A new study has shown that a history of yo-yo dieting (the repetitive loss and regain of body weight) does not negatively affect metabolism or the ability to lose weight long term.
The analysis aimed to determine whether women with a history of moderate or severe weight cycling were at a disadvantage compared to non-weight-cyclers when it came to losing weight.
Of the study participants overall, 18% (77 women) met the criteria for severe weight cycling (having reported losing 20 or more pounds on three or more occasions) and 24% (103 women) met the criteria for moderate weight cycling (having reported losing 10 or more pounds on three or more occasions).
Although severe weight cyclers were, on average, nearly 20 pounds heavier than non-cyclers at the start of the study, at the end of the study the researchers found no significant differences between those who yo-yo dieted and those who didn’t with regard to the ability to successfully participate in diet and/or exercise programmes.
These finding may represent a first in the scientific community. “To our 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,” the authors wrote.
Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center