Study discovers that ‘yoyo dieting’ could be good for you

Repeatedly losing and regaining weight may lead to lower body fat percentages.

Yo-yo dieting could be good for you

Repeatedly losing and regaining weight may lead to improved insulin levels and lower body fat percentages in the long term, even during weight regain phases.

Previous research has shown that many people fall into the pattern of losing and regaining weight.

Some studies suggest that this pattern, called ‘weight cycling’ or ‘yo-yo dieting,’ has been associated with health risks such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, little is known about hormone regulation and body fat composition after multiple episodes of weight cycling.

This first-of-its-kind research by the American Physiological Society studied rats that were exposed to four cycles of calorie-restricted weight loss followed by weight regain through unlimited access to food (‘weight cyclers’) over the course of a year.

The weight cyclers were compared with a control group of rats that had unlimited access to food for the full trial period.

By the end of the year-long trial, the control group had gained a significant amount of weight. During each regain period, the rats in the weight cycler group added more weight than they had they lost. However, by the third cycle of weight loss and regain, those rats weighed far less than their control counterparts. 

After the first cycle, when compared with the controls, the weight cyclers ate less during the weight regain periods and had lower body fat mass and insulin levels.

In addition, there was no difference in levels of leptin and ghrelin – hormones that control hunger, appetite and weight regulation – between the two groups, which, the research team explained, suggests hormone levels remained stable even throughout periods of weight cycling.

“The improvement in fat mass as well as improvement in glucose tolerance seen in our rats that had undergone weight cycling implies metabolic benefits to the periods of caloric restriction, despite the stress of the weight gain times,” the researchers wrote.

“Future research should focus on the health implications of weight cycling, including whether there is beneficial impact on metabolic syndrome.

“If our findings do apply to humans, then patients and clinicians can take heart that it may be better to try [to lose weight] and eventually regain weight after weight loss by calorie restriction, even repeatedly, than not to try at all,” the researchers added.

Have you tried and failed to lose weight? Does this research give you a boost, knowing that it may have provided some health benefits?

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    COMMENTS

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    Ted Wards
    12th Sep 2019
    11:16am
    I can tell you from 50 years of experience with yoyo dieting that it is not good for you and leads to all sorts of metabolism issues, not to mention mental health issues. These articles are always misleading and sometimes, dangerous.
    Maggie
    12th Sep 2019
    12:29pm
    Yet another tale of what might be good, but hey, it might not be good.
    For heaven's sake give us articles which contain facts.
    KSS
    12th Sep 2019
    12:48pm
    "The weight cyclers were compared with a control group of rats that had unlimited access to food for the full trial period.

    By the end of the year-long trial, the control group had gained a significant amount of weight. During each regain period, the rats in the weight cycler group added more weight than they had they lost. However, by the third cycle of weight loss and regain, those rats weighed far less than their control counterparts."

    So as we already know each time you lose then regain the weight, you regain MORE than you lost thus getting fatter each time. Nothing new there then!
    Maggie
    12th Sep 2019
    9:34pm
    True, if you are a rat!
    Maggie
    16th Sep 2019
    9:13am
    Once again musicveg, you are wrong. I understand your desire to get best health and surely unprocessed foods are good, not all though, if they are stale or contaminated with chemicals and outer preservatives like many oranges these days for instance.

    Please don't always preach about stuff when you are NOT qualified to do so.

    "Minimally processed foods have been slightly altered for the main purpose of preservation but which does not substantially change the nutritional content of the food."

    "From a nutritional standpoint, processed and even ultra-processed foods can provide key nutrients. Some nutrients like protein are naturally retained throughout processing, and others like B vitamins and iron may be added back if they are lost during processing. Fruits and vegetables that are quickly frozen after harvesting can retain the majority of vitamin C."

    http://www.fliks.com.au/cinema/mornington-cinema/
    musicveg
    16th Sep 2019
    1:50pm
    Maggie, you posted in the wrong spot. I am not preaching just voicing my opinions just like everyone else here, you do not need to read my posts and I do not need to be qualified to know about common sense, of course your link you posted could have been written by the processed food industry after all they have vested interests in you to keep buying them. Yes you might get some nutrients from minimally processed foods but a lot more from fresh, especially if you grow your own, even someone without space can grow a little even if it is just sprouts which are full of more nutrients. I just want to help people be healthy because it makes the world a happier and better place. I have studied a lot and I do not need qualifications to talk about nutrition, doctors even don't know as much as me on nutrition because they do not study it.
    musicveg
    15th Sep 2019
    7:18pm
    Humans are not rats, this study is flawed. No need for dieting if you eat more low calorie food like fruit and veggies and less of the high calorie foods. What you crave is what you usually should not be eating. Processed foods are null of nutrients and are made to make you want more.
    Maggie
    15th Sep 2019
    10:13pm
    Processed foods are full of nutrients?
    musicveg
    15th Sep 2019
    10:16pm
    Null, nilch, zero


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