#Dont #succumb #summer #diets
With the arrival of sunny days, the desire to drop the sweaters and the clothing they cover returns. A desire that is accompanied -under social pressure- by the idea of showing a body, if not perfect, at least compatible with the norm that is exhibited in magazines and where the threadbare reigns.
It is not a question here of returning to this observation, its causes and its physiological or psychological damage, endorsed by a large number of publications for several decades, but rather to specify the health risks of weight loss diets, induced by great physiological stress. . , followed or accompanied by psychological stress… and, ultimately, (re)weight gain in almost all cases.
In fact, the subjective representation of body image most often governs the choice of a diet, and the goal set is not necessarily compatible with the maintenance of health status: according to a national survey, 45% of women who are not overweight , 15% of those who are thin (BMI less than 22) went on a diet during the year, according to an opinion of the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses) of 2011 and based on a study of the INCA.
how does a diet work
Weight loss strategies consist of creating, through food restriction, an energy imbalance to release fatty acids from adipose tissue. However, things rarely go according to plan.
The first illusion is the initial weight loss observed… which is only linked to the use of liver and muscle glycogen, in this case our energy stock that is available quite quickly in the form of carbohydrates, and to the elimination of the water linked to it. (9 grams per 1 gram of glycogen).
Then the desired effect occurs: fat reserves are mobilized. But what is generally less known is that our body puts in place strategies to resist this weight loss.
With less available energy reserves (the ones we lost first), our body will go into “economy mode” (with a drop in resting metabolism) – resulting in fatigue and feeling cold – thermogenesis (heat production) decreases . – which will be maintained if the restriction persists.
Preserve muscle mass
Another (bad) surprise is the loss of muscle mass. Even if the diet is qualitatively balanced, the loss of fat mass (75%) is accompanied by a loss of muscle mass (25%).
Muscle mass is, however, a key player in resting energy expenditure, strongly contributing to thermogenesis and thus resting energy expenditure. If there are fewer muscles, resting energy expenditure is de facto reduced…
To maintain long-term weight loss, it would be necessary to further reduce food intake or increase energy expenditure. This is where physical activity plays an important role, well beyond its effect on energy expenditure during exercise.
Physical activity beyond calories
Beyond the number of calories expended, the physiological effects of physical activity are at the origin of a virtuous circle: it will maintain a very important part of muscle mass at the origin of the use of energy substrates. In fact, the more physically active you are, the greater the heat dissipation, even at idle.
Its practice also participates in the regulation of glycemia (blood sugar level) and hormonal and energy metabolism.
And if the hypothesis of its anorectic effect (appetite suppressant) is currently being explored, its role as a regulator of food intake is beginning to be well documented: acting as a regulator of mood and of the response to stress, it would play on feeding. behavior, partly under the influence of these two factors.
Assessing the health risks of weight loss diets
In 2011, for the first time in the history of health risk assessment in this field, fifteen diets were studied by ANSES. They all had consequences in common. An energy restriction through the control of food intake and the elimination of at least one category of food entails deficits in certain minerals, vitamins, fibers, or excesses in proteins, sodium… But also psycho-behavioral, biological, pathophysiological consequences, on muscle mass. , hormonal balance, bone status, kidney and liver functions.
All restrictive diets, by their purpose, actually lead to nutritional imbalances.
Added to this is a paradox: the short-term, sometimes spectacular, effect of these diets masks the increased risk to health and almost systematic weight regain, in 80% of cases one year after the diet and in 95% of cases in a period of time. of five years. This observation makes it a public health concern that is still relevant in 2022.
Certainly it is because the slimming diet is experienced as a transitory measure that this effect is manifested. It becomes a parenthesis although it could be the access route to eating behaviors likely to sustain a return to nutritional balance, or even to an improvement in metabolic, cardiovascular and psychological parameters.
However, the restriction generates psychological and physiological tensions that few are able to face in the long term. It is in this context that physical activity and a reasoned nutritional approach take their place, for the long-term maintenance of health status and the prevention of sustained weight gain.
Understand the origin above all to accompany
Being overweight, when it is real, can be caused by dietary errors, lifestyle, stress, sedentary lifestyle, age, metabolic and/or hormonal disorders… As soon as the triggering or maintenance factors are not identified, it starts the fight against overweight. in.
Diagnosis and individual follow-up by a health professional – nutritionist, dietitian – are therefore essential to understand the origin and then control the health consequences of nutritional imbalances.
The restrictive diet, in fact, cannot be adapted to thousands of people. If the initiative is individual, the support must also be individualized. Les pratiques alimentarires, l’adéquation avec le mode de vie et l’histoire personnelle, sont des crucial points de l’accompagnement de la demande de perte de poids que, pour être réellement satisfaite, doit avoir pour première cible la santé mentale et physique long-term.
Normally, before a decrease in energy reserves, the brain responds by emitting hunger signals. The restriction and control of food intake then conflict with physiological needs: permanent control will end up lastingly disturbing the emission and interpretation of the signals of hunger, satiety and satiety that regulate eating behavior.
The harmony between nutritional needs and food intake is broken permanently and in some cases permanently. This rupture is at the origin of eating disorders, but also of post-diet weight gain, already documented for several decades.
If restrictive diets are practiced without identifying the causes of overweight, the loss of kilos will be followed by their recovery. However, with restriction-induced decreased energy metabolism, eating so much will lead to weight gain beyond the initial weight… Which in turn leads to repeat dieting.
This phenomenon is at the origin of the yo-yo effect with a high point that increases after each episode. These restrictive diets that are sold for weight loss are the very cause…of weight gain. So to prevent it from settling in, a very good defense is physical activity, which will act as a regulator in many aspects due to the well-documented physiological and psychological role it can play.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.