The mad rhythm of modern life has left an imprint on our way of thinking: we have become too impatient and want an immediate result. Weight loss is no exception. Increasingly, we are embraced by the abnormal desire to lose weight almost instantly — in two weeks, or even in five days!
What for? Of course, to get in shape – for example, a vacation or an important event. Diets seem to be the ideal solution to the problem: they promise quick results with a minimum of effort.
Protein? Kefir? Chocolate?
Diets, like any other trend, quickly come into vogue and are no less rapidly emerging from it: another super effective diet replaces one. But they all have one thing in common: some kind of zest, a trick, thanks to which each diet promises to solve the problem of excess weight. A novelty is “sold” to us as something new, unique, unlike all the previous ones.
In reality, most diets are like twins: almost all promise fast loss of kilograms due to strict restrictions in food or by blindly following an established diet. Nutritionist Fiona Carruthers studied the main categories of the most common diets today and told which of them actually work and which are simply dangerous for the body.
Limit the use of starch-containing products (pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, legumes) in the first place and sugar – in the second. By excluding them from our diet, we force the body to intensify its primary source of energy in the body, animal starch. What happens?
At the very beginning, you are rapidly losing weight: except for carbohydrates, the body gets less calories and after a while begins to burn fat. But the result of such an extreme “firebox” is the accumulation of ketones in the body (chemical compounds that are formed as a result of disruption of the metabolic process). They have unpleasant side effects: headache, fatigue, bad breath, etc.
The reduction in fiber intake recommended by these diets can also lead to constipation.
Examples: the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Skarsdale Diet, the Kremlin Diet, the American Astronaut Diet.
Conclusion: the harmony obtained through low-carb diets, rarely manage to maintain a long time. It is assumed that the fat or protein in the food should replace carbohydrates.
Neither is ideal. Fat is very high in calories, and a high content of proteins in the body can adversely affect the work of the kidneys (in the long term – lead to a decrease in calcium levels).
In addition, low carbohydrate diets have unpleasant side effects, they do not meet the standards of good nutrition and are potentially dangerous.
At the opposite end of the spectrum of carbohydrate diets are low-fat programs, the main essence of which is the idea that fat is the main culprit of obesity. The most popular diet “without fat” is the “F-plan” (or “F-diet”), which became known to the masses who want to lose weight in 1969. Of all these diets, this program was closest to the recommended principles of healthy eating, but, of course, she also needed some kind of enticing bait.
It became fiber. Unfortunately, the excess fiber has its drawbacks: it does not allow the necessary minerals to digest, not kilocalories (as the authors of the diet originally believed).
Almost completely fat-free modifications of this diet limit the consumption of foods that contain the necessary nutrients – lean meat, fish and low-fat dairy products.
Examples: Ornish diet, Pritykin diet, Slim Smile diet, TLC diet.
Conclusion: low-fat diets were initially positioned as one of the most healthy fashionable diets (and they were really like that!), But in their further interpretations went to the extreme and became simply dangerous. As a rule, the decrease in the amount of fat in the diet is a parallel course with a reduction in protein intake with increasing amounts of carbohydrates. Summary – low-fat diets are not just not very effective, but can even help get better.
Do you need it?
Some of them are better to talk as quietly as possible! For example, about the Cambridge diet or Slim-fast nutrition system, which involve the purchase of special “meal replacers” in the form of diet bars or cocktail powder, produced by the authors of these diets. We will not go further into the swamp of hidden advertising, but we will only say that very many low-calorie diets have almost disappeared today.
And it is beautiful. Why?
Because they are based on strict dietary restrictions, and any diet that you eat less than 800 calories per day (according to nutritionists, an average woman needs about 2000 calories per day) is too severe and results in a significant loss of muscle mass. Your body reacts as if you are starved to death, so it accumulates energy and tries to replenish reserves as soon as you remember that there are high-calorie foods in the world.
After completing the course of such a diet, many losing weight immediately gain weight. In order not to suffer muscle mass, low-fat protein foods (lean fish, milk and cottage cheese up to 2.5%, tofu) should prevail in the low-calorie diet.
Fats are recommended to eat only those that are of vegetable origin, and simple carbohydrates (confectionery, sugary drinks) to boycott. They fall into the category of low-calorie and mono diet (for example, those that offer the same light soup or grapefruit day after day).
While the authors of these diets suggest that a particular product is responsible for the rapid loss of excess weight, in fact this is due to the fact that the body simply loses calories.
Examples: “Japanese” diet, “Chinese” diet, “English” diet, “Hollywood” diet, Larisa Dolina diet, “2000 calories” diet, almost all vegetable or fruit mono diets.
Conclusion: despite the fact that low-calorie diets allow you to quickly lose those extra pounds (up to 5 kg per week), it is irrational and even harmful if you follow them for too long. They are not balanced in composition and are based on false claims.
Do not be deceived, the magic products – “eat and grow thin!” – do not exist.
Strictly speaking, this is not even a diet, but a kind of program for losing weight, in which it is necessary to count kilocalories so as not to go beyond the permissible limits, and therefore, not to gain too much. The main thing in this method is the energy value of the products.
Theoretically, you can eat anything, if the amount of kilocalories contained in the products will not exceed the established maximum. Yes, counting calories is not difficult, especially given the fact that now there are many relevant mobile applications.
But imagine that you will need to do it always! The inconvenience is not that you have to constantly keep a “diary”, but that while doing so you can inadvertently forget about the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the diet.
The main thing is not what you eat, but how much it “weighs” (that is, the number of calories).
Conclusion: these “diets” can be developed taking into account individual features, but they are difficult to adhere to for a long time. Another obvious disadvantage: following these principles of nutrition will require you to have a wide knowledge of the properties of products.
But even experienced nutritionists do not carry calorie guides in their pockets! At various times, doctors have attempted to simplify such programs by drawing up nutrition plans (by the type of those used in groups for weight loss), but this idea did not have mass success.
Separate food is not a novelty of the last decades. This method was developed by an American doctor, William Howard Haye, almost a hundred years ago; it has simply changed considerably since then. The main position of the approach Hay – should not be consumed at the same time proteins and carbohydrates.
Let us pay tribute to the doctor: while developing his method, he thought more about the health of the body than about reckless weight loss, but in the end his concept turned out to be unsupported scientifically. Our digestive system is able to take food in almost any combination, in addition, individual foods may contain carbohydrates and proteins (typical examples are milk, bread, and bean stew).
Those who still managed to lose weight due to the separate diet, perhaps, just ate less than usual, due to the complexity of the menu and the inability to include snacks in it. Today, the concept of separate nutrition is interpreted more broadly – this is a diet in which products incompatible with each other should be avoided (the first day – only protein, the second – only carbohydrate, the third – only starch, etc.).
Examples: Hay’s diet, separate meals according to Sheldon, separate meals according to Malakhov, separate meals according to Montignac, separate meals according to Semenova, separate meals according to Zhdanov, Fit for Life diet, diet “90 days”.
Conclusion: this theory does not have sufficient justification. “Shared” food really complies with the principles of healthy eating (notorious eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables), but this is quite a strict regimen that is difficult for a normal person to follow for a long time (and after all, the creators of such programs strongly recommend slimming, starting separate principles of nutrition until the end of life!).
Selection of diets for blood type – one of the strangest approaches to losing weight. To begin with, he again has no firm scientific basis.
The most important message is that all foodstuffs are divided into “healthy” and “harmful” for a person, depending on which group the blood flows in his veins. This postulate was first derived by the American naturologist Peter D’Adamo, and he also proposed potentially unbalanced nutritional patterns. For example, the diet advises to exclude from the diet a very wide range of products (for the owners of the first blood group, these are dairy products, for the second group – yellow and orange fruits, wheat, etc.).
What we have? Again, tight restrictions.
But they can cause a shortage of essential nutrients in the body!
Examples: four specific diets for each blood group — I, II, III, and IV.
Conclusion: knowing your blood type is of course useful, but this knowledge will not help you lose weight. D’Adamo was repelled by the statement that blood groups interact in different ways with lecithins, the cells that are the most important building material.
It is the lack of lecithin in the body that causes chronic fatigue, irritability, loss of concentration, and even nervous exhaustion. According to D’Adamo’s theory, a blood type diet helps a person “choose” from food precisely those lecithins that he needs.
Well, it is quite possible that you will notice the overall strengthening effect of such nutrition, but there is hardly any improvement in the silhouette relief.
The concept of detox has become incredibly popular lately. She is entirely the brainchild of American nutritionists, based on the assumption that excess weight is caused by poor liver function.
From here, the legs of the task that the detox is called to perform are growing up – cleansing the body of toxins and toxins, organizing the normal functioning of the liver and kidneys and, of course, getting rid of extra pounds (largely due to the withdrawal of garbage accumulated in the body). The diet is made up of useful, easily digestible foods, often of plant origin (diet bread, seedlings, vegetables, natural fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, herbal teas).
The duration of the course can be different and range from several days to several months.
Examples: Yunger’s 21-day diet, Julia Vysotskaya detox diet, “Biogenic” diet, “Lemonade” diet, “5: 2” diet.
Conclusion: too little evidence in support of the theory of “general cleaning in the body” to conclude its effectiveness for weight loss. However, it is absolutely clear that any “cleansing” diets, albeit for a short time, limit the consumption of the main food groups (meat, eggs, milk, nuts), so your body will definitely feel a lack of essential nutrients (primarily in vitamins and minerals), and this is reflected not only in health, but also in appearance.
Many trendy diets trick you into believing that you are losing weight, because at the very beginning they really help to lose weight. You look at the numbers, and it seems that those extra pounds have evaporated. But first of all, your body loses its water supply!
Standard floor scales often cannot distinguish between a kilogram of water and a kilogram of fat. Remember that when you drastically reduce your diet, the body does not automatically begin to lose weight!
On food restrictions, it reacts like a hunger strike: it stores everything it can. The intensity of metabolism — the rate at which the body burns energy — decreases.
That is why after the initial period of rapid weight loss weight stabilizes. At first, this leads to disappointment, and immediately after – to the feeling of failure and the desire to surrender (and this means, after noon, console yourself with a sandy basket with an appetizing cap of oily cream).
Returning to old habits automatically means that you will gain weight again soon, and it is in the form of fat, not muscle, as you would like.
How to recognize diets that help not lose weight, and gain more than before? First of all, such diets promise not just a quick, but a radical loss of excess weight. They also have a clear structure: the most stringent restrictions fall on the first week or the first month of “abstinence” – very few foods can be eaten with a clear conscience during this period.
But think about it, if the diet promises to lose a pound of excess weight per week, can you stick to it for a long time? In addition, the rate of only one product group, be it grapefruit, buckwheat, kefir or chocolate bars, is generally an unscientific approach that is very harmful for metabolism. Each product is important for the body in its own way, and exclusion from the diet of the whole group (for example, cereals) can have very unpleasant consequences for health.
Diet promises to tighten only the abdomen or reduce only the waist? Do not believe.
It is impossible to get rid of fat in a particular place with a diet! Yes, one part of the body can lose weight faster than the other, but you can not choose which part of the body to remove fat.
In a review of popular books on diets, published in the journal Medical Journal of Australia, a professor-nutritionist David Roberts presented several common features that are characteristic of most “miracle diets.”
- Promises quick weight loss
In the description of the diet look for: phrases like “in six days you will fit into jeans one size smaller” and “in 48 hours you will lose three kilograms without risk to health”.
- Elements of ritual and sacrifice
In the description of the diet look for: recommendations like “always include grapefruit in the daily menu” (ritual), and “in no case do not put sugar in drinks” (sacrifice).
- “Magic” product
In the description of the diet look for: special foods or combinations of foods, “burning fat” or “accelerating the metabolism.”
- Unlimited consumption of certain foods
In the description of the diet look for: phrases like “Eat your favorite foods and lose weight!”.
- Strict menu or limited food choices.
In the description of the diet look for: lists of allowed and prohibited foods, as well as a detailed menu for the day or the week.
- Slang and scientific half-truths
In the description of the diet look for: special terminology, which is used as a “scientific” evidence and support of the theory, masking its essence.
- “Exemption” from physical education
In the description of the diet look for: recognition that sports are not mandatory in order to lose weight.
The logical question that may follow after all of the above, is: “Are there any” healthy “diets that work?”. Of course!
According to a study by the University of Sydney, the most effective diet that allows you to lose weight without harming your health is a high carbohydrate diet based on foods with a low glycemic index (the glycemic index of the product – GI is a measure of its effect on blood sugar levels). To prove this statement, the researchers invited to participate in the experiment, 129 girls and women aged from 18 to 40 years, suffering from overweight. Each of them arbitrarily appointed one of the four low-calorie and low-fat diets.
Two of these diets were high carbohydrate, two more were high in protein in the diet (in each pair, one of the diets used foods with a high glycemic index and the other with a low glycemic index). All participants of the test had to maintain the usual mode of physical activity. After 12 weeks, the results were summarized: thanks to all the diets, all women lost weight.
But those of them who followed a high carbohydrate diet with a low GI or a high protein one with a high GI, dropped 80% more fat than those who followed the traditional high carbohydrate diet with a high GI. There was still a question of the effect of diets on health.
Those who sat on a high-protein diet with a high glycemic index had increased “bad” cholesterol in their blood (a risk factor for developing heart disease!). Those who sat on a high-carbohydrate diet with a low GI (the basis of the food was whole-grain products – oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain bread, vegetables, legumes), cholesterol levels, on the contrary, decreased.
We do not want to upset you, but the most proven way to lose weight and keep your weight is not to sit on a diet, when you rest, but to accept the principles of healthy eating as an immutable rule and exercise regularly. It may not sound very happy and promising, but true. And if, after all, the need for food restriction declares itself in a full voice, remember that “new old” diets, based not on strict prohibitions, but on the joy of eating (the same diet- “menu” of foods with low glycemic index) are more likely to succeed in the long term.
Why? Yes, because the food should be fun!