Every time we want to shed some weight, we think about alternative options, mainly ones that can give us some immediate results, for example, the typical “lose 5 kg in one week” or another miracle diet that promises losses of 10 kg or 20 kg in a month.
Obviously the idea is tempting since it’s a lot of weight in a small amount of time and normally we look for diets and want to lose weight when something is coming up, like the summer or a special event, thus making the idea of a fast process seem like the ideal thing. But even if you follow the diet and get the results you want, it’s hard to avoid the rebound effect. That happens when you can’t sustain your routine and you end up gaining all that weight back and even more.
Despite the rebound effect being well known, many people still choose those restrictive diets (600-800 calories a day) that can be effective, but only for a small period of time. On the medium and long term, there’s a big chance that you turn back to your old ways, something that doesn’t happen as often with a hypocaloric diet (1200 to 1500 calories a day) with a balanced consumption of nutrients.
There are many reasons:
A small amount of calories a day makes the hormonal mechanisms, that regulates, daily, your weight, get unbalanced and that generates a reaction, a defense procedure. Because the body needs a minimum amount of calories for it to work perfectly. When that quantity isn’t met with your daily consumption, the body gets in “alert mode” and starts to save energy to the point that:
The metabolism slows down; less calories are wasted for each gram of food you eat. You start to feel hungry, which means that your body is signaling that you must eat. There’s a tendency that you overeat and gain more weight. It’s very common to compensate since you have a deficit in your consumption of calories.
Because of that excessive consumption, the rebound effect takes charge, since the body still is in alert mode and it keeps saving calories and slowing the metabolism down, even if you are eating more than you should trying to kill that sensation of hunger.
The ideal thing to do if you want to lose weight is to choose a hypocaloric diet, specially designed to you by a nutritionist. The specialist can check your body and lifestyle and make you a special diet, putting you in a better position to succeed. It isn’t smart to follow a template diet that doesn’t fit with your routine, the products you have available, your budget, physical activity or many other factors that can’t be overlooked.
The restrictive diets not only fail to meet its goals but also impact negatively in your mental health, because they create a false hope that only leads to frustration and a probable weight increase.