THE ONLY SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT (OR WHAT ALL DIETS HIDE FROM YOU)
Ella cinthy was pretty and curvy, and despite being very Christian and conservative, she liked to dress sexy when she went out at night. “Angel,(( what is not taught is not solds–,” she used to tell me.
To maintain her slim figure, Cinthy continually watched her feeding. She cooked every day, she took tuppers to college, and she was always on top of the latest diet news: chia seeds, agave syrup to sweeten the coffee, and the like. She also went to the gym several times a week to do cardio.
Cinthy’s method worked… but she was never entirely satisfied. She could not lose those last two kilos to be perfect and devoted many hours of her life to everything related to eating (exactly like I did in her day).
That year Cinthy and I used to hang out a lot with a Turkish student named Anil. I have never visited Turkey, but when I think of the prototype Turk I imagine him: tanned skin, very black hair and eyes, and a smile always on his face. Besides all these traits, Anil was well fed. He had a round face and a good “father’s belly.”
And Anil wants to lose weight too, but since he didn’t have the time or desire to go on a strict diet like Cinthy’s, he adopted a much simpler strategy: eat less. He had a light breakfast, went to college, had half a chicken breast sandwich for lunch at the Subway, and had the same dinner. So every day except weekends, that we got together with friends and we used to eat out.
Three months after starting “the Subway diet,” Anil was unrecognizable. His belly had disappeared, his face was much thinner and he had had to renovate his wardrobe because all the clothes he had brought from Turkey were too big for him. He had lost more than 15 kilos and was a new man.
In the last post we saw that diets use different strategies to help you lose weight, and that most of them are a nuisance because they take up a lot of time and force you to always worry about food. However, if you follow the instructions rigorously, it is proven to work, and to check it, you just have to Google the name of any diet and you will find the testimonies of a legion of followers who have tried it and have lost 10, 20 or even 30 kilos with her (another story is the results after stopping the diet).
The funny thing about this is that, although all diets work, each one has very different rules: avoid dairy, do not eat fruit, eat a lot of protein, limit fat and much more. There are even diets that advocate totally opposite measures, such as Dukan (restrict high-fat foods) and Atkins (you can eat cheese and other fatty foods).
So what is the best way to lose weight? What guru is in possession of the truth?
The answer is they are all right, because in reality all diets are based on the same principle: eat fewer calories than you expend. The only thing in which they vary is in the way of creating that deficit.
If you can only eat chicken breasts and salads without oil, it is difficult for you to reach 2,000 calories a day
Fat is high in calories, but it makes you feel full and reduces your appetite. A diet high in fat and protein but low in carbohydrates will make you eat less, thus creating a caloric deficit
Counting points is the same as counting calories, but easier. The point limit is really a calorie limit to ensure you eat less than you spend
Diets that make you count calories also make you calculate how many calories you consume. That number has 400 or 500 subtracted and they ask you to design your menu without exceeding that figure
Come on, in the end all diets use the same system as Anil and his Subway snacks.
But if losing weight is as simple as eating fewer calories than you are consuming, why complicate it with phases, points, forbidden food lists, and Excel sheets?
That is precisely what I propose to you. I present…
Intermittent Fasting: A Flexible Solution to Lose Weight, Gain Health, and Simplify Your Life
Intermittent fasting is not a new miracle diet. In fact, it is not even a diet, because it does not tell you what you should or should not eat. It is a “foods protocols,” a way of eating.
Their philosophy is very simple: every once in a while, skip a meal.
It is done. You don’t need special foods or miracle supplements, nor do you need to buy a cookbook of allowed recipes to know what the hell to prepare tomorrow because you can cook whatever you want.
The idea is that if you ate X before and now you eat X-Y, you are creating a caloric deficit of Y that will help you lose weight or not gain weight. Additionally, going without food for several hours has been shown to have significant hormonal benefits that accelerate fat loss and improve health.
I have been practicing intermittent fasting for months and it has been liberating for me. I don’t know how much I lose weight without eating one day when I fast, but now I am able
to effortlessly stay at my ideal weight, even when traveling. I have freed my mind of points, rules and calories, and I am more productive than ever because I can spend less time on food and more on my projects. And all this without giving up the evenings of tapas and beers with my friends, of course 🙂
But Angel, skipping meals is very dangerous!
I also believed the same when I heard about intermittent fasting for the first time, but after a lot of research I found that there are enough scientific studies that show that fasting less than 24 hours and even not eating a day is not only not dangerous, but could be beneficial to health.
When you have not eaten for a period of time, your body goes through an evolutionary process called autophagy, during which it selects and destroys the oldest and weakest proteins – those most likely to cause diseases such as cancer – to replace them with new ones. In fact, it is believed that the increase in longevity that is associated with the Mediterranean diet could come from fasting and not only from food selection (correlation is not causality), since in places like Crete they are Orthodox Christians, a religion in the one in which partial fasts are practiced very frequently.
If you stop to think about it, it makes sense. Human beings have been fasting for millions of years, when the hunter would go out for the mammoth and sometimes return empty-handed. What is not natural is to eat six times a day. After all, refrigerators, tuppers, and protein bars are modern inventions.
IMPORTANT: Intermittent fasting is a method designed for healthy older adults. If you suffer from obesity, high levels of stress, diabetes or if you are pregnant, this is not for you. I trust your intelligence, but in any case I remind you that I am not an expert in health or nutrition, and that before practicing fasting you should consult with your doctor to ensure that it is an appropriate method for your specific circumstances.
I don’t need to lose weight. What are the benefits of intermittent fasting for me?
IMPORTANT: Practicing intermittent fasting does not mean eating less, but modifying the distribution and frequency of your meals. Entering a caloric deficit is optional and depends on your goals.
In addition to losing fat – not muscle or water – and improving your health, intermittent help can help you save time and simplify your life.
Many people do not realize this, but we dedicate dozens of hours a week to everything related to food (shopping, cooking, eating, cleaning). And if you follow a specific diet, even more. I know this because I didn’t have time to create my niche page to go world travel until I hired a personal cook. True story!
With intermittent fasting, you eat fewer times, think less about food, and don’t have to follow the rules of any diet, so you can spend all that time you save on more rewarding tasks.
What would you do if your weeks had five more hours?
And of course, if you like to cook or go out to eat out with your partner or your friends, you don’t have to give up any of that!
Can I be paleo and fast at the same time?
Yes of course. Intermittent fasting is just one way to structure your meals to speed up fat loss, improve your health, and make your life easier, but your diet is up to you. If you want to remain paleo there is no problem. In fact, many people who practice intermittent fasting eat very similar to the Paleolithic diet.
Personally, I think that there is no correct way to eat, but rather diets that best suit each person. That is why I am suspicious of all meal plans that tell you exactly what to eat.
I am unable to fast. If I don’t eat every three hours, I get dizzy and I’m starving
At first it is normal. You’ve been eating one way your whole life, and changing those habits takes time. Do not try to go without eating for a day if you ate every 2 and a half hours before. Slowly.
It took me a few days to get used to intermittent fasting, too, but once I did, I stopped feeling hungry or feeling bad. What’s more, now I am light and active on an empty stomach, and I take advantage of my fasting periods to work or go to the gym because I perform much more, both mentally and physically. The same thing happens to most people.
How to start practicing intermittent fasting?
My results with intermittent fasting have been fantastic, and I know several people who have been practicing it for years and are delighted (who can say the same about a diet?). I think it is a system that can help you to be more free, be healthier and improve your relationship with food, and that is why some time ago I published with my friend Marina a guide on intermittent fasting in which we explain everything you need to know to get started. to practice it.
CLARIFICATION: The human body is a very complex system, and losing weight does not depend solely on the number of calories ingested (it is not the same to eat 2,000 calories of chicken than 2,000 calories of croissants). There are many other factors that influence the process of storage and consumption of fat: ratio of macronutrients, micronutrients, fiber, water, frequency and timing of meals, supplements … However, the most important by far is to eat fewer calories than the what you consume. Everything else is optimizations.
Intermittent fasting, in addition to creating that caloric deficit essential to lose weight, decreases insulin and glucose levels, accelerates lipolysis (fat burning), increases glucagon, epinephrine and growth hormone levels, reduces chronic inflammation and improves cell cleaning.
I have not explained all this in the post so as not to complicate it too much and distract the reader from the main message
The photo is of the spectacular barbecue that Santi prepared for us when we were in Medellín. You have to try the peppers with egg, because they are spectacular. You just have to cut a pepper, remove all the seeds, put an egg inside and wait for both to cook on the barbecue. Highly recommended!
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