During prom season in high school, my best friend and I during the week of prom would go on an insane diet. Of course, after prom we would resume our ‘healthy’ diet of two lava cakes weekly. This is a form of “yo-yo” dieting or losing weight and then almost immediately gaining it back. This form of dieting is extremely popular but is unsurprisingly considered to be an extremely unhealthy way of losing weight. But just how unhealthy is it really?
According to a study, the type of people who are most likely to engage in “yo-yo” dieting are older women. Therefore, Dr. Somwail Rasla, along other associates, decided to test just how bad this form of dieting is on the cardiac health of older women. To determine whether or not Dr. Rasla and his associates were accurate in hypothesizing that cardiac health is negatively impacted from this form of dieting, they decided to create a longitudinal, observational study. To collect the most accurate results, the study consisted of 158,000 postmenopausal women whom were placed into groups categorized as the following: stable weight, steady weight gain, maintained weight loss, or “yo-yo dieting”. These women were studied for eleven years and at the conclusion of the study, 2,500 women of the women who participated in “yo-yo” dieting died due to a variety of failure in cardiac health. The results of this study are credible given the length and number of participants involved. Although, the researchers stated that while there is a strong association between ‘yo-yo’ dieting and cardiac death, there is not a causal relationship between the two. Furthermore, it is important to note that some of these women could have died due to cardiac failure because of genetics, this in turn acts as a confounding variable.
The information from this study is certainly informative, but what can you do to stop ‘yo-yo’ dieting now? According to Weight Watchers, to begin keep a log of your meals daily. In addition, consume meals that are more balanced in order to stay full longer therefore being more satisfied. An example of a typical balanced meal can be seen below. Moreover, the researchers of the study stated that to not fret when the scale has a weight that is not to your liking. Rather than crash dieting, it is important to eat balanced food and work out whenever possible. These simple steps can not only extend your life, but live a fuller one too.