New Delhi, November 25, 2017: The struggle of constant weight loss and gain is real! There are different factors that come into play while reducing the weight i.e. genes, hormones, psychological and social factors and should be acknowledged and manipulated accordingly for consistent results. The weight cycling is generally a result of a yo-yo diet, where you go on an extremely low calorie diet for a certain period and gain back the weight as you switch back to a normal balanced diet. The dieters are successful in their pursuit of losing the weight but fail to maintain it and might experience an equal or greater weight regain. Thus, the yo-yo effect is established where the person is swinging in extreme weight ranges.

The various studies that circles around the ‘set point’ and body’s metabolic rate gives a profound explanation to an increased weight regain. The set point theory suggests that the body has a natural set point for storage of fat which is supported by a feedback mechanism that adjusts the metabolic rate in response to a hypo caloric diet. The lower basal metabolic rate may persist even after the transition that happens by switching to a sufficient calorie diet which results in gaining back the same weight or even more .A yo-yo diet which is marked by extremely less calories, skipping of meals and decreased portions are well correlated with the yo-yo effect of weight cycling.

There are various researches that validate that weight cycling alters the body composition with depletion of the muscle which reduces the metabolic rate and further makes weight loss more difficult. This extreme form of dieting has various ill effects on the health in terms of metabolic changes, cardiac health, immune competence, chronic diseases and osteoporosis.


The need of the hour is to modify the lifestyle by maintaining the intake through diet and balancing the output with the help of physical activity. A holistic and consistent approach towards the weight loss, as well as management should be taken into consideration. This can be done by consistent monitoring of the weight and making small behavioural changes into the day-to-day life. The patient with super BMI with or without co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, infertility can also opt for bariatric and metabolic surgery which would reduce almost 70 % of excess weight and major resolution of co morbidities also happens leading to breaking of the cycle. Thus, the aim should be to maintain a healthy weight rather than opting for unrealistic weight goals which are achieved by extreme measures but at a certain cost.

 The author is Ms. Sakshi Chopra, Bariatric Nutritionist, GIHPB and Bariatric and metabolic Surgery, Jaypee Hospital, Noida

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