Yo-Yo Dieting Better Than Nothing

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Weight cycling, commonly called yo-yo dieting, refers to the give and take battle of the bulge many Americans face. We lose weight only to put it back on and find ourselves dieting again. The public perception of yo-yo dieting is tainted with suggestions of mental illness and eating disorders. The truth is that weight-cycling happens to most dieters and now we are learning that it is not as harmful as once believed.

Obviously, overweight adults can improve their health by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly. Good physical habits and activity are crucial achieving and maintaining a stable, healthier weight throughout life. In a perfect world, no one would become obese in the first place. In reality, losing weight and keeping it off is hard.

No Evidence against Yo-Yo Dieting

There is no solid evidence to show that yo-yo dieting creates health problems. In fact, Dr. Louis Aronne, an expert on obesity at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City, believes yo-yo dieting can actually prevent disease. He explains that fat cells produce hormones that increase inflammation and blood sugar levels, leading to a host of obesity-related illnesses. When people lose weight, the body produces fewer of these harmful hormones. This benefit continues even if individuals regain some of the weight they once lost.

Studies Show Benefit

In 2002, a study targeted people at risk of developing diabetes. Researchers found that losing 7 percent of body weight reduced the potential of developing diabetes by 58 percent. Men and women in the study regained some of the weight, maintaining a weight loss of 4 percent. Still, the participants showed improved health overall. Based on this, Aronne claims that even short term or mild weight loss benefits health.

New Research Shows Little Harm

New research shows that weight cycling may not be as harmful as the public perceives. A recent study put mice on yo-yo diets. The yo-yo dieting mice lived just as long as those on a low-fat diet. The mice on a high-fat diet experienced shorter lifespans. Animals on the high-fat diet ate more, had higher body fat percentages and blood sugar levels, and weighed more than the mice on low-fat diets. Mice on the yo-yo diet also experienced problems like those of the mice on high-fat diets, but during their low-fat periods were healthier. The animals on the low-fat diet and the ones on the yo-yo diet lived for about two years. Those on the high-fat diet lived about 18 months.

The new research suggests that yo-yo dieting is healthier than not dieting at all, and remaining obese long term is a sure way to shorten lifespan…at least in mice.

Jessica Bosari writes about nutrition and fitness research for LowFatDietPlan.org. The site offers tips and advice for including the latest research into your diet plan.

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Why Lose Weight in a Week?

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This article will tell you the fastest way to lose weight in a week, but the main intent is not to teach you how to lose weight in a week, but rather to explain why you should not have this as your goal! As someone that did the yo-yo diets for well over a decade with one failure after another, I learned that short-term weight loss goals are not good, they’re worse than not dieting at all. To illustrate, let us begin with the fastest way to lose weight, see what is really going on, and then see why it is not a good idea.

The quickest way to lose weight in a week, and also dangerous if taken to extremes, is to not eat and to exercise as much as possible. The old adage, “eat less, exercise more” taken to the extreme becomes “fast and be as active as possible.” Do not fast unless you have consulted with your physician and know how to transition off of a fast or you could get quite ill. Also, if you exercise too much, you will easily become faint and perhaps pass out.

However, if your body is up for the task, you can fast for a week without any food fairly safely, just be sure to drink water and do not overexert yourself. Your body will eat both your muscles and fat, so if you do this frequently, you will basically look like a smaller version of yourself. This is how I lost seventy five pounds in six months, coupled with a raw foods diet when not fasting.

If your goal is to look better, fasting will not help unless you are extremely obese, and then transition to something that will keep the weight off and be more sustainable than your current exercise and nutrition habits. The body returns to its natural state unless a new set-point is established and maintained for a period of several months. And a new set-point is not established by accident; it requires a change in habits, and will only last as long as the change in habits is maintained.

Losing weight in a week helps almost nobody, and after extreme dieting, people lose their metabolically expensive muscle and down regulate their metabolism (their bodies think, “I am starving, so I should convert all new food into fat”), which leads to the yo-yo effect I am sure you are all too familiar with. Lose weight, and rebound with more than you started with. Think long term; adopt a more active exercise regime, and improve your general eating habits. Improve consistently, little by little, and you will no longer have to consider fast and futile weight loss fads.

The author is a power-lifter and “former fat boy” that writes about health on everything from acne scar treatment to weight loss and sleep tips.

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