Weight Cycling and Its Cardiometabolic Impact

J Obes Metab Syndr. 2017 Dec 30;26(4):237-242. doi: 10.7570/jomes.2017.26.4.237.


Dieting has multiple meanings including "intentional weight loss" or "a specific eating pattern." Although obesity is considered a deleterious health problem worldwide, there are many problems caused by "too strict" weight control and the need for excessive leanness. Many people with normal weight want to lose weight, and they repeat losing and gaining weight multiple times through their lives. This is called "weight cycling." Recent studies report not just the negative impact of being obese, but also the danger of weight cycling for cardiometabolic health. Many experimental studies support that weight cycling might cause fluctuations in cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, heart rate, sympathetic activity, and circulating levels of glucose, lipids and insulin. These repeated overshoots above normal values during periods of weight regain put an additional stress on the cardiovascular system. This paper reviews current evidence for the effects of weight cycling on cardiometabolic health.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Diet; Weight cycling; Yo-yo effect.

Publication types

  • Review