The benefits of yo-yo dieting

Before she became a trim size four, 60-year-old Gail Murdoch didn’t always feel so good about herself.

It took some time to drop from a size 12-14 to a size four. And it wasn’t easy.

“I was not happy, really, I was not happy,” Murdoch said. “You look in the mirror and stuff was hanging all over.”

She followed a regimen of diet and exercise and gave up bread and other carbs. But now she feels the benefits.

While she plans to keep it off, she’s not surprised to hear that yo-yo dieting is still healthier than simply remaining obese.

In a new report, researchers at Ohio University found mice that received alternating high and low fat diets lived 25 percent longer than a group fed steadily on a high fat diet. Researchers noted that when the mice were on their high fat diets, they weighed more and had higher blood glucose level. But those levels returned to normal levels when they resumed low-fat diets.

Experts say losing weight, even if gained back, can still have positive health benefits.

“And if say, you diet a quarter of your life, half your life or even just a fraction what this study is saying, that's going to benefit you,” said Katherine Tallmadge, a nutritionist. “People who eat in a calorie restricted way have lower blood glucose and insulin levels that means they're less prone to diabetes.”

People life Grant Thompson, who lost 60 pounds in the last year, know the benefits go way beyond just physical health.

“My sense is probably the best part about yo-yoing is that it says, yes I can go part of the way why not all the way,” Thompson said.