The first and foremost meaning of the word “diet” – “food system” – is almost forgotten these days. “A restrictive diet as prescribed by a physician or for weight loss purposes” is what this word means to many. The second part of this definition – “weight loss diet” – is especially close to millions of men and women around the world. You don’t even have to be fat to follow such a diet – you just need to blindly follow fashion. But we have to admit that diets are often not at all harmless.
Diet choice: by fashion or by indications?
In most cases, when going on a diet, people think only about the aesthetic aspect: “I will become slimmer” for many means “I will become more attractive”. Few people think about how a randomly chosen diet will affect their health. It is not a fact that the diet will lead to the desired weight, but it will definitely affect health. After all, we are what we eat.
To follow a diet under the guidance and supervision of a doctor usually comes to mind only for people who are prescribed dietary restrictions for health reasons. Everyone else chooses a diet for fashion reasons or because “it helped a friend lose weight.”
A striking example of thoughtlessly following fashion is the transition of many people to a vegetarian diet. Strictly speaking, vegetarianism is not so much a diet as a way of life. However, only those who consciously follow the principles of vegetarianism know about this, and there are not so many of them. In India, the homeland of vegetarianism, it was almost mandatory for members of the ruling caste – people of the wealthy and educated who could afford to follow a diet, but at the same time eat right without harming their health. Imagine a modern European who decides not to touch animal meat, but at the same time does not go to consult a nutritionist, does not figure out how to fill the gap caused by the rejection of animal proteins. He himself does not know this, because knowledge of this kind was not passed on in his family from generation to generation. Finally, the climate, to put it mildly, is far from Indian. It is doubtful that mindlessly following a vegetarian diet, under different living conditions and in a different climatic zone, will be beneficial to health.
Excluding … necessary
Meanwhile, a healthy diet is almost unthinkable without animal products. For example, beef is simply necessary for women: throughout the reproductive period, a woman’s body needs iron – an important participant in the processes of hematopoiesis, and it is easiest for the body to absorb it from beef and beef liver. One might argue that iron is found in many plant foods, such as spinach, kiwi, apples. This is true, but there is also such a factor as food habits: it is quite difficult for a person who is accustomed to eat steak two or three times a week to replace it with the necessary amount of spinach.
Glandular anemia, which occurs in some women during normal menstruation, causes weakness, rapid fatigue, and deterioration of the immune system. During pregnancy, the need for iron increases sharply, and in case of its deficiency, serious consequences are possible, up to a miscarriage. A child born to a mother with glandular anemia is 10 times more likely to have ARVI during the first year of life.
Studies show that the harshest form of vegetarianism, in which all animal products are excluded, causes irreparable harm to the health of the child, causing his development to be delayed.
Mother, child and diet
It is pleasant to be beautiful, but it is not yet a duty; to be slim is already a duty! At least the media and society tirelessly convince us of this. Especially women get it, and, perhaps, that is why it is women who often follow diets for the sake of gaining the desired slim figure. However, it is for the female body that diets are most risky .
A woman’s nutrition during pregnancy is an important factor in fetal health. Perhaps this even determines the length of his life. Studies by scientists at Cambridge University , conducted on pregnant mice, have shown that a lack of protein in their diet significantly shortens the life of the mice – for humans, this would be the difference between 50 and 75 years!
It is known that calcium is needed by a growing child’s body, but the mother also needs it, both during pregnancy and during breastfeeding: a lack of calcium is very dangerous for teeth and gums.
The source of calcium is mainly dairy products, which many diets exclude because of the fat they contain.
Additional calcium intake is recommended from the moment pregnancy is detected: in case of a lack of calcium, the “pregnancy maintenance” mechanism takes it from the mother’s bones. Many women know this from experience: teeth become brittle and break very easily. It is difficult, if not impossible, to return calcium to tissues that for some reason have lost it.
It may seem that a woman needs proper nutrition only during pregnancy and lactation, the rest of the time she can sit on any diet without restriction. This is not so, firstly, because pregnancy does not always come according to plan, and it is clearly better when a woman is healthy, calm and well nourished at this moment. Secondly, because in women who follow too strict diets, the menstrual cycle is disrupted and pregnancy may simply not occur. Some famous fashion models in the past admitted that they left the profession for this very reason.
Is dieting easy?
Surveys show that many people go on a diet after the New Year’s gluttony. Less than three weeks have passed since all these “mind-boggling” enthusiasts quit their diets. Those who have been on a diet for more than five weeks cannot think of anything other than food.
The famous English dietician Sayen Porter ( Sian Porter ) warns that strict diet based on calorie counting, often drives a person into depression, make you feel deprived and depressed. “By following a diet, many become bored, or indulge in binge, or return to the old way of life.”
Almost half of the 1840 men and women interviewed in the course of her study said that in March they begin to follow a diet “to lose weight for vacation”, almost the same number of respondents dream of wearing fashionable clothes. According to Porter, success comes only when you don’t expect too much too quickly.
“People want to lose weight for themselves
and for their health. Obesity can shorten your life by an average of nine years, and people are starting to realize this. However, losing weight “in a hurry” will never work, ”says Porter.
Unsurprisingly, a variety of weight loss pills seem like a magic wand. But pills must be handled with care: many of them at first seemed very effective, but due to side effects discovered over time, they were withdrawn from the market. In America this fate over the years such preperaty as aminorex (1960) of Phentermine and Fenfluramine (1990), and the sale of Sibutramine was moved from supermarkets to pharmacies because of the weight restrictions and contraindications.
In the United States, two out of three people are overweight. For some, obesity is a problem, for others it is a huge and very profitable market. It comes to the point of absurdity when even scientists cannot figure out what is really taking place – a disease or another marketing trick. Metabolic syndrome was first described several years ago, presumably the main culprit for abnormal weight gain. Today there is a whole list of drugs for its treatment, and … a whole list of scientists who do not consider it a disease. Doctors have split into two camps, and each side conducts research (sometimes taking years and involving thousands of volunteers!), Convincingly proving the rightness … of one and the other side.
Common Sense Arguments
Sometimes diet can be effective, for example, well-known carbohydrate-free diet is the Atkins ( the Atkins diet ) really helps to drop those extra kilos. However, recent studies have shown that it is most likely not a matter of eliminating carbohydrates, but a decrease in the total number of calories consumed: if a patient, instead of a monstrous 3,600 calories a day, consumes a completely normal 2,100 calories a day, his weight decreases. But the same effect can be expected from any diet that reduces food intake. In addition, it turned out that after twelve months, those who followed the Atkins diet did not have any advantages over those who followed other diets.
Armed with the knowledge
that science has today, you can come to the following recommendations for proper nutrition.
Carbohydrates are not enemy number 1: they are converted into glucose in our blood, which the body needs – for example, it is the brain’s favorite fuel, which consumes 25% of all body energy. When blood glucose levels drop, the person feels hungry and looks for something to eat. Therefore, one should not exclude carbohydrates altogether, but only limit their quantity and take care of their quality: reduce the consumption of sweets, for example. Ideally, slow-burn carbs clearly outweigh fast-burn ones.
Reducing the total number of calories consumed, one must strive to reduce not only the portions themselves, but also the intervals between them: so the amount of sugar in the blood remains more or less constant, which excludes attacks of brutal hunger.
Proteins are an important regulator of the absorption of carbohydrates in the body, in addition, they are involved in the formation of muscle mass (not body fat). A good proportion is half a gram of protein per gram of carbohydrates.
Fruits and vegetables are an important resource of vitamins and minerals. However, not all vegetables are equally useful, for example, it is better to limit potatoes: they bring too many carbohydrates to the body. The well-known English proverb “an apple a day – and a doctor is not needed” does not lie, but note that we are talking about apples, not about apple juice. Fruits are always preferred over fruit juices: they have more fiber and less sugar.
The daily ration should include food, not proshedie heat treatment – they contain enzymes necessary for digestion and the body will spend less of their stocks of enzymes.
Lack of sleep also contributes to weight gain. The French saying “who sleeps, eats” is true: whoever sleeps a little, eats more. A healthy diet should be an integral part of your lifestyle. It is impossible with a “restrictive diet for weight loss” to compensate for the negative consequences of consumer attitudes towards their body as a whole.