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What is the yo-yo effect: the teacher explained why it is dangerous and how to avoid it

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 18:06:18

A problem that many people face when dieting is the so-called yo-yo effect. Together with an expert, we will find out why it is dangerous and how to avoid it.

What we will tell you

What is the yoyo effect?

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, specialist in integrative and anti-aging medicine

“Successful weight loss involves losing 10% of your initial body weight and maintaining the result for at least a year. However, most people don’t do it.”

The yo-yo effect is a cyclical change in body weight, when a person gains or loses weight in a short period of time, no more than five months.

The term was coined by the American professor at Yale University, Kelly Browell. The name refers to the popular yo-yo toy, which constantly moves back and forth due to inertia. The same effect is observed during a diet, when after losing weight the kilograms return.

Causes of the yo-yo effect

When people diet and cut calories, their body uses less energy. This is how the body tries to save it, because it seems that food is scarce. At the same time, the feeling of hunger increases.

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Studies in mice have shown that even after prolonged diets, hunger does not disappear. When the rodents again had unrestricted access to food, they began to eat much more than usual. This caused them to quickly return to their previous weight and sometimes even gain more.

The same thing happens to people. For example, in one study, women who lost weight on a diet gained the weight back within a year: most increased their body weight by 19% and their body fat percentage by 26%. This confirms that after food restrictions, the lost kilos return quickly.

This happens because after a diet appetite increases: a person begins to eat more, while his body tries to store as much energy as possible, even in the form of fat.

The most common causes of the yo-yo effect are:

drastic changes in eating habits that are difficult for a person to maintain on a regular basis; reduce calories and fatty foods while dieting and then return to your previous diet; following false nutritional beliefs that promise quick results, such as choosing strict diets;

Photo: istockphoto.com/Dacharlie

severe calorie restriction and fasting, which ultimately leads to a slower metabolism and decreased muscle mass, making further weight loss difficult.

What negative consequences can the yo-yo effect have?

Cyclical weight changes cause an increase in cortisol levels, a stress hormone that has a negative effect on the body. Effects include weight gain, sleep problems, decreased immunity, increased blood pressure, irritability, loss of muscle mass, and slow metabolism. All of this contributes to even more weight gain.

Photo: istockphoto.com/Sanja Radin

Sudden weight fluctuations can put you at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, gallbladder disease and diabetes.

How to avoid the yo-yo effect?

To avoid the yo-yo effect or minimize its consequences, it is important to develop new habits and implement them in your life.

1. Limit the amount of food you eat. Excess calories are always stored as body fat.

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2. Eat more low-calorie foods. For example, cucumbers, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce.

3. Follow the Harvard Plate Rule: 50% of each meal is vegetables, 25% is protein, and 25% is complex (or slow) carbohydrates.

4. Try not to skip meals. This way you will avoid feeling intense hunger and overeating.

5. Eat sweets, desserts and fruits after the main course. This will reduce the likelihood of an increase in insulin levels, which is the main hormone that stimulates fat storage.

6. Avoid high-calorie and fatty foods., prepared with oils heated in a frying pan and fryer. They contribute to excessive weight gain.

7. Use an oven, multicooker or double boiler for cooking.

8. Exercise regularly. Physical activity increases metabolism and fat burning.

Photo: istockphoto.com/skynesher

9. Get into the habit of monitoring your diet. For example, keep a diary of your daily diet and monitor the dynamics of your weight changes. This will allow you to achieve long-term success and understand where you are going overboard with your food in terms of calories.

10. Seek help from a professional nutritionist. It will help you create an adequate and balanced diet.

Avoid extreme diets and approach the matter holistically: create the right diet, do not forget about physical activity and, if difficulties arise, contact a specialist.

Do you want more tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle?

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* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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