The cyclic dieting and non-dieting might lead to something known as ‘yo-yo effect’ which will eventually result in weight gain according to a new study from the University of Exeter. After the broken cycle, the brain interprets each dieting phase as a famine thereby signaling metabolism to store excess fat to compensate shortage during the non-dieting phase.
The Yo-Yo dieting.
The Yo-Yo effect or Yo-Yo dieting is a physiological effect caused by a break in the dieting process. Soon after a dieting phase, when it’s broken the body will gain weight, may be much faster than it took to lose all those weight. The term is coined by Dr. Kelly D Brownell at Yale University. Now, this latest study might have made more clarity to his process using mathematical models and animals test subjects. The science is simple, during dieting you might gradually lose the weight for the first time. But once the dieting cycle is broke, thanks to our lazy lifestyle, the body will skip into a defense mode. The brain interprets dieting as short famines or scarcity of food, therefore once you are available with food, the body will store the excess fat to be used later.
The animal study
In order to test the theory and scientifically prove it, researchers plotted a mathematical model using an animal and its physiological changes in response to the availability of food. The animal doesn’t know possibly the period of shortage and abundance, but its body does. According to the model they studied, when an ideal animal is restricted with the food supply, it will gain extra mass during the period between shortages. Thus it clearly suggests the theory of yo-yo dieting and possibly a solution to tackle it too. Even birds exhibit similar body patterns that concur with this study. Some garden birds are fatter in winter compared to that of summer.
Dieting is a process when it comes to us. According to our preconceived notion dieting is only required when someone is fat. But once they enter into the dieting mode, the weight loss might be prominent, however as soon as the desired results strikes, either we would skip the dieting or would shift to a comfortable eating habit, which is when the body starts to gain extra mass to compensate next dieting phase. One possible solution to this problem is to follow a straight diet throughout, along with sheer workout or exercise. This way we don’t give our brain a chance to form any patterns regarding weight gain or loss. So next time when you prepare a dieting phase just keep in mind that, make it steady, use low-calorie food and rely on exercise for a healthy body!