The Alarming Consequences of Yo-Yo Dieting

Yo-yo dieting, also known as, Weight cycling is a common occurrence for those who want to lose weight. This is a term coined by Kelly Brownell of Yale University which refers to the cyclical loss and gain of weight which resembles the up-down-up-down motion of a yo-yo. Unfortunately, yo-yo dieting could have adverse effects on your health. Many of those who engage in this type of diet are putting themselves in serious risks including heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, muscle waste, damage to the nerves, less energy, and high levels of body fat.


Yo-yo dieting may also have a negative behavioral and psychological impact. Numerous studies reported increased risk of developing mental distress, binge eating, and life dissatisfaction.

Increased Risk Factors For Developing Diseases

Many yo-yo dieters practice extreme calorie restriction. However, this kind of training can also increase your stress level, and your body will increase the hormone known as cortisol. Whenever there is more cortisol in your body over an extended period, it causes numerous detrimental health effects. More cortisol in the body is known to increase your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. According to experts, constant yo-yo dieting can also cause damage to the arteries and cause an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. These effects may increase particularly those who goes through yo-yo dieting more than five times in their life.

Less Muscle and More Fat

Yo-yo dieting may let you have visible fat loss initially. However, in the long run, you will regain that fat plus more. Also, low-calorie diet, a common practice in yo-yo dieting can easily lead to muscle wasting. Muscle wasting may leave you with a body that lacks muscles and has excess fat once you return to your normal eating habits. Excess body fat can have a negative effect on health including chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Less Energy Level

Yo-yo dieting significantly slows down your metabolism, which leads to low energy level. When the body do not have enough calories, it will make adjustments to sustain your activities. These changes can mean less energy, limited brain functions, fatigue, tiredness, stress, and irritability.

What You Can Do About It?

You should consider changing your yo-yo dieting habits. Here are some tips that you can follow to overcome the problem.

Lose Weight Gradually – the best way to lose weight and keep your weight off is through gradual and consistent weight loss, this should be around 2 pounds per week. Losing this amount every week is achievable and healthier.

Be Positive – a lot of people go on yo-yo dieting because they feel negative about themselves and wants instant results. Take your time when planning to lose weight and do it slowly but surely.

Losing weight is a great way to improve your overall health. However, you should lose weight in a better way. This will avoid putting your health in jeopardy. Gradual and consistent weight loss is always the best way compared to yo-yo dieting.

Did you realize that yo-yo dieting had alarming consequences?

Posted by uprunforlife

Christy is married to her best friend and has three children. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing video games, reading books, or listening to music. She loves to write and help other people to take the focus off of her chronic health problems.

This article has 24 Comments

  1. I have never been a fan of dieting anyway. I do think we do need to watch what we eat and that just eat blindly whatever. But I think in moderation most things are good. Yo-yo dieting definitely is not the way to lose weight if you need to though.

  2. I learned a lot from this, I had so many friends that do this kind of dieting. Saved and shared to them. Thanks for this wonderful post, So much helpful!

  3. I used to yo-yo diet and I never kept the weight off. This last year I have been eating healthier and walking a lot more. It has really made a big difference.

  4. These are great examples of consequences from yo yo dieting. It is truly bad for your physical health and well as mental health. Losing weight is not just a diet it is a lifestyle change. Thanks for sharing the consequences.

  5. I’ve never heard of yo yo dieting before. Glad to know about it now. I would love to lose a few extra pounds, and during the holidays it’s going to be super hard.

  6. Yo-yo Dieting is horrible!!!! So many people do it to and you just have to think tha how do they not know how bad it is?

  7. Great advice. I really don’t like when people go on about how much they lost and how fast they lost it by starving themselves. Eating healthy and exercising is the only way to do it!

  8. I’ve heard the term yo-yo dieting from my mom many times because she was into dieting. Didn’t know all these consequences though. Thanks for this informative post.

  9. I’m not a fan of dieting, but we are doing Keto now. We did understand when starting it, we would have to stick with it and overhaul everything. Because of risks health wise of yo-yo’ing, we knew it was all or nothing and it wouldn’t be a diet, it would be a lifestyle change

  10. I couldn’t agree any more with this! It’s so important to make sure that whatever diet you’re doing, it’s a healthy one. Very informing! Thanks!

  11. I did know and I cringe every time I hear someone talk about going on a diet. I always counsel them that it needs to be a gradual lifestyle change, not something they change up like a shirt.

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