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All about Yo-Yo dieting!



What is it? 
Also known as weight cycling, yo-yo dieting is a continuous pattern of loosing and gaining. It encourages taking up fad diets, like the low carb-high protein and starving being the most common ones.Weight loss with the help of this method can range from two to five kilos per cycle; sometimes it can even go up to 25 kgs! 

The cycle 
Step 1: People go on a crash diet that increases the metabolic rate and leads to instant weight loss. 
Step 2 : Weight loss leads to quitting the diet plan and returning to the normal eating habits. Now you eat all the forbidden foods that have so recently helped you shed the weight. This lowers the metabolic rate. 
Step 3: So you instantly put on weight and in frustration, go back on the crash diet. You lose weight immediately, but the pattern is set. 

Disadvantages 
Leads to weight gain 
The body adapts to the chronic dieting pattern by lowering the metabolic rate to cope with the energy deficit during the starvation period. So if you need 1850 kcals to go through a no dieting day, on a low calorie diet, your body drops down your metabolic rate. When you return to your regular eating pattern, your body doesn’t require the calories you were taking earlier. The excess calories result in weight gain. 

Loss of muscle mass 
Yo-yo dieting causes loss of lean body mass. Muscles are more metabolically active, i.e. help burn more calories as compared to fat. So a person with higher muscle mass burns more calories. Loss of muscle mass can further drop the metabolic rate, making it harder for the body to lose weight. 
Emergence of stubborn fat 
Yo-yo dieting results in formation of stubborn fat which metabolises slowly and hence is hard to lose. 

Affects fat storing system 
Our body has two enzymes to metabolise fat - fat releasing and fat storing. The altering effects of yo-yo dieting on these can be permanent. 


Affects the hormones 
The sudden weight gain and loss causes hormonal changes in the body. In women, these changes could lead to irregular periods. 

Affects the mood 
Exposing body to several types of crash diets also causes a dip in serotonin levels, which is known to enhance the mood, thus resulting in depression. And since the body is undergoing constant stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol that plays a major role in accumulation of fat in abdominal region. Stress also causes people to eat more. 

Constipation 
Most crash diets ask you to keep away from high fibre foods, disrupting bowel movement which could lead to severe constipation. 

Affects the arteries 
A high protein diet encourages consumption of animal proteins that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol, and clog the arteries. Thus, one is at the risk of developing a host of heart diseases. 

Affects the bones 
Excessive amounts of protein can increase uric acid levels nudging an ailment known as gout - a painful form of arthritis. A low carb-high protein diet, increases chances of developing osteoporosis. Also, excessive amounts of protein can lead to loss of calcium - an essential component of bone health

Change of energy suppliers 
Carbohydrates are the first choice of the body as an energy source. But a high protein diet forces the body to switch over to fat as the main source of energy. When fat is oxidised, ketone bodies are produced in the body which loads the kidney and causes bad breath. 

Comment from Endocrinologist Dr. Praveen.R.............. GRADUALLY CHANGING THE PATTERN OF DIET INTAKE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS FOR HEALTHY DIET..........NO CRASH COURSE..................PLZ 

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DR. PRAVEEN RAMACHANDRA