If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know how tough it is to keep it off for good. According to Scientific American, when it comes to individuals who have lost a large amount of weight, 80% of them regain the weight within a year.
Beyond that, most people regain half of the weight they lose in two years. They might get caught in a yo-yo dieting cycle if they lose and regain weight repeatedly.
New research indicates that yo-yo dieting can have a negative impact on your heart.
In a study, researchers observed that restricting calories for a period of time before increasing the amount that the animals were eating and repeating this process three times to establish the same condition as yo-yo dieting caused rodents to suffer from numerous unfavorable health problems. This included a reduction in heart function and an increased risk of developing a disease called cardiometabolic.
“The body is extremely flexible, and it can adapt to changes over time. However, if a condition is persistent, certain organs may lose their flexibility,” Aline M. A. de Souza, Ph.D., one of the researchers said.
“The findings of this research are consistent with previous studies on weight cycling, commonly known as yo-yo dieting,” Anna Rios, a registered dietitian and nutritionist explains. “Weight cycling can be harmful to your body’s metabolism and could alter hormones, as well as other organ processes.”
“Dieting and weight swings cause significant stress on your body, which stimulates the production of a stress hormone known as cortisol. Increased cortisol levels can inflame the body and raise the chance of developing cardiometabolic disease.”
Rios advises individuals who want to avoid yo-yo dieting to “avoid most weight-loss diets, trendy diets, or highly restrictive diets.” To learn more about eating a balanced diet that is healthy and sustainable, consult with a registered dietitian.
Beyond that, Rios notes that “a lot of the diets that make promises for rapid weight reduction include keto, paleo, and Atkins. Because of how restricting they are, these diets may have a detrimental influence on your relationship with food and perhaps induce weight cycling.” Instead, he says, “It’s essential to master intuitive eating and mindful eating for a healthy heart and mind instead.”