Risks of yo-yo dieting and how a weight loss clinic can help you keep the weight off
Dieting is the most common way for people to try to lose weight. Unfortunately, conventional diets are one of the least effective methods of achieving long-term weight loss. A 2007 dieting study from the University of California Los Angeles found that although people who diet typically lose 5 to 10% of their body weight within six months, few maintain their goal weight. In their analysis of 31 long-term studies about weight loss, the researchers found that within five years, at least one-third to two-thirds of people regain more weight than they originally lost. This leads to a cycle of dieting, weight loss, regaining the lost weight, and trying another diet again. So-called “yo-yo dieting,” also known as “weight cycling,” can have negative long-term ramifications for your health.
How Conventional Diets Lead to Yo-Yo Dieting
Most dieters recognize the yo-yo cycle. You see a brand new diet book generating buzz or see a friend looking much slimmer because of a magic new diet plan. Enthusiastic that this will finally be the one that works, you follow the diet to the letter. Many diets start with a restrictive “detox” portion before gradually easing food restrictions. During this first phase, you are likely instructed to eat only particular types of food. Unused to this caloric restriction, your body will probably begin shedding pounds. If you stick with the diet long enough, you may drop down to your goal weight.
However, weight maintenance is where most conventional diets fail. Once you reach your goal weight, it seems less important to stick to a restrictive diet plan. Because many traditional diets do not promote diet and lifestyle habits that are sustainable over the long term, you might start “cheating” from time to time. Additionally, your metabolism may adjust to require fewer calories. Soon, pounds start creeping back, and you have regained all of the weight you lost. Whether that is 5 pounds or 50, restarting the cycle with a new diet plan leads to yo-yo dieting.
Risks Associated with Yo-Yo Dieting
The health risks associated with being overweight or obese are well documented. However, recent research suggests that yo-yo dieting can also be hard on your health. Repeatedly gaining and losing weight places a strain on your body. Following are some of the changes that result from yo-yo dieting:
- More rapid weight gain. When you lose weight, your body takes a while to adjust to the new normal. Research has shown that weight gain occurs more quickly after a period of weight loss, in part because your body is more likely to convert calories into fat.
- Elevated cardiovascular risk. Yo-yo dieting can strain your heart, with a study from Brown University showing that repeatedly gaining and losing just 10 pounds leads to a 66% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
- Higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Yo-yo dieting changes how your body responds to blood sugar, leading to a higher likelihood of insulin resistance. As insulin is the hormone responsible for blood glucose regulation, this can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
How a Weight Loss Program Can Help You Keep the Weight Off
Fortunately, dieting is not the only way to lose weight. The comprehensive services offered by a weight loss clinic are based in science and can result in long-term weight loss. So what sets a weight loss program apart from conventional diets?
One of the most significant advantages of a weight loss clinic is that a diet doctor leads it. Unlike reading a diet book or taking the advice of a friend, your weight loss doctor can tailor an intervention to your needs. The first step is performing a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history, body weight history, other weight loss techniques you have tried, and metabolic factors that may be contributing to weight gain. This helps the weight loss doctor understand the underlying cause of your high body weight.
Then, using this information, the doctor will construct an individualized treatment plan that addresses underlying medical issues, lifestyle factors, unhealthy behaviors, and psychological issues that may be perpetuating your high body weight. No conventional diet plan can address all of these issues, because by nature these diets take a “one size fits all” approach to weight loss. However, your body’s individual reasons for maintaining a higher weight may be completely different from another person’s, meaning a “one size fits all” approach just won’t work.
By visiting a weight loss clinic, you can get the holistic medical services you need to lose weight and keep it off long term. Plus, you will benefit from frequent monitoring by a medical professional who can adjust your treatment plan as needed, allowing you to get the maximum benefit in the shortest possible time.