Dangers of Yo-Yo Dieting

You lose weight, you gain weight, you lose the weight all over again and you gain it back again (and then some). Does this sound familiar? If so, you are in danger of yo-yo dieting which means increased risk for many serious health problems that include:

The solution to yo-yo dieting is to not look for a quick fix but make the effort to do it right and address all the reasons why weight gain is possible for your particular body.

Here is an example of a study confirming the dangers of Yo Yo Dieting on immune function.  Dr. Cornelia M. Ulrich of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and her colleagues questioned 114 overweight but healthy women older than 50 about their weight histories. Almost three-quarters of the women, the researchers found, had lost more than 10 pounds at least once by dieting in the previous 20 years. More than half had done that two or more times.

The researchers also measured the levels of natural killer cells, immune system cells that aim at viruses and may have a role in fighting cancer, as well.

The women who had yo-yo’d most often — five times or more — had the lowest levels of the killer cells; the highest levels were found among women whose weight had been stable for several years. Even women who had only twice lost large amounts of weight showed a decrease in the cells, Dr. Ulrich said.

Overweight women, she said, clearly benefit from losing weight, and she does not recommend that women stop dieting. But she suggests a more balanced approach.

Women should choose ”a weight-loss method that is healthy and leads to an overall healthy eating pattern that one is comfortable with in the long run,” Dr. Ulrich said. She added that weight-loss plans should include exercise.