SHA Magazine Healthy Nutrition

How to treat obesity effectively?

SHA Magazine
April 11, 2024

The nutritional consultants at SHA Wellness Clinic speak to their patients clearly, listen to their concerns as well as to their excuses, and try to dismantle all preconceived ideas they have when they come to their appointment. Most probably, they have been to different specialists, tried many, many times and failed as many times. They are patients who listen, but get frustrated very quickly.

“The first step is to explain to them that obesity is a real, but modifiable disease. Oftentimes, people think that it is a genetic issue and resign themselves to it, but I think that, in reality, what is genetic is the way we feed ourselves“, explains María Romeralo, nutritional consultant at SHA Wellness Clinic Spain.

In her opinion, obesity can be treated by applying different approaches, the most common one being a combination of diet and physical activity. “You have to help the person to change their habits, someone who has never done sports is not going to change overnight. You might want to consider going for a walk every day, if you do not like gyms, you do not have to join one, maybe you can swim in a pool, which is a very complete exercise. What you have to avoid is denial from the beginning,” the nutrition specialist explains her strategy, which aims to get her patients to implement lifestyle changes that are sustainable over time.

Here we summarise everything you can learn in her office:

  • We are three-in-one: a physical body, a mental body and an emotional body. “When you eat incorrectly, you are not well emotionally and vice versa. When you are not well emotionally, you are going to look for quick energy and instant gratification and you are going to find that in ultra-processed foods and large amounts of sugar“.
  • One has to lower stress levels because living with soaring cortisol and adrenaline levels is inflammatory. “Oftentimes people say they get bloated, even if they eat little more than a salad, but maybe the body needs protein and more carbohydrates.
  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake. From the age of 40 onwards, we do not need to eat carbohydrates in the evening.
  • Reduce your portions. Usually people think that they eat less than they actually do. “This is one of the shocks that occur at SHA. When they see the small amounts of food, they think that they are going to have a terrible time and then they are surprised that they do not snack between meals, they do not have cravings, and they also have energy to exercise and they gain much mental clarity“.
  • Less is more, especially when the food is well balanced and rich in nutrients. It is also important to eat in small plates, so as to ensure that the amount of food is smaller.
  • We have to be realistic. To reverse obesity, one must set achievable goals (especially with regard to sports and physical activity).
  • It is not recommended to lose more than two kilos per week. It is necessary to promote progressive weight loss, allowing fat to be converted into muscle, with enough time to work on changing one’s habits.
  • Chew well and slowly. When we place the spoon in our mouths, then we should leave it on the plate and take enough time to chew thoroughly each mouthful. Digestion begins in the mouth and the saliva is full of digestive enzymes. Allow time for the intestines to absorb the nutrients and do not be distracted from listening to the satiety signal from the brain.
  • The 80% rule or Hara Hachi Bu. We should stop eating when we are 80% satiated, because five minutes later we will feel perfect. You have to learn to listen to your body and eat without anxiety.



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