Yo-Yo dieting is not bad for you and would not stop you from shedding pounds in the long run, found a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. the study has become first to show yo-yo diets do not have long term effect on metabolism or the ability to lose weight in later life.
For their study researchers arbitrarily assigned four-hundred-forty overweight-to-obese, sedentary women, aged fifty to seventy-five into four groups. First group included reduced-calorie diet only, second group included exercise only, third group included reduced-calorie diet plus exercise and last a control group that received no intervention.
After one year long study, researchers found that participants on the diet-only and diet-plus-exercise groups lost an average of ten percent of their starting weight, which was the target of the programme. The main aim of study was to verify if women with a history of moderate or severe weight fluctuations were at a disadvantage compared to non-weight-cyclers when it came to losing weight.
About a fifth of study participants had a history of yo-yo dieting defined by losing and regaining more than twenty pounds on three or more occasions. A quarter of study participants reported to lose ten or more pounds on three or more occasions. Severe yo-yo dieters were nearly twenty pounds heavier at the start of the study
But at the end of study researchers found no difference in the ability to lose weight or take part in the exercises between those who yo-yo dieted and those who did not with regard to the ability to successfully participate in diet or exercise programs.
Other physiological factors such as blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and blood concentrations of hormones such as leptin and adiponectin also did not vary significantly among those whose weight fluctuated and those whose did not. The study findings are important because they could encourage overweight people to persevere with trying to slim down.
Lead researcher Dr Anne McTiernan explained to their knowledge, no previous studies have examined the effect of prior weight cycling on the body composition, metabolic and hormonal changes induced by a comprehensive lifestyle intervention in free-living women. It is known that there is an association between obesity, sedentary behavior and increased risk of certain cancers.
A history of unsuccessful weight loss should not dissuade an individual from future attempts to shed pounds or diminish the role of a healthy diet and regular physical activity in successful weight management, added Dr McTiernan. The study findings were published online in the journal Metabolism.