If you’ve attempted to lose weight in the past, then you may be aware that successfully maintaining that weight permanently isn’t necessarily easy. Frankly, when it comes to people who have lost a lot of weight, research and studies have shown that 80% start regaining weight within a year, according to Scientific American.
On top of that, people tend to regain over half their weight within two years. When they lose weight and regain it, they can get trapped in a cycle of what is known as a yo-yo diet.
While there is no doubt that the yo-yo diet can be frustrating, a new study presented at the Experimental Biology Conference by the American Physiological Society (via Medical News Today) shows that the yo-yo diet can also seriously harm your own. heart.
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When testing the effect of recurrent weight loss and weight gain on rodents by limiting calories for a certain period before increasing the amount the animals ate again and repeating this three times to create the same diet situation yo-yo, the researchers found that the animals suffered from multiple negative health problems. This included a decrease in proper heart function and an increased likelihood of developing cardiometabolic diseases.
“The body is very flexible and tends to adapt, but if it is a chronic situation some organs may lose the ability to adapt,” Aline MA de Souza, Ph.D., one of the study authors and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, he told Medical News Today.
“The results of this study correlate with the results of similar studies on weight cycling, also known as the yo-yo diet,” says Anna Rios, RDN Eat this, not that! “The weight cycle is detrimental to the body’s metabolism and can disrupt hormones and various other organ functions.”
Rios explains: “Diet and weight fluctuations cause severe stress to the body, thus producing high levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol can cause inflammation within the body and lead to an increased risk of cardiometabolic disease. “.
If you want to avoid the yo-yo diet, Rios suggests “avoiding trendy diets, most weight loss diets, or highly restrictive diets. Consult a registered dietitian to learn how to eat balanced in a sustainable and healthy way.”
Beyond that, Rios points out that “most diets that promise rapid weight loss include keto, Atkins, and paleo. These diets will affect your relationship with food and likely cause your weight cycle due to how restrictive they are.” . Instead, says Rios, “It’s best to learn to eat consciously and intuitively for a healthy mind and heart.”
To learn more about how to avoid unhealthy weight loss and weight gain related habits, be sure to read 10 Ways to Stop the Yo-Yo Diet.