Yo-yo dieting might cause extra weight gain

The authors studied a mathematical model of an animal that knows whether food is currently abundant or limited, but does not know when things will change, so must learn about the changeability before deciding how fat to be.
Animals respond to the risk of food shortage by gaining weight, which is why garden birds are fatter in the winter when seeds and insects are hard to find.

Repeated dieting may lead to weight gain because the brain interprets the diets as short famines and urges the person to store more fat for future shortages, new research by the universities of Exeter and Bristol suggests.

This may explain why people who try low-calorie diets often overeat when not dieting and so don’t keep the weight off.

By contrast, people who don’t diet will learn that food supplies are reliable and they do not need to store so much fat.

The study, published in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, is based on observations of animals such as birds. Full Story