Miracle diets promise to lose weight quickly and in a few days, but the result is quite the opposite: the dreaded rebound (or yo-yo) effect occurs, and its effects can be dangerous to health.
With the arrival of good weather, the countdown to summer starts, for which many people are encouraged to follow strict diets and do physical exercise. In this sense, it is important to combine them well to achieve the best results. The most feared effect is, of course, the rebound effect.
The effects of miracle diets are devastating for health, since a lot of muscle and water and very little fat are lost, increased nutritional deficit, anxiety, stress, fatigue, hunger…
Obesity in the world
Experts point out that, progressively, we are heading towards a world of obese people. In 1975 the number of people with obesity in the world was 105 million, while in 2014 this figure was 641 million; a large increase that has caused obesity experts to launch red flags. The nations with the most obese men are China, the United States, and Brazil; as for women, the countries with the most obesity are China, the United States and India.
The data in Spain are really worrying; our country is the second in Europe with the most obese, only behind the United Kingdom. Around 25% of the Spanish population is obese or has overweight problems, according to a study carried out last year by a group of researchers in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
A disease that has tragic consequences on the health of Spaniards: an increase in heart attacks, liver diseases, diabetes and cancers … and, in the future, things do not seem better: experts say that in our country there is a growing trend in the number of people with obesity problems.
Diets and the rebound effect
What is the rebound effect?
It is a response of the human body when a diet that is too strict is abandoned, such as those that are excessively low in calories, dissociated, hyperprotein … All those considered “miracle”, which promise rapid weight loss, but actually end in a recovery even faster weight loss.
What are the consequences of the rebound effect?
Not only do you regain the lost kilos, but you tend to take on more and, in addition, the percentage of fat increases. By losing kilos quickly, what is achieved is to lose some fat, but fundamentally you lose muscle and water. Therefore, when the diet is abandoned, the body tends to regain its balance by accumulating fat.
How to learn to eat healthy?
Avoiding the dreaded rebound effect is possible if you change your eating habits and learn to eat properly. This does not mean that you have to be on a diet your whole life; it is not about restricting the consumption of calories forever, but that you have to do it for a certain time.
Once the target weight is reached, habits must be maintained so as not to gain weight again. If the rebound effect occurs, the solution is to return to a balanced diet but moderately reducing calorie intake.
Factors that influence when following a nutritional diet
There is a wide selection of influencing factors. A man generally has a higher basal metabolic rate; that is, your body at rest burns more calories than a woman’s.
Physical exercise must also be taken into account in order to calculate the total caloric expenditure and make an appropriate restriction. Regarding the contribution of other nutrients, during pregnancy, lactation and menopause, it is necessary to ensure a sufficient intake of calcium and iron.
Losing weight takes time and effort. This does not imply that you have to starve, but you cannot lose weight by eating all the protein or carbohydrates that you want.
For this reason, the most advisable thing is that a diet is carried out under medical supervision because it is not only about losing weight, but about gaining health. It is important to assess the personal situation of each patient, as well as their illnesses in order to design a diet with foods that can provide more satiety with fewer calories.