How do popular diets work?

Most serious diets and proper nutrition systems do not have many fans: they often look strange, complicated, run counter to generally accepted ideas. In general, unusual. Often it is hard to believe that these strange recommendations: a) help to lose weight; b) do not hurt. How does this work? 

No, if you study some serious subject literature, then the recommendations of nutritionists cease to seem strange. But … do we ever read instructions?

And the authors of diets have to go for tricks. Especially – popular diets that do not claim to be scientific, and therefore offer the most specific, and sometimes strange, methods of losing weight.     

Salt-free diet

Let’s start with a salt-free diet, involving a complete or partial temporary refusal of salt. In the second case, the daily amount of salt is limited to half a teaspoon. In the first – the need for a complete rejection of salt is stated. “Declares” – because it would be nice to remember the considerable amounts of salt contained in processed foods, canned food, prepared meals, even baked goods.   

However, as with most diets, semi-finished products, smoked, salted, pickled, pasta, and pastry are excluded here.

With a partial salt-free diet, it is recommended to salt ready-made meals. So salt is felt much better – which means it needs less. 

But now we are talking about something else. Let me remind you: this diet is designed for weight loss. And … this is a typical “cheat diet.” The “salt-free” principle is brought to the forefront … After all, everyone remembers that salt is “white death”? There is, of course, tasteless without it, but you can survive for some time. In extreme cases, seasonings will help out. Although it is likely that you will eat less without salt. 

In addition, salt is really related to body weight. One of its properties is to retain water in the body. So, with limited salt intake, this water will go away. Along with weight. Can this be called weight loss? Can. You can call anything and anything at all. Especially if you need to boast of “dropped pounds” in front of friends.  

If you delve deeper, some “minor details” are clarified. In particular, that, in addition to salt, smoked meats, pastries and pasta, it is prescribed to limit the consumption of starchy and sugary fruits and vegetables, sweet, flour and cereals. Allowed up to 200 grams of bread per day (a bit, subject to other restrictions!). 

What is left?

The “salt-free” menu includes: lean beef, skinless poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables (remember the restriction of starchy and sugary!), Rye bread (remember 200 g per day!), Vegetable soups, milk, and all sour-milk products, including naturally curd. 

We get a completely normal diet with a low carbohydrate content, which is hard not to lose weight!

What does salt have to do with it? I do not know. Perhaps the author was sincerely convinced that it was really about salt. Or maybe someone borrowed a ready-made salt-free diet, applying it to a new goal – losing weight. 

But most likely, salt restriction is intended to disguise and distract attention, on the principle of “it is harmful!” In addition , excluding salt, you will quickly notice weight loss. Of course, due to the loss of fluid, and these kilograms will return quickly, you should return to the normal diet.  

In addition , in addition to water, a certain amount of adipose tissue is also lost. This is real weight loss! And this mass will not return immediately. It’s just that this weight loss is small and not immediately noticeable. And the loss of “water mass” will serve as a good incentive to continue the diet. 

Set Roberts Diet

Remotely similar to Set Roberts’ salt-free diet. No, she does not intend to exclude salt. On the contrary, it adds something: an hour before any meal you drink a portion of sweetened water and / or vegetable oil. The original uses a solution of fructose, but you can use regular sugar. The amount of sweets varies depending on how much you want to lose weight: from 1 to 7 tablespoons per liter of water. And 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. This is for a day.

One hour before a meal, 1 cup of sweetened water and / or a spoonful of oil is drunk.

The idea is to eat a mixture of fast-digesting carbohydrates or refined fats before eating. It is assumed that soon the body will “understand” that it is full, the feeling of hunger will go away, and we will simply eat less.

In fact, this is a specific version of familiar to many fractional nutrition. Where instead of the usual food for snacks, a specially prepared, but nutritious mixture is used. The calculation goes for the fact that you do not drink a lot of sweetened water and vegetable oil. This food is perceived by the brain as tasteless and does not stimulate appetite. But for the body, these are all the same carbohydrates and fats as in any tasty product. And you come to the “normal” meal already full.  

“Fun” diet

It seems interesting and so-called. “Fun” diet. No, not funny, namely “funny”, as it is called. It proposes the use of products designed to increase the level of endorphins and, accordingly, mood: nuts, dark chocolate, bananas, white wine, as well as dark green vegetables and orange vegetables and fruits, candied dried fruits, natural spices.

This is used both by itself and as a substitute for traditional confectionery snacks.

The pleasure that accompanies the saturation and the use of “delicious”, due in t. H. With the rise of the level of endorphins. And often we do not eat for the sake of getting the proper nutrients, but for raising the mood, “relieving stress”. And walk funny and fat …  

The idea of ​​a “fun” diet is to consume small amounts of food that stimulate the production of endorphins. Actually, if we limited ourselves to this menu, we would have got one more vegetarian diet. With a predictable effect: overeating the “mood products” themselves already from hunger. 

Fortunately, the authors diversified their diet with animal products.

Here is an example of a daily average menu:

  • morning: tea / coffee with vanilla (alas, vanilla, not vanilla or any other sugar!); banana sprinkled with grated chocolate;
  • lunch: boiled meat with vegetable (without potatoes!) salad, soy sauce, spices;
  • afternoon snack: 150 g of fruit salad; a few cubes of dark chocolate or 100 g of dried fruit;  
  • evening: vegetable salad (tomatoes, green vegetables), feta cheese, you can have a glass of wine.

And so on.

In fact, of the “serious” carbohydrates there are in limited quantities those same bananas, chocolate, wine, dried fruits. If it is less than what you usually consume, then it is logical to lose weight. What does a good mood have to do with it? Well, and it will not hurt …  

And finally …

Beer Diet

No, I never call for alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, alcoholic diets exist, which means there is a demand for them. 

Of course, they can be considered propaganda of alcohol consumption. Although the notorious beer diet is allowed where “up to three glasses” per day, where up to a liter. A bottle or two beers – many drink so much without any diet, having a bite to eat something far from useful. A non-drinker is unlikely to even choose this method of weight loss. And during work or if things are to be done, you will not resort to “alcohol-improving” measures.    

So the scope of any alcoholic diets is very limited. Like their possible cons.

Are there any obvious advantages? 

We look at the menu. In addition to a very small amount of alcohol, it includes low-glycemic cereals, some bread in the form of toasts and the actual beer or wine itself.

There is also a standard menu for the week : 

Daily – a liter of beer, plus 100 g of food prescribed for that day. 100 grams – for the whole day!   

  • Mon: boiled chicken.
  • Tue: buckwheat.
  • Wed: boiled fish.
  • Th: boiled meat.
  • Fri: any fruits and vegetables.
  • Sat: 1 liter of beer “without anything.”
  • Sun: 1.5 liters of mineral water. No beer!

There is a “soft” diet option:

For those who are weaker, the daily portion of foods increases up to 200 grams, and the 6th and 7th days are repeated on the 1st and 2nd.

100 g of beer contain about 5 g of carbohydrates and 45-50 kcal. Given the exclusion of most carbohydrates – a little!   

Plus, a ban on salt and, naturally, sugar and any “flavor enhancers”. Without salt and with a restriction of carbohydrates, previously retained water is excreted from the body. Beer itself has a diuretic effect, which further enhances the elimination of fluid. Therefore, in addition to beer, be sure to drink at least 1.5−2 liters of pure water!

Oh yes, the beer is necessarily cold. There is logic in this: additional calories are consumed in heating the food eaten or drunk. 

Wine diets are similarly arranged. For a day, up to a liter of wine is again required. Wine in any case is selected dry, with a low glycemic index.

In fact, even in dry wine, there are more carbohydrates and calories than in beer. But the ban on carbohydrates is even stricter in wine diets. In fact, only non-starchy vegetables and fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, citrus fruits), a piece of bread, 100-200 grams of cheese, from 1.5 liters of water per day are allowed.

In different versions, the diet lasts from 3 to 12 days.

It turns out, as with a “fun” diet: what comes to the fore as a special feature of the diet turns out to be the main, and sometimes the only, source of carbohydrates. 

Which conclusion follows from all this?

Alas, miracles do not happen. It seems that the only key to losing weight is tight control over carbohydrate intake. And all the “miracle diets” either do not work, or work due to the loss of fluid, or the good old low-carb diet is hidden behind the “tasty” form    

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