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Why yo-yo dieting can make your skin look older than it is

Why yo-yo dieting can make your skin look older than it is

Let’s face it: we all want to look slim.

In the US alone, consumers spend north of $60 billion a year to shed the pounds.

Globally, the market will top $245.51 billion by 2022. There are, of course, numerous benefits to trimming the fat. Reducing your chances of diseases such as cancer. Lowering high blood pressure. But losing weight too quickly could be bad news for your face.

One of the first places the fat loss will show is on your face.

Yo-yo dieters could actually be doing more harm than good by dropping a dress size too quickly.

As we age, our face loses fat and volume, which can amplify the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and Crow’s Feet.

Take a look at a friend or daughter who’s in her twenties – you’ll see that their face is bright, full, and youthful. As we age, that fullness disappears, and if you have a low body fat percentage, that can make your face look gaunt and hollow out the eyes and cheeks, which is not what you want.

What’s more, over the years, our skin loses its elasticity, and areas of our face can begin to droop, causing bags, wrinkles, and a tired look.

Of course, that’s not to say you should not lose weight. Whilst fuller-figured women generally have fewer visible lines and wrinkles, there are ways that you can diet sensibly and hold onto your looks. Data suggests that women need a body fat percentage of around 15% or higher in order to maintain enough fullness, though women who have angular faces may need a higher percentage (as much as 25%) to maintain their naturally youthful-looking skin.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the reasons why yo-yo dieting is bad for you, and advice on how you can safely lose weight without sacrificing your face. Let us know what you think.


Lifestyle habits

The way your skin ages depends greatly on your lifestyle habits. Smoking and sun exposure are two of the biggest, and so runners are likely to look older than they are as they’re more exposed to the sun and will have a low body fat percentage. Free radicals from the sunlight, environmental pollutants and cigarette smoke can all harm the skin, so cleanse regularly, quit smoking, switch to a diet rich in antioxidants (seafood, wine) to fight elastin damage.


Stretching and sagging skin

The most obvious reason why yo-yo dieting is bad for ageing is because you’re constantly losing and regaining weight. Over time, this causes your skin to stretch and sag, as dieting damages the collagen and elastin fibres permanently. Over time, yo-yo dieting causes loose skin, which is not only uncomfortable but can cause health problems. Around your face, you will notice premature sagging skin. The key is to slowly lose and maintain weight loss.


Fat returns before muscle

When you go on a diet and lose weight, you not only lose fat from your body but muscle tissue, too. When you put weight on – common after taking part in a restricted or liquid-based diet – you’ll gain fat back before the muscle returns. Over time, as you lose and gain weight, you’ll regain significantly more fat than muscle, making it harder to exercise and shift the pounds. It’ll also change the structure of your face, making you appear tired and wrinkly.


Set yourself realistic goals

The key to losing weight in a healthy way is to set clear goals. Small, clear, and actionable targets are much more likely to be achieved than pipedreams.

If you want to lose a stone, for example, you’re far better off aiming to lose one pound per week rather than 6 lbs.

Have a good week and you’ll feel extra motivated. Poor week? You’ll know that you can do better in the future. Babysteps are the key – you’ll not only be more likely to stick to your diet, but your body will change slowly, helping you retain your youthful glow and skin.


Practice mindful eating

Another technique to reduce the chances of losing weight too quickly or falling off the wagon is to practice mindful eating. Savour every bite, chew slowly and pay attention to when you are feeling hungry or full. You can start off slowly and make small changes to the way you eat and your portion sizes, and eventually, you’ll find you’re eating less and losing weight.


Exercise your face

Did you know that your face has 52 muscles? Over time, our facial muscles can become weak and flabby.

You could consider exercising them when on your health kick.

Chin lifts, for example, require you to throw back your head, hold for 10 seconds, repeating.

Whilst cheek puffs require you to puff out your cheeks, holding for 5 seconds, then releasing.

These may sound trivial or even silly, but they’re designed to exercise your facial muscles. This will reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and other common signs of facial ageing.


What are the health effects of yo-yo dieting or “weight cycling”?

Scientific studies have linked yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, with an increased risk of hypertension. In addition, diabetes, and rapid ageing are more likely. Women who weight cycle are more likely to have a greater waist circumference. They’ll gain more weight than those who don’t yo-yo diet, and end up obese. Over time, this can lead to reduced immune function and an increased risk of cancer. Losing weight slowly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the preferred option.


If you’re looking for another way to rejuvenate your appearance without surgery, consider the Oralift anti-ageing device. In a recent study, 100% of Oralift users reported an improvement in their skin, cheeks, and ageing triangle. Find out more about how it works on our website

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