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Yo-Yo dieting is a repeated process of weight-gain followed by weight loss in a cyclic pattern. The amount of weight gained and lost doesn’t really seem to be the underlying issue in this case unless this cycle is repeated over an extended period of time.
We have all seen people, some of them very famous experience this over several years or decades. Although the transformations can be very dramatic, rarely are they consistent with better health outcomes over an extended time.
Yo-Yo dieting is dangerous to your own metabolic health because what it really does is create an environment where your own genetic program takes control and dominates the entire process.
What you accomplish by losing a great deal of weight quickly and then gaining it all back in a similar time frame is re-setting the gain on the genes in your DNA which helped your ancestors survive during times of low caloric intakes. This is the reason that people who Yo-Yo diet always gain back more weight than expected after losing it and find it almost impossible to lose it again unless their calories are reduced to starvation levels.
Simply put……You Can’t Fool Your Own Genes!
Every time a person loses and gains weight in a repeated, cyclic pattern some serious damage to the heart muscle can often does result. Some rather famous people have died from cardiac failure due to repeated attempts to loose weight following modest gains in body weight.
Some new evidence recently published has substantiated what has been previously known regarding the dangers of Yo-Yo dieting.
Not only has it been indicated from previous research that weight-cycling can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it can also increase the risk of dying from a sudden cardiac episode in those who have already have it.
Researchers indicated that those who have cardiovascular disease (previously diagnosed or not) had a much higher risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke or sudden death if their weight had cyclically changed over a 5 year period compared with those whose weight was fairly constant.
Those subjects who had the greatest fluctuations in weight (up to 4.0 Kg/8.8 Lb.) were shown to have 117% increase in heart attack, 136% increase in stroke and 124% increase in sudden death compared with folks of similar weight who experienced little weight fluctuation over the same time period. It was also determined that those who continually lost and gained the most weight had a greater risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
I think it’s important to demonstrate that weight cycling in this high risk group approached an average of 4.0 Kg.! Most people can lose and gain 10 times this amount over a 6 month period or less!
What will be the eventual cost to those who do this?
Poor health and an increased risk of experiencing a very serious medical condition!
It’s time this type of dieting be completely discouraged !
Unfortunately, most of the commercially advertised diets currently available not only can encourage the development of continual, cyclic weight changes but can and often do negatively influence individuals with a previous history of cyclic weight loss/gain.
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project