Causes of the yo-yo effect

What causes the yo-yo effect?

The causes of the yo-yo or rebound effect are miracle diets or strict diets, which promise great weight loss in a short time and without effort.

Photograph of a path in a forest in Switzerland. Walking is the best remedy to avoid the rebound effect of diets

Among these diets, monodiets stand out (such as the artichoke diet, lemon diet, strawberry diet, etc.), fasting (sap syrup diet), and also unbalanced diets such as Dukan, Atkins or Montignac, among many others.

In general, all diets of less than 1,500 Kcal. can produce a rebound effect.

How does the yo-yo effect occur?

When diets provide an insufficient amount of energy to cover basal metabolism

Due to the lack of calories in the diet, the body is forced to use other energy sources, such as body fat reserves and protein reserves (muscle mass).

Even if protein foods are included in the diet, muscle mass continues to be lost because the body does not use these proteins to build muscle, but as a source of energy.

By decreasing muscle mass, responsible for the calories we burn at rest, basal metabolism decreases: at rest we “burn” fewer calories.

Therefore, incorporating daily food after fasting causes weight gain: eating the same thing makes you gain more weight because there is not as much muscle.

All doctors and dieticians strongly recommend against doing a miracle diet or prolonged fasting, but the final decision is always personal and respectable. It is recommended that a “miracle diet” never be the first option.

Obesity and the yo-yo effect

<< I can’t lose weight >>

When unsuccessful miracle diets become chronic, it can cause problems such as eating disorders.

On many occasions, the obese person repeats episodes of weight loss and gain, which end in frustration.

Obesity is a disease that affects all body systems, although it is characterized by the excessive accumulation of fat in certain areas of the body. As such, obesity should be treated by doctors and specialists (psychologists, physicians, endocrinologists, dieticians and/or psychiatrists).

But specialists warn that weight gain can also be a symptom of psychological disorders such as anxiety, low self-esteem, not knowing how to manage a stressful situation, etc. There are other causes such as hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, or environmental causes (childhood obesity, growing up in obese environments, exercise habits, etc.).

punto rojo More information on yo-yo effect

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

9 February, 2024

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