Diets are not always effective for weight loss and, therefore, experts prefer to recommend an improvement in eating habits.

A person on a scale.

Year after year, we deceive ourselves with New Year’s resolutions that we then fail to fulfill. Empty promises that can lead to frustration as Gyms, bustling with life in January, look like a post-war scene the rest of the year. Furthermore, at Christmas, it is normal to indulge in excesses and get carried away by vacations and relaxed family time, which translates into almost certain weight gain.

In addition, thanks to the internet, one has the perception of being able to be self-taught in any field and falls into doing a search and carrying out diets seen on blogs and social networks, without consulting any specialist. The one with the aubergine, the detox, the fasts, the one with the artichoke; There are all kinds of them, but self-applying a regimen is anything but healthy.

It must be remembered that diets are not a matter of faith, it is science, so miracles have no place there. There are no combinations, no miracle foods, no regimes that in a week will leave you the body of a model or Hugh Jackman. “The key is to adopt and routinely follow good life habits “, Explain Concepción Martínez, sports nutritionist.

lose weight or define

It is also important to direct the diet to the desired goal, lose weight or define, in the case of being at an average weight and simply having lost the habit of physical exercise, according to the expert. In the case of aiming for weight loss, four specific factors must be taken into account, diet, physical exercise, emotion management and rest.

As antagonistic as it may seem, some studies reveal that dieting makes you fat. Specifically, the study that focused on the habits of 4,129 Finnish twins, notes that Repeated dieters are more likely to gain weight accelerated and are more likely to be overweight. In addition, going from diet to diet, without adopting healthy habits maintained over time, is also harmful to the mind, generating frustration that leads to anxiety and an increase in cortisol, which in turn has a direct impact on the increase weight, according to various research.

Plan the menu in advance

“Starting to cook, improvising, when you feel hungry, is one of the worst things to do if you want to lose weight“Emphasizes Martínez. To follow a diet and maintain eating routines, without bingeing or abusing processed foods or sweets, it is important to plan menus in advance, respecting the hours and times. Ideally, make a weekly menu to ensure that all nutritional needs are covered in terms of nutrients.

Fill up on fruit and vegetables

It is normal that you can find hunger between meals, no matter how much meals are planned in advance. The best way to snack between meals and fill yourself up without affecting weight loss is to eat fruits or vegetables. Foods that usually contain a lot of water and fiber, which helps with digestion, prevents constipation and fluid retention. In addition, several research link the intake of these foods with a healthy lifestyle and an adequate weight.

The WHO recommends consuming a minimum of 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day, a figure quite far from the Spanish average, which according to the National Health Survey Spain, 67.67% of Spaniards eat fresh fruit at least once a day and 6.63% eat vegetables, salads or vegetables on a daily basis. In addition, it is not necessary to set limits on the consumption of these foods, according to the nutritionist.

The importance of resting

Good sleep directly affects weight loss, and also, resting properly allows you to regulate your metabolism. In addition, by reducing stress levels, it reduces anxiety and cortisol levels in the body, directly linked to weight gain. “Having a routine of meals and physical exercise will have a direct impact on the quality of sleep, promoting rest,” says Martínez.

Avoid ultra-processed

Burgers, supermarket lasagna and pizzas are delicious, but the regular consumption of these foods is not healthy and can be harmful to the body, since its consumption can displace the intake of other healthier products with nutrients that are necessary for the body. Also, many studies relate the consumption of these foods to obesity and overweight suffered by developed countries.

In addition, these foods and, for example, the intake of large amounts of meat, are associated with an increased risk of cancer and metabolic syndrome. “They are empty calories and trans fats that do not contribute anything to the body. We continue to consume them for their flavor, nothing more ”, clarifies Martínez.

Physical exercise

Finally, physical exercise is key to losing weight. You don’t have to beat yourself up in the gym or have routines to be Mr. Olympia. It would be enough to move between 30 and 50 minutes a day, taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator or doing a section of walking routines. The WHO is blunt, physical inactivity is the fourth risk factor when it comes to global mortality.

The combination of physical activity and a healthy diet is the perfect combination whose results on weight loss are scientifically proven. A routine that may be difficult to adopt at first, especially if it is the first time, but that in the long run it increases life expectancy and in the medium term, improves quality of life.