Get in shape and be healthy are at the heart of our concerns. More and more Quebecers have weight problems, and many of them are turning to diets and weight loss programs with results that are often short lived.
The classic scenario: a person has a few pounds to lose and decides to follow a very strict diet to attain the ideal weight. Atkins, Californian, Dr. Dukan, Montignac, Protein diets, etc. are all supposed to be miraculous. But then after a few weeks, the scale slowly starts creeping back up to a new record. What causes this phenomenon?
Loss of Muscular Mass
The body triggers a starvation mode when it is faced with a drastic reduction in calorie intake. Its first reaction is to search for a new source of energy, which is more easily found in muscles than into the fat. The result is a reduction of the muscle mass of the body. Since the muscle tissue greatly contributes to the burning of calories that we ingest, once the diet is completed, a person having lost significant muscle mass will spend less energy than before and will therefore have trouble maintaining the desired weight.
For fear of being food deprived again, the body makes reserves.
In addition, for biological and historical reasons, the body is much more involved in protecting itself against starvation than it is against obesity. As a result, it reacts quickly when the caloric intake is insufficient to maintain the basic functions. Consequently, the minimum requirements for the proper functioning of the body decrease in order for the body to survive. The basic metabolism of women is approximately 1300 calories daily and men 1500. If this threshold is not reached, the body slows down its metabolism in order to function properly. The problem is that the metabolism remains slow even when the calorie level returns to normal; this causes the body to store reserves. It is therefore difficult not to gain weight. Furthermore, 80% of people who diet regain their weight loss and more in the following year, claims Dr. Christopher Schults, specialized in chronic problems such as obesity.
Weight loss plans are therefore not recommended. The results are temporary, and it can only worsen the problem.