AUTHOR: Shannon Boyce
It happens to a lot of us. You lose weight, you gain weight, you lose weight, and yes, you gain weight back again. This is called yo-yo dieting or weight cycling. It happens when you chase after fad diets or even when lifestyle changes don’t seem to stick long term. Going up and down on the scale isn’t just frustrating… it can also have a serious impact on your overall levels of health. How? Here are some of the ways that yo-yo dieting can affect you.
Most Yo-Yo Dieters Gain The Weight Back (And Then Some)
Did you know that yo-yo dieting is actually worse for you than being consistently overweight? One of the reasons for this is that many yo-yo dieters end up gaining all of the weight they lost back, and then some. This can happen due to stress levels and even feelings of shame. Putting the weight back on can cause severe depression and feelings of inadequacy. That in turn, causes many people to turn to food and overeat. It doesn’t take much for the yo-yo cycle to start again and again – and yes, again. It’s an unfortunate reality.
The reason the weight gain happens is usually because the weight loss was a result of lifestyle changes that only work short term. It may also be from doing a fad diet, drinking only smoothies for weeks on end, and so on. They may help you to lose the weight, but those aren’t long-term solutions.
It Can Cause Emotional Health Issues
Constantly thinking about your weight and struggling to keep it off can take a serious toll on your mental health. All day long it’s: Oh, I can’t eat that. I wish I could eat that. I can’t believe I gained weight. Next time, it will be better. I’ll never gain weight again! Yes, yo-yo dieting can leave you to deal with high emotions, distress, and even feeling unhappy with your life. It is incredibly sad, but it happens all the time. When these emotional health issues get worse, it can lead to binge eating…which only furthers the problem.
Yo-Yo Dieting Has Been Linked to Serious Health Issues
You’d be surprised at the many ways that yo-yo dieting can impact your health. It has been linked to several serious medical issues. In fact, researchers found that women who yo-yo dieted more than five times in their lifetime were more likely to develop heart diseases after menopause. Why does this happen? It is thought to be because of the cells that line the blood vessels. They are called the endothelial cells. When weight gain and loss happens over and over again, the cells become damaged. That can increase the risk for dealing with things like heart attack and stroke in the future. In addition, yo-yo dieting can make your metabolism slow down, increase your cholesterol, and decrease your energy levels.
There is nothing good about yo-yo dieting. Unfortunately, it is a pattern that many men and women fall into. To avoid the repercussions of yo-yo dieting, it is important to make realistic lifestyle changes that can be maintained long after the weight is gone.