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Talk about calories.
Most losing weight today carefully calculate the calorie content of the food eaten, but they do it in vain, because the calorie content of the food consumed by and large does not affect anything. Surprised?
It is not a matter of the quantity of the food itself, but of its qualitative composition, in the proportions of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Mostly carbohydrates. It is they that, when ingested, are converted to glucose, which, on the one hand, gives us energy, and on the other hand, increases the level of sugar in the blood and encourages the formation of a fat layer.
I believe that the theory of weight loss, based on a low-calorie diet, is undoubtedly the biggest scientific error in the field of nutrition. This simplified hypothesis has no real scientific basis. Recall the story.
In 1930, two American doctors from the University of Michigan, Newborg and Johnston, in one of their publications put forward the idea that "obesity is most likely the result of consuming calorie-rich foods." Since, at that time, there was not a single theory, from a scientific point of view, explaining the causes of excess weight, as soon as their work was published, it was immediately accepted as an undeniable scientific dogma. And even, despite many contradictions and discoveries of recent years, their theory is included in the curriculum of medical institutes in many Western countries and continues to occupy a leading place there.
What are the calories that everyone talks so much about?
The number of calories in a product is determined very simply: they burn it in the so-called “caloric bomb” and measure the amount of heat released in calories. The most interesting thing is that you can even put a stool in a caloric bomb, and it will equally give you the required number of kilocalories. However, it does not follow from this that a stool is a valuable food product, and the human body does not look like a similar bomb. It does not burn everything that you throw there. Some products are partially assimilated, while some are not assimilated at all.
Several decades ago, Academician A.M. Ugolev published his famous nutrition theory. The main point of this theory was as follows: the calorie content of the diet should correspond to the energy consumption of the body.
But time passed, and made some amendments to this provision. It turned out that the body of each person can differently absorb the calories received from food, for example:
• Significant fiber content (including soluble), can significantly reduce absorption, and hence the intake of excess calories.
• Some micronutrients contained in food affect the absorption of substances in the small intestine. For example, the scientific works of L. Fakambi showed that mature cheeses, which are characterized by a high content of calcium, retain some of the fats and prevent their absorption by the intestines. Accordingly, this part of fats, and therefore calories, does not enter the body, but leaves with feces.
• Fats of various nature are absorbed in different ways. For example, saturated animal fats are absorbed and converted into human fat much more easily than polyunsaturated vegetable fats, which practically do not participate in the formation of human fat.
• Absorption of carbohydrates, fats and proteins by the intestines varies slightly depending on the time of day, season, and the chemical composition of other products that they meet when they enter the intestine.
Thus, the main point of the caloric theory of nutrition now looks like this: "The caloric content of each body assimilated differently in the main part of the diet should correspond to the energy consumption of the body."
Unfortunately, the caloric theory has completely taken over the minds of modern nutritionists, since it allowed us to conveniently estimate the energy intensity of food products. The fact that these figures can vary greatly among different people at the moment, few people are interested in.
So here. According to this theory, if a person’s energy needs are 2500 calories per day, and he consumes only 2000 with food, then in order to cover a deficit of 500 calories, the human body will borrow this amount from the stored fat. As a result, weight loss will occur. And another situation. If a person consumes 3500 calories every day, instead of 2500 he needs, then, in this case, an excess of 1000 calories will automatically be deposited in the form of reserve fat. As you can see, arithmetic is simple here. It is because of the simplicity and accessibility of any diet calculation that the calorie theory is still used in practice by many nutritionists.
But in this case, I want to ask a question, but how did prisoners in concentration camps, who received from 200 to 400 calories per day with daily exhausting work, manage to survive? If this theory is true, then, according to it, they should have died within a few days, having spent all their reserves of deferred fat. Yes, they were very thin, but continued to live. And the inhabitants of besieged Leningrad? How many days did they stay on a scanty ration?
In the same way, one may ask oneself why some food lovers who absorb between 4,000 and 5,000 calories daily are not obese. Moreover, among them are many lean people. The people even say about them: "Do not feed the horse." According to this theory, these "gluttons" in a few years should have gained weight in four hundred - five hundred kilograms. But how to explain that some people, having reduced the amount of food consumed, and with it calories, continue to gain weight?
Suppose that with a daily norm of 2500 calories, a person consumes just such an amount of food for a long time. But if suddenly this number of calories decreases to 2000, then the body begins to compensate for the missing amount due to reserve fat. Weight loss occurs. This is logical.
But after this, the body, under the influence of the survival instinct, quickly, within a few days, will adapt to this level of incoming calories. At first glance, invisible protective functions and reserves of the body are included. The body temperature may slightly decrease, the heart will beat a little less, movements will become a little slower and more economical. And a person will live quietly farthest on only 2000 calories. At the same time, weight loss naturally stops. But that is not all.
The fact is that our body, as a result of evolution, has gained survival experience, which is aimed at creating reserves. If he continues to be given only 2,000 calories, he will simply reduce his energy needs to, say, up to 1,700 calories, and the difference of 300 calories will still be left in reserve. And here a paradoxical thing happens, although a person eats less (and his body, accordingly, receives fewer calories), he begins to slowly recover. A certain decrease is followed by recovery, and even exceeding the original weight. Moreover, for all this process will occur in different ways. That is why it is impossible to offer a low-calorie diet without being interested in its composition and not knowing the characteristics of the reactions of an organism of a particular person to it.
To begin with, the process of eating any food can be divided into three components:
1. Machining (grinding).
And there is not a single person who has gone through all of these steps equally.
It depends on many factors, but the bottom line is that one person will ultimately absorb 99% of the nutrients, and the other - no more than 30%. In one person, these substances will go to meet energy needs, while in another they will be stored in the form of fats. Not without reason today, many progressive nutritionists say: "to lose weight, you need to not only reduce the calorie content of the diet, but also in a special way to change its composition." This is the basis of the modern approach to the treatment of obesity.
If excessive calorie intake were indeed the universal cause of overweight, the simplest and most natural way to treat this disease would be to simply reduce the amount of food consumed. It would be enough to calculate the number of calories that this person usually eats, and offer him a diet in which these calories contain ten percent less. And he must lose weight !?
But not so simple. A simple reduction in calories fails to defeat obesity. This fails even when the calorie deficit is very significant. Although many of my colleagues are still trying to count calories, despite the fact that it is quite tiring even for a specialist nutritionist, the results of such calculations are very approximate. After all, even products with the same name can have different calories.
Weight loss with a simple hypocaloric diet is observed only at the very beginning of its application. After some time, long before reaching the desired weight, the process stops, even despite further, very strict dietary compliance. This situation is familiar to many of those who at least once tried to lose weight.
But if it’s still easier or more familiar for you to count calories, then I want to warn you against one mistake.
Some Russian and foreign nutritionists advise switching to food in 2000 kcal. I do not advise doing this in any case.
First, losing weight, even if it is, is incredibly long - stretched over many years.
Secondly, in the case of reduced metabolism, these 2000 kcal may well not lead to weight loss at all. Recommendations for limiting the diet to just 2000 kcal should be considered excessive reinsurance, only harming the process of losing weight.
Well, and thirdly, the most important thing - according to American researchers, with a calorie intake of 2000 kcal, weight loss does not occur due to fat, but due to tissue loss without fat (i.e., due to muscle). It causes fatigue, hair loss, skin changes, and depression.
In other words, a small decrease in calorie content is much more painful than a decrease in calorie content to 1000 kcal, and, in addition, all the body weight lost in this case is quickly restored during the transition to normal nutrition.
People who monitor physical fitness usually calculate the calorie content in their diet. From the point of view of modern dietetics, and medical science in general, this is fundamentally the wrong approach - any diet should be based on a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Fat intake should be minimized, but otherwise, for each individual person, the emphasis in nutrition should be his own.
That is, a modern approach to the problem of a balanced diet is not counting calories, but calculating an individual balanced diet based on micro and macronutrients and at the same time creating optimal conditions for their digestibility! Their deficiency provokes overeating, so the body is trying to compensate for the lack of certain substances. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a systematic intake of all necessary nutrition components in sufficient quantities. The secret of weight return in compliance with any "book diets" is that, excluding certain foods from the diet, you do not get the substances necessary for the body with them, and it makes up for their shortage by spending your own reserves. But when you return to your previous lifestyle, an organism that has survived stress due to a diet starts to restore its consumed substances with a vengeance. And this is always the return of even more weight than you have lost. Despair comes with him.
How to organize your food according to this new concept?
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- Low calorie meals (1800-2000 calories)
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