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Many of us want to lose a few pounds or slim down, but we don’t know which diet to adopt for ideal results. Before jumping headlong into weight loss goals, it is important to learn about diets and their consequences. Here I will talk about healthy and sustainable weight loss for long-term results!
What is a diet?
A diet is a significant change in your usual diet. Therefore, not all diets are the same.
Of course, there are special diets that are important to follow in order to limit health problems. This is the case, for example, with low salt diets, followed by patients suffering from renal failure, heart problems or high blood pressure. We can also mention the gluten-free diet in case of celiac disease, or the case of diabetics, who must constantly monitor their diet in order not to explode their blood sugar.
But if I talk about diet, in the broadest sense, what comes to mind immediately? The diet to lose weight, of course! There are all sorts of specialties: diets that are more lifestyle related (Mediterranean or Cretan, paleo, etc.), diets that increase protein (high-protein diet, Dukan method, etc.), diets that drastically decrease carbohydrates (Low-Carb diet, ketogenic diet, Atkins method, etc.)… And so on!
There are dozens, even hundreds of diets and methods developed to lose weight. What they all have in common is that they promise to make us lose weight quickly.
The benefits of dieting
By changing your eating habits, your metabolism will be forced to adapt. It can be stimulated at first, with a boost of energy. It will also be able to burn its fat reserves thanks to a controlled caloric intake, generally lower than what you were consuming before.
In a sense, our body weight is a mathematical game. If you consume more calories than you expend, you will gain weight. On the other hand, if you reduce your daily caloric intake, you will lose weight. And that’s where diets come in!
Most diets are set up in a low-calorie way, so that you consume far less energy in a day, compared to what your body will burn through your metabolic and physical activity. So if you follow your diet correctly, the results will be clearly visible on your scale and in your BMI calculation. But are these methods really beneficial to your body?
The negative impacts of deprivation
In addition to the promise of weight loss, these diets all have another thing in common: deprivation. You will automatically deprive yourself of certain food groups (such as the paleo diet), or severely limit a macronutrient (such as the ketogenic diet or the low-carb diet). Even diets that promise a complete diet without depriving yourself are in this deprivation, since they are far too low in calories.
As a result, restrictive diets have far more disadvantages than positive effects, especially in the long term. They are generally quite hard to maintain over time (mentally and physically), with the result that weight is lost quickly, but the pounds come back just as quickly. This famous yo-yo effect that all specialists strongly advise against!
Losing weight too quickly also poses another problem: what is the nature of these lost kilos? Is it really fat? I have often heard that strict diets or fasts do not lead to a real weight loss, but rather to a loss of water by our body. The fat reserves would therefore not be attacked during short term diets!
In any case, many health professionals agree that deprivation puts the body to a severe test. On the one hand, it induces a starvation mode, which will rather encourage the body to store energy just in case, and thus build up fat reserves. On the other hand, it causes deficiencies, sometimes significant, and especially a fatigue of the body. Without a sufficient supply of all the necessary nutrients, your body will not have enough energy to function optimally.
Short term VS long term
The disadvantages of dieting are mostly related to our short-term vision. We want to lose weight quickly, and we must admit that we are sometimes conditioned by magazines, advertisements, or any other injunction to lose weight 1 month before the summer.
By wanting visible and immediate results, the rhythm of your body will not be respected. You may ask yourself: how long did it take me to gain all that weight? I think it is very unlikely that you will have gained 5 kilos in one week, or 10 kilos in 2 months.
In the short term, your diet may make you lose weight. But after this short period of restriction, you will return to a normal diet, and will most likely gain weight again. In the long term, this solution will not be viable… And it is on the long term that you must think about your objectives for lasting results!
Getting back into healthy habits guys !
Taking a long-term view is beneficial in any area of life. By giving yourself more time to reach your goals, you can put in place healthy habits that respect both your body and your mind.
When it comes to nutrition, we no longer talk about dieting, but about rebalancing our diet. You are certainly familiar with the famous slogan “Eat a varied and balanced diet”. Basically, we all know what we should do: eat everything, but in reasonable quantities, vary our food, eat lots of vegetables and fruit, avoid ultra-processed products as much as possible…
I know that you know this, and that you may think that it doesn’t work. But it doesn’t! These healthy habits, specific to food rebalancing, are natural, non-traumatic for your body, and above all sustainable in the long term. It is a new way of life to adopt and maintain throughout your life, allowing you to get rid of excess weight due to past excesses, while maintaining your weight in the future and why not finally see your abs!
If you combine a healthy diet as I have described with physical activity, your results will be even better. Of course, this method will not make you lose 10 pounds a week. You will lose more slowly, but at your own pace: qui va piano va sano!