Yo-yo dieting is not bad for your health (but it will make you 20lbs fatter!)

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Scientists have been trying to find out if repetitive weight loss and gain, also known as yo-yo dieting, could mean you damage your ability to shift pounds further down the line – turns out, the answer is no!

But in bad news, those erratic eating habits are more likely to make you overweight in the first place. Blast! 

The new research has confirmed that this type of dieting has no negative affect on your long-term ability to lose weight and it will not alter your metabolism.

However – before you start thinking being a yo-yo dieter isn’t such a bad thing after all – the study also found that on average, weight cyclers were likely to be 20lbs heavier than those that don’t diet. Yikes.

The study tested a large number of women, some who had previously been on unsuccessful diets, and some that hadn't, and put them on four different weight loss programmes to work out if there was any difference in the results between the two groups.

It is the first time scientists have looked into unsuccessful dieting and the test was was carried out at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who are looking into the links between obesity and certain types of cancer.

The World Health Organization estimates that a quarter to a third of cancers could be prevented with the maintenance of normal weight and having a physically active lifestyle. 

"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 the study's senior author Anne McTiernan.

The study also showed that out of the subjects tested, the women who reduced their calorie intake and increased their physical exercise (mainly brisk walking) were the most successful at losing weight, with exercise alone proving not to be enough to shift those pounds. 

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