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“Weight loss cycling” is the term for weight loss, then weight regain, and then weight loss again. In the past, medical weight loss clinics have told patients that weight loss cycling is harmful to health. A new analysis of weight loss demonstrates that the old view was wrong.

The old medical journals which examined weight cycling did not fully analyze the issue. They included people who had weight loss because of cancer and then regained weight after cancer treatment and then had weight loss in their final stages of cancer before death.

In the new weight loss medical journal article, weight loss physicians re-examined the evidence surrounding weight cycling. They included more than 122,000 weight loss patients in the analysis. The cases where weight loss was due to cancer were excluded. Only the cases of intentional weight loss were included (eg. diet, exercise, medication). Weight loss cycling did not increase risk of death. In fact, if there were 4 or fewer weight loss cycles, the risk of death was decreased.

This very important, landmark article provides encouragement to all of those at medical weight loss clinics, since relapse is a common (but not permanent) phenomenon. Weight loss patients no longer need worry that a relapse increases their medical risks. In fact, those who had 4 or fewer weight loss cycles had a lower risk of death.

Weight cycling and mortality in a large prospective US study.