Kate Sullivan, Allure magazine
Mistakes have been made. Maybe you did that weird cabbage soup business for a few weeks and went right back to your favorite carbs the month after. Or perhaps you were super into that raw food thing for awhile until you smelled some mac and cheese. For years we've all heard that yo-yo dieting is the biggest enemy of permanent weight loss, causing your body to hoard its fat and making it harder to lose weight the next time.
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But according to a a new study, fittingly published in the medical journal Metabolism, your fickle history of dieting may not have destroyed your metabolism after all.
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Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center followed 439 overweight-to-obese women, some of whom had a history of yo-yo-ing weights and others who didn't. Each of these women were on a Center-proposed restricted-calorie diet plan, an exercise plan, both, or no plan at all. And what they discovered was that there was no difference between the amount of weight or fat that the serial dieters lost compared to those who hadn't been on a weight-loss roller coaster. Their conclusion? "A history of unsuccessful weight loss should not dissuade an individual from future attempts to shed pounds or diminish the role of a healthy diet and regular physical activity in successful weight management," said Anne McTiernan, an epidemiologist and the study's senior author.
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It's estimated that nearly half of American women are on diets. Are you one of them? And have you yo-yo dieted in the past?