tell me how many times have you put diet on your own and I’ll tell you how many times you’ve failed. Maybe he sounds apocalyptic, omniscient or even pushy. But the truth is that it is something that most nutrition experts often say. They no longer talk about diets to lose weight but about resources to achieve adherence to Healthy habits so that we are able to turn them into a Lifestyle. In fact, as proposed by the dietitian-nutritionist Belén Siscar, these are some of the keys that we must take into account:
Be wary of quick and miraculous formulas
The first thing we should do as soon as we make the decision to “go on a diet” is to run away from miracle dietswhich promise quick and amazing results in a short time.
Thus, he explains that the formulas that include replacement shakes or detox plans with the promise of losing 10 kilos in a month are not only a hoax but can also be harmful to health.
No change prospers without effort
Making changes little by little, setting realistic and achievable goals and working on adapting our body and mind to new habits are the keys to avoiding frustrations, dropouts and «compensation effects». “All change requires an effort,” recalls Siscar.
Consult a professional
Another key to work adherence to healthy habits (instead of going on a diet) is putting yourself in the hands of a dietitian-nutritionist who helps identify what is missing or what is left over from our diet. “What works for everyone is good for no one. “A personalized guideline must be followed that fits our tastes, our lifestyle, our schedules, our work dynamics… and everything that influences our day to day,” he points out.
Weight is not the only reference
It is also important to stop obsess over weight as the only indicator of our evolution. «Many times we need to verify that the changes we make give results and we only focus on whether or not I have lost weight. This is a serious mistake because there are other much more useful indicators such as the energy I have, if I rest well, if I have good digestion and if my mood has changed, ”clarifies the expert.
Understand what you feed on and why
Get informed, consult, investigate and work from the Nutritional education It allows you to make better food choices. If you understand why one food is better than another for your health, because of the nutrients it provides; but you also discover why unhealthy foods harm you, you find the necessary motivation to choose well, conscientiously and without remorse.
Move: without exercise there are no good habits
The best eating habits should go hand in hand with physical exercise so that they are effective so that we can see as a whole what helps us feel better and pursue that beneficial lifestyle: nutrition, exercise and rest. «If we start from a very sedentary point we can start with walking more on a daily basis, going up and down stairs or using the car less. The important thing is that each person can set realistic daily physical activity goals and that each day they can progress and increase them », he comments.
What happens if I go on a diet on my own?
Restricting foods without professional criteria can have consequences for both physical and mental health. Thus, according to Raquel Capel, sports and clinical dietitian-nutritionist and head of Nutrition for the Vikika Team, this is what happens if a professional is not consulted:
1. Lockout in case of stagnation. That point is very dangerous, since we can incur a caloric deficit that is too high, with everything that this can entail: from nutritional deficiencies to developing an eating behavior disorder, frustration, fear of food, etc.
2. energy deficit. Simply due to pure ignorance of the food strategy that we must apply, we may have started a diet that is too drastic, being so deficient at an energy level, that it is not sustainable over time. This will cause us to be fatigued and will cause us to abandon it quickly.
3. Restriction unnecessary of certain foods. This can lead to nutritional deficits that harm health. Carbohydrates and fats are usually alarmingly reduced. But, as Capel indicates, a marked deficit in fat intake directly affects the female hormonal system, causing important pathologies that, in turn, can lead to undesirable consequences for health.
4. Nutritional errors. We do not know if we are meeting the necessary macro and micronutrient requirements. Some vitamins play leading roles in our physiology, such as those of group B, with direct action on metabolism. Or antioxidants, so essential in capturing free radicals, which cause damage at the cellular level.
5. The rebound effect it is guaranteed and that leads us to a vicious circle. If we want to achieve something lasting and guarantee that the weight we lose comes from fat, we must know that it takes time and that, on a physiological level, fat loss occurs more slowly.
6. loss of muscle mass. A characteristic feature when starting a diet for free from ignorance, is usually to ingest a tiny amount of protein, a nutrient that is involved in the formation and restoration of new tissues in the body, including muscle mass. If we do not eat enough protein through food, the body, in order to survive, will use its own muscle proteins, with the consequent loss of muscle mass, atrophy, appearance of injuries, decrease in basal metabolism, etc.
7. Intestinal imbalancel. If our intestine stops receiving certain nutrients, it will no longer be in balance, which can lead to digestive dysfunctions of all kinds and some of them can be difficult to solve.
8. Effects on mental health. A weight loss plan taken to the extreme will have a very direct impact on our mood, compromising our mental and emotional stability.
What may seem like a diet to lose a few kilos (which we will also quickly recover later), can lead to a cascade of imbalances in the functioning of the body.