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you may not always lose weight if you follow the diet that helped you shed a few kilograms recently. Several people report that with each attempt at weight loss and subsequent regain, the battle becomes harder.

Often the regained weight is a bit more than the original. Also known as "weight–cycling" or "yo–yo dieting", it is a recipe for becoming permanently obese and even unhealthy.

Weight cycling and weight fluctuations have been found to be associated with serious unfavourable health problems. Several studies report that weight cycling is undesirable as it increases the risk of inflammation, heart disease, high blood pressure, type–2 diabetes and even cancer, particularly that of breast, colon, oesophagus, kidney, pancreas, endometrium, prostate or lymphoma. The risk of gall stone formation is also increased among weight cyclists.

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These effects are also more common among very low–calorie diet users and crash dieters. Many such dieters resign themselves to the fact that weight regain is inevitable and resort to bouts of dieting when they perceive their weight to have returned to an intolerable level. In fact, several studies also report that weight cycling leads to greater weight gain. A study published in International Journal of Obesity in 2006 in Finland investigated the effects of repeated cycles of weight loss and regain in about 1,800 young athletes for over 15 years on long–term weight development. It reported that repeated cycles of weight loss and regain appear to enhance subsequent weight gain and may predispose to obesity.

Weight cycling may lower metabolic rate and is associated with several complex mechanisms that play an important role in the development of these outcomes. Weight cycling is also known to have negative impact on psychological and behavioural consequences. Weight gain averages from 0.25 to 0.50 kg per year. Metabolic pathways that resist intentional weight loss and that tend to return body mass to the obese state have been identified. Weight loss and regain affect body composition and cause inappropriate and permanent loss of lean body mass (LBM).

Clearly, the goal should always be to lose weight by following a diet, which is sustainable to achieve a realistic weight.

Hazards of weight cycling

Multiple deficiencies and imbalances Effects of nutritional imbalances can range from minor problems like constipation, headaches, anaemia, fatigue, lethargy, bloating, skin and hair problems to more serious ones like ketoacidosis, immune problems, joint pains, osteoporosis, heart disease and even cancer to name a few

Malnutrition with reduced antioxidant intake can accelerate ageing and memory loss

Indian Express
03 Aug 2013.

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