Is it possible to follow a ‘healthy’ diet? 

In this article we’ll touch on a few key points when it comes to nutrition, as well as what to expect from exercise, ‘slimming’ products and nutritional supplements. 

Article written by Ariane Monnami, nutritionist and micro-nutritionist. 

 

First things first, check your diet! 

If you slowly but surely start to put on weight, this is almost always a sign that something in your diet is not quite right. 

Of course, if you only consume fast-food, biscuits and sugary drinks, then you already know what to do.. (see previous articles such as Breakfast or Lunch Box for some ideas).

However, even if your diet seems to be sticking to all the ‘guidelines’, there are nevertheless a few ‘grey areas’ to be explored..

 

Carbohydrate intolerance: If this is the case, weight gain is usually around the abdomen. You could be at risk of this if other family members suffer from diabetes or fatty liver. 

Depending on your weight gain, opt for a low GI diet, or simply for a ‘Low Carb - High Fat’ diet. 

 

Food intolerances, for example gluten or dairy: In this case, excess weight gain will most probably be around the arms and legs and you’ll also experience frequent digestive problems such as diarrhoea, bloating, constipation as well as water retention. 

Typically, a 1 - 2 kg weight gain from one day to the next can be seen, for no particular reason. 

Entirely removing gluten and/or dairy products from your diet will ease digestive problems and help you to control your weight. 

A probiotic treatment will also allow you to quickly rebuild a strong gut barrier. 

 

It’s often best to seek help from a nutritionist to identify between these different possibilities. 

 

When to start exercising, and what exercise to choose? 

If you are trying to lose 5kg or more, always start with your diet.. 

Contrary to popular thought, exercise does not make up for the negative effects of an unbalanced diet. 

The ‘Calories in - Calories out’ theory very clearly shows its limitations.. 

Consider this: 1kg of fat is equal to 9000 calories, or 20 hours of running.. 

Then, consider this: Our “Apestat” (what controls our appetite) works very well when it comes to making us eat more if we’ve been more active, but works incredibly badly in the other way.. 

Keen eaters are not always more active, in fact it’s usually the opposite! Excess weight and lack of energy only make those individuals more sedentary. 

 

Of course, this is definitely not to say that exercise is useless! It is essential for toning muscles and avoiding saggy skin. 

However, opt for muscle strengthening exercise (weight machines, Pilates..) rather than spending hours on the cardio machines, fixated on the number of calories you might be burning.. 

If you prefer working out at home, simple equipment such as bands or dumbbells can effectively increase the ‘resistance’ on different movements. 

 

Other benefits: 

  • Strong, well developed muscles will burn more calories, even when resting!
  • Muscle strengthening exercises also stimulate anti-aging hormones and help to avoid saggy skin. 

  

Skin care slimming products  

There’s no point in fooling ourselves.. slimming products only have a cosmetic effect. Despite the claims that they might make, they won’t help you to lose all that excess weight from last winter.. 

 

However, they do help to improve skin appearance which is nevertheless an important factor. 

They also tend to be good for morale - it’s always nice to let yourself be pampered and a smooth, healthy looking skin only helps us to feel more confident in a swimming costume! 

 

The ‘folding and rolling’ technique 

The manual ‘folding and rolling’ massage is most definitely the most effective technique to remove the build up of cellulite and smooth out the skin. However, it’s important to find a very skilful and motivated professional to carry this out, as it can be particularly tiring. 

There are also two mechanical methods able to reproduce the effects a manual ‘folding and rolling’ massage technique:

- Cellu M6 or LPG, often available at a physiotherapist or beautician. 

- Suction pad with a massage oil, allowing you to take care of your cellulite independently. 

 

Lymphatic drainage 

Lymphatic drainage targets veinous and lymphatic cellulite. It also has an effect on venous circulation and the feeling of heavy legs. Here again, lymphatic drainage can be carried out manually by a professional or mechanically using pressotherapy. 

To note: only the ‘levelled’ professional material is effective and safe. Never buy any low-cost pressotherapy machinery online or by post. 

 

Nutritional Supplements 

Nutritional supplements with detoxifying, draining and natural appetite-reducing properties are excellent weight loss aids and should be taken regularly.

 

References 

  • Sculptez votre silhouette, José Sanchez et Ariane Monnami, Éditions Thierry Souccar, 2011