Millions of Americans are desperate to lose weight and will do anything to lose a few pounds; this usually involves a vicious cycle of losing and gaining weight, also known as yoyo dieting. While dieting may cause you to lose a few pounds in the
beginning, once you quit the diet and revert to your old eating habits, all the weight you lose is likely to come back and sometimes you might even end up weighing more than you did to begin with.
Yoyo dieting has many potentially negative effects:
1. Nutritional Deficiency
No matter which diet you try, it’s likely going to be restrictive in one form or another. The diet will either require eating fewer calories than your body needs to function or it will restrict certain foods or types of foods. The minimum number of calories your body needs to operate each day will vary from person to person, but it’s usually recommended to never go below 1,200 calories per day.
2. Changes in Metabolism
If you’re taking in fewer calories than your body needs to perform properly, then your metabolic rate is going to decrease. Your body will basically go into starvation mode, and it’s not going to burn as many calories. Your body burns calories for energy, but if you aren’t taking in enough energy, your body will metabolize more slowly and you’ll eventually hit a plateau.
3. Weight Gain
Yoyo dieting can actually cause weight gain. This is because diets are usually followed for a very short period of time, and once the weight is lost people simply quit the diet. Once the diet has ceased, and you continue your old eating habits, the weight is just going to come right back.
4. Damage to Vital Organs
If your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs, it can create problems for your heart, kidneys, brain and liver. Your body needs a certain amount of calories, and if you aren’t eating enough, you can actually cause damage to your vital organs. These organs get their energy from carbohydrates, but if the diet you’re following is very restrictive, you can actually harm your body’s vital organs which could lead to a stroke.
5. Negative Psychological Effects
Since yoyo dieting basically involves several highs and lows, dieters can become frustrated each time they gain all the weight back. This can lead to feelings of anger, frustration and could ultimately lead to depression and other mental illnesses.
Some studies have also shown that yoyo dieting can actually weaken the immune system. Researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that those who were yoyo dieters and had a fluctuation in their weight, had weaker immune systems than those who maintained the same weight for several years.
Yoyo dieting can create nutritional deficiencies, cause unwanted changes in your metabolism, damage vital organs and actually cause weight gain. The best way to lose weight is to do it gradually by eating healthy foods and exercising on a regular basis. Your diet doesn’t need to be restrictive in order for you to lose weight. Your body needs carbohydrates, protein and fats in order to function properly, so it’s actually best to avoid yoyo dieting and stick to a healthy, balanced diet.