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How to avoid diet fads and lose weight sustainably Updated: 2019-06-28 07:15:01 KST

Time now for our "Life & Info" segment, where we focus on information useful for your everyday life.
As we near the summer holiday season, many of us are trying to slim down and this, of course, requires watching what we eat.
To go over some dos and don'ts, we have our Oh Soo-young in the studio.
Sooyoung, there are a million and one diets out there that people are trying out.
But the big question is, which ones work and which ones are nothing more than passing fads?

Well, it's definitely that time of year when a lot of people are trying to lose a few pounds for the summer. And as you said, there are countless weight loss plans out there he timeless cabbage soup diet, intermittent fasting, high protein diets.
They all promise fast results but most of them involve limiting or even excluding certain food groups. That's when you should be wary as these popular diet plans are often based on dodgy science.

Right, I've noticed the first thing people do when they want to lose weight is cut down on the carbs.

Yes. We need to talk about carbs In most diet plans, carbs like bread, rice, spaghetti, or even fruit are either restricted or banned entirely, as they're seen as fattening foods. But dieticians say, it can be countereffective in the long run to drastically reduce your intake of carbohydrates.

"When you limit your intake of carbs, you lose water weight, so you're not actually losing fat. Also, we're recommended to have around 300 grams of carbohydrates every day to produce fuel for our bodies and also protect our muscles. We are also deprived of the water-soluble vitamins that are contained in carbs."

Carbohydrates, protein, and fat contain essential nutrients and minerals your body and brain need to function properly.
So if you limit these nutrients, particularly carbs, you are likely to experience symptoms like headaches, constipation, and even bad breath
But more critically, and ironically, your metabolism is likely to slow down.

So that means you burn less energy.

Exactly. So your energy-burning function will stagnate which could actually make it easier for you to gain weight.
That's just one of the long-term effects a crash diet can have on your health.
Rapid weight loss or a drastic restriction of food can also lead to malnutrition, gallstones, fatigue, cholesterol, and heart disease.

"When you decide to lose weight by a dramatic margin let's say 10 kilograms in a month the first problem many people experience are gallstones, as your body produces less bile and the second problem is iron deficiency. Iron, of course, is needed to produce blood. On top of that, your digestive system doesn't function properly and could lead to long-term complications with your intestines and your stomach."

So how can we slim down relatively quickly but in a way that is sensible?


Well, first you need to check whether it's safe or appropriate for you to go on a weight loss plan. You can see if you are at a healthy or appropriate weight by checking your body mass index. If you are overweight, health authorities say, you should aim to lose about 5 to 10% of starting weight, at a rate of between half a kilo and a kilogram per week.
This could be done by consuming about 500 to 600 calories less than usual every day.
If you have a trip to the beach or a special day coming up and you want to slim down quickly, dieticians recommend three steps: which are reducing salt, having smaller dinner portions and avoiding alcohol and snacks in between.

"Cutting down on salt can help you shed weight in a short amount of time, but the thing is, it's not sustainable as it's mostly water weight. If you start having regular amounts of salt again, you can go back to your normal weight within days. So that's one effective but short-lived way to lose weight quickly."

The dietician I spoke to showed us an example of a quick, healthy, and most importantly a filling meal that gives you all the nutrients you need.
It's 60 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and about 10 percent fat.

It takes less than fifteen minutes to prepare, using ingredients that you'd normally have in your fridge.
Two cups of vegetables stir fried with rice, with a dash of oil and salt and even chopped chilies if you want a kick to the flavour.

The portion certainly doesn't look that small. It does look very filling. How many calories would that amount to?

Because you're only having half a portion of rice and diluting it with vegetables, it feels like you're eating a lot but it only amounts to 300 calories.

Well, sticking to a diet is always easier said than done but I think we've covered some important points to make sure we're losing weight in a healthy and balanced way.
Thank you for your report, Sooyoung.

You're welcome.
Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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