This is why yo-yo dieting is so unhealthy

During the holidays and when a special event is coming up, it’s common to hear people say they’ll crash diet in an effort to lose weight quickly. Not only is this practice ineffective, but yo-yo dieting is super unhealthy — especially for women whose weight falls into the “normal” range. Hopefully, this new research will help women realize that fad diets and crash diets are not the way to go.

According to the results of a recent study that began in 1991, weight fluctuations of over 10 pounds were linked to a 66 percent increase in the risk of dying from coronary heart disease over an 11-year period, Live Science reports.

The study, which examined the dieting and weight patterns of 160,000 postmenopausal women, found that the correlation between weight fluctuation and heart disease affected normal weight women, but not those who fell into the category of overweight or obese. Dr. Somwail Rasla, the study’s lead author, observed that this finding is similar to the obesity paradox — a term that refers to the fact that obese people are often just as healthy as their peers in the normal weight range.


Although it remains unclear why weight fluctuations and heart disease are linked, the study also found that women whose weight fluctuated frequently were at an even greater risk for heart problems than those who didn't yo yo diet as often. Meanwhile, those who lost or gained weight at a steady rate didn't exhibit an increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease.


Rasla emphasized that a stable, healthy weight is better for your heart than a fluctuating weight due to crash diets and yo yo dieting. Although overweight and obese people may be encouraged to lose weight to decrease the risk of obesity and high blood pressure, they should do so in a healthy manner.

So, if you feel like you overindulged a little bit over the holidays, the answer is not to start a juice cleanse or dramatically decrease your caloric intake when January 1st arrives.

For starters, holiday weight gain is largely a myth — but if you do feel bloated or see a slightly higher number on the scale, the healthy thing to do is resume your normal eating habits. Our bodies readjust on their own.

Please think twice next time you consider a crash diet before a special occasion or post-holidays — a healthy heart is way more important than watching the number on the scale drop by a few pounds.

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