What I think about diets by Sandra Ferreira

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Whether for health reasons or to fit into your pants, more than 6 out of 10 French people say they have pounds to lose. And so you do what we call a “diet”. But what does this consist of? Is it effective?

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.

As a Dietitian-Nutritionist, I give you my opinion and tell you what I think about diets.

What is a diet?

First of all, in common parlance, we talk about a diet, a change in diet that allows you to lose weight.

But know that basically, a “diet” is a “food” diet, that is to say a way of eating, whatever the way, and therefore not necessarily a diet to lose weight. .quite simply!

Abuse of language being, you go on a “diet” to lose weight, that is to say that you impose restrictions on yourself to achieve your goals.

But is it effective?

Are you cutting out starchy foods or only eating vegetables to lose weight?

Very bad idea!

It has been proven that restrictive diets cannot help you lose weight in the long term and they even have side effects that you could do without:

loss of muscle mass, fatigue, bad breath, poor sleep quality, eating disorders, irritability, depression, etc.


It’s not you who decides the ideal weight!

The ideal weight is not the one you set for yourself but the one that the brain decides, influenced by genetics and environmental context.

In fact, your “ideal” weight, called “fit weight”, will lie within a range and this range is different for each of us.

It’s like sleep, some people need 10 hours a night to feel rested, others only need 6 hours. For the weight, it’s the same!

All this is controlled by the brain, it controls hunger and satiety for example.

It will also manage the energy you consume to keep your weight stable.

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And how do we know this weight range?

It should already be understood that this fitness weight range is around five kilograms, there is no precise figure that would be ideal. But if you are more sedentary, you will be at the top of the range…

However, be careful, this shape weight can change over the course of your life!

If, for example, you remain overweight for several years, your brain will consider that this new weight is its new ideal weight.

Unfortunately, this means that you should avoid gaining weight because it will then be difficult to tell the brain to come down and stay at a lower weight.

What to do to be at your ideal weight?

To stay at your ideal weight, I advise you to listen to yourself: not as simple as that but overall, you eat when you are hungry and you stop eating when you are no longer hungry.

In approximately six months, the weight will have stabilized at its reference value.


And the BMI in all this?

The BMI (Body Mass Index, which is calculated according to the following formula: BMI = Weight/Height2) is certainly a benchmark but it is not a perfect benchmark.

You can be overweight at your ideal weight and be in good health and you should not try to lose weight because you risk spending your life “on a diet”.

Unfortunately, you should know that 80% of people who try to lose weight gain it back in the years that follow.

A study even took place in 2012 among 4,000 twins aged 16 to 25 to not be influenced by genetics and this study shows that a single weight loss treatment multiplies the risks of weight gain by two for men and in threes for women.

In fact, everything still happens at the level of the brain which, feeling deprived of food, would subsequently store more in order to preserve itself (and yes, our body wants to live!).

And then, when we lose weight, our body burns less naturally and when we start eating more again, the body being in slow motion, we gain weight, and this can last for many years after the restrictive diet.

But then, what do we do if we don’t diet?

Simple answer to a very simple question: we eat our fill and we move!

In other words, as I said before, we stop eating when we are no longer hungry, which is not as simple as that because emotional factors (stress, fatigue, etc.) also intervene and interfere with the signals sent by our body and do not make us listen to feelings of hunger correctly.

And then, we practice a regular and pleasant activity to last over time!

In fact, to be at your ideal weight, you definitely don’t follow restrictive diets, you agree to take charge of your life as a whole: diet, physical activity, stress, etc. you take care of yourself and rest will happen naturally!

To summarize my opinion:

  • We do not do restrictive diets
  • We stop eating when we are no longer hungry
  • We practice regular physical activity that we enjoy