Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Yo-Yo Dieting

Yo-Yo Dieting, also know as Weight Cycling, is when you find yourself in what feels like a never ending cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain. Often this happens due to an extremely restrictive diet or fad diet that isn't sustainable in the long term. When you think about the fact that in 2012 roughly 54% of people in the US were trying to lose weight, that can mean a lot of yo-yo dieting.

Over the last couple of years, messages about yo-yo dieting have been mixed. Experts often tout that yo-yo dieting ruins your metabolism, makes you depressed, hurts your heart, messes up your immune system and makes it hard to get enough nutrition. You may also deal with muscle loss, which can hurt long-term efforts at keeping the weight off. Dr. Oz even had Kirstie Alley demonstrate the dangers of yo-yo dieting on a segment in his show at one point:

However, there are other experts that are now saying that yo-yo dieting does not actually have long term harmful effects, and is actually better for you than remaining obese. It seems it does not affect metabolism, and thus you are still able to lose weight. It also does not appear to be linked to a lack of willpower or damaging to blood pressure.

So what's the takeaway from all of this? First, it is a common theme in the diet and exercise world that even the EXPERTS don't have all the answers - and that still applies to this topic! Second, the fact is that everyone has a little bit different weight loss and health journey, so there's probably never going to be one answer to every problem.

Overall, it's probably best if you aimed for steady overall HEALTH improvement. Often when your health improves, your weight is going down as well. As the old adage goes, "slow and steady wins the race" - so take it slow if you need to in order to obtain lasting results without so much fluctuation.

Want to continue exploring this topic? Check out our latest Square One Update on YouTube. You can also contact us any time on Facebook or on our website.

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