What it is and what it is used for
The diet for obesity is a diet aimed at reducing excess body fat, as the cause (direct and indirect) of the onset of serious diseases, and the reduction of quality and life expectancy itself. A subject is defined as obese when his BMI (body mass index) reaches or exceeds 30 points; for example, considering an individual 175 cm tall, the obesity threshold is around 92 kg.
The diet for obesity should not be interpreted as a simple food "scheme" or as a "periodic cure"; rather it must represent a total and definitive correction of the subjective habits that have given rise to the pathological alteration of body composition and metabolic functions (incorrect diet and absence of desirable physical activity). It is no coincidence that "diet" - Greek and Latin etymology - means style / way of life.
Ultimately, overall, the obesity diet aims to: lose weight, improve the hormonal response to insulin, the metabolism of lipids and glucose, muscle and cardio-circulatory fitness, reduce the accumulation of uric acid (especially in predisposed subjects), the possibility of joint complications due to overload and decrease the risk of: atherosclerosis, cerebral stroke, various neoplasms, dental caries, PATOLOGICAL dissatisfaction with one's body image and consequent psychiatric disorders ....
The obesity diet focuses on some key points or cardinal principles; obviously, every professional has his own vision of the diet for obesity, which corresponds to an absolutely unique and subjectively interpreted method. However, some concepts are uniquely shared, and they are:
- Power rectification:
- Reduction of calories introduced daily
- Subjective nutritional breakdown
- Restoration of the recommended daily rations for macro and microelements
- Subjective distribution of meals
- Elimination of junk food
- Increased energy expenditure
- It refers to ordinary physical activity (walking, climbing and descending stairs, cycling, etc.)
- Both referring to physical motor activity - aerobic / anaerobic training protocol
- Treatment or reduction of any aggravating diseases (hormonal dysfunctions) or aggravated by obesity (mentioned above).
The application of the diet for obesity implies a real rectification of nutrition. First of all it is necessary to reduce the calories usually introduced by the obese; in addition to an absolute curtailment, that is the energy restriction with respect to the foods HABITALLY consumed (normally in excess), this scheme requires a further moderation of the total calories. The diet for obesity is therefore a low calorie diet. In short, assuming that the subject consumes about 3000kcal / day, if 2500kcal / day would be enough to maintain weight, the relative diet for obesity would bring about 1750kcal / day (or 70%).
Secondly, the obesity diet requires a balanced distribution of energy macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (in addition to the possible elimination / moderation of ethyl alcohol). Often the obese follows a highly unbalanced diet, due to the excess percentage of: lipids (> 30-35% of total energy - which provide about 9kcal / g) and carbohydrates [especially refined sugars (sucrose> 12-16 % of total energy), which provide about 3,75kcal / g]; therefore, making use of some specific data such as: desirable physiological weight and total energy (with hypocaloric estimate), it is necessary to divide: proteins (with subjectively determinable pro / kg coefficient - provide 4kcal / g), lipids (25% of total calories, with the saturated + hydrogenated fraction <10-12% must be represented by simple sugars). Taking an example:
Obese subject with estimate of the desirable physiological weight equal to 75kg, estimate of the pro / kg protein coefficient of 1,2g / kg and evaluation of the hypocaloric equal to 1750kcal / day:
- Proteins: 1,2 * 75 = 90g, which is equivalent to 360kcal
- Lipids: 25% of 1750kcal = 437,5 kcal, which is equivalent to 48,6g
- Of which SATURATED: max 10% of 1750kcal = 175kcal, which is equivalent to 19,4kcal
- TOTAL carbohydrates: 1750 - (360 + 437,5) = 952,5kcal, which equals 254g
- Of which SIMPLE: max 12% of 1750kcal = 210kcal, which is equivalent to 56g.
Not least, the restoration of the recommended daily rations; structuring the diet for obesity it is not possible to ignore the various contributions of: total water, dietary fiber and prebiotics, vitamins (with particular attention to thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, retinol equivalents, ascorbic acid and, sometimes, folic acid), mineral salts (with particular attention to sodium, calcium, iron and, sometimes, potassium and magnesium), cholesterol (preferably <200mg / day and NEVER> 300mg / day) and possibly other USEFUL nutritional molecules (polyphenols, lecithins, phytosterols, etc.). NB. The recommended rations vary according to: age, sex, special physiological conditions, pathological conditions and sporting activity.
The breakdown of meals in the diet for obesity is a rather controversial topic; some professionals ALWAYS use a breakdown of energy into 5 daily meals, characterized by 15% of the energy for breakfast, 5% for 2 snacks (morning and afternoon), 40% for lunch and 35% for dinner. Personally, I believe that this distribution depends mainly on the habits of the subject who, on the other hand, must be subjected EXCLUSIVELY to the moderation of the evening meal; In my opinion, I find it interesting to apply the diet for obesity with the following distribution of meals: 15% for breakfast, 10% for 2 snacks (morning and afternoon), 35% for lunch and 30% for dinner.
Furthermore, the elimination of junk-food is ALWAYS an essential step in the diet for obesity; speaking on behalf of the entire category, I affirm that a restriction that is as immediate as it is iron is indispensable.
Increased energy expenditure
Here opens a chapter that deserves an entire treatise in depth, however, I will try to be as concise and clear as possible. The obese is basically a sedentary; he dislikes physical activity and is often ashamed of showing his clumsiness. For all therapists this is the biggest problem to overcome since, without starting the "man-machine", it is not possible to obtain an energy consumption useful for weight loss. By working on counseling and motivation, as well as relying on sports associations or authorized structures, it should be possible to induce the subject to initiate a physical and motor activity protocol (preferably mixed, therefore both aerobic and anaerobic). But that is not all; by carefully observing the levels of energy consumption of 3-4 training sessions and comparing them to those of an ACTIVE subject in daily life, it is observed that motor practice (while constituting a very valid and irreplaceable means of slimming / prevention / treatment) must necessarily INTEGRATE and do not REPLACE the increase in ordinary physical activity (walking and cycling rather than using the car or public transport, climbing and descending stairs rather than using the elevator, etc.). Obviously, both the one and the other aspect depend primarily on the physical and health condition of the obese who, in addition to being healthy, must be judged suitable for sport after a sports doctor visit.
Diet for obesity: treatment or reduction of any pathologies aggravating (hormonal dysfunctions) or aggravated (mentioned above) by obesity
In addition to the need to moderate (pharmacologically) any complications of obesity (diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, etc.), the success of the diet sometimes depends on the treatment of other disorders related to excessive adipose accumulation. These are mostly hormonal alterations among which the most frequent are uncompensated hypo-thyroidism and changes in insulin action (not only in the presence of diabetes, but also for some more ambiguous disorders such as polycystic ovary); obviously, in this case medical-specialist intervention is required to be integrated into the diet for obesity.