Losing weight too quickly: beware of danger! & Intermittent fasting or low calorie diet?

Losing weight too quickly: beware of danger!

“Lose weight quickly” are two words that do not go together very well. Brutal method, nutritional imbalance, weakening of the body and above all rapid weight recovery, here are the dangers pointed out by the report requested from ANSES by the  Directorate General of Health, in order to assess the risks of short weight loss diets , medium and long term.

Danger of “miracle” weight loss diets

According to ANSES *, 95% of women who have followed a drastic diet regain weight afterwards. This “yoyo” effect would promote overweight and obesity in the long term. Disrupted in its habits, the body tends to store more, because deprived of sufficient food intake, it anticipates a next phase of famine. The loss of muscle mass – which melts first with too much food deprivation – is then compensated by an increase in the stock of fat. Instead of muscle, fat sets in. And it will be very difficult to lose. In the medium term, the metabolic slowdown will deprive you of the ability to lose fat mass. That is to say that your weight will no longer be determined by the calorie intake / expenditure factor.

Fat and carbohydrate deprivation

If the body becomes skinny, it marks the effects of fatigue and deficiencies (iron, calcium, vitamins D and E). The skin is damaged more quickly, and, without sufficient lipid intake, its elasticity and tone decrease. In addition, hair and nails become fragile. Fatigue sets in and the symptoms follow one another: dizziness, dizziness, nausea … The risks are numerous and serious: bone fragility, cardiovascular, renal and digestive risks, disruption of the endocrine, immune and reproductive systems. 

The first (bad) reflex is often to “run away from fat”. However, only saturated fat should be avoided. Conversely, some others, such as unsaturated fatty acids, are very important. It is this excessive drop in “good lipids” that leads to a drop in testosterone levels and a hormonal imbalance in general. 

Carbohydrates are not to be banned completely either. They are the main source of energy for your body and are essential for proper functioning, especially of the brain. They are also all the more important when you are athletic . While it is undeniable that cutting carbohydrates completely will result in relatively rapid weight loss, it will result in muscle loss as much or more than fat loss. Instead, focus on good carbohydrates, those  called “complex” or “low glycemic index”.

Only physical activity added to a balanced diet will help you lose weight in a sustainable way. If you want quick results, go for strenuous physical activity. But be careful, to avoid tiring your body, drink plenty of water and always eat your fill, in a healthy way.

* National Food Safety Agency

Intermittent fasting or low calorie diet?

Too difficult to maintain a low calorie diet continuously? Fast every other day! An American study indeed reveals that intermittent fasting would be just as effective as a daily calorie restriction.

This method, which has been successfully tested in the United States, consists of alternating days of quasi-fasting and days of plenty. For six months, 34 obese people (95 kg, BMI 34),  participating in the “alternate fasting” group had to reduce their calorie intake to 25% of the daily recommendations (or about 500 calories) every other day, and could eat lightly. excess (25% more, or 2,500 calories) the rest of the time.

At the same time, another group of obese patients were following a classic diet, where calorie intake was reduced to 75% every day. Result: six months after the end of these diets, the two groups had lost respectively 6% and 5% of their initial weight (5.7 and 5 kg). The researchers were also interested in indicators of cardiovascular risks. And again, no significant difference in the long term: cholesterol and triglyceride levels fell equally in both groups.


During the diet year, 38% of the fasters quit the experiment, compared to 29% in the low-calorie group (and 26% in the control group). A difference which can be explained by a higher lack of food satisfaction reported by the former.

According to the authors of the study,  published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine , this alternating fast is intended for patients who find it difficult to maintain a classic diet over time. This organization of time would make it possible to experience, every other day, the joy of the reward

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