September 9, 2018

The Pitfalls of Serial Dieting | Ashishh Gupta

Portion control and keeping a check on what you eat is a great thing, however, a lot of us get caught in cycles of serial dieting which can ultimately be even worse for your health. Here are some reasons why navigating the crests and troughs of weight loss and gain may not be the best idea!

1. Increased Appetite Leads to More Weight Gain Over Time

During dieting, fat loss leads to decreased levels of the hormone leptin, which normally helps you feel full. Under normal circumstances, your fat stores release leptin into the bloodstream. This tells the body that energy stores are available, and signals you to eat less. As you lose fat, leptin decreases and appetite increases. This leads to increased appetite as the body tries to resupply depleted energy stores.

2. Higher Body Fat Percentage

In some studies, serial dieting has led to an increased percentage of body fat. During the weight gain phase of yo-yo dieting, fat is regained more easily than muscle mass. This can result in your body fat percentage increases over multiple serial cycles.

3. An Increased Risk of Diabetes

Serial dieting is associated with a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes, although not all studies found evidence for this. Belly fat is more likely to lead to diabetes than fat stored in other locations, such as the arms, legs or hips. Increased insulin levels like these can be an early sign of diabetes.

4. It Can Increase Blood Pressure

Weight gain, including rebound or serial weight gain after dieting, is also linked to increased blood pressure. Making matters worse, yo-yo dieting may blunt the healthy effect of weight loss on blood pressure in the future.

5. It Can Cause Frustration

It can be very frustrating to see the hard work you put into losing weight vanish during the rebound weight gain of serial dieting. Serial dieters also report poor self-efficacy regarding their body and health. In other words, they feel a sense of being out of control.