I know that gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over is highly frustrating for many people. But did you also know that yo-yo dieting is bad for your bones?
New research shows that when post-menopausal women repeatedly lose weight, they lose bone as well. And, more importantly, when women gain weight back, they don’t gain back bone. In other words — they trade bone for fat!
In the study, the researchers focused on post-menopausal women who lost weight through a six-month endurance exercise program. When the women lost an average of 8.6 pounds, they lost both bone density and fat. However, after a year of not exercising and putting back on an average of 6.4 pounds, the women’s weight gain was almost all fat — with no significant bone recovery.
This led researchers to speculate that repeated weight gain and weight loss (such as through yo-yo dieting) may be the reason some overweight people suffer from low bone mass.
So, a few things are important to remember when you begin a weight loss program:
(1) Strength training, muscle-building exercises should be included. (The research only included with endurance exercises, which were walking, running, rowing, and cycling.)
(2) Your diet should be a strong alkaline diet. Weight loss diets are vastly acid-forming which by itself eats away at bone.
(3) Use all of the 20 key bone nutrients to support bone during weight loss.
(4) And finally, attention should be given to maintaining the weight loss over time.
Actually, the weight loss-bone loss link is one of great interest to me, and I am currently studying a program from Dr. Nan Lu, founder of the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation in New York City. This innovative program uses gentle Qigong meridian stretching exercises along with a specific eating program to bring about lasting weight loss. This program enlivens our metabolism and our innate healing capacity in such a way that we should be able to let go of extra weight permanently, while at the same time building bone. I’ll update you as I move on with this research.
Villalon, K., et al. 2011. A Losing Battle: Weight Regain Does Not Restore Weight Loss-Induced Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women. Obesity , (18 August 2011) | doi:10.1038/oby.2011.263. URL (abstract): http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/oby2011263a.html (accessed 08.23.2011).