Restrictive Diet: Know what it is and how it can seriously harm your health.
Today we live one of the most contradictory scenarios in the health area. We have never had such a large variety of restrictive diets that promise fast weight loss as we have today. Likewise, there has never been a greater increase in cases of overweight and obesity.
According to data published by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.4 billion adults are overweight, of these more than 200 million men and 300 million women are considered clinically obese.
The main cause of this worrying scenario is the growing number of people who seek to lose weight by dieting which, in addition to not being effective for weight loss, pose serious health risks, such as restrictive diets.
But, after all, what is restrictive diet?
The restrictive diet is every diet that focuses on just one food or food groups.
As an example, we can mention the soup diet, juices diet, strict vegan diets, raw food diets, and many other diets with low carbohydrate level.
Restrictive diet: how (not) they work
Restrictive diets initially fulfil what they are willing to do, but fail in the long run.
You can even lose weight on diets that focus on unique foods such as the soup diet. But, how much soup can a person eat?
In a short time, you get tired of eating the same foods every day, which can take you back to your previous eating behaviour.
Keep in mind that all foods can and should fit into a healthy lifestyle.
Even foods like bacon, ice cream and chips should rather be present in the “diets” of those seeking weight loss, provided that in moderation.
Restrictive diet: “when almsgiving is too much, the saint distrusts …”
“Eat what you want, when you want, and watch the pounds disappear!” You’ve heard of them, and maybe even tried some miracle diet promising weight loss with minimal effort.
There are hundreds of restrictive diets that seek quick results, excluding important food groups such as carbohydrates, or even ingest only liquids. But why does not this type of diet work (at least in the long run)?
Even the worst, most restrictive diets will probably result in weight loss, at least initially. But in the long run, this weight loss is not maintained, and the person regains weight again.
Make no mistake that you can only lose weight by eating some food, pills or shakes. What makes weight loss happen really is to eat fewer calories than you spend making the best choices.
Low-calorie restrictive diet and it’s incredible reverse affect power
Restrictive diets, crazy and unbalanced diets, which advocate specific food intake or the exclusion of certain nutrients, cause weight loss because they are basically low-calorie diets.
Generally, after a few weeks, this type of diet becomes unreal, extremely difficult to be followed day by day, leading to great frustration and, consecutively, dropping out of the diet.
The feeling of failure can be the great trigger for turning to the less healthy lifestyle you had before you started your diet.
Fad diets not only fail to produce rapid weight loss but can also lead to binge eating, weight gain and discouragement to pursue a healthier life. In other words, you get off a restrictive diet many times worse than it came in.
Restrictive diet and the cycle of restriction-compulsion with food
And when diets prohibit certain foods and those on a diet foresee a life without their favourite treats, those diets usually fail.
Every time you restrict a particular food, it triggers an intense desire to consume it and establishes a cycle of restriction-compulsion with food.
What about restrictive diets that offer a gratifying “day of fraud” or ” day of garbage “? What we need to evaluate in this case is whether it makes sense to try to be “perfect” from Sunday to Friday while obsessing over everything you can eat on Saturday.
3 most common types of restrictive diets
1. “Detox” diets
There are many of them, some involve fasting, or just drinking liquids. Others allow some foods, such as fruits and vegetables. They are usually short, just because they are not to be followed for a long time.
There are many detox diets. Some involve fasting, or just drinking liquids. Others allow you to eat some food, such as fruits and vegetables.
Although popular, “detox” diets do not have scientific proof for what they propose to do: releasing toxins out of your body. In fact, they can be risky and even reckless.
If the goal is weight loss, a detox diet can help eliminate a few pounds, but they will probably appear back.
If your goal is to detoxify the body, do not waste time or money. Our body is an expert in getting rid of toxins no matter what we have eaten.
The body is well equipped with organs such as the liver and kidneys, and the immune system, to get rid of potential toxins and does an excellent job of cleaning it on its own without the need for diets for its detoxification.
2. Diets with “miraculous” foods or ingredients
Who diets is always looking for food, medicine or potion that will help in weight loss, but unfortunately, there are still no such miracle ingredients.
Several studies have shown that no food or group of foods consumed together or at any given time of day has an impact on weight loss.
Coconut oil, chia, green tea, apple cider vinegar and other foods that help you lose weight are not miraculous. But, it is true that they have benefits for those who want to lose weight and for health.
However, they can cause the reverse effect if consumed in excess. They only have an advantage if they are invested in a small amount, within a healthy and balanced diet.
3. Fasting and low-calorie diets
Fasting has been a cultural and religious tradition for centuries, however, fasting for weight loss can be dangerous and bring serious consequences to your metabolism.
You can find thousands of diets on the internet with unproven benefits of fasting, to lose 15 pounds in 30 days.
It is true that fasting, that is, eating little or no food, will result in weight loss, at least in the short term.
But, the risks far outweigh any benefits and, ultimately, fasting can do more harm than good.
When you dramatically reduce calorie intake, you do lose weight, but it can trigger a number of problems, including muscle mass loss.
In addition, when our body goes fast, it also enters into conservation mode, slowing down the metabolism and burning calories more slowly.
When eating too little, instead of eliminating fat, the body starts to stock it, because it understands that it is going through a period of food shortage.
At first, you can even lose weight, but then the body decelerates metabolism to ensure that there is no shortage of energy for vital functions such as breathing, thinking and moving. Result: slower metabolism and impaired weight elimination.
Keep in mind that the initial weight loss in a fast is mostly fluid or “water weight,” not fat.
3 Tips for Finding a Diet That Works
There is no better thing than a diet plan that fits your lifestyle. The best diet is one that you can safely follow and is realistic in the long run.
It should be flexible enough to fit in your real life and should encourage a healthier diet by focusing on balance, variety and moderation.
The idea is to enjoy and eat foods that one likes very much in smaller quantity, but consciously and in moderation.
In fact, the best “diet” should not be a diet made for everyone. Forget the diet and instead think of strategies to satisfy your hunger.
Include in your diet more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein to help manage your appetite.
Here are some tips to help you lose weight:
1. Make a list of what you are doing now and identify your “weaknesses”
Most people know immediately where they are vulnerable – running out of food for hours, large amounts of food, excessive alcohol or sodas, snacks all day long.
Try to identify what led to your weight gain. For example, if you are eating too much due to situations stress, which it seems a more efficient management of stress?
Develop a strategy to address areas where you are vulnerable so you can prepare for success in weight loss.
2. Be aware of small changes
Identify one to three small changes you can make right now in your diet and exercise habits. Even if they do not bring rapid results, this method has proven to be safe, effective and sustainable in the long run
3. Re-evaluate small changes
After making the small changes, reevaluate in a few weeks to see if your changes are working. Then make some more small changes.
It usually takes about 12 weeks for you to notice the first results. In the mean time, if necessary, incorporate a few more small changes to speed up the results.
Restrictive diets can bring weight loss quickly, but in the long run, diets with very low calories are no more effective than more generous meal plans as to the number of calories.
Definitely, restrictive diets are not the best route to lasting weight loss. What will, in fact, lead to weight loss and maintain the weight achieved, with health, is the change in lifestyle, committing to healthy eating and regular practice of physical activity.