Dangers of Yo-Yo Dieting

We have all experienced ups and downs with our weight, but serious medical conditions can arise in those who lose and gain weight repeatedly through the course of a lifetime. If you have been one to fall prey to this common cycle, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, pick yourself up and begin the healthy process of losing weight and keeping it off.

The term "yo-yo dieting" refers to the process of losing and gaining weight several times within a shortened period of time or throughout a lifetime. Typical examples of yo-yo dieting may include a drive and determination to eat healthy for a long period of time, only to succumb to a stressful day at work that leads you to stop at a fast food restaurant to indulge. When you give in to temptation and break your diet, you give way to binge eating – which is anything but healthy. If this cycle sounds familiar, you may be at risk of yo-yo dieting. Below are some of the common dangers of yo-yo dieting and what you can do to take control of your weight and break the cycle that is destroying your health.

Common Dangers of Yo-Yo Dieting
Losing weight and regaining it often can be detrimental to your health. If you have been a victim of yo-yo dieting, it is time to look at the consequences that may occur. Losing and re-gaining weight causes major health problems that should not be ignored.
    •    Liver issues 
    •    Muscle loss 
    •    Risk of Stroke 
    •    High blood pressure 
    •    Heart disease 
    •    Increased risk for diabetes 
    •    Increased risk of cancer 
    •    Delayed or slowed metabolism 
    •    Shortened life span 

Yo-yo dieting is no laughing matter and should not be taken lightly. There are serious medical conditions that can arise when a person loses and regains weight over the course of a lifetime. One of the most significant issues that may arise from repeated loss and gains in weight is a slowed metabolic rate. Over time, as with age, a person’s metabolism slows and according to research studies, yo-yo dieting may cause the rate to slow even more.

Another major issue for yo-yo dieters is high blood pressure and an increased risk for heart disease or stroke. Yo-yo dieting takes its toll on the heart and body, and causes the heart to have to work harder and faster. The impact that yo-yo dieting has on the heart is detrimental to one’s health. It is better to lose the weight and work hard to keep it off over the long term than to keep cycling and recycling the pounds.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes & Kidney Diseases, losing and re-gaining more than fifty pounds, two to three times a lifetime can result in an increased risk for diabetes and ultimately shorten a person’s life span. Adopting healthy eating habits and implementing physical exercise into your lifestyle will help to lengthen your life.

How to Break the Yo-Yo Dieting Cycle
One of the simplest strategies for breaking the yo-yo diet cycle is to not start a diet that you do not plan to or see yourself following for the next ten years. If you are a carb addict, then don’t restrict yourself of any and all carbohydrates, but implement healthy carbs in your diet such as fruit, veggies and whole grains. When you dive into a restrictive diet head first and wholeheartedly, you may have good intentions but may also give up within just a few days or weeks.
Instead, it is important to develop healthy choices and habits that can stay with you for a lifetime. These habits may include, reducing or limiting the amount of fatty foods you eat, or counting calories. These small but useful strategies can keep the weight off over the long-term.

One of the most helpful and strategic plans of action for losing weight is to find a healthy diet that matches your personality, lifestyle and you. Don’t be surprised if you mess up when first getting started, and don’t beat yourself up.

You can achieve the goal just like anyone else through motivation and determination. Remember that your health depends on the choices you make, so stick to the plan and make it a good one. Here’s to your health!

Suzanne Somers

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