Diets: why it never works

Magazine cover after magazine cover, always the same title: “the latest diet has arrived”, “lose X pounds in X days”, etc. But why would you need a new diet every time? Was the one from last month not working? And will this month’s be replaced by next month’s? Diets don’t work because they don’t ask the right questions, which prevents them from providing the right answers. Explanations and response.

We know that there are lots of different diets but the general framework invariably targets calorie restriction: eat less and less rich. If it works, it’s in the short term and at the cost of deprivations that don’t make you want to continue for long or simply because they can’t be reconciled in the long term with daily life. If the diets don’t work, it’s because the problem is wrong, because weight gain is above all a profound physiological disorder. When you gain weight, it’s not just that you eat too much. We gain weight because our whole physiology is upset, the menu: fish-zucchini is not enough to provide a deep correction. Weight loss is often treated lightly, cosmetically when it is an overall health issue.

The wrong quantitative approach

The common approach to diets is a quantitative approach. We are invited to count calories and in the counting of calories, certain foods are stigmatized: fats, (lipids), carbohydrates (sugar) macronutrients are only seen from the angle of energy value. In other words, if I eat less fat or carbohydrates, I will have lower caloric intake and I will lose weight. It is a reductive approach. We know that there are lots of different diets but they all say the same thing. The balance sheet is there, diets based on caloric restriction do not work.

More deeply, we must come to understand what are the physiological imbalances that make us gain weight. To look according to aesthetics and curves is to forget that obesity, overweight and BMI that exceeds the ceiling are above all indicators to be linked to the risk of developing a more serious disease: diabetes, hypertension , cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Overweight and obesity are matters of health, not aesthetics.

The location of fat storage says it all

The first of the parameters to observe is that of the storage location of fat on the body. It all depends on where you are a bit round. Abdominal obesity, a roundness in the belly is the most worrying, it is an alarm bell. Abdominal fat is for example associated with an increase in cardiovascular risk, we call it an android profile, more common in men. When you have a round belly and small buttocks, you have to be very careful.

On the other hand, well-built profiles, fat from nowhere but massive for men, or women who have a distribution of fat mainly on the hips (we speak of a gynoid profile) are the profiles least associated with an increased risk. cardiovascular. The profile already gives an indication of the risk and an angle to know where to attack an effective regime for oneself.

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The glycemic index of foods: the most important thing to know

Simply speaking, the organism works in a binary way in on/off mode, either it is in storage mode, or it is expenditure-elimination mode.

When we eat extra calories during parties, holidays, birthdays, we know that sometimes we eat a lot and that our balance varies little. And other times, conversely, the slightest excess of table, we pay cash, the scale indicates a weight gain. We are not all equal when it comes to calories.

We can gain a little or a lot of weight, it varies from one individual to another or from one moment to another in life. It is a reflection of our physiology, always changing according to the moment. But something controls all that, it’s insulin that brings lipids into the cells. Today, we focus on fats and fast sugars but what is essential to look at is the glycemic index of foods. It is better not to fall into the trap of chasing carbohydrates (sugars) in your diet, it is a disaster for the brain and it weakens the kidneys. We must manage to reduce our insulin load delivered after each meal and for that, we must go through a diet with a low glycemic index.

The glycemic index is a measurement used to describe the influence of carbohydrates in food on glycemia (blood sugar level). The higher it is, the more the food causes a significant secretion of insulin and the storage of calorie energy in the form of fat. Originally developed for diabetics, this tool has sometimes led to the stigmatization of certain foods such as carrots or watermelon because of their high glycemic index. However, this high value results from the methodology used to calculate the glycemic index: the effect of 50g of glucose is compared to 50g of carbohydrates provided by the food. Easy to calculate the glycemic index of pasta or bread, but for fruits or vegetables, the tester must ingest quantities well above a normal portion. Because it is rare to consume 3 apples or 6 carrots or 1 kg of watermelon at one time.

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This is why it is preferable to use the concept of the glycemic load. The glycemic load is obtained by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrates per serving. No more low carb bias. Carrots and watermelon can find their place on our plates!

Finally, as in every rule, there are a few exceptions: let’s mention the case of yoghurt which, despite a low glycemic index, leads to a significant secretion of insulin. If you are hungry at 4 p.m. after eating a yogurt at the end of a meal, you probably have the explanation.

Low-grade inflammation: the invisible factor that systematically makes you fat

An important and still too underestimated point is inflammation. You gain weight when you develop low-grade inflammation, it’s chronic, silent inflammation, below the pain threshold. We don’t realize it. When we have low-grade inflammation, due to pollution, stress, junk food, sedentary lifestyle, etc., we then enter a vicious circle which will reinforce the storage of fat in the cells. Because the more we are in inflammation, the more we store and therefore the more fat cells and adipocytes produce pro-inflammatory molecules. The storage of fat induces the proliferation of adipokines which maintain inflammation and therefore an excessive secretion of insulin, which in turn promotes storage and so on, it is the vicious circle of weight gain. Working around this low-grade inflammatory state is the first step towards returning to lasting leanness.

To lose weight, eat fat

The first step to losing weight is to eat more fat, but good fat, omega 3s. Because they are the omega 3s (DHA and EPA) that will reduce low-grade inflammation. When you deprive yourself of fat with a low-calorie diet, by quantitative and qualitative elimination of fat, you simply get a yoyo effect. But above all, we reduce our intake of Omega 3 and therefore we perpetuate the inflammatory state of the body which makes it gain weight.

Intense physical activity does not make you lose weight

Moderate physical exercise decreases low-grade inflammation, but intense exertion has the opposite effect. Those who want to sweat and go all out in intense physical effort, thinking that they burn more fat and therefore melt, in fact produce the opposite. Because if the effort is too intense, the body suffers and therefore produces inflammatory molecules whose primary purpose is to repair damage to the skin, muscles, etc., which inevitably happens when you produce too much physical effort. . In fact, we maintain the inflammation. In addition, it has a discouraging side, because when the effort is important and repeated, we actually grow our muscle mass, “we build muscle”. But muscle is heavier than fat, so there is no visible effect on the scale. Moderate physical effort, 30 minutes a day, on the other hand, reduces chronic inflammation and gradually burns fat day after day.

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Balancing serotonin to fight sugar cravings

When we lack serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter, we have uncontrolled cravings for sweets. In stressed subjects, too low a level of serotonin will have two consequences:

– food compensation with sugar, rather at the end of the day,

to maintain serotonin levels

– a permanent state of stress that will encourage the body to secrete even more pro-inflammatory molecules.

To overcome the lack of serotonin and fight against stress, you can turn to cures of: saffron or St. John’s wort.

Also, make sure you sleep well and go to bed regularly. Lack of sleep promotes the secretion of cortisol, it is the stress hormone which has a pro-inflammatory action. When we don’t sleep, we gain weight.

The return to slimness, in a sustainable way, cannot be done in three weeks. It is necessary to treat the terrain and reduce low-grade inflammation, learn to know the glycemic index and load of a food and maintain a suitable level of serotonin. It is more credible to plan 3 to 6 months to rebalance your terrain and obtain a real ideal weight and a beautiful silhouette that will never leave you.

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