Doctor’s recommendations for weight loss and health improvement for adults and children

Going to the pool or the sea and putting on a swimsuit is still an inconvenient moment for many people due to excess body weight and showing their image. Why do many people worry about their appearance during these months and find it so difficult to keep track of their diet and maintain good habits in order to gain health during the rest of the year, which goes far beyond the body image that is perceived to show to others?

According to José Luis Sidon, surgeon, PhD, and author of Intermittent Fasting for Permanent Wellness, it’s very common for body anxiety to rise with the arrival of good weather. “If you lead a sedentary lifestyle,” he points out, “it is advisable to consult a doctor so that he will recommend what actions you can and cannot do. Going for a walk and leading an active lifestyle is very beneficial, as is exercising. You will release endorphins, known as happiness hormones, and you will feel better. And, if you’re looking to drop a few pounds on a diet, also talk to your doctor about what’s best for you, or stick to intermittent fasting. In any case, it should be clear that this is not about fulfilling some impossible aesthetic canon, but about self-love and self-care. For all this, it is important to seek health, without a doubt, the most important thing in life, to be able to enjoy it.

According to the definition developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), “health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity or disease.” Ultimately, what should a person do to enjoy good health and be healthy?

Taking care of your health should be a priority at any stage of our lives. This will help us to have an excellent quality of life at all levels and at all ages. For this you need:

• Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

• Get regular exercise.

• Avoid the use of toxic or addictive substances such as tobacco, alcohol, or drugs of any kind.

And it is the WHO that assures that it is enough to maintain a healthy diet, normal weight and some physical activity throughout life to prevent a third of cancer cases. At the opposite extreme, we find that poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and smoking cause up to 80% of premature coronary heart disease.

According to the latest Aladino Childhood Obesity Study (a study of nutrition, physical activity, child development and obesity in Spain), 23.3% of Spanish schoolchildren aged 6 to 9 are overweight. Increasing rates of obesity, which reaches 17.9%. Is it bad to eat in Spanish houses? Neglect, lack of information…?

The reasons are many and varied, from stress and anxiety, little time spent, to the poor quality of today’s processed foods. We already know the consequences: epidemics of overweight and obesity that cause disease and premature death.

Also, a lack of will and self-esteem plays a big role. You may be caught in a vicious cycle or a food-related vicious cycle (similar to addiction) in which we have an overwhelming desire to eat that is difficult to contain.

However, there is currently a lot of misinformation about nutrition and food. Many people think they are eating well, when in fact their diet is incomplete.

What are the main recommendations you would give for proper family nutrition?

• Drink 2 liters of water a day.

• Eat a bowl of vegetables and another salad.

• Four seasonal fruits.

• As a source of protein, fish is healthier than red meat (rich in arachidonic acid, which causes inflammation).

• Other recommended proteins are found in eggs, shellfish, soybeans, etc.

• Avoid grains.

• Avoid sweets.

• Avoid foods with additives, colors, and preservatives that can harm your health, and use food preparation methods that do not destroy nutrients.

Where do you fail the most?

In general, sweets are the most addictive and cause the most abuse. Foods processed with sugar, fat, and salt are biologically addictive. They activate the same mesolimbic dopamine reward in brain circuits. That is, when I eat sweets, at the level of the limbic system, I produce the same amount of dopamine as when I use any addictive drug.

Broccoli is not addictive, but foods like chips, cookies, ice cream, and cola can be almost as addictive as any drug.

The rush usually makes breakfast something quick and not given much importance. In his book, he says no to cereals. What are your best deals for kids? And for adults?

To keep children healthy and strong, it is vital to provide them with a complete and balanced breakfast that contains the vitamins and minerals they need to grow.

A study published in the medical journal Pediatric Annals tells us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for children. This is mainly because they are a source of essential nutrients that, in addition to increasing energy, promote good health. Similarly, a good breakfast has been shown to reduce problems such as childhood obesity because it increases satiety and reduces overeating at other times of the day. In turn, it promotes the absorption of nutrients, such as fiber and calcium, necessary for its development process. The pediatrician should assess the child’s diet depending on age, physical and intellectual activity. As a guideline, natural yogurt (preferably made from goat or sheep milk) is recommended as it is one of the best foods for a child’s breakfast, according to a recent study published in a European Journal. clinical nutrition. It should also include a handful of almonds and walnuts, a cup of blueberries, a boiled egg drizzled with olive oil, and two slices of boiled turkey.

And adults should avoid breakfast called “office worker,” which includes coffee or chocolate with churros, toast, or a fried croissant with jam. Ideal: a few slices of ham or turkey, scrambled eggs with cheese or tuna, smoked salmon with avocado, herbal teas, preferably without aspartame and sugar, and two pieces of seasonal fruit.

When adults go on a diet, can children do the same or should we differentiate them by age?

Behind being overweight or obese, there is always a disorder or imbalance that led us to put on those pounds, so only a medical professional can correct this imbalance and prescribe the most appropriate diet.

When do you recommend intermittent fasting? How will I know if it’s right for me?

Anyone can perform intermittent fasting, although the ideal would be to consult with a healthcare professional. Fasting is a way of life to improve health.

How does the body behave before this fasting?

Here are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting:

• Increases concentration by increasing BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor).

• Ketosis reduces mild inflammation in the brain, reducing anxiety and depression. They also have a remarkable neuroprotective and nootropic effect.

• Lowers triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol levels and increases HDL cholesterol levels.

• Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

• Reduces arterial hypertension.

• Ketone bodies reduce oxidative stress by producing fewer free radicals in the mitochondria and also inhibit the NLRP3 gene, which is part of a group of proteins called inflammasomes that activate inflammation, thereby reducing inflammation markers.

• Normalizes blood glucose levels.

• Improves insulin resistance.

• Restores intestinal microbiota.

• Strengthens the immune system.

• Prevents degenerative diseases.

• Produces activation of stem cells, which allows cellular regeneration.

• Weight loss of 0.2 to 0.8 kg per week in obese patients.

• Slows down the aging process.

• Activate sirtuins. This is a group of enzymes that repair the body during fasting, especially damaged genes and diseased cells. For this reason, sirtuins are often associated with intermittent fasting, one of the practices that, along with exercise, can help keep our cells from aging.

• Activates the SIR2 gene. Calorie restriction or a low-calorie diet activates the transcription of the SIR2 gene, which can slow down aging.

• Normalizes circadian cycles of sleep and wakefulness, so we get better rest.

• Regulates hormones (adiponectin, leptin, resistin, growth hormone…).

-What risks does this entail?

Intermittent fasting is safe and beneficial for the vast majority of the population, but there are times when it is not the best option. If you have a chronic condition, you should consult your doctor. Possible side effects to watch out for:

• The most frequent is the feeling of hunger (only in the first days of fasting).

• Also, in very rare cases, anxiety may occur (due to an increase in the level of the stress hormone after a 12-hour fast).

• Bad breath (tongue turns white and tastes like acetone due to burning fat). To fix this, drink plenty of fluids, brush your teeth more often, and use mouthwash.

Can this be done in a family? Is she healthy for any age, from what age?

Intermittent fasting is not recommended for growing children and teens. While this does not necessarily imply calorie restriction, it is usually a by-product, often unintentional. Growth requires energy and nutrients, and restrictive diets are not appropriate at this stage. However, in very overweight young people it can be practiced if it is a short cycle of a few weeks.

The same applies to pregnant or lactating women. There is no evidence that ketosis is harmful in these cases, but now is not the time to over-restrict carbs or fast for long periods of time. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, I would recommend eating a balanced diet and maybe including short fasts if you like, but no longer than 8/16.

What are the two most important benefits?

While there are many benefits of intermittent fasting, from my point of view, there are two that are extremely important:

• Autophagy is a mechanism by which old cells are recycled and pre-cancerous cells are removed.

• Activation of stem cells that rejuvenate our body.

Once you start, when will you start seeing health results?

This will depend on the type of fast, age, and health of the person who practices it, although it usually starts to show results after a few weeks.

In a review published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, he provides evidence that justifies intermittent fasting in the prevention and treatment of conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension and inflammation, among others.

Should this be done for life or only until the desired results are achieved?

Each person should practice it according to their lifestyle. Long-term fasting (3 days of intermittent fasting, time-limited meals, and fasting every other day) causes stem cells to produce new cells in the body.

What would you especially say to young people who get so many images of perfect bodies on social media? Is the motivation to take care of your nutrition still that you can improve your image more than your health?

Social networks show the unreal world and many of the photos that are visible in them are retouched or passed through filters. In any case, if the goal is to eat better, the motivation that leads to this is secondary, and it is better to strive for better health. We must not forget that intermittent fasting is not a regime or a dogma, it is a way of life.

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