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The Dangers of Weight Loss And Regain

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Losing 50 pounds of weight is a great accomplishment. Regaining 75 pounds is a greater disappointment. Just ask anyone who has lived through the nightmare. Some have lived through the nightmare more than once. This type of yo-yo weight loss and regain is also bad for your health.

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles analyzed 31 long-term diet studies and found that about two-thirds of dieters regained more weight within four or five years than they initially lost.

So what are the causes of massive weight loss and regain? In my experience, severe calorie restriction is at the top of the list. We are bombarded with commercials like, “lose 30 pounds in 20 days.” This is a short-term solution to your long-term weight problem.

A study reported in the Journal Of Obesity found that people who followed a very low-calorie diet regained significantly more weight than those on a more forgiving plan. Desperate for quick results in a culture of instant gratification, "women try to lose weight on diets with too few calories," said Judith Beck, Ph.D., director of the Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy and author of The Beck Diet Solution. "If you lose weight on 1,200 calories a day, the minute you go up to 1,300 is the minute you start gaining weight." My experience has shown me that women will increase calories to much more than 1,300 calories.

Severe calorie restriction also causes your metabolism to slow down because your body thinks it is starving. So, it stores fat as a survival mechanism. Prolonged severe calorie restriction also weakens your immune system, creates hormonal imbalances, agitates the nervous system, generates loss of muscle mass, increases body fat, decreases energy levels and disrupts sleep patterns.

According to Kelly Brownell, M.D., director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, "The body may perceive dieting as a threat to its survival. It might not know the difference between Atkins and famine."

What's more, said Brownell, who coined the term "yo-yo dieting" in the 1980s, weight cycling can actually change your physiology.

Add a Comment6 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

That habit of eating high glycemic "meltable" foods like crackers often leads to grazing, just nibbling here and there. It's really easy if you think about it - you can eat a handful of goldfish crackers all day long and never feel full, but OH the calories and the appetite stimulation with all that starch.

Laura from 3 Wheel Bike

June 27, 2011 - 3:18am
EmpowHER Guest

According to the first study of the long-term impacts of yo-yo dieting, women who repeatedly lost and gained weight had lower immune function, particularly lower counts of natural killer cells. "These cells are important for fending off infections and are also vital in fighting the early stages of cance r. Fat Farm

March 3, 2011 - 3:54am
EmpowHER Guest

To avoid regaining weight (or not gaining extra weight in the first place), the energy your body burn s off must equal the energy you take in from food. To achieve this it is essential that you feed yourself exactly the same amount of calories as your body burn s off. In this way, there will be no surplus calories left over to be stored as extra weight. Fitness Boot Camp

March 2, 2011 - 12:59am
EmpowHER Guest

There are several factors which contribute towards weight regain phenomenon like biological factors,unrealistic expectations,diet schedule,lack of physical exertion ,etc etc.In most cases, it is biological factor like there are more than 300 genes have been linked with being fat. Where our fat is deposited, how insulin is regulated, how much of various hormones our bodies secrete, and many, many more. Weight Loss Boot Camp

February 23, 2011 - 1:15am
EmpowHER Guest

I agree with your views on calorie restriction. It has been proven that severe calorie restriction does not produce a favorable reaction.

cure panic attacks

October 3, 2010 - 1:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

What an interesting post... i find your posing very interesting and educative... please i need you to help me loose weight, by giving me a good workout plan and also advice on how to eat healthy. Thanks and i would appreciate

Acai Berry Pure

June 14, 2010 - 3:30pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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