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Have You Heard About Yo-Yo Dieting ?

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal
Yo-yo dieting, also known as "weight cycling," illustrates the pattern of losing weight then gaining it back. It's a process that causes the weight to go up and down like a yo-yo. Yo-yo dieting, hopping on and off fad diets and "reset" programs only makes weight loss perpetually harder and harder with each failed attempt this yo-yo diet cycle is familiar with competitive sports. Particular sports such as boxing, wrestling, or weight lifting use the weight of the athlete to signify their class or group they will be competing in; w,ith these altering weight classes comes severe weight restriction, as the athlete attempts to make weight for their competition. In a multi-decade long study examining athletes aged 20-60, it was proven that athletes who had to cut weight for their sport perpetually were predisposed to gaining more weight throughout their life than athletes who didn't. In layman's terms, the more you yo-yo diet and experience a weight loss, the weight gain cycle, the harder it gets to one, stays lean and two, get lean.  

Moreover, without getting into the full details of the components that create your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), just understand that your TDEE is a measure of how many Calories you need per day based on multiple factors. In a study conducted to find out if a person's TDEE was altered by weight loss, subjects were split into three categories.

1.) The subject who was at their usual weight

2.) The subject who lost at least 10% of their weight and had maintained it for the last 5-8 weeks

3.) The subject who lost at least 10% of their weight and maintained it for at least a year

The subjects lived in a research lab throughout the study and were fed a liquid formula diet; Calories were adjusted until weight maintenance or stability was achieved. It was then found that subjects that had prior weight loss had a lower TDEE than the subjects who were at their usual (natural) weight. In layman's terms, if person A is naturally 75 kg and person B is naturally 85 kg but has dieted down to 75 kg, person A will have a higher TDEE (burning more calories) than person B, and person B will be more prone to fat gain because of this reason.

That is why "quick fixes" like detox diet, reset programs do nothing but make weight loss harder and harder with each passing try and can negatively impact long term weight loss success.

Reference- 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16568134
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18842775