The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

How the body changes during a diet, and what to do to lose weight for a long time


Source: Clever

Images of "perfect" bodies are attacking modern women everywhere. Every day they look at us from the pages of glossy magazines, smile from advertising images, wave from billboards and, it seems, chase us in the form of a lot of beauties around us. And only the mirror mockingly refuses to show the figure that is so needed and desired. In a desperate pursuit of the ideal, we are often, sometimes chronically, in a state of diet. But is it really so useful and effective?

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On the Internet, everyone can find a diet for every taste and color, writes Clever. Some promise a miraculous weight loss on 5-10 kilograms per week (which sometimes happens, but only due to the removal of a large amount of fluid from the body); some are a miraculous effect of a health amendment (admittedly, in a far-sighted way, in which direction); some - improving not only the appearance of the figure, but also the skin, nails, hair ... What no one can promise (although sometimes she tries) is to save weight at the same mark after losing it.

According to neurobiological research, our weight is controlled by the brain. It is the brain, or rather its part called the hypothalamus, that sets the ideal weight for each individual based on parameters such as metabolic rate, the level of physical activity that we normally enjoy and satiety. True, the brain understands the ideal as the number that is most optimal for our physical survival and functioning, and not the one that the media environment drives into our heads. Therefore, when we try to lose weight dramatically in a short time, the brain perceives this as the beginning of a period of prolonged hunger, life-threatening. And it sounds the alarm - it turns on the "stay at any cost" mode for the weight.

In a person switching to a diet that is radically different from the previous diet, the brain drastically slows down the metabolism so that the calories received are enough to support life. At the same time, when the desired weight loss occurs, the person quickly and happily returns to the old eating habits. To which the brain reacts with the thought “oh god, food! We urgently need to stock up, otherwise suddenly there will soon be hunger again ”. That with the old, "dietary" level of metabolism leads to a sharp return not only of the lost weight, but also to a set of kilograms in excess of what the struggle with it began with.

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It turns out that maintaining weight in this way is possible only if you adhere to a "diet" diet for the rest of your life, which is hardly attractive regardless of the type of diets that many find on the Internet. And perhaps - in the case of diets that are not balanced in terms of the elements necessary for the body (and this is almost all diets advertised in magazines and public social networks) - this life is extremely seriously reduced.

With all this in mind, it might seem like successful weight loss is an unattainable goal in principle. However, it is not. As neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt says, that ideal figure is actually a range of 4-9 kilograms, within which fluctuations in weight are possible and remain healthy. The scientist also talks about two approaches to nutrition, which she calls "intuitive" and "controlled". Intuitively, we eat when we are hungry - and stop eating when we feel full. We also do not eat by the clock, simply because we need it on a schedule. As a result, people do not feel ashamed and guilty about their eating habits - and, accordingly, do not fall into a vicious circle, seizing this stress with foods that otherwise would not have been eaten at all; think less about food during the day; more easily indulge in the pleasure of a slice of cake or chocolate shake and, as a result, it is easier to lose weight and / or maintain it.

At the same time, people who follow a controlled diet, more often under the influence of chronic stress associated with eating, obsessive thoughts about food, overeat and are very vulnerable to advertising messages about a perfect body and eating disorders. In addition, excessive concentration on food takes away a lot of their vital resources and, accordingly, can seriously reduce their efficiency, concentration and quality of life in general.

In the era of 90-60-90 propaganda, it is very important to learn to resist what the media tell us. It must be remembered that their interest is usually in attracting buyers or additional audiences, not in genuine concern for our figures. In reality, one particular body shape may not suit all people, but the information environment usually does not leave us the opportunity to remain who we are - even if we liked everything about ourselves before getting into this environment.

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In addition, it is very important not to support the message that there is supposedly some "correct" weight, especially in relation to our loved ones. Especially with children, because at an early age, they (and especially girls) are much more susceptible to the idea that they are ugly in their weight. This, in turn, further leads to the development among young girls (and more recently among boys) of various eating disorders with serious consequences for physical and mental health. Therefore, do not tease either your friends or your children - believe me: all of them will still have enough of this in their lives.

That is, you just need to lose weight slowly, carefully and carefully listen to your body in the process. And if possible, move away from the toxic motivation "I am ugly" in the direction of the thought "how many beautiful things in life I can do with great comfort if I lose weight." After all, it is possible that it is precisely because of certain physical inconveniences that you still have not signed up for dances, have not gone on a two-week hike, or have not taken up a run along the embankment of a picturesque river or a path nearby. By the way, this does not mean at all that this cannot be done right now.

Make it part of your new lifestyle, which is much more likely to help you lose weight than diet.

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