How do I lose weight? More than a hundred years the standard answer was: eat less, move more. Nevertheless, today we are fatter than ever. More and more scientific studies indicate that the equation is much more complicated than just the need to spend the same amount of calories as get.
For a hundred years we have learned that excess weight is associated with the energy value of food in calories. The original theory is simple — probably too simple. If you consume more calories than you expend, you get fat. One who suffers from overweight or obesity, just need to take of yourself — eat less and move more.
This idea is based thousands of diets, each designed to help us control food.
The first sold over a million copies of the book on the diet called “Diet and health” (Diet and health) was released in 1918. Its author was an American doctor Lulu hunt Peters (Lulu Hunt Peters). The main idea was the following: “Eat whatever you want — cookies, pies, cakes, butter and cream — but I think at the same calories”. For women his physique, the writer recommended a very low calorie daily diet of 1,200 calories, which we in everyday life is just called “calories”.
It is unwise and even dangerous, I would say, probably, any modern expert. But the direction was set.
Meanwhile, nutritionists say that the fixation on counting calories to almost no results. But the fact remains: this idea, which was formulated around the end of the First world war, still remains highly popular.
From well-known Internet forum Reddit has a subsection titled 1200isplenty (which can be translated roughly as “1200 is enough”) with nearly 300 thousands of participants. Google search statistics shows that seasonal periodicity in January and February, just after the Christmas holidays, people are regularly looking for materials for the words “1200 calories”. The second culmination of these queries comes at the end of the summer.
If we ask experts, we know that the recommended amount of calories for women height 165 centimeters, which weighs 50 kg and moderately trained, almost two times more: 2 000 calories per day.
“We, the people, are quite different, so, of course, are the ones who are only 1 200 calories, but then they must have extensive knowledge of, because it will need to be sure that food has enough vitamins and minerals,” says Lotta Moraeus (Lotta Moreaus), nutritionist of the State food administration.
Instead of periodically suddenly go on a diet to lose weight, she offers to anyone who wants to lose weight, switch to healthy food, which they will be able to stick all his life.
Experienced nutritionists now argue that the fixation on calories brings very limited results, and sometimes none at all. Despite decades of hysterical fashion at weight loss, we have never been so thick.
Of course, many people can boast that they still managed to lose weight, but on those rare occasions, when a person decides to share the experience after some time after the first joy of success subsided, often that lost weight back in a year or two, and often to excess.
This is called “effect yo-yo”, and in the last time, and the syndrome of “lost most of all” (an allusion to the American TV show The Biggest Loser — approx. transl.). The expression came into use after the notorious study that found that 13 of the 14 Americans who participated in the eponymous television program where overweight people compete to see who is stronger lose weight through diet and exercise, gained the weight back within six years after the last release.
A feeling that is simply impossible long to keep the weight below the level that the body thinks as if its comfortable norm.
The pizza in the picture looks delicious. It is not exactly useful, but incredibly seductive with that sugar, fat, white flour and salt.
The American dietician and neurologist Stefan Giana (Stephan Guyenet) in his book “the Hungry brain” (the Hungry Brain) describes how he made a functional MRI, placing his head in the camera imager, more reminiscent of a giant donut. He wanted real-time document how the reward system in his brain will react to photos of different foods.
“I quickly looked at the image of three categories: high-calorie processed foods like pizza and cookies, raw and less nutritious food such as fruit and vegetables, as well as items unrelated to the food — for comparison,” — said Stefan Giana Svenska Dagbladet.
When he saw pictures of high-calorie junk food MRI scanner recorded how in his hypothalamus flashing yellow-red spots. When he showed pictures of vegetables like celery, its the reward system responded much weaker.
Sheth Helgi (Helgi Schiöth) is a Professor of neuroscience at Uppsala University. The result of his experiment is not surprising.
“We research constantly see that the reward system in the brain is more powerful responds to high-calorie meals. She likes sugar and fat than spinach and broccoli. This is a very ancient system that had helped us survive, but now was the cause an epidemic of obesity.”
It has long been known that in humans with receptors on the tongue has the innate ability to sense a minimum of four tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Later scientists have proved that we also naturally react to the “umami taste of meat” (ie, high-protein substances — approx. transl.), as well as fat.
Particularly the brain rewards us with a combination of several basic tastes. For example, sugar and fat together attract us more than individually. One plus one gives three.
Surprisingly, we don’t even have to feel the taste on the tongue. Only photos of food, which in our experience is associated with the basic flavors that activate the reward system. And the closest to it in the brain is the centre responsible for the accumulation of experience and training.
That’s why, according to scientists, working is food. The photos are almost exactly the same experience as if we really ate the cookies or chips. And the next time we have a chance to sink his teeth into the treat, we’ll definitely use them.
So while we believe calories and strengthen will power, trying to absorb less energy than you spend, to us oppose your own brain colluded with the consumer society.
“Obesity nearly 70% genetically predetermined. However, before people with such genes was not less than now, but they are not fat. In the early twentieth century food landscape was much more restrained, and taste buds were not so many impressions. Only when the current excessive abundance genes started to add pounds to us,” explains Helga Sheth.
As the world health organization and the Swedish national food administration, as well as many other health organizations emphasize how important it is to maintain when the food energy balance. At the population level, without a doubt, there is every reason to recommend not to consume more calories than they can spend.
At the same time, the traditional theory about calories today many people criticize, saying that it is too primitive and generally outdated. According to many, the tradition of blame fat people for lack of willpower and unwillingness to put enough effort unscientific and destructive.
“We start from the fact that to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories, but it is difficult to understand how much actually calories in our food, and their number says nothing about how a food is healthy, says Lotta Moraeus from the State food control. — I find it easier and easier to talk about the food groups. It is useful to eat less fattening foods like candy, ice cream, pastries, and soda, and more fruits and vegetables”.
Attention to what kinds of foods I should eat, or rather what should be avoided, a red thread runs through all the debates about nutrition. What makes us fat — a fat or carbs and sugar? Or both?
Depending on who you ask. The conflict between the different camps, sometimes very fierce, raging since the 1970-ies. But now, perhaps, there is light at the end of the tunnel. A number of leading experts from each camp in 2018 put aside at least some of the differences and have jointly published the findings after 40 years of research.
The essence of the work zakljuchaetsja that is best for health is a nutrient-rich food. Any recommended ratio of fats and carbohydrates could not be established: apparently, the optimal proportion for different people different. First, the researchers emphasized that they do not have enough data and that, despite the huge health problems of the population, such studies remain critically underfunded.
Stefan Giana, the American neurologist who studied his brain using the MRI scanner, argues that the current one-sided obsession with sugar and carbohydrates to take us away from the truth.
“This approach appears to be a secondary main. As if we pay attention only to tire of trying to explain why the car goes too fast. In fact, you should pay attention to who is behind the wheel, and in this case the brain, says Stephan Giana. — The problem is not only refined carbohydrates, but all in all refined foods, including fats”.
If we think only about calories, it doesn’t help us to lose weight, says Stefan Giana. Of course, from a physical point of view, the findings of traditional theory that is so unique they seem. We know what is the role of calories as energy. But this knowledge does not help us to change their behavior and lose weight.
Hidden processes that actually determine what we eat, much harder. Nutritionists began to understand it almost 30 years ago, says Giana.
In his opinion, there is a mixture of concepts. On a scale it gives you the ability calories physically affect our body nine points. There are small individual differences, but mostly obesity is associated with how much we eat. But when the same scale is proposed to assess what benefits this knowledge brings to those who want to lose weight, he replied: zero.
“Today, more talk about the reward system in the brain as the main, although not the only explanation of obesity. And almost all of diet brings together the Council to remove from the diet food, strongly excites this system. That’s why people can lose weight, reducing the consumption of fat and sugar.
Recently, scientists came to the conclusion that our body is a kind of weight thermostat, which by means of hormones that control reward, hunger and satiety, and metabolism, aims to save “preset” comfortable weight.
According to Stefan Giunea, the body makes it almost as purposefully as, for example, maintains a body temperature of about 37 degrees. Both are regulated in the same area of the brain.
“The body hates the hunger, and when we go on a diet, it is trying by all means to return to the original weight, even if it is too big and hurts health,” explains Stefan Giana.
His Swedish colleague scientist Eric Hemmingson (Erik Hemmingson), recently released the book “the End of diets”, I totally agree.
He came to the conclusion that any diet to lose weight is ultimately meaningless and impossible task.
Much more productive, in his opinion, focus on a healthy lifestyle. One who moves more, less nervous, sleep well, eat at the same time of day and avoids junk food, end up feeling better. And, perhaps, gradually get rid of excess weight.
At the same time, there are people who do managed to lose weight, that counting calories and giving up carbohydrates. According to Eric Hemmingson, it is important to consider their experience.
“I have met many people who managed to lose weight, avoiding sugar. We need to take this seriously. Investigating the surprising facts we develop the science. We still do not know much, but it is increasingly clear that we humans really react differently to different foods and circumstances of life”.
So what does all this mean? If not for the fact that I can lose weight by limiting dietary fats, carbohydrates or reducing calories, but my body is also still doing everything to thwart my efforts, does that mean it’s time to just give up and accept their “comfortable” weight?
No, actually it’s not so hopeless. Today, however, many experts agree that universal magical way to permanently lose weight does not exist. Instead increasingly emphasized, that the best thing you can do is to form healthy eating habits that are right for you and which you really can stick to constantly.
Nutritionists in first try very hard to understand why our bodies so will react differently to the same food. Many are predicting that in the future slimming will resort exclusively to an individual diet.
Researcher, University of Copenhagen Mads yort (Mads Hjorth) conducted an experiment, suggesting different diets for different people who wanted to lose weight. The result: those with low fasting blood sugar, lost weight only to diet with a small amount of fat and plenty of carbohydrates, while those who have high fasting sugar, by contrast, lost weight on a diet containing few carbohydrates, but plenty of fats and proteins.
The third group of people with an average blood sugar level to lose weight, need a diet high in fiber, whole grains and proteins.
Blood sugar fasting
Analysis to measure blood sugar taken in the morning after you all night didn’t eat. Often it is supplemented by the analysis on glucose tolerance — first, you must drink a solution of grape sugar.
Mads yort emphasizes that this study is only the initial stage and many questions have no answers. But in another pilot study, he likewise was able to predict the effect of weight loss from different diets, starting not from the level of sugar in the blood, and from the two main types of intestinal microflora.
“Scientists around the world interested in individual power and role of the intestinal flora,” says Mads yort.
Most people would feel well on a Mediterranean or a traditional Scandinavian diet is based on fresh raw foods, he says.
“But our findings indicate that the General tips are not equally suitable for different people, anyway as for weight. In the future nutrition tips will become much more individualized, and for some dieters possibly will be more effective to train”.
“Bliss point” of sugar, fat and salt provide surpoort
“Bliss point” is the term that describes the content of sugar (and fat, salt and other substances responsible for taste) in food, the most attractive to the reward system in our brain. If this level is exceed, we will feel disgust, because the food is too sweet or too salty. But the growth of the content of the substances listed above, up to the “point of disgust” gradually make the food more attractive.
The term is used in the food industry since the 1970’s, when this phenomenon is investigated in detail.
An important discovery was that when we combine the sugar, fat and salt, “point of disgust” for each of those substances is removed, and the product provokes surpoort from the brain.
The product was sickened the child, it should contain about 25% sugar, and sometimes even up to 36%. This is two times more than adults. That is why children’s products are making more than sweet.
In addition, various products in combination with each other can move their “point of disgust” in a big way, thus further stimulating consumption. For example, this occurs when you drink sweet drinks with salty snacks.
The Board of chemist: chocolate for the poor
The word “calorie” comes from the Latin calor — “heat, heat”. This is the amount of energy required to heat one gram of water one degree Celsius. That is, one kilocalorie (which we in everyday life often referred to simply as “calorie”) is the amount of energy required to heat one degree a kilogram of water.
The history of this measure goes back to the eighteenth century when the French aristocrat Antoine Lavoisier (Antoine Lavoisier) suggested that the body produces energy like a slowly burning fire.
In the late nineteenth century, American chemist William Atwater (William Atwater) derived a formula, which even now, over a hundred years later, calculate the energy value of food. After a series of experiments, which today clearly would not satisfy ethical standards, Atwater calculated that each gram of fat contains nine calories, while one gram of protein or carbohydrate contains four calories.
His conclusion was quite clear: a calorie is always a calorie. So, since vegetables contain fewer calories, it recommended that poor people eat chocolate and not spinach.