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Diets With The Yo-Yo Effect Harm Our Sleep

The metabolism gets messed up, and we are frustrated. But the yo-yo effect that many diets entail has other consequences. Could you find out how it affects our sleep here?

Frequent dieting upsets the metabolism – especially when it comes to crash diets. But not only that: The constant weight ups and downs should have far more far-reaching consequences. A new study shows the harmful effects of dieting on our sleep.

Study Shows: Regular Diets Affect Sleep

Perhaps you know it from your own experience: You are trying a good diet that should finally bring the desired success. You lose weight. But after the diet, the pounds come back: the yo-yo effect sends its regards. This is not only frustrating, and it also messes up your metabolism. Your sleep will also suffer from the fluctuations in weight – especially if you are frequently dieting.

This is the result of a US study that was recently published in The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Here the data of 506 women with an average age of 37 years were evaluated. Strictly speaking, the so-called “weight cycling” – that is, repeated diets that ensure weight gains and abs (yo-yo effect) – was investigated in connection with various sleep parameters. It was found that regular diets harm sleep.

Fluctuations In Weight Cause Sleep Problems

“Weight cycling” was defined in the study as at least one diet with the yo-yo effect, in which at least 4.5 kilograms were lost and then gained again. The study concluded that the weight fluctuations worsened both the length of sleep and the quality of sleep. Problems with falling asleep, insomnia, and the use of sleeping pills were also more common among women who had a history of weight fluctuations. It was also observed that every other diet with the yo-yo effect further worsened sleep values.

Insufficient Sleep And Weight: A Vicious Circle

The fact that repetitive weight-fluctuating diets hurt sleep is new. However, it has long been known that sleep and the quality of sleep affect weight. Because lack of sleep can affect our hunger and satiety hormones, among other things, this, in turn, messes up our feelings of hunger and satiety, can lead to cravings and excess calories and thus also to weight gain. This, in turn, leads to worsening sleep – a vicious circle.


Sleep is an essential factor for health and wellbeing – and also for our weight. And weight, in turn, seems to play a role in how we sleep.

To ensure a restful sleep and to lose weight healthily, frequent diets resulting in weight fluctuations are counterproductive, as the US study shows. Instead of unhealthy crash diets, choose a healthy diet that will help you lose weight and keep it off – without the yo-yo effect.

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