Almost everyone loses weight initially on a very low calorie diet, but it never takes long before the body catches on and starts conserving energy. That's when you hit a plateau. Once you hit the plateau, it becomes much harder to keep losing weight even if your calories are extremely low.
This lack of continued results, combined with gnawing hunger pangs and insatiable craving, usually causes people to give up out of sheer frustration. They go off their diet, the weight creeps back on and their body fat ends up back where they started -only now they have less muscle and a slower metabolism.
With a slower metabolism, what used to be a maintenance level now becomes a surplus, and the weight comes right back on. Most people gain back all the weight they lost- and some gain back even more, leaving them fatter than when they started. This up and down pattern of weight loss and weight re-gain is commonly known as the "yo-yo cycle", and it often continues for years or even for an entire lifetime.
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