The culture of diets is among us, it is part of our life and we live with it as best we can. Each new season (before summer, in September, and after Christmas) we are bombarded with different miracle diets or supplements and other weight loss tools in a “miraculous” way.
The focus of these diets is weight and not health, so the only really important thing is to lose weight fast regardless of how we do it or after we recover it. And, indeed, with the vast majority of miracle diets, one of the effects is that we end up recovering as much or more weight as we have lost.
Some people spend their lives on a diet, gaining and losing weight constantly. Unfortunately, and although we are not always warned, these increases and decreases in weight are not harmless and can affect our body.
One of the problems with yo-yo diets and miracle diets is that one of the first things we lose is water and hydration. In this way, we get the feeling of losing weight quickly and almost effortlessly.
Actually, the level of hydration recovers when we return to a normal diet. However, when we lose and gain weight very drastically and are regularly involved in diets of this type, the consequences of dehydration can affect our renal system.
Alterations in the hypothalamus
The hypothalamus is closely related to our feeling of appetite or satiety. When making very restrictive diets, certain alterations begin to occur in our hypothalamus and in the sensitivity we have to leptin.
This can cause our body to have more difficulty perceiving the feeling of satiety. Therefore, the hypothalamus changes its set point, since it understands that we need more fat than we have now. The more involved in constant and drastic weight gains and losses, the more it will be altered.
Increased risk of sarcopenia
A very recent investigation has found another of the existing risks when we lose and gain weight drastically and regularly. According to this study, people who follow yo-yo diets to a greater extent have a higher risk of ending up with sarcopenia.
This is because when we lose weight, we lose fat and muscle. However, when we recover it, we only recover fat. Being involved in serious fluctuations in weight, we will continue to lose muscle, but we will not recover it.
Increased risk of heart disease
Previously, different investigations had already found a certain relationship between usual fluctuations in weight and increased cardiac risk. Among other things, these investigations considered that it could be due to the metabolic changes that these diets cause and alterations in blood volume.
What can we do to prevent it
The only really effective solution we have to avoid the risks of weight fluctuations is to avoid these types of diets that lead us to constantly change weight and not stay stable at a healthy weight.
Miracle diets and that promise to make us lose weight fast are not a solution either to be healthier or to acquire an adequate and healthy weight.
Therefore, and although it seems irreconcilable, the best diet we can do is not dieting. This does not mean that we can continue eating as before, but that we will need to change habits in the long term. Unlike diets, our change of habits has no deadline but will be for a lifetime.
Changing the consumption of ultra-processed, added sugars and trans fats, for greater consumption of vegetables, vegetables, fruits, and fresh foods will be a good first step. Also changing harmful habits such as tobacco or alcohol consumption can help us. And, of course, set aside sedentary life and start doing some more physical activity.
In this way, we will not only avoid weight fluctuations and their consequences for our body, but we will take care of our health more effectively.