The summer season is associated with vacation, rest and more. But sometimes the anticipation of summer is mixed with anxiety and distress. In winter we wear long clothes, sometimes even several layers, that cover the body. In summer the body is much more exposed, not just in a swimsuit. It is not surprising that immediately after Pesach, different and even strange methods and ways of losing weight are offered.

It seems that this year, with rising temperatures, there is a greater sense of discomfort. Summer comes after a year of staying for long days at home, where many of us have gained even more weight than the typical winter season gain.

The desire to shed pounds quickly leads to a search for easy ways to get instant results, and the temptations to opt for these solutions are great. If you are in the midst of finding a successful diet, here are some suggestions for examining the right and balanced way.

The end justifies the means?

Is the proposed way to lose weight right for you? Body weight is affected by a number of factors: consumption of high or low calorie foods; How to eat – in front of or without screens; Minority in physical activity or vice versa. These are examples of environmental effects on body weight, along with an effect on the profile of the friendly bacteria in the gut (microbiome), previous attempts to lose weight and of course a genetic effect.

Each of us has the right weight fluctuations for his body. It is sometimes frustrating to see a friend or even a sibling from those parents who have a different genetic makeup. That means consuming the same menu as yours but their weight is significantly lower. So when you set a goal for yourself, remember your previous diets and your weights over the years. Were you able to keep them? Each body has a set point, a point that is a kind of thermostat that maintains the right weight for you.

And how does it work? When food consumption is restricted, the hypothalamus and parts of the pituitary gland receive signals from various organs that identify the decrease in energy sources and are accordingly hormonally defensive. The level of ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, may rise, and the level of leptin, known as the satiety hormone, may fall – leading to a greater urge to eat. The urge is most often for foods with high calorie density, the same foods that one tries to avoid while dieting.

In addition, the body adapts to caloric reduction by changing the basal metabolic rate, thus causing metabolic efficiency of the body systems. It learns to continue to function “economically”, even if not at the peak of ability, and there are symptoms such as fatigue or side effects from a deficiency in one component or another. Over time there is also a decrease in lean muscle mass that causes a further slowdown in metabolism. Live with a strict and restrictive diet and return to a diet whose caloric contribution is high or reasonable.

The body has a memory for extreme dietary conditions, and it continues to function effectively. This is sometimes the reason for the high weight gain, even more than the weight we were before, after stopping the extreme diet. The body no longer needs the same caloric contribution that it used for the proper functioning of the body but at least.

so what are we doing?

It is advisable not to be tempted by neighbors’ suggestions, attractive advertisements, magic bullets or weed diets that are done independently and uncontrolled. Not only that, it is important to remember that 10 extra pounds have not accumulated within a month or two. Sometimes this is a moderate weight gain over the years, so do not expect to shed the excess weight within a month or two.

A meeting, even a single one, with a nutritionist who will give personalized guidance will help. The long-term guidance and support of a nutritionist will increase the chances of success. All licensed nutritionists are listed on the Ministry of Health website, and it is important to check if the advice is given by a registered professional.

In the meantime, here are some criteria for examining the various diets:

The way involves changing habits and not just menus and recipes: the word “diet” from Greek means lifestyle, meaning holistic adoption of behavior patterns in various areas: diet, exercise, sleeping habits (quantity and quality), leisure culture, spending time with family and friends and more. When it comes to proper nutrition, a delicious, healthy and nutritious menu is adopted in a long process and in several channels: the composition of meals includes more home cooking and less ultra-processed food, uninterrupted meals and distractions such as watching screens, eating slowly and chewing well and more.

Diet tailored to your degree: The nutritional and energy requirements change throughout our lives. In the first decades of our lives the energy demands increase. Towards the age of 60 they go down. The frequency and intensity of physical activity also have an effect. Some of the energy requirements are indirectly or directly related to gender. The family situation also has an effect (the refrigerator looks different if there are children in the house). The love of cooking (or lack thereof), the frequency of meals out if at all – for those and more influence on the weight loss process.

Culinary preferences: Questions like: Can I completely abstain from gluten? Will I be able to persevere in drinking a vegetable smoothie every morning? It is not advisable to start the process when the answers (preparations) to such questions are not or perhaps.

Who is behind the recommendations and guidelines: a celeb on duty, a professional or a “professional.” Read and check who is behind the publications before starting the latest fashion diet. And as mentioned, start on the Ministry of Health website.

Declaring success: It is important to remember that patience and perseverance are required, and it is recommended that the changes be gradual rather than extreme and immediate. For, if a goal of 100% of the recommendations is set, it will most likely interfere with the assimilation and adaptation to the new habits, and will be difficult to impossible to meet in the long run. Even partial success – only in 80%, 50% or even 20% of the goals – is success.

By Editor

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