Weight loss: three diets that don’t work for women, according to an expert

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Whether we like it or not, biologically men and women are very different. One important difference is how men and women use and store fat. Men have on average about 3% essential fats in their composition – women have 12%.

Essential fat is a percentage of total body fat that is needed for insulation, protection of our vital organs, storage of vitamins, and construction of key cellular messengers like steroids that are needed for effective cellular communication. Without this fat, the body does not function properly and our immune and neurological systems are affected.

Women have four times more essential fats. Stored fat in women is actually beneficial for overall health. A baseline of 12% essential fat protects women from type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. This is important to understand because:

It helps set expectations and goals when choosing weight loss programs:

Striving for 20% body fat is unhealthy

There are three popular diets around the world: the Keto Diet, Intermittent Fasting, and the GM Diet. Unfortunately, these diets are not useful, especially for women who are planning a significant weight loss (more than 15-20 kg) and constantly maintain it.

Let’s look at these diet plans in detail:

keto diet: The ketogenic diet is a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Restricting carbs and increasing fat intake can lead to ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body relies primarily on fat for energy instead of carbs. “Women’s bodies are always resistant to losing fat because it’s essential for pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it’s essential.”

Carbohydrate intake in the keto diet is generally limited to less than 50 grams per day, which can come as a shock to women’s bodies. As the carb quotient depletes, it switches to ketones and fat for fuel. At the start of this diet, women’s brains and metabolism begin to resist fat loss. This results in a complete imbalance resulting in hormonal and metabolic changes. Additionally, Keto-type diets usually only work for a short time and can have side effects such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and constipation.

Also, most of the initial weight loss is water weight. Once the body enters ketosis, we begin to lose muscle, become extremely tired, and eventually go into starvation mode, which makes it even more difficult to lose weight.

A keto diet does more harm than good for the majority of women, especially if they have underlying medical conditions like PCOS, irregular periods, or infertility.

Intermittent fasting: Fasting is the practice of completely abstaining from eating or avoiding certain foods for a set period of time. In recent years, intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular with people looking to lose weight.

In studies, it has been found that although intermittent fasting produces favorable results in overweight or obese people, women who tried it experienced the following negative effects:

Severe mood swings

extreme hunger

Low energy/fatigue

Obsessive thoughts about food

Overeating on Non-Calorie Restricted Days

Depression

Anger

Most women exhibit such behaviors during the first few weeks of intermittent fasting. It is also observed that by restricting caloric intake in this way, it can interfere with their menstrual cycles.


GM Diet:
The GM diet aims to help people lose weight by focusing on one specific food or food group each day for a week. The GM diet consists of a 7-day meal plan. Each day focuses on a specific food or food group.

While the idea of ​​substantial weight loss over a short period of time may sound appealing, the GM diet comes with risks which are:

Lack of essential nutrients: Women on the GM diet may not be getting enough of some important food groups, such as healthy fats and proteins. This diet may also be lacking in essential vitamins and minerals that come with eating a wide variety of healthy foods.

Short-term weight loss: The GM diet is not a sustainable long-term weight loss strategy. A woman can regain weight once she stops following the diet. One reason is that the diet doesn’t necessarily teach healthy cooking or eating techniques that are essential for long-term weight maintenance.

Other risks that are very common and can be worsened in women within weeks include dehydration, headaches, fatigue, muscle weakness and inability to concentrate. and minerals essential for pregnancy, lactation and general women’s health. Therefore, it is advisable to eat a balanced meal while losing weight.

(Dr. Kiran Rukadikar, renowned physician specializing in obesity and weight loss)


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