TO LOSE WEIGHT, IS IT BETTER TO MOVE MORE OR EAT LESS?

Find the loophole 

Except that very often, for biological, genetic, environmental reasons, this balance between the calories "which enter" and those which "leave" is unbalanced. The most common reason? Not enough physical activity and too many calories ingested. Uncompromising result: storage in the form of fat. "We must not forget that our genetic heritage has been shaped over millions of years on the basis of a parsimony of food and intense energy expenditure to face a hostile nature. Today, the pattern is reversed: the profusion of food is everywhere and everything around us contributes to our moving as little as possible. Our organization is not made for that. If we do not fight against these new trends, weight gain is inevitable. "

Why then focus on what is happening on our plates? "Physical activity acts on the energy substrate, in other words, calls on the body's reserves, which are glycogen in the liver and muscles, as well as fats, But these losses are indirect, limited - especially if the diet is unchanged - and time-consuming, because they require a strong intensification of physical activity over long periods. Physical activity is a crucial ally for general health, but if you want to lose weight, it is much more effective to work on what goes into the body, in other words on what we eat. The question of when, how much and how we eat is crucial. "

But where to start? 

"The first thing is to find the fault (s) explaining the weight gain or the overweight. This can be excessive consumption of a particular food, excessive alcohol intake or even compulsive snacking ". A trick to unmask the problem: write down over a few days everything that is eaten and at what time. The observation is often implacable. "The challenge is then to dare to change your habit and to do everything possible to hold on for the long term. For example, by avoiding keeping reserves of crisps if you know you can swallow a whole packet when you come home from work, "suggests the expert. Another tip: do not confuse what is good for your health and what does not make you fat. "A misunderstanding has set in: some people think they are doing well by sprinkling their dishes with olive oil, rushing on almonds, walnuts or avocados for example. These foods are certainly excellent from a nutritional point of view, but they are very high in calories, it must be taken into account ".

7 keys to changing your habits 

Rarely effective in the long term, often dangerous for health, drastic diets are no longer really on the rise. The winning strategy: rethink your daily habits.

1. Opt for a top-down food chain. "A king's breakfast, a prince's dinner and a poor man's supper": the adage is as well known as it is relevant since it corresponds to the functioning of the body, better able to assimilate the calories it receives at the beginning daytime than evening.

2. Focus on fiber. The dietary fibers present in vegetables, cereals or even legumes have the advantage of satiating while generating an expenditure of energy for the body, which is not the case for example of sugary drinks, directly assimilated by the body.

3. Dare to have snacks. Wrongly criticized, snacks rich in fiber and protein - for example a piece of fruit, a few almonds or a plain yogurt in the middle of the morning and afternoon, have the advantage of stopping hunger in a healthy way. So the next meal will be approached with less greed.

4. Cheat hunger. Starting the meal with foods rich in fiber and low in calories allows you to get fuller more cheaply. For example: opting for a salad before a pizza allows you to eat less and better assimilate calories.

5. Beware of trends. More gluten, more fruit, more fat: drastic restrictions are often untenable and ineffective (even dangerous) in the long term. A balanced diet is the best option.

6. Don't aim for perfection. Ultra-controlled diet, excessive sport: setting the bar too high runs the risk of stopping everything at the first misstep. The goal is not to strive for perfection, but to do better.

7. Maintain muscle mass. Confronted with a calorie restriction, the body draws on its reserves, of fat, but also of muscles. The best way to preserve them: combine new eating habits with physical activity.

Physical activity and healthy eating: a decisive duo for balancing your weight. But to lose a few pounds, the most effective is mainly played on the side of the plate. Explanations.

Putting sport and food in competition is legitimate: some 130 kilocalories swallowed by opting for a chocolate yogurt for dessert, or as much as those spent by going for a two-kilometer run. In times of good resolutions, some will therefore deprive themselves of dessert when others opt for a jog ... but for what purpose? "If the goal is to lose weight, the two levers are essential, but above all we must eat less and differently," says Prof. Bengt Kayser, director of the Institute of Sports Sciences at the University of Lausanne. Before recalling: "Weight results from an equation between, on the one hand, the energy intake from what we eat and drink each day, and on the other, the energy expenditure accumulated by the body for its functioning and the physical activity that is required of him. "

Choose the right time 

As for physical activity, if it is not the main lever for weight loss, it is essential. While 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity (walking, cycling) is recommended per week, going beyond is beneficial on many levels. Among these benefits: preservation of general health, optimization of the feeling of satiety, gradual loss of fat, better management of dietary "deviations" by the body itself, limitation of muscle loss linked to age or even increase in weight loss. basal metabolism. Clearly, at rest, the body of an athlete naturally consumes more calories than a sedentary person. "Undertaking efforts on diet is much more powerful if you increase your physical activity at the same time." One mistake to be avoided, however: compensate! "Doing up to an hour of sport does not require eating more or drinking energy drinks, on the contrary, it ruins all efforts from a caloric point of view."

It remains to choose the right moment to begin the process. "Because of the new habits and the questioning that this implies, losing weight is a real life change. It is important to take on this challenge for a sufficiently calm period, with the help of a professional if necessary ". And to conclude: "In view of the frenzy of our lives, of the abundance of food which surrounds us all the time, people who have no weight problem are lucky! Losing the pounds that bother us is a challenge that must be approached very gently towards oneself ".

BMI: a good benchmark? 

Omnipresent in prevention strategies, the body mass index (BMI) * makes it possible to detect not only too low a weight (BMI less than or equal to 18.5), a sign for example of anorexia, but also overweight ( BMI greater than or equal to 25) or obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 30), resulting in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

What goal should you aim for if you want to lose a few pounds? 

"In the event of overweight, to start with a loss of 10% is reasonable, estimates the specialist. If you have a "normal" weight, a loss of 3 to 4 kilos is of course possible, but in all cases, to be sustainable, the loss will have to be accompanied by definitive changes in the level of hygiene of life ".

* BMI is obtained by dividing weight (in kg) by height (in m) squared. Thus a person measuring 1.65 m and weighing 60 kg will have a BMI of 60 / 1.652, or 22.

Conduct of consultations 

The first consultation usually lasts 1 hour. She allows to: take stock of eating habits and behaviors, take stock of the socio-professional environment, start nutritional rehabilitation. If necessary, a blood test will be prescribed. The following consultations last 30 to 40 minutes.