Weight cycling or yo-yo dieting, as some call it is repeatedly losing weight then putting that weight back on and some experts believe that it can harm the body more than being overweight.
The cycling can range from anything from 5 or 10lbs to 50lbs or more in any one given period of time, while some experts believe that it can harm the body there are however no scientific studies to show that it actually does.
If you are overweight or obese then the best course of action is to find a diet plan that you are able to stick to and aim to lose weight and keep it off although fear of weight cycling shouldn’t stop you from attempting to lose weight.
If people weight cycle, do they end up fatter?
There has been no evidence that people who lose weight and then put it back on end up fatter than when they started dieting, weight cycling does not appear to increase the amount of fat tissue.
When studies were conducted into weight cycling researchers found that after a cycle people had the same amount of fat and lean tissue as they did before the weight loss.
It was thought that people who had a tendency to collect fat around their middle or stomach instead of the hips and buttocks were more likely to suffer health problems related to obesity but there was no suggestion that weight cycling caused these people to put on more weight than before.
If the studies weren’t conclusive, then what harm can weight cycling do?
Although studies into the negative aspects of weight cycling have not been proven, some experts still believe that weight cycling is harmful in that it can increase the risk of certain diseases such as high blood pressure, gallbladder disease and cause problems with high cholesterol.
Perhaps the biggest downfall to weight cycling on a continual basis is the psychological one, the person who continually loses weight only to put it back on can get very depressed and begin to feel like a complete failure.
Usually when this happens, they will turn to eating as a way to comfort themselves and many can then end up putting on more weight which in turn depresses them further and so they continue in a never-ending cycle.
Avoiding weight cycling
Consulting the advice of your Doctor and a dietician is essential if you are obese, they will be able to devise a long-term plan which is suited to you and therefore your chances of sticking with the plan will be greater.
The most important thing is not to fall into the trap of feeling like a failure, if you do lose weight and gain it back simply get back into your plan and discuss the weight cycling with your dietician.
Avoiding circumstances and breaking patterns that you have had for many years will also help you to stick with your diet and having plenty of healthy foods which you can nibble on should you be tempted is helpful.
Try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit or pre prepared vegetables handy for nibbling on, although they do contain calories they contain far less than cookies and cakes.