It’s advice nearly every patient has heard at least once in their life: you need to lose weight. Often, this is prescribed as a combination of a healthy diet and exercise. However, ‘fad diets’, so-called due to their fluctuating popularity from societal trends, are seen as quick and easy diet modifications that produce weight loss quickly. For some, these diets are not sustainable and can lead to dangerous cycles of losing weight, easing restrictions, and re-gaining weight that was lost. Weight-cycling is a dangerous effect of fad diets, and the long-term physical and psychological effects of weight cycling can ultimately lead to worse health outcomes. With each cycle of losing and regaining weight, both the body and mind undergo great stress, the cardiovascular and metabolic systems within the body become less efficient and can develop long term complications. Instead, targeting a healthy, well-balanced diet recommended by clinicians can prevent weight cycling and protect against the negative health effects of obesity.
Jasper, C. The ups and downs of weight cycling: how fad diets can negatively affect health. BUHealth. 2023; 1(1). https://digitalcommons.butler.edu/buhealth/vol1/iss1/4.