by Angela Altomare and Roberta Piazza
Several studies say it: reducing calorie intake for a long time does not lead to weight loss. Indeed, it has the opposite effect. A diet in calorie restriction it sends a signal to the body that pushes it to consume less and, over time, also to accumulate extra pounds more easily. Not so for the Vigor diet, conceived by Dr. Fabrizio Duranti, specialist in surgery, who dedicated his latest book The Vigor Diet (Sperling & Kupfer, 17 euros) to this innovative food program.
«To lose weight in a lasting and healthy way, you need to learn to control the switches of the metabolism and with food transforming sugars into energy for the muscles rather than in adipose tissue », says the expert. How? Cyclically varying slightly the calories that come from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Act on glycogen stores
The acronym Vigor stands for Change in Hormone Rebalancing Glycemic Index. Many diets advise, to bring down levels of insulin and to keep weight under control, to constantly consume foods with a low glycemic index that do not "sweeten" the blood too much.
However, it has been discovered that if the spikes in blood sugar can lead in the long run toinsulin resistance (the hormone is no longer able to regulate blood sugar level by paving the way for diabetes), its non-involvement, protracted for a long time, can push the body to implement a conservative strategy and to burn fewer and fewer calories.
The solution? «To remodulate insulin and activate the metabolism it is necessary vary the glycemic index through the planned intake of carbohydrates. Basically, you reduce them a bit from Monday to Friday, and then increase them over the weekend. In this way, in the first part of the week the glycogen reserves (the sugar stored in the cells of the lean mass as ready-to-use energy) decrease (especially if you combine physical activity with the diet) », explains the expert.
"So your muscles will start to be hungry for carbohydrates and when you provide them, on Saturdays and Sundays, they will end up where they are needed and not in the adipose tissue, with an excellent filling effect, to which is added a increased thyroid activity and thermogenesis ".
Operate the right buttons of the metabolism
«To optimize the results, and get to give the maximum in all your performances, you have to learn to master other mechanisms as well. «Keep in mind that in our cells it is as if there were two buttons comparable to the" Eco "and" Sport "keys on a car. The first, once activated, allows you to save energy, the second, on the other hand, makes you burn more.
On calorie restriction days the body activates the "Eco" button, AMPK, an enzyme that stimulates autophagy: the cells dispose of the waste produced by the metabolism and reuse them for energy purposes.
Later, when you increase the income (and carbohydrates), the "Sport" button is activated, the mTOR enzyme: it gives a boost to the thyroid and hormones and prevents the body from losing vitality and burning less », specifies the expert.
- Read also: The vigor diet, the basic scheme