Monday, May 29, 2023

Intermittent fasting and other diets to lose weight

“No, I don’t want sweets, I’ve had sweets, I’m on a diet.” This is one of the most common phrases at the end of a meal as summer approaches. The so-called ‘bikini operation’ makes many Valencians try to lose weight in a few weeks, but in some cases when it comes to reducing their diet they make mistakes that experts believe can be avoided should go. Because citizens don’t always put themselves in the hands of an endocrinologist or nutritionist, many people choose to diet on their own, or even follow one found online.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new guideline this week advising against the use of sweeteners such as saccharin or stevia for weight loss. Experts recommend that diets be varied and balanced and warn that some foods seen on social networks can be dangerous to health in the medium term if professional advice is not sought.


Sugar-free products contain sweeteners, which has become the focus of WHO and experts. “They have a low calorie intake but to a large extent they can cause a laxative effect, especially for those who are fructose intolerant, which can cause digestive problems. Eating this way is not the most beneficial thing.” Because it builds up gases,” says Felipe Baier, member of the College of Dietitians and Nutritionists’ Community for Employability. And Francesco Branca, WHO’s director of nutrition and food safety, has said: “Free sugars as unsweetened sweeteners Replacing with does not help with long-term weight control. People should consider other ways to reduce their intake of free sugars, such as eating fruit and non-sweetened beverages.”

Lightweight products

The ‘lite’ label is a claim for many products. «They have 30% fewer calories, but they are not healthier, just less caloric. The composition of the food remains the same, but in smaller quantities”, says Baier.

Miracle diet

« Miracle diets are useless. People think they can do one for three months and then go back to what they were doing earlier. But this is not the case, as the body expends less energy and then there is a rebound effect, more weight gain as the metabolism changes. What you have to do to maintain your weight is healthy changes”, explains Ruth Sánchez, board member of the Valencian Society of Endocrinology. “The ideal is to propose changes in life in general, with a healthy diet and physical exercise, But it is normal for patients to go on various diets, usually for a short time, for a month and a half or three months for most of the summer”, says the doctor.

No carbs

For Baier, people, “especially middle-aged”, have a tendency to eliminate food, follow very restrictive diets, and restrict carbohydrates. “This is a mistake, because we can get the opposite effect, because the body does not get rid of its energy when there is no food,” he says. «My advice is not to starve, we must have a varied diet, rich in sources of plant origin and play sports, this is something important. You have to think in the long term and not in 2-3 months,” he advises. Young athletes are also choosing to reduce their carbohydrate intake and eat more protein in order to lose fat and gain some muscle. “It is not true that carbohydrates make you fat, they are basic foods, in fact they are needed in the diet if you want to perform at an athletic level,” argues Baier. And he adds: «Carbohydrates are a basic energy source for anyone who exercises. People also take away their bread because they say it makes you fat and that’s another mistake, it’s a source of glucose, and with a low-carb diet we feel more tired and less energetic.”

Eliminate bread and fruit

Another big mistake. “It is a myth because earlier it was thought that eating roti or banana at night makes you very fat, but if we have a well structured and well balanced nutrient intake of everything then nothing It happens. Fruits are not dangerous foods, the important thing is that there are no cookies or pastries. But then we blame the fruit and not the breakfast muffin,” says the Valencian nutritionist.

Pre cooked

For Ruth Sanchez “Ultra-processed foods such as pastries, pre-cooked foods should be avoided and sugar intake should be reduced. We should increase fruits and vegetables and plant-based proteins.” Endocrinologists recommend that you do not go on a diet “in a hurry to be in time for summer and look good”, and commit to “progressive weight loss, which is more important than suddenly losing 7 kg and regaining them later.” Interesting,” he says.

Fewer calories is better

False, another myth. “The body defends itself against this,” says Baier, and suddenly stopping eating can be counterproductive, as you’ll have a yo-yo effect when you start eating a little more and regain what you lost. Are.” Nutritionists point out that middle-aged people give more priority to skipping meals but do little physical exercise. “Taking too much sugar is also a mistake. They take soft drinks, sweets and bread and think they have lost weight, that would be good but have to tell that just eliminating food is not worth it, you Walking has to be done, sports are to be played, and nutrients are essential, removing them harms health,” he says.

Intermittent fasting

One of the diets coming into fashion is intermittent fasting, which combines periods of fasting and eating at hourly intervals. For Endocrine “It is difficult to accomplish because of our customs, and although it sometimes gives good results, the important thing is to maintain it for a long time, although I recommend the Mediterranean diet, which Diverse,” Sanchez says. For his part, Baier doesn’t recommend this intermittent fasting “if you don’t have advice, because it can be harmful.”

Social media diet

To the nutritionist “Some diets that are seen on social networks are very dangerous, because cholesterol levels can go through the roof because they are poorly designed, you have to be careful and do not give yourself a must be placed in the hands of a qualified professional,” says the expert. With a healthy and balanced diet and a good base of exercise, Bayer doesn’t mind that you can overdo it from time to time. «If I lose 10 kilos in two months, I will return to bad habits with more vigour. But if I take care of myself and exercise every day, you can have a little high-calorie dinner with friends.”

Water with lemon

The practice of drinking water with lemon especially on an empty stomach to lose weight was very deep rooted in our ancestors, but according to experts this is another myth. “It’s something that doesn’t contribute to anything,” says the nutritionist.

Supplements for Vegetarians

It is a widespread opinion that the daily intake of minerals and vitamins cannot be obtained from a plant-based diet alone. “But it’s not true, a person with a vegan diet can be perfectly healthy,” Baier says. Although he adds that vegetarians need a vitamin B12 supplement to make their diet healthy.

Raquel Cernichiro’s experience with Karak

The well-known chef Raquel Cernicharo, winner of the fourth edition of the Top Chef television program and owner of the Caraque restaurant in Valencia, decided to start a “change in philosophy of life”, with which she has lost 35 kilos in almost three years . , “I continue to learn how to eat and give my body what it needs, it is a priceless process if you change the concept of seeking a healthy lifestyle, you become in harmony with yourself,” they say.

He admits that “it’s hard at first,” and that he had to “get through the sugar monkey.” «I used to eat pasta, bread, I didn’t look at labels, sweets, I didn’t look for organic or ecological things like now. I got rid of gluten because it made me sick and it changed my life, I realized I didn’t know anything about nutrition and I started reading. And I’ve implemented all of this into my menu, it’s gluten-free and I don’t use flour or white sugar, ”he explains. She says she has become “addicted to sports” and doesn’t miss sweets or high-calorie foods.

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