People who diet to lose weight sometimes experience fluctuations in their weight. That is they gain back the weight in a short span and again lose it. This cycle which involves weight gain and loss is termed as weight cycling. It is also termed as yo-yo dieting. Few people gain and lose only small amounts of weight like about 10-15 pounds per cycle. But few may experience a fluctuation of very large weights like 50 pounds or more.
How does weight cycling affect the weight loss process?
People who have not lost weight since a long time find it difficult to lose weight. They take time to lose weight. On the contrary, people experiencing weight cycles lose weight very easily. They can easily reach their goals of achieving a desired weight as the body gets used to the process of losing and gaining weight. Several studies have shown that weight cycling is no way concerned with the body’s metabolism. In general, people who are obese have less metabolic rate because of which fat gets deposited in the body. The metabolic rate of the body also declines with the age. So an increase in the metabolic activity in the body can help in reducing the weight.
Does weight cycling change the ratio of fat to muscle in the body?
There are many myths with respect to weight cycling that people believe blindly. Most of them believe that their fat content increases and the muscle quantity decrease every time their weight fluctuates. Studies have shown that it is completely a myth and weight cycling does not change the muscle to fat ratio in the body. People have the same ratio in their body after every cycle.
Another myth with respect to weight cycling is that the fat tissue gets deposited in the mid region of the body. Fat generally gets deposited in the regions like hips, thighs, butts and stomach. People who have fat deposited on their thighs and butts tend to have a pear shaped body. Where as people with fat on their abdominal regions have apple shaped body. Apple shaped body is generally not recommended and people with this shape are easily vulnerable to diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The deposition of fat in the abdominal region depends on the body nature and differs from person to person. However, weight cycle has no role to play with the deposition of fat in these regions.
Does weight cycling cause any health problems?
Studies are still going on weight cycling and no conclusions are made whether it is harmful or not. However most of them believe that weight cycling causes health problems like the following.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gallbladder disease, etc.
It is advisable for the people who have normal weight and are not suffering from obesity to maintain the consistency in their weight. Since there is no need for them to lose or gain weight, the consistency in their weights can prevent them from the health problems that are known to cause by weight cycling. However, people who are over weight or obese cannot help but lose weight to prevent the health problems caused by obesity. This is because obesity can lead to much severe health problems than weight cycling. Few of these health problems include high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, type-2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, Arthritis, Gallbladder disease, etc. So, it is much important to lose weight rather than becoming victims of these diseases. Apart from these it is not yet clear whether weight cycling is really harmful or not.
One way by which weight cycling has a major affect on a person is depression. Continuous fluctuation of the weight may make the person lose his confidence and hope. Ultimately people get depressed and give up the idea of losing weight. This should not be done because though a person regains his weight back again he can lose it easily the next time. One should make sure that he should not be depressed during these weight cycles and should focus on losing weight by exercising and eating well balanced diet even if he is regaining the weight back. This is the only way by which one can lose weight even after so many weight regains.