Most diets work in the short term: during the first weeks, especially if we come from a not very healthy diet, we lose weight. Of course, we also know that more than 90% of people who lose weight with a diet come back to win it later , according to the studies we have about it.

Losing weight forever is not as easy as some of the fad diets or miracle diets suggest : these help us lose kilos for a short period of time, but after that the weight recovers (in many cases with a few kilos) more than tip). Is there a method that allows us to lose those kilos and forget about them? Yes, but it is not a diet: it is a change of habits.

Why diets do not let you lose weight

Diet-SlimmingDanny Cahill, winner of The Biggest Loser in 2009 (he dropped 108 kg in seven months), returned to gain 47 kilos after the program.

What we usually look for when we make a diet, especially at this time of the year when the hot days begin and we are in a hurry to lose the pounds that we still accumulate from Christmas and Easter, is a loss of weight fast And what is our first choice when we want to lose weight quickly? A very hypocaloric diet in which the reduction of calories is very large.

We went from 100 to 0 in a single day: if on Sunday we have had enough of eating, on Monday, which is the preferred day to start dieting, we decided to try the fad diet (partly also due to remorse ) and we can spend the whole day based on soups or shakes with slimming promises. Honorable mention for food substitutes that also promise you the loss of many kilos in a very short time.

Aggressive diets or miracle diets make us lose weight, but also benefit the appearance of the rebound effect

Do you lose weight with these aggressive diets? It is logical that this is so: we undergo a hypocaloric diet (which gives us fewer calories than our body needs) which is the basis of any weight loss diet. But at the same time that we lose kilos, especially during the first days, other processes also occur in our body that benefit the appearance of the rebound effect and that will make us gain kilos in the long term.

The decrease in the production of leptin is one of those changes that occurs in our body when we have a very aggressive diet : leptin is a hormone produced mostly by fat cells and the hypothalamus and responsible, among other things, for generate the feeling of fullness. Leptin not only decreases when we lose weight, but when we start to gain weight again, it does not return to the amount we produced before, thus favoring long-term weight gain.

The decrease in metabolism is another of the changes that are experienced when many kilos are lost in a short time, especially if we do it at the expense of our muscle mass , whose maintenance requires an extra expenditure of calories in our body. Once again, the worrying thing is not this decrease in metabolism, but that by winning the lost kilos, this does not recover, making the later weight loss more complicated.

Nutritional reeducation and habits change: do not go on a diet


The word “diet” has for most people negative connotations : we usually associate it with restriction, suffering or sacrifice. Actually, “diet” is the set of a person’s daily diet, regardless of whether it is hypocaloric, restrictive or otherwise.

The problem that arises when we put ourselves “on a diet”, especially if we do it through a miracle diet or an aggressive diet, is that this diet has a start date and an end date, and it does not mean a change in our long-term life . Seeing the diet as a sacrifice, the only thing we seek is to lose weight fast and, after that time in which we have removed kilos from above, return to our previous eating habits.

That is why, on the one hand, nutritional reeducation and on the other, the change of habits to other healthier ones that we can maintain over time ( the concept of “adherence” ) are the two pillars that will make our diet ( working “diet” as a way to feed us) work and allow us to maintain an adequate weight for longer.

Food reeducation: bet on real food


One of the great problems of our society and from which derives in part the epidemic of obesity that we are living in our days, is the high consumption of ultraprocesses that we make throughout the day. Just by changing the ultra-processed we consume daily for real food (meaning “real food” quality raw materials) it is very likely that we will lose weight without making bigger changes.

Leaving aside the ultra-processed ones and betting on good raw materials that we cook at home will help us to create good basic nutritional habits so that our “diet” works in the long term

Most ultra-processed products contain a large amount of added sugars (those that are not naturally present in foods), low-quality fats, refined flours or salt , even those labeled “fit”. All this for what? Sometimes to lower the production of the product (sliced ​​turkey breast, a product that is usually considered healthy, contains a good amount of flour and sugar) and in others to add palatability and flavor to what we are eating.

Betting on basing our food on food instead of products we can, on the one hand, recover the original flavors of those “natural” foods, when they are not processed. On the other, we can avoid all that amount of sugar, flour and salt that contribute to weight gain practically without realizing it.

Make the purchase in the market and cooking at home are also part of those healthy habits that we should include in our day to day if what we want is to maintain an adequate weight and improve your health. It is true that many times it is the lack of time that makes us contribute for pre-cooked and processed products, but with a little organization it is not difficult to reach everything.

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