Diets that are low in calories are the least effective for weight loss
Specialists recommend a varied and not very strict diet with a steady weight loss to achieve your objectives
After Christmas a lot of patients decide to embark on miracle diets, taking weight reducing products, or doing intensive gym routines to burn off excess fat. Carolina Pérez, nutritionist at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja and Hospital Quirónsalud Murcia, explains: "the main risk of miracle diets is related to the speed at which the individual loses weight. The drastic reduction in the calories they consume creates nutritional imbalances. The apparent success at the start of the diet is not just due to a loss of fats, but also to a loss of muscle, one of the most metabolically active body tissues we have, which explains the bad results of the diet in the long run".
Nutritionist Rocío Práxedes from the Obesity Unit at Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia advises people to try a moderately low-calorie diet for more effective results: "that way people avoid their metabolism adapting which can later hinder a continuous weight loss; and more obviously because if a patient is hungry they are more likely to quit their diet".
For a diet to be effective specialists recommend following these steps:
- Choose a complete and varied diet that covers 100% of your nutritional requirements, and includes all basic food groups.
- Don’t be too strict and adapt the diet to your own tastes, to avoid giving it up.
- Maintain a steady weight loss; losing more than 1 kilo a week is counterproductive. The optimum weight loss is 500gr-700gr/week.
- Be realistic. Plan progressive changes to your diet and achievable objectives.
- Don’t skip any meals. Normally diets consist of 5 meals a day which must be carried out to maintain blood sugar levels and not be too hungry before the next meal.
- Respect everyone’s beliefs and cultures.
When to choose surgery
When talking about a BMI (body mass index) of over 35, patients should first follow a diet supervised by a specialised nutritionist. If this does not reach the desired results, obesity surgery or bariatric surgery is an option. It should always be a doctor who decides what treatment is necessary and safe for each patient.
The advances in minimally invasive operations have revolutionised modern surgery in the last decade, including bariatric surgery. "The comprehensive treatment offered to overweight, obese, or diabetic patients guarantees the best results. What’s more the risks of the operation are very low, especially compared to the possible illnesses the patients are exposed to if they continue suffering from the disease", assures Doctor Pedro Bretcha, coordinator of the Obesity, General Surgery and Digestive System units at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja.
The benefits of the intervention are many, "80% of diabetic patients overcome the illness, and the condition of the other 20% is made substantially better and includes a weight loss of over 70% of excess fat, even reaching an optimum weight if patients accompany the treatment with a healthy lifestyle. This leads to an increase in life expectancy of obese patients of up to 10 years, and a better quality of life", points out Doctor Carlos Sala,coordinator of the Obesity unitand specialist in metabolic surgery at Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia. In spite of its advantages, only 5% of Spaniards with Obesity undergo surgery due to a lack of information or not having access to the treatment.
Quirónsalud is the most important hospital group in Spain, and the third largest in Europe. It can be found in 13 autonomous communities in Spain, has state-of-the-art technology and offers over 6,500 beds in more than 100 healthcare centres, such as Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid, Hospital Universitario Dexeus, Ruber, Centro Médico Teknon, Hospital La Luz, Policlínica de Guipúzcoa, Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia, etc., as well as a huge team of highly qualified professionals of international prestige.