What Really Happens to Your Body When You Yo-Yo Diet

Let’s be clear: Yo-yo dieting is not a recommended weight-loss strategy. But studies do show that even a small amount of weight loss–just 5% of your bodyweight–is beneficial when you’re obese.

That’s because stout stored in organs and muscle tissue is the first to go when you lose weight, clarifies Barbara Gower, PhD, professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.

That type of stout, especially deep in the belly, muscles, and liver, poses a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, especially in women, according to preliminary research presented at the 2017 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting.

Although it’s better to keep the weight off for excellent, “repeated bouts of weight loss are not necessarily terrible,” Gower adds. Shedding that weight, even temporarily, “may reduce risk of chronic disease.”

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