Diets work to lose weight, the great challenge is to maintain the weight lost. And it is that, often in the long term, what is known as ‘rebound effect‘, that is, regaining even more weight than was lost when returning to previous habits. This can lead people who try to lose weight to a vicious circle of weight loss and gain that results in both physical and psychological discomfort, as it creates a great feeling of frustration. Avoiding it is possible if we put ourselves in the hands of professionals and put some habits into practice.
What is the rebound effect and why does it occur?
In a healthy person, the weightloss It occurs when the body consumes more calories than it takes in. To get the extra energy, consume the fat that we have accumulated. For this reason, when someone wants to lose weight, they plan a generally hypocaloric diet, that is, low in calories so that their body consumes the remaining energy through its reserves.
However, this process is not simple mathematics, as our body is a very complex and sophisticated machine that tends to adapt to circumstances. Thus, after a period of more or less extensive caloric reduction, our body reacts by adapting its metabolism to those calories consumed.
That is, it begins to spend less energy than before to carry out all its functions. For this reason, in addition to losing less weight as the diet progresses, as soon as we return to habits prior to the diet, we quickly and more than recover the lost weight. This is one of the reasons why, in general, long-term diets do not usually work if they are not accompanied by a change in habits maintained over time and if they are not accompanied by some type of physical exercise.
Rabbits to avoid the rebound effect after a diet
Despite the difficulties, all is not lost, since the rebound effect can be avoided with a few simple keys.
Avoid miracle diets. Avoid any diet ‘with a last name’, such as, for example, ‘the pineapple diet’, ‘purifying diet’, ‘the ham sandwich diet…’ This type of diet, in addition to promising rapid weight loss that does not usually persist over time, usually have negative consequences for health and are quite unbearable.
Diets, always by professionals. Going to a nutritionist every 15 days or a month is not a whim. On the one hand, he is the most suitable professional to make your diet balanced and healthy as well as help you lose weight, and on the other hand, he will adapt your diet to your needs and your weight loss. And it is that, in a slimming process, the diet with which we start is not the same as the one we need to maintain the lost weight.
Weight loss, better progressive. It is very likely that the loss will be more pronounced when we start, but, even so, we must try to make it very progressive. The ideal would be to do it in stages, with periods of transition to a ‘normocaloric’ diet, between periods of caloric reduction. In this way, although the process takes longer, the process will be more bearable and it is less likely that our body will ‘get used’ to the reduction in calories.
The diet should be easy to follow, That is why it must be made as adapted as possible to the tastes and habits of the person who is going to follow it. It is also ideal that it is not excessively restrictive and contains all the nutrients (hydrates, proteins, fats…), without eliminating any, but in adequate proportions.
Diets are not forever, habits are. It is useless to be on a diet for months if later we are going to return to the habits that caused us to be overweight that we want to get rid of. That is why, although diets are not forever, having good lifestyle habits is. Having a healthy diet does not mean filling it with restrictions or measuring each calorie we eat, but rather, eating a balanced diet, rich in vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, whole carbohydrates, nuts… And yes, also whims from time to time, but that are not the norm.
exercise yes or yes. Exercising when we want to lose weight is an essential pillar for several reasons. First, because by consuming more calories, weight loss will be faster and more effective; and second, and more important, is that we will minimize the loss of muscle mass, and the more muscle mass, the more calories our body needs to function daily. That is why it is so essential to aerobic exercise that promotes weight loss (running, cycling…) such as strength exercises, which are the ones that will help us maintain and tone our muscles and increase the basal metabolic rate, the most important thing to avoid the dreaded rebound effect. In addition, the practice of exercise provides many benefits for our physical and emotional health, which will make us cope better with the process.