What is the yo-yo diet and what does it do to you?

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A yo-yo diet,” “yo-yo,” or “weight cycle is a pattern in which people gain weight and have to re-diet. This cycle is also called a repetitive diet. In this process, the importance of people like Yo-Yo goes up and down. 10% of men and 30% of women try this. First, let’s talk about two types of yo-yo diets. One type occurs when you have lost weight in the past through smart eating and exercise but have strayed from your bad times and regained your lost weight. In the second type of yo-yo diet, you suddenly decide to go on a strict diet and live with cabbage and almonds. So you have a 1000-calorie diet or one of these weird diets called the milk and date diet, the soup diet, etc. This condition will never be stable, and you will have to eat like before.

So when you return to everyday life, whatever you lose comes back. In this article, we will explain the reason for registering the Yoyo diet, its benefits, side effects, and strategies to prevent and stop this diet. Stay with us.

What is the yo-yo diet?

The yo-yo diet is a pattern of losing weight and then gaining it back after fasting diets. This makes a person more likely to get fat again after losing weight, which can lead to health problems like heart disease.

Out of 27 studies on the impact of this diet, the Yo-Yo diet found that more than half of those who followed it gained weight and belly fat.

The reason for naming the Yoyo Diet

The yo-yo diet, also known as the “weight bike,” refers to the erosive cycle of weight loss, recovery, and re-dieting. This process causes the weight to go up and down like a yo-yo and never stabilizes.

This diet is popular among 10% of men and 30% of women. Please note that people on a yo-yo diet may also experience long periods of weight stabilization. Still, they eventually return to their assigned weight for various psychological, emotional, and physiological reasons.

There is even a risk that people on a yo-yo diet may eventually gain more weight than they initially did. Of course, sometimes people go on yo-yo diets because they don’t know any better, and obese people will have to go through this cycle if they don’t know how to lose weight in a healthy way that lasts. Also, regular diets or diets that are very unhealthy can cause yo-yo dieting for short periods.

Signs that you are on a yo-yo diet

If a person thinks of any of the following phrases, they may be entering the yo-yo cycle:

  • I’m overweight and trying to lose weight in a healthy way.
  • My attempt to lose weight leads to failure.
  • I can maintain my weight for a short time, but eventually, all my weight returns.
  • I have been on a diet for a long time.
  • I feel fat and worthless.
  • There are times when I eat a lot of food at once.
  • I eat secretly because I am ashamed to eat in front of others.
  • I feel out of control. I feel trapped in an endless cycle of weight gain and loss.
  • I often feel depressed and upset.


Many experts believe that changes in the body’s physiology, inaccurate information about weight loss, and a lack of self-efficacy are the root causes of the yo-yo diet.

They also think that people who are in the yo-yo cycle might feel things like worthlessness, failure, and sadness.

Of course, yo-yo dieting can also lead to an eating disorder. People with this disorder often feel numb and restless when they overeat.

What harm does a repetitive diet or yo-yo diet do to you?

Decreased metabolism

When you reduce your calorie intake, your metabolism slows down. Then you go back to normal eating, but with a slower metabolism that makes you gain fat. Don’t be scared! Slow metabolism is not permanent.

Over time, calorie-burning engines will return to normal, but by this time, you may be 5 to 6 pounds heavier than before. You may still be tempted to have such a plan because you think about how good it was when I was on a diet myself!

Unaware that the same regime has brought this disaster on you, this cycle will continue. You can see that sometimes these identical diets cause you to gain more weight.

Burn muscle instead of fat.

You severely limit your calorie intake and burn fat and muscle. When you return to normal eating, you store more of this weight loss as fat. So your body composition is getting worse.

Cutting calories gradually and increasing exercise each day can solve this issue. This way, you melt the fat without damaging your muscle tissue.


Increased appetite

Under normal circumstances, the body’s fat stores in leptin enter the bloodstream, sending a message that energy stores are available and that less food needs to be eaten.

With fat loss, leptin levels decrease and appetite increases. In addition, losing muscle mass during the diet helps the body retain energy. As a result, 30 to 65% of dieters regain the weight they lost within a year.

This weight gain completes the yo-yo cycle and may force dieters to begin another weight loss process.

increase in fat percentage

Some studies have shown that losing and gaining weight again causes an increase in body fat percentage. Fat is returned to muscles much more efficiently during the weight-gain phase.

Increasing your fat rate by following a repetitive diet several times is possible. Other studies have shown that having a history of multiple weight losses and regaining weight increases body fat percentage, especially in the abdomen.

increased risk of diabetes

A steady diet may make you more likely to get type 2 diabetes, but not all studies have shown this to be true. Researchers found that people who gained weight after losing weight put more of the weight back on their stomachs.

Belly fat is a higher risk factor for type 2 diabetes than other fats in the body. A study of mice found that those who lost or gained weight over 12 months had higher levels of insulin than mice who only gained weight continuously.

Elevated insulin levels in this way can be an early sign of type 2 diabetes.


increased risk of heart disease

If most of the weight you add is fat, your heart may lose weight in the meantime. Maybe that’s why losing and gaining weight on a yo-yo diet has been shown to affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase the risk of heart disease.

This diet can even cause problems with body water and electrolyte balance.

The weight loss cycle is also linked to coronary artery disease, which happens when the arteries that supply the heart get narrower.

According to a study of 9,509 adults, the increased risk of heart disease depends on the size of the weight fluctuation—the greater the weight loss and gain, the greater the risk.

Fatty liver disease

Fatty liver occurs when the body stores excess fat inside the liver cells. Obesity is a risk factor for fatty liver disease. Additionally, a fatty liver increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and can occasionally result in chronic liver failure (cirrhosis) by altering the way the liver metabolizes fats and sugars. A study in mice showed that weight gain and loss cycles cause fatty liver disease.



Weight gain and weight loss are also linked to high blood pressure, and a yo-yo diet may eliminate the positive effects of weight loss on blood pressure.

A study of 66 adults found that people with a history of yo-yo dieting experienced a minor improvement in blood pressure when losing weight. However, long-term research also showed that this effect might disappear after 15 years.

create a feeling of frustration.

Seeing hard and fruitless efforts to lose weight as bitter and frustrating Adults with a history of yo-yo dieting say they are dissatisfied with their life and health status and report poor self-efficacy about their bodies and health.

In other words, they feel they have no control over the situation. However, the yo-yo cycle is not associated with depression, isolation, or negative personality traits.

No long-term lifestyle changes

Most diets prescribe rules to follow for a period of time to achieve a goal weight or other health goals. These diets prepare you for failure because they remind you to follow the rules until you reach your goal.

Once you have finished the diet, you may slip and make the same mistakes again, gaining weight. Usually, a temporary diet doesn’t work because the body makes you hungrier and keeps fat stores while you’re on it. This causes you to gain weight and feel frustrated.

To break the cycle of quick change and success, do not consider the process of weight loss as a diet but as a change in lifestyle.

An extensive study of 120,000 people found that several habits can help you lose weight over the years. Here are some of the behaviors that can lead to long-term weight loss:

  • Eat healthy foods such as yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
  • Avoid junk food, such as potato chips and sugary drinks.
  • Limit starchy foods: Eat starchy foods such as potatoes in moderation.
  • Exercise: Exercises that you enjoy doing
  • Sleep well: A regular and quality night’s sleep
  • Limit TV viewing: Exercise while watching TV.


You can achieve long-term success by building a healthy lifestyle that ensures a healthy weight. A weight-loss diet is the only way to gain a stable and ideal weight.

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