The social pressure to achieve the ideal weight and the perfect physique is pushing millions of people around the world to go on diets without any medical or professional supervision. That decision can be devastating to our bodies and also affect our emotional stability. Bigorexia, an obsession with the perfect body.
The scientific journal Plos One, an open discussion forum for experts, published by the US Public Library of Science, recently published an investigation conducted by Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, Canada, and founder of the biotechnology company Nutrigenomix Inc. The study, which analyzed data from more than 1,400 individuals, said the Blood Type Diet, has no scientific basis.
Recommended by Dr. Peter D'Adamo in his book Eat Right for Your Type (Blood types and food), this controversial diet asserts that a dietary regime adjusted to a specific blood type improves health and prevents chronic disease risks . The book is a best seller translated into 52 languages with more than 7 million copies sold.
Equally successful was the book The Fast Diet (Fast diet or fasting) by Dr. Michael Mosley and journalist Mimi Spencer, which recommends a regime of intermittent fasting that allows you to eat any food for five consecutive days and starve for two. This diet was jokingly called "the caveman diet". And further back in time, also famous was the Dukan Diet with a rebound effect that made all his followers regain in a year all the lost weight—and others like the artichoke diet and the Atkins diet.
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, professor at the University of Ottawa and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute, both in Canada, is the author of The Diet Fix, which explains "why diets fail and how to get yours to work." In his book, Dr. Freedhoff acknowledges that modern life leads to weight gain because of the junk food we consume and our sedentary lifestyle and refers to what he calls "the seven deadly sins diet" hunger, sacrifice, willpower restrictions, strenuous exercise, pursuit of perfection and rejection.
Dr. Freedhoff also states that if you want to lose weight without causing permanent damage to your body, what is important is to change your habits: diets are not the solution as they require an ongoing effort. According to the specialist, we are not able to maintain the same level of sacrifice throughout life: willpower is a "muscle" with great force but little resistance; it can make great efforts, but over time will get tired and just give up. "The great enemy of the diets is time," says Dr. Freedhoff.
Indeed, the only way to lose weight is through behavior modification: we must change our habits. A habit is a pattern of conduct, which over time and repetition becomes a non-conscious, almost automatic behavior. And once it becomes a habit, it requires little effort to keep it. See advise for a healthy diet here.
Nutritionist Carmen Pont, pharmacist and dietitian at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences of Seville, Spain, believes that instilling good habits—such as "a varied, balanced and healthy diet” from an early age, will help a child to become a healthy adult with normal weight. Benefits of vegetarian cuisine. "Fats are not the enemy and there are no magic supplements or forbidden foods," says the Spanish nutritionist. "What really matters is variety and moderation in food, and trying to comply with the rite of five frugal meals a day: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner, accompanied by moderate exercise throughout the day."
In short, diets are not a panacea. As Professor Freedhoff advises in his book, the principal objective of a diet is to be healthy by balancing our goal of achieving an ideal weight with the will to do it. In other words, the perfect strategy is a change of habits and behaviors. ■
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Some food products claim to help you lose weight and stay slim, but depending on how we use them, they can become our allies or our enemies.
Orthorexia: The Obsession with Healthy Foods
It is wise to be concerned about eating healthy, natural and organic foods, but this behavior can take control of our lives.
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