Each year, dozens of new trend diets come on to the market with a wide range of promises for quick success. I think it’s important to remember that extreme and habitual dieting of any sort can be detrimental to your body and may increase the risk for certain health problems and nutritional deficiencies.
Weight cycling, or “yo-yo” dieting, is the repeated loss and regain of body weight. A weight cycle can range from small weight losses and gains (5-10 lbs. per cycle) to large changes in weight (50 lbs. or more per cycle). Some studies suggest that weight cycling may increase the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gallbladder disease. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to fatigue, skin pallor and brittle hair and nails.
Further, habitual dieting can alter the way we feel because low levels of blood sugar, a direct result of a low nutrient intake including carbohydrates, can negatively affect the brain’s production of serotonin (the feel good chemical)-not to mention the damaging effects on self-esteem. Some even suggest that weight cycling can negatively affect metabolism-studies are inconclusive for now.
Slow and steady always wins the race especially as it relates to weight loss- it doesn’t have to mean extreme deprivation. Be kind to your body– skip the extreme and “yo-yo” trends. Learning to nourish your body with the right balance of whole food nutrients including protein, fat and carbohydrates is the real answer to successful weight management as well as preventing health problems in the future. Why take the risk?
Kimberly Young, M.S. is a practicing Nutritionist in Dallas, Texas. Learn about her integrative and functional approach to diet and nutrition at kyoungnutrition.com