To Your Health Newsletter
- Article Index
- Year-Round Breast Cancer Prevention
- Simplifying Weight Loss
- Healthy You, Healthy Baby
- Fitness Facts
- The Road to Less Stress
- Your Unhealthiest Habit: Not Exercising Enough
- Say No to Yo-Yo Dieting
- Video-Game Playing Benefits Your Child?
- 5 Ways to Live a Decade Longer
- Poor Sleep: Worse Than Drugs?
By Editorial Staff
Someone who yo-yo diets or "weight cycles" loses weight, gains it back, loses it again and so on. It's an endless cycle that can have a variety of health consequences, from emotional to physical, and it's a serious topic because as you've probably figured out by now, too many people who struggle to lose weight end up yo-yo dieting. In fact, you may be one of them.
Here's a big reason why yo-yo dieting is a health problem: It can put your heart at risk. People who yo-yo diet are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke compared to people who maintain a stable weight. In fact, yo-yo dieters are 40 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke, and more than twice as likely to die, compared to people who don't weight cycle. The increased risk attributable to yo-yo dieting is associated with fluctuations in not only weight, but also weight-related heart health factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Think yo-yo dieting is only a problem if you're losing (and regaining, and then losing, etc.) large amounts of weight? Not so fast. Even small amounts of weight loss / regain can be problematic. So, what can you do to avoid yo-yo dieting? Here are a few statistics from WebMD regarding people who've lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a minimum of one year:
- 78 percent eat breakfast on a daily basis.
- 75 percent weigh themselves at least once a week.
- 62 percent watch fewer than 10 hours of TV per week.
- 90 percent exercise approximately one hour a day.
Now those are statistics with some weight behind them. The study on yo-yo dieting and heart health appeared in the American Heart Association journal Circulation; your doctor can tell you more about the study findings and how you can lose weight safely, effectively and permanently.