Yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling may seem innocent enough. After all, you’re just dieting to lose weight for, say, the summer, before gaining weight again. But then you need to lose weight again for a special occasion, and then the holidays roll around and you let yourself over-indulge. So your weight ends up fluctuating. You might not think this does a lot of harm, but the truth is that yo-yo dieting could actually harm your overall health. So keep reading to learn about why you should avoid this weight loss strategy as much as possible.
Yo-Yo Dieting Affects Your Health in the Following Ways:
It Could Hurt Your Heart, Especially If You’re a Woman
Researchers found that women who were around a normal weight but who ended up yo-yo dieting often were actually more likely to have heart problems. According to a study, those women were 3.5 times more likely to experience cardiac death compared with women who maintained a stable weight. Women who yo-yo diet could also boost their risk of coronary heart disease by 66%. The younger these women start yo-yo dieting, and the more often their weight fluctuates, the greater the risk of heart troubles becomes.
It Could Lead to Muscle Loss and Fat Gain
The goal of any good diet plan is to lose fat, not gain it. But yo-yo dieting could actually cause you to gain more fat while losing more muscle mass. Initially, you might find that you lose fat, but in the long run, it is more likely that you will not only gain that fat back, but also get even fatter. And when you follow a diet that restricts calories, you also increase the risk of muscle loss. So your body will lose tone and strength and you will have excess fat to contend with, which could lead to an increased risk of a variety of ailments, from diabetes to heart disease.
It Could Lead to Fatty Liver
When your body ends up storing extra fat in your liver cells, the result is fatty liver. And fatty liver could even cause liver failure. Cycling through weight loss and weight gain could increase your odds of developing fatty liver and causing damage to this vital organ.
Ultimately, yo-yo dieting is not the way to go if you want to lose weight and get healthier. Instead, following a healthy diet with consistency, while also maintaining a challenging workout routine, is the best way to burn calories and fat while also building strength. So, ditch the yo-yo diet and opt for one of the many healthy eating strategies out there instead.