Advertisement

How to Stop the Lose-Gain Weight Cycle

How to Stop the Lose-Gain Weight Cycle

In their own way, classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma and feminist hip-hop innovator Yoyo make inspiring, gut-grabbing music. That’s a lot more than can be said for yo-yo dieting! Although it grabs your guts—and stirs up the trillions of bacteria living there—it’s more likely to make heart-stopping deposits of fat around your waistline,  so you repeatedly regain weight you’ve fought so hard to shed.

A study, presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology, found when you’re obese and lose weight on a very-low-calorie diet, your gut bacteria become more diverse. That richer stew of microbes helps control blood sugar levels, cranks up your metabolism and fuels weight loss. But when you switch back to a weight-loss maintenance diet and your body is processing more daily calories, your gut biome reverts to its former, less-diverse state, like when you were obese! Ironically, obese peoples’ gut biome is better at turning food into fuel than normal weight folks’—so much so, that an obese person ends up with lots of excess fuel that’s stored as fat.

How can you keep off weight you’ve lost? Encourage diversity with a fiber-rich diet filled with veggies, fruit and 100 percent whole grains. Gobble up prebiotics like bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes and soybeans (they’re food for health-promoting gut bacteria). Then get probiotics from low-or nonfat yogurt and kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and soy beverages. And consider taking a probiotic supplement: Dr. Mike uses a different brand of probiotic each day to promote that good-for-you diversity.  

Medically reviewed in February 2019.

Don't Derail Your Diet, Make a YOU-Turn
Don't Derail Your Diet, Make a YOU-Turn
You're going to make wrong turns. You're going to turn left at the chili dogs, make a right at the blueberry pie and occasionally merge onto the inter...
Read More
Displacement Theory for Diets
Displacement Theory for Diets
You're less likely to see the numbers on the scale creep higher along with your age if you do this: Eat a bit more fruit with each passing year. The ...
Read More
What kind of scale measures only weight gain or loss?
Barb MacGillivary, NASM Elite TrainerBarb MacGillivary, NASM Elite Trainer
Dr. Oz highlighted the Quantum Scale on his show. The Quantum Scale simply measures how much weight ...
More Answers
How can I avoid gaining weight once I quit smoking?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
One reason why many women are afraid to quit smoking is weight gain within the first year of quittin...
More Answers