For the seventh consecutive year, the European Medical Institute of Obesity (IMEO) launches its ranking with the worst and best slimming diets, clarifying, once again, that not everything that is in fashion is worth to achieve a healthy weight loss .
Endorsed by about twenty experts in obesity and health care (endocrine and bariatric surgeons, clinical and sports nutritionists, dietitians, psychologists, therapists and physical trainers), this classification draws on real cases, scientific studies, news and trends collected from in the media and social networks, as well as searches in Google Trends registered in Spain.
Once again, from the IMEO they advise avoiding «miracle diets» because of their negative effects on health. They also remember that healthy slimming methods are based on scientific evidence, propose a gradual weight loss, not exceeding 1.5Kg per week and 6Kg per month and use all food groups restricting only the amounts and are A great help when maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Aggressive and very restrictive, they promise to lose a lot of weight in a short time, but they are unsustainable in the long term . They lack scientific support and often turn to «miracle» products. With guaranteed rebound effect and side effects that compromise health. They are totally discouraged to achieve a healthy weight loss.
1. The vinegar diet
He went viral due to the death of a young British woman. Since the list of celebrities who support this method of losing weight is headed by names like Miranda Kerr or Victoria Beckham, we should not underestimate its influence and risks.
It is an aggressive diet that exploits a study conducted in Japan a decade ago that attributes the loss of body weight to the effect of vinegar acetic acid on lipid metabolism. «The results showed that with the daily intake of 30 ml of apple cider vinegar you could lose about 150 grams per week, an insignificant amount and far from those five kilos less in three days predicted by some followers of this practice,» he added. IMEO clinical nutritionist Carmen Escalada.
Actually, combining uncontrolled fasting with minimal intakes and vinegar daily can compromise our health and aggravate hidden or undetected diseases, such as diabetes, ulcer, gastritis or osteoporosis, among others.
The monodietas that propose a substantial and rapid reduction of weight achieve it in the short term with the drastic reduction of the caloric intake. From there, everything is inconvenient: risk of deficit of nutrients and energy, loss of water and muscle mass and a fearsome rebound effect that stalks us in the long term.
They are difficult to fit into a healthy lifestyle: they worsen our habits and generate anxiety, irritability and decay.
2. The ‘powder’ diet
Diets with Pronokal type supplements are booming due to their easy access and their seductive promise: lose up to 4 kilos in a week .
They usually offer, together with nutritional advice, a wide range of dietary products in the form of powders that are used to prepare soups, tortillas, pasta, chips, sauces, bars, milkshakes, cookies, chocolates and desserts, to which we must add multiple mineral and vitamin complexes.
They are excessively expensive products but they do not fulfill their purpose or goal. In the long term «the powder diet» is difficult to follow and has a strong rebound effect . In Spain, we could see it almost live with the change in the image of the television presenter Carlota Corredera who, after losing 60 kilos with this method, has begun to regain weight.
«Before, the usual protein supplements in these types of diets could be purchased only under the prescription of an endocrine or nutritionist; now they can be bought without a prescription in stores at street level and ‘online’,» says IMEO nutritionist Andrea Marqués.
Sometimes, people who want to lose weight desperately are not aware of the risks they hide. Taken without supervision can impoverish our diet and displace the consumption of quality fruits, vegetables and proteins.
In addition, protein supplements are not low caloric , so we must be careful to include them in our diet, even in a timely manner. They should never be used to perform ketogenic diets without medical or nutritionist supervision, as these can lead to health risks, such as liver and kidney poisoning, or vitamin and mineral deficits.
3. Keto diet
This diet followed by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian promises to lose up to 12 kg in a month and was one of the most sought after in Spain according to Google Triends data for last year.
It is based on ketosis , the transformation of accumulated fats into ketogenic bodies so that they can be used as fuel by our body. » When we limit the amount of carbohydrates to the maximum, our glycogen or energy reserve decreases , forcing the body to pull fat stores and thus lose weight,» explains Estefanía Ramo, nutritionist and dietitian at IMEO.
We are facing an unhealthy diet , the experts of the Institute emphasize, which promotes excessive consumption of fats and proteins that satisfy a lot, but cost more to be digested than carbohydrates .
That explains some of the symptoms of general malaise and adverse effects caused by ketosis: headache and dizziness in the absence of energy; bad breath and dry mouth; heavy sweating; lack of appetite; nausea or even vomiting; abdominal pain; difficulty breathing; decay; loss of calcium and risk of osteoporosis; increased cortisol in the blood (whose excess can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety).
Those who, despite everything, are determined to make this diet, should follow a rigorous process when it comes to progressively reinstating carbohydrates in their menu after the end of the regimen to avoid the expected rebound effect. This process usually lasts from two weeks to several months, depending on the weight that has been lost.
4. The diet of the ‘influencer’ without qualification
It is a phenomenon that moves millions and sweeps platforms like Instagram, Facebook or YouTube: the ‘influencers’ of food and healthy lifestyle.
Without having the corresponding credentials , they embark on the world of nutrition and sport, transferring advice that they themselves do not practice without a camera in front and encouraging the follower to consume natural products or slimming that, in many cases, are not as healthy or whose benefits are not demonstrable, constituting a double-edged sword for professionals who also work on these platforms.
«We often have to demystify bulls about aggressive methods to lose five kilos in two weeks, » says IMEO clinical and sports nutritionist Sonia Peinado. There is no «miraculous formula» when it comes to losing weight .
If we allow ourselves to be guided at a distance by the success of others without professional follow-up, we will most likely not reach the goal, end up more overweight than the initial one, develop a nutritional deficit or an eating disorder, thus compromising. our state of health due to ignorance.
To avoid falling into the networks of the amateur ‘influencer’, the expert advises to make sure that he has a collegiate number, that at least the first consultations are carried out in person, that the diet is personalized and that, after all, not It concerns the sale of slimming products that have not passed the corresponding sanitary controls.
5. Paleo diet
It is the favorite of elite athletes , such as footballers Marcos Llorente and Rafa Usín, which allows you to lose three kilos of fat in 10 days .
As the name implies, it is a food plan similar to that of the Palaeolithic caveman where the consumption of lean meats, fish, eggs, organic dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds is prioritized and the grain (wheat, rice, corn, oats).
The followers of the paleo diet argue that the human body is genetically incompatible with the current diet that includes processed foods rich in sugars, fats and salt that makes people more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension or inflammation of the colon.
» With a professional follow-up, this diet could work for athletes or people looking to improve their physical and muscular performance, » says IMEO Immaculate Luengo clinical and sports nutritionist.
The high content of fruits and vegetables ensures adequate levels of potassium, good blood pressure and proper function of the kidneys and muscle. It is a diet suitable for celiacs and prevents constipation, due to its fiber intake. A maximum of three intakes are made per day, with periods of intermittent fasting that allows our digestive and immune system to rest.
Regarding the drawbacks, a study conducted by Australian scientists recently revealed that the paleo diet can have an adverse effect on heart health, in addition to leading to other long-term chronic diseases , because it excludes grain carbohydrates from the menu whole, which can reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the stomach.
Being a diet with excess protein, you can double the recommended amount of saturated fat, increase «bad» cholesterol levels and affect the functioning of the liver or kidney. It can lead to calcium deficiency, vitamins D and B. It is more expensive and difficult to vary in terms of food, which often leads to its early abandonment.
Sustainable over time and with no rebound effect, they contribute to a healthy lifestyle. They propose a moderate weight loss: up to 1.5 kg per week and no more than 6 kg per month.
They consist of all food groups taking into account their distribution, bioavailability and quantities to ensure the proper functioning of our body. Normally monitored by endocrines, nutritionists or dietitians.
1. Evolution method
According to Rubén Bravo, nutrition expert and spokesperson for IMEO, «it is a multidisciplinary commitment in the short, medium and long term that incorporates not only nutritional and physical activity guidelines, but also nutritional supplements and coaching techniques, personal growth and mindfulness as tools of help to achieve health goals and reinforce motivation. «
It allows you to lose 5 kilos of fat in a month in a healthy way and is advised to people who seek to combine an active lifestyle with improvement in physical condition.
The food plan is aimed at promoting the use of fat as a source of energy through intelligent nutrition backed by scientific evidence. This involves taking foods of low and medium glycemic index to stabilize blood sugar levels and promote vitality and avoid feeling hungry; adequate amounts of high bioavailability proteins that feed the muscle; healthy fats that favor the hormonal system; High nutritional density foods to rule out micronutrient deficiencies or malnutrition.
If we follow a diet unbalanced and low in protein, we will lose weight, but the kilos we lose will be partly of muscle mass, causing our body to slow down and spend fewer calories at rest . «When we finish the diet and return to normal eating, our body, which now spends much less calories because it has less muscle mass, will begin to store excess energy in the form of fat and we will experience the dreaded rebound effect, getting fat again,» explains Bravo .
The method proposes three different phases to accustom and adapt our metabolism to all food groups : a first one of metabolic activation and initiation in physical activity; the second , designed to set new healthy habits; and a third phase fit . «It is the final stretch to define muscle tone, minimize body fat, work to combat premature aging, anxiety and sleep problems, train memory and increase defenses, reinforcing motivation and positive thinking with techniques mindfulness, and the consolidation in the healthy, active and preventive lifestyle «, concludes the expert.
Actress Paz Vega, a lover confesses to healthy, fresh and organic food, would fit into this social movement that has more than two million followers on the networks.
The method, baptized as «realfooding» by nutritionist Carlos Ríos , appeals to remove ultraprocessed products and the addictive effect they may have from the menu, moving us to a natural and healthy diet . Therefore, we are not faced with a diet, but with a proposal of healthy guidelines that can help us lose between 0.5 and 1 kilo a week.
Those who follow this approach divide food into three large groups based on their nature, nutritional quality or the presence of processed ingredients and additives.
The first group includes fruits, vegetables, vegetables, legumes, fish, shellfish and eggs that would be the basis of daily food .
The second is made up of healthy processed foods, including UHT milk, extra virgin olive oil, canned fish or 100% whole wheat bread.
The third group refers to ultraprocesses, such as soft drinks, sugary dairy products, salty snacks or pastries, which may be harmful to health, due to the high concentrations of sugars, salt or saturated fats that have been incorporated to increase palatability, Duration or attractiveness.
«Following this method can help us to be healthy, but it does not have to become an obsession to the point of resorting to applications to scan the food and every bite we take,» says Carmen Escalada, clinical nutritionist at IMEO.
Do not forget that, even when eating healthy, we can gain weight, if the amount of some healthy foods , but very caloric, such as avocado, olive oil or nuts is exceeded .
If we want to lose weight, it would be necessary to adjust the intake according to our constitution and the physical exercise performed.
3. Volumetric diet
Actress Angelina Jolie is one of the celebrities who has passed to this type of diet that uses foods with a lot of volume, but low in calories and with a greater satiating power . In this way and with a daily menu that would be around 1,500 calories, you could lose between 0.5 and 1 kilo a week, ensuring a gradual decrease.
The great advantage of this diet is its ability to calm the appetite and cover the daily nutritional requirements . To do this, it uses the flavor, texture, preparation and combination of certain foods that increase the feeling of satiety and encourage weight loss.
It has almost no rebound effect , since very few food groups are excluded during the diet and, in general, it is easy to follow.
«Here they usually serve first or before the main meal dishes that decrease appetite, such as the salad of wide-leaf vegetables or the defatted broth ,» explains IMEO nutritionist Estefanía Ramo.
More aqueous and cooked foods are prioritized , such as infusions, cooked cereals, fruits, vegetables, soups and stews that allow you to eat more volume than others and increase satiety . The intake of raw vegetables rich in complex carbohydrates guarantees a constant supply of glucose and energy, while the fruits would provide us with vitamins and fructose that is assimilated more slowly than glucose and, therefore, does not cause sugar drops.
High-calorie foods , such as mayonnaise, cream, butters, sausages, fried foods, fatty meats and whole dairy, are replaced by others, with a low or moderate caloric intake, such as skimmed dairy, skinless chicken, lean cuts of meat ( cold defatted meat, lean ham), light dressings and vegetable dew.
Rapidly absorbed carbohydrates , such as pasta, refined cereals and their derivatives (white bread, pasta and white rice) should be ingested in moderation, because they favor the increase in body fat deposits , in addition to giving less feeling of satiety and sharply raise blood sugar. Slowly absorbed carbohydrates obtained from fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and legumes are preferable .
Hydration is essential , as it is recommended to drink two glasses of water as soon as you get up and reach three liters at the end of the day , being able to opt for fruit juices or smoothies. Alcohol is discouraged, for providing «empty calories» and increase the feeling of hunger. Sweetened and carbonated drinks are prohibited, as they fill and do not satisfy.
4. Vegan diet
Natalie Portman and Brad Pitt are some of the celebrities who recognize following this type of diet based on the exclusion of all types of meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, dairy products and all their derivatives.
«The vegan diet has always raised controversy over the possible associated deficits, but if it is well planned and balanced with high quality foods it can be beneficial , reduce cardiovascular risk, balance cholesterol levels and improve intestinal microbiota, due to the consumption of fiber of plant origin, «explains Sonia Peinado, nutritionist at IMEO. It allows you to lose between one and two kilos a week, if vegetable oil is restricted.
In order to avoid nutritional deficiencies, it should be supervised by qualified health personnel , when in fact it is estimated that only ten percent of vegans go to consultation.
The nutrients that are critical in a vegan diet, either because they have lower availability or due to their difficult absorption, are Vitamin B12, iron, zinc, iodine, proteins and omega 3 fatty acid .
Its deficit can lead to major diseases, such as megaloblastic anemia and cardiovascular disease, and interfere with the correct development of the nervous system or in the growth stages.
In this sense, the key to success lies in a professional follow-up carried out by qualified health personnel, which guarantees adequate supplementation based on preparations of plant origin and minimizes the consumption of croquettes, nuggets or sausages suitable for vegans, which do not allow ultra-processed products .
5. Intermittent fasting diet
Intermittent fasting is one of the current high-rise diets that allows you to lose between one and two kilos a week. It is practiced by many celebrities, including Ben Affleck and Elsa Pataky .
It consists of introducing periods of fasting into a balanced diet that can last 12, 16 or more hours a day without exceeding 48 hours in a row . «Because they are so long, these last periods must be supervised by professionals,» advises IMEO nutritionist Andrea Marqués.
This approach is to make a balanced diet with fasting days in between so that our metabolism optimizes the energy consumption stored in the form of fat .
Physiologically, blood glucose levels during fasting decrease and fewer calories are ingested, which helps to lose weight.
When practiced at night, fasting helps our intestinal microbiota stay healthier , favoring the positive flora and keeping the negative at bay.
«However, if we practice intermittent fasting, it is very important to have an adequate nutrient intake throughout the day so as not to lose muscle mass or expose our health to risk with a rebound effect in the short and medium term, » warns Marquis.
This type of fasting can be beneficial in healthy people, those with controlled type 2 diabetes or those who practice a moderate sport. Patients with associated pathologies or eating disorders are not advised without the recommendation and supervision of a doctor or nutritionist .