“El Bisturí” special on the so-called “miracle diets” with an interview to nutritionist Laura González, head of Health and Nutrition at Nestlé, and Germán Díaz Ureña, professor of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, European University.
The miracle diets
In recent years the so-called “miracle diets,” which are usually unbalanced, are being abused. These diets promise quick weight loss but aren’t healthy in the long run.
Laura González warns and explains: “These diets are unbalanced and they make people lose weight beyond the recommended average, which is usually 2 kg a month, within a very short period of time.”
Characteristics of miracle diets
- They promise quick results.
- They forbid one or several food groups.
- There’s a list of foods that are good and bad.
- They recommend light products.
- They extol the benefits of a certain type of food and turn it into a super food.
- Celebrities endorse those diets.
- They make claims that contradict the reputed public health group or renown scientists.
Some of the so-called miracle diets
- Fasting –which isn’t precisely a diet – consists in not eating anything. It’s very restrictive since it limits food intake. It can be dangerous and ineffective. After trying this regime many people get fat.
- Unbalanced diets: they restrict foods from some of the basic groups. A big proportion of the body weight lost is water. They are high-carb or high-protein diets.
- Repetitive or boring diets: they just allow you to eat certain food groups to which they attribute weight reduction virtues, for example tea and pineapples.
- High-fiber diets: they recommend eating large portions of fruits, vegetables and bran. Fiber excess produces gas, abundant feces and inadequate absorption of some nutrients.
- Clay diet: it proposes to clean and purify oneself by eating clay.
- VB6: what it does is to encourage people to go vegan during a few hours, precisely between 6 am and 6 pm. The advocates of this diet estimate one can lose between 5 kg and 6 kg a month by adapting our diet to our living pace without the need to watch any calories. The vegan diet contains less fat and after 6 pm, when there are more social interactions, we can consume foods from the other groups like meat, fish, and eggs, with moderation.
- Low-carb or high-protein diets: the most popular type of diet. It restricts the consumption of carbohydrates and proposes a high-protein diet. This type of diet is supposed help people lose weight very quickly.
- Paleo diet: it involves consuming foods that were consumed during the Paleolithic. Meat, fish, wild vegetables, roots, dry fruits. It doesn’t include cereals, leguminous plants, dairy products or any type of processed foods. Its advocates say that the human body hasn’t adapted to the modern diet and this incapacity contributes to the onset of issues such as obesity and diabetes.
We shouldn’t forget that one of the healthiest guidelines to lose weight is physical exercise. In addition to help us lose weight it’s excellent to take care of one’s mind.
Physical exercise as a great ally
Working out and losing weight are usually some of the most popular New Year resolutions. But in order to start getting fit we have to be patient.
Germán Díaz Ureña, Physical Activity and Sports Sciences professor at the European University, shares the key to getting fit: “We need to work out consistently. To do so, exercise must adapt to our body and we should do with consistence.”
How to start working out
Schedule a medical check-up.
Sign up to collective classes or go with your acquaintances. It’s a good way to find the social support that is so necessary during the first months.
Find workout routines that you find appealing and fun and better to do with other people so frustration doesn’t hit you and make you quit.
Move more throughout the day: climb stairs, get off one bus stop before yours, don’t use mechanical stairways or climb them. Those are small things that contribute a lot.
Date: January 29th, 2019
By: Angela Arrizabalaga
Nutrigenomics Institute is not responsible for the comments and opinions included in this article