Yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, is a repetitive pattern of weight loss, weight gain, and weight loss again—and so on. Yo-yo dieters tend to try one new diet after another. Even if they have some success with a particular diet, these individuals soon give up on it and try another diet program. Weight cycling isn’t physically or psychologically healthy, but the permanent lifestyle changes associated with bariatric surgery are.
It might seem as if it’s easier and faster to regain weight after losing it than it was to gain the pounds initially—and there’s a good reason for this. Weight cycling triggers metabolic changes that make it harder for you to keep the weight off, and easier to regain it quickly. Research suggests that, following a time period of reduced caloric intake, the weight regain is characterized by faster growth of adipose (fat) tissue because the metabolic changes are more favorable to fat storage.
Yo-yo dieting could be risky for heart health. Although studies are inconclusive, there is some evidence to suggest that people are at a higher risk of stroke and heart attack due to weight cycling. In dieters who already have heart disease, weight cycling may significantly raise the risk of an adverse event.
Yo-yo dieting is a frustrating and exhausting cycle. If you go through repetitive cycles of weight loss and regain, you’ve probably noticed that you feel happier during times of weight loss. You likely receive compliments from your friends and family, and you feel a sense of accomplishment that your diet is working. These positive feelings are stripped away during periods of weight regain, when depression, irritability, and anxiety accompany the frustration of another failed diet plan. Yo-yo dieters need more stability in their lives, and they can achieve this by focusing on permanent lifestyle modifications, rather than temporary quick fixes.
Stop yo-yo dieting and let Bariatric Care Centers help. With thousands of weight loss surgeries performed in Houston, our bariatric surgeon has the advanced training, experience, and resources necessary to help you get your health back on track. You can reach us at 713-339-1353.
Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.