Yo-Yo dieting (weight cycling) can be avoided by changing your diet to stop the sharp spike and subsequent fall of blood sugar. A low carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet adapts your body to use fat and ketones as fuel instead of glucose and maintains consistently low blood sugar levels. Level blood sugar reduces cravings which help you stick with your diet.
Blood sugar’s (glucose) rise and fall stimulates a massive hunger (ghrelin) response and influences people to binge eat. By eating a low carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet, you have consistently low blood sugar in the body, less insulin, less hunger and can stick to a diet easier.
Does weight cycling cause diabetes?
Also called weight cycling or bodyweight fluctuations, Yo-Yo dieting has been shown to have a negative effect on diabetes. The 4-year Kangbuk Samsung Health Study showed that weight cycling was significantly associated with increased risk for diabetes.
Most people that start a diet to lose weight do so initially, but can’t stick with it. They even end up gaining more weight back than before they started their diet. In fact, the percentage of people who regain the pounds they struggled to lose is around 80%.
What happens after they gain the weight back? Many try again and have success for a while, only to end up eventually falling off the wagon again.
For some folks, the desire to achieve a certain weight becomes an endless, exasperating cycle of weight loss and weight regain. 28% of Americans have tried a diet between 3 and 10 times, and 11% have tried to lose weight more than 10 times.
Up and down and up and down again. This type of weight cycling is sometimes referred to as Yo-Yo dieting. For some people, the cycle is a repeated exercise in frustration.
Contrary to common belief, you can’t exercise your way out of a poor diet. The gym helps, but a proper diet is where it all begins.
The Keto Diet and Diabetes
This article makes a good case that the Ketogenic Diet has the potential to put type 2 diabetes in remission. Not a cure, but remission. Meaning that with a continued low carbohydrate diet the patient can live a healthy life with normal blood sugar levels without drugs.
Inflammation in the body also contributes to type 2 diabetes. Keto helps because lowering glucose in the blood reduces inflammation. You can also try some of these powerful antioxidants to lower inflammation even farther.
Yo-Yo Dieting and Your Metabolism
There is also harm in weight cycling or yo-yo dieting? A recent yo-yo diet study, the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study followed 3,678 women and men for 16 years. The researchers found that yo-yo dieting was linked with a higher risk of death overall.
In this Mayo Clinic study, yo-yo dieting increased weight and body fat, especially fat around the belly. Excess blood sugar, belly fat and dietary fructose intake can contribute to the accumulation of fat in the liver. However, low carbohydrate diets have been successfully used as a fatty liver treatment diet.
Weight Cycling and Obesity
The group that weight cycled between the high carb and low carb diet had a 202% increase in body weight over the consistent diet group.
Yo-Yo Dieting is Expensive
The industry that focuses on specific diet plans, meals, and support networks earned $6.3 billion in 2015. Weight Watchers, for example, had 4.6 million people signed up in 2018, but people stick with it on average only 10 months. The typical Jenny Craig dieter pays between $400 and $500 per month.
Weight cycling only puts a Band-aid on the obesity epidemic
The problem with calorie restriction diets is you are going to get hungry. It’s always much harder to stick with a diet long term when you are constantly hungry. Intermittent fasting is not part of the mainstream diets, and that’s a shame because fasting can give a therapeutic boost to any diet.
Bariatric Surgeries are Rising at an Alarming Rate
Also, not everyone qualifies, normally men need to be more than 100 pounds overweight and women need to be more than 80 pounds overweight to qualify.
Bariatric surgery does work:
In this study published on WebMD. Researchers tracked 400 people with type 2 diabetes and 6 years after the surgery, 62% showed no sign of diabetes and they also showed improved blood pressure, lower cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels.
GLP (Glucagon-like peptide) is the hormone that makes you feel satiated, or full after you eat.
Researchers in this study found that bariatric surgery alters nutrient digestion and absorption by changing the location of the digestion to a different place in the gut, and that causes higher levels of glucagon. When glucagon is elevated, then insulin is lowered and that also improves insulin resistance.
The Ketogenic Diet Can Stop the Madness of Yo-Yo diets and bariatric surgeries
For example, I get this question a lot: How do you get started on a Ketogenic Diet?
What causes weight cycling and how do you prevent it?
First off let’s call this what it really is. No one really wants to lose weight, what they want is to lose fat. How do you stimulate the body to burn fat? By adjusting your ratio of macronutrients to include more healthy fats and less sugar and starches, you force your body to begin using fat as energy.
The inability to stick with a diet is based on control of blood sugar and the ability of the body to efficiently burn fat as energy instead of glucose/sugar.
The best sustainable, long term diet to eliminate Yo-Yo Dieting and diabetes is a plan that focuses on lowering blood sugar. Excessive carbohydrates and sugar are much more dangerous than what most people think.
The commonly prescribed low fat, high carbohydrate diet is one of the main causes of the inability to stick with a diet. The body is converting carbohydrates to glucose and burning glucose as energy and when the glucose runs out, blood sugar drops and that’s when you have massive cravings.
How to get started on Keto (Video)
The reason the Ketogenic Diet is sustainable is that over time your body adjusts to this ratio of macronutrients (high fat, low carb) and becomes very efficient at using fat as energy.
Your liver converts fat into ketones and you use that as energy. Using fat as energy is not dependent on the constant rise and fall of glucose and insulin.
Here is a massive Beginners Guide to the Ketogenic Diet if you’re ready to get started.
Fat breaks down slowly in the body and provides a slow-release, almost constant source of energy. Your blood sugar stabilizes; you can go longer between meals without feeling hungry.
Over time, your body becomes very efficient at using fat as energy and you become fat-adapted or Keto Adapted.
How do you know when you become fat-adapted?
You don’t feel the urgent need to snack any more between meals, your cravings for sweets goes away and your “diet” just becomes a way of life and doesn’t even feel like a diet anymore.