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What Yoyo Dieting Does To Your Body

What is yoyo dieting?

Yoyo dieting, otherwise known as weight cycling, is the all-too-common process of losing weight, regaining it, losing it again, and repeating this process over. For some, their lives are a constant stream of weight loss and regain through a number of different diets, and this can put a great deal of pressure on not only the mind, but also the body and its functions. Yoyo dieting can actually be a lot more damaging to the body than each innocent diet may first seem.

 

Why is yoyo dieting bad for us?

Yoyo dieting often causes our body to lose weight quickly, and then put it all back even faster. The body is not accustomed to this kind of rapid change. There are several reasons why we would dissuade people from falling into the yoyo dieting cycle. From effects inside our body and on the outside too, read on for some of the negative effects yoyo dieting can have.

 

Can cause increased body fat

When we lose weight, we lose both muscle and fat, but when we put weight back on again we regain fat first. This means that when the body continues going through a yoyo diet, it loses more and more muscle over time. The muscle in our bodies is what speeds our metabolism- due to calories being burned faster by muscle. A reduction in muscle means that a greater amount of slow calorie-burning fat is present in the body, making it harder to burn the calories it was easier to burn before, and therefore making weight formerly lost much easier to put back on.

The fat that is regained during this cycle is visceral fat- which is the fat that encases the internal organs. This type of fat poses far greater risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease difficulties than fat gained in other areas. [1]

 

Can heighten hunger

The fat cells in our body create Leptin- which is a hormone responsible for letting the brain know when we have stored enough fat and if we should eat or not. When we begin to lose weight we lose fat, meaning that the leptin levels in our body go down and we subsequently feel hungrier. When we stop our diet, our leptin levels are still low, and as a result, we begin eating more. Due to our metabolism being slower as mentioned before, we are far more susceptible to putting weight back on now as we eat more and burn fewer calories.

 

Can cause increased stress

When our weight fluctuates as it may during yoyo dieting, our stress hormone (cortisol) levels are also likely to heighten. Higher levels of cortisol in our body makes the weight we end up regaining far more likely to stick around the belly. Fat in this area, as opposed to in places such as around the hips or legs, increases the risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.

Higher levels of cortisol will increase our feelings of stress too, and can therefore have an extremely detrimental effect on mental health. Weight cycling gives the heightened emotions of happiness through weight loss, then flips that emotion on its head completely when this weight is regained quickly and to a greater degree. When the fat is then subsequently harder to lose because of a slower metabolism, it can cause feelings of stress and sadness. It may even lead people to take part in crash diets, which can also be extremely damaging to the body and cause further metabolism crashes.

 

Can lead to eating binges

Though not always the case, periods of restricting certain foods can, like releasing a stretched rubber band, lead to eating binges. This often leads to more weight being put back on due to our lowered metabolism. We truly do not need to cut out foods completely in order to be healthy and lose weight- instead allowing yourself unhealthy foods in small amounts as a treat will mean that you’re much less likely to feel strong cravings and end up giving in to binges.

Read our blog for the best nutrition for being your best self here.

 

Can affect gut bacteria

Yoyo dieting can throw our gut bacteria completely off balance. Cycling through weight can disrupt the normal function of our gut; which can affect a number of processes in the body as a result, such as the metabolism, immune response, and overall bodily nutrition. It can also trigger IBS and IBD issues in the body.

Gut health is also linked with mental health- when our gut health is poor this is reflected within our mood and can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, among many other symptoms.

Read our blog on the gut-brain connection here.

 

Can cause sagging skin

Constantly cycling between weight loss and gain causes the skin to sag and stretch. This is because the stress in our body due to the fluctuations in energy intake causes the collagen and elastic fibres in our skin to become damaged, making us far more susceptible to loose skin and wrinkles. When this damage is done it is extremely difficult to reverse. Losing weight slowly and effectively by sticking to a healthy diet and taking part in regular exercise will ensure the skin isn’t damaged and transitions slowly, reducing the risk of sagging skin.

 

At The Pure Package, we know that the best diet does not feel restrictive. We don’t think you need to cut out entire food groups or eat lots less to lose weight, and know that the best way to lose weight is through a long-term approach instead of quick-result yoyo dieting. We offer healthy and nutritious meals that can help you to lose weight, build muscle, or build longevity through the use of delicious and nutrient-rich foods; and with 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, you won’t feel like you’re dieting at all.

Click here to browse our menu plans to find the best package for you and your goals.

 

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4241770/