First, let’s start by understanding what weight cycling actually is. It has been described as ‘rapid increases and decreases in body weight’, also known as Yoyo dieting. As dieting is common, the chances of weight relapse are high, causing weight cycling to be common.

If you have watched “The Machinist” then you would recognise one of the most extreme body weight transformations by Christian Bale, where he lost nearly 30kg, followed by him nearly doubling his weight in only 5 months for his next role in “Batman Begins”. This sort of yoyo dieting can lead to side effects that affect not only our physiological state but also our psychological wellbeing. To explore this further, let’s look at what the research has shown us so far. 

Studies have found that dissatisfaction with one’s current weight can promote dieting behaviours which in turn can trigger disordered eating behaviours. Dieting is proposed to contribute to depressive symptoms employing failure at weight loss, and the direct effect of energy restriction on mood. Fasting and starvation have been associated with increased cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which in turn can cause irritability and further weight gain. Hence why rapid decrease in weight is followed by a rapid increase, kind of like a yoyo.  

Now let’s look at the effects yoyo dieting has on our body. Weight cycling has shown to be associated with increased blood pressure and increased cardiovascular mortality risk. There have been some studies which have also made an association between yoyo dieting and the development of type 2 diabetes, but research is not yet certain.

Hopefully this has given you some more information before you consider starting a fad diet that could potentially be dangerous to your wellbeing.

Author: Bogomila Tosheva

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