Yo-yo dieting weight cycling or the cyclical loss and gain of weight can make it harder for women to control a variety of heart disease risk factors, according to research.
The study found in the case of women losing at least 10 pounds and regaining the weight within a year could be detrimental to heart health.
Besides achieving a healthy weight, maintaining consistent body weight is important for lowering heart disease risks.
Earlier research showed similar results in men, with those who weight-cycled having twice the risk of cardiovascular death in middle age.
"Achieving a healthy weight is generally recommended as heart healthy but maintaining weight loss is difficult and fluctuations in weight may make it harder to achieve ideal cardiovascular health," said Brooke Aggarwal, Assistant Professor at Columbia University in New York.
The results were presented at the American Heart Association's EPI Lifestyle Scientific Sessions 2019 in Texas.
For the study, the team examined 485 women (average age 37 years, average body mass index 26, in the overweight range).
Women reported how many times (other than during pregnancies) they had lost at least 10 pounds, only to regain the weight within a year.
Most women (73 per cent) reported at least one episode of yo-yo weight loss, with a range of zero to 20 episodes.
They were assessed on American Heart Association's 'Life's Simple 7' -- a measure of how well people control major heart disease risk factors, including body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, smoking, physical activity and diet.
The more episodes of weight cycling women reported, the poorer they scored on 'Life's Simple 7', according to the researchers.