weight cycling

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A cycle of weight changes associated with alternating periods of dieting (restricted food intake) and periods of normal eating with weight gain. The basal metabolic rate (BMR, a measure of the body's energy consumption at complete rest) of people on a weight-loss diet is usually reduced. The body adapts to the lower intake of food by using the limited supply of energy more efficiently. It appears that this reduction in BMR is more pronounced in those who exhibit weight cycling, making it increasingly difficult to lose weight and much easier to regain it. There is also evidence that weight cycling over several years increases the risk of coronary heart disease. See also Yo-Yo diet.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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