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YoYo Dieting Makes You Fatter

Most people who try to diet by restricting calories lose and regain weight only to make themselves fatter. Food restriction causes binging (1). Healthy people do not willingly leave the table hungry or go to bed hungry. Studies on rats show that each time that they regain fat, they do so at a faster rate (2).

Research at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas shows that men who are always dieting are more likely to suffer heart attacks, high blood pressure and diabetes (3). Other studies support this finding (4). Every time that you gain weight rapidly, your liver makes extra fat that blocks and stiffens arteries to cause heart attacks and high blood pressure. Losing weight rapidly increases your chances of forming gall stones (5). Your liver removes breakdown products of metabolism from your bloodstream and converts them to bile which is stored in your gall bladder. Bile contains cholesterol that forms gall stones, and bile acids that keep the cholesterol soluble to prevent stones from forming. Bile acids are made from food. Restricting food prevents your liver from making bile acids, causing cholesterol to form stones.

Research from Indiana University School of Medicine shows that yoyoing could also cause uterine, breast or prostate cancer to spread(6). Dr. Robert Bigsby injected three estrogen-like hormones into mice for three straight days: beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, an estrogen form stored in fat; DDT, the estrogen insecticide form stored in fat; and beta-HCH, the estrogen form from the insecticide Lindane. All three estrogens stimulated the inner lining of the uterus to grow. Much of the estrogen was stored in the body as fat. When an animal is put on a fast, fat breaks down and releases estrogen into the bloodstream. When the mice fasted, DDT stayed in the fat, but the compound that came from the insecticide, Lindane, was released from the fat into the bloodstream, causing the uterus to enlarge. This means that fasting raises blood levels of estrogen, which could spread an already active uterine or breast cancer throughout the body. This study shows that fasting can spread existing cancer and that the already banned DDT and the presently used Lindane may increase a woman's chances of suffering uterine or breast cancer.

1) 1) J Polivy. Psychological consequences of food restriction. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 96: 6(JUN 1996):589-592. self-imposed dieting appear to result in eating binges once food is available and in psychological manifestations such as preoccupation with food and eating, increased emotional responsiveness and dysphoria, and distractibility.

2) MA Pellizzon, AM Buison, KLC Jen. Short-term weight cycling in aging female rats increases rate of weight gain but not body fat content. International Journal of Obesity, 2000, Vol 24, Iss 2, pp 236-245.

3) Steve Blair American Heart Association's annual epidemiology meeting March 20, 1994.

4) NEJM June 27, 1991.

5) RL Gebhard, WF Prigge, HJ Ansel, L Schlasner, SR Ketover, D Sande, K Holtmeier, FJ Peterson. The role of gallbladder emptying in gallstone formation during diet-induced rapid weight loss. Hepatology 24: 3 (SEP 1996):544-548.

6) Cancer Research, March, 1997. 7022 2/4/97 YOYO WEIGHT

Checked 1/7/04

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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