-yo dieting can do damage.
It causes your blood sugar levels to dip too low: When people follow strict diets, they tend to skip meals and eliminate entire food groups. Doing so can cause big dips in blood sugar levels. A 2017 study from Nutrition & Diabetes found that the greater the weight fluctuations, the more likely they were to develop type 2 diabetes. Your resting metabolism also decrease because the number of calories you’re consuming is so unpredictable that your body keeps what it can.
If can affect your heart: In a 2017 study the New England Journal of Medicine showed that body weight fluctuation is a risk fact for death and coronary events in people with heart disease. Restricting calories for periods of time can also strengthen your cravings for fatty or sugary foods.
If can throw off your energy levels: When you’re yo-yo dieting you can be missing certain nutrients like iron which can lead to a deficiency. A 2014 study from Eat Weight Disorders: Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity show that short-term food restriction can significantly decrease iron.
It can disrupt sleep: The less sleep you get the more cortisol your body produces, which can increase your risk for developing prediabetes and heart disease. In a 2016 study Oman Medical Journal suggested that getting less than six hours of sleep is associated with type 2 diabetes.
It can mess with your gut: Normally your gut is filled with healthy bacteria, but yo-yo dieting can create an imbalance of good and bad bacteria increasing your risk of developing health issues. A 2016 study done by the Weizmann Institute of Science led researchers to believe that your gut retains memory of previous obesity which explains why its easier to pile on pounds even after weight loss.
Bottom line, you don’t have to deprive yourself to lose weight. Making sure you include food you love in your diet is an important part of having a healthy weight. Including exercise in your routine will also help you lose weight, build muscle and burn more calories