The dangers of diets on health

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Far from being unanimous in medical and para-medical circles, certain diets are however popular with people eager to lose weight quickly, the result counting more than the means…. Often to the detriment of health.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

High-protein diets

Be aware that most “miracle” powders contain synthetic ingredients mixed with enzymes and tenderizers which predigest them. It also lacks all the vitamins and minerals essential for the proper functioning of the body.

The major concern with protein powders lies in the imbalance caused by the lack of energy from carbohydrates (starchy foods, sugar): the body is then forced to use the body’s proteins as a source of energy, and not only the fat reserves as we hope. The body feels “in danger” when faced with a lack of sugar, as in times of famine, and its priority is to preserve some of its fat to cope if the situation continues. THE proteins therefore play an inappropriate role: they become energy suppliers, and no longer play their fundamental structural role (such as renewing the body’s proteins such as muscles, cells, skin, hair, etc.).

abdominal mass gain

Why do we lose weight then?

Because the total caloric intake is reduced, but there is necessarily an attack on lean body mass and water mass. It is wrong to think that we maintain muscle mass and only draw on fat reserves.

There is also a decrease in basal metabolism. The basic metabolism is the energy, therefore the calories, that the body burns naturally to maintain the body’s constants and allow the activity of vital organs. It is around 1200 calories per day, or 1200 calories which will be used regardless. In the event of insufficient carbohydrate intake, or as in a high protein diet, the body adapts and reduces its basic metabolism to save energy (for example it goes to 1000 calories), and it functions quite well. in this way. On the other hand, the basic metabolism will not rise to 1200 calories when the diet becomes “normal” again. You will have to eat less to save the 200 calories that the body no longer burns.

He must also take into account:

  • the risk of kidney and liver fatigue and possible dehydration;
  • an electrolyte imbalance and therefore heart problems;
  • a dangerous reduction in energy reserves = FATIGUE;
  • a loss of lean mass and therefore a silhouette that loses tone.

These explanations demonstrate why starchy diets are doomed to failure. When starchy foods (pasta, rice, semolina, potatoes, pulses, bread, etc.) are eliminated, it is as if the body is exhausted internally in addition to causing great fatigue.

And to quote a dietary adage based on the physiology of the human body and metabolic reactions: “lipids burn in the fire of carbohydrates“. Indeed, stored fats cannot be burned that in the presence of an element resulting from the digestion of slow sugars.

In addition, the rapid initial weight loss visible on the scale is partly due to dehydration caused by the reduction in glycogen reserves (the form in which we store energy from starchy foods): to store glycogen molecules, the body adds water molecules naturally. Remember that we are made up of 60% water, this is not a phenomenon of water retention linked to poor circulation. So, when the body is deprived of slow sugars, it empties its glycogen reserves, so it loses water, so the weight drops quickly. But it’s not fat, even if we lose it too.

winter infection

What about fatigue?

As for the fatigue caused by this type of diet, it is the cause of hypoglycemic discomfort, a drop in blood pressure, stress and nervousness, and even depression. This fatigue is also a hindrance to sports practice, making it impossible to “shape” the body and tone it to give it the desired appearance. All this without mentioning the social isolation imposed by these restrictions.

All these deprivations often give way to much more serious transgressions, and many young girls in particular who subject themselves to them end up falling into anorexia or bulimia.

He there is a real danger in selling not only thinness as an asset and a goal, but above all to propose harmful solutions to health, and often ineffective in the long term.

HAS forced to use restrictive diets, there is a risk of one places a “yo-yo” system. The body governs quickly well on the first diet, but like the basic metabolism decreases, we gain weight once the restriction phase has passed, and often with extra pounds. So we try the diet again, but this time the loss is longer and more difficult, and it you have to restrict yourself more, to lose less, and end up resume even more… Until the body reacts more, like blocked. This is how some people don’t eat “nothing” and gain weight at the slightest deviation.

Losing weight at all costs is therefore an illusion, because restriction leads to transgression. Saint Augustine said that “total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation”. Indeed, and above all, it is less effective in the long term. Learning moderation, respecting your needs and your body requires listening, respect, and time for yourself. When haste prevails over reason, it is easier to turn to miracle diets, and mirages, and expensive ones.

Between protein bars that are ultimately not so protein and rich in sugar, powders or meal replacements containing synthetic additives and other delights, there is reason to question the slimming market.

And finally, what these diets lack is understanding: by purchasing prepared meals, there is no questioning of the way of eating, of shopping, of cooking, of variation, of be at least interested in the ingredients and compositions.