Is pizza friend or foe? 8 facts about body shape and healthy eating

WE SPEAK A LOT ABOUT BODY POSITION AND ACCEPTANCE IN ANY FORM , which does not at all contradict the desire to feel good, eat healthy foods or wear your favorite clothes without experiencing large fluctuations in weight. To what extent are the parameters of our bodies set by genetics and how much can they be influenced? Are diets an absolute evil after all? Why is it better to be wary of sugar? We’ve selected eight interesting facts about healthy eating, body perception and how it works to help answer these questions and more.

There are many types of eating disorders.

Bulimia and anorexia nervosa are types of eating disorders that are especially common, but there are others as well. Binge eating (or ” binge eating “), bigorexia (obsession with food that will maximize muscle growth), orthorexia (fixation on the “right” diet), feeling a constant need for diuretics or laxatives to quickly remove “excess” water or empty the intestines – all these are disorders that you should not turn a blind eye to.  

If you observe in yourself or loved ones a clear fixation on nutrition or refusal from it, it makes sense to seek help. Eating disorders are treated in different clinics , including government ones, and several specialists are involved in this process at once. If somatic diseases are excluded (for example, too intense work of the thyroid gland, which increases appetite), you can do with work with a psychotherapist.  

Weight and physique are determined by genetics

Our weight, height and shape are primarily influenced by heredity and the main, or basic, metabolism – how much energy the body spends at rest. Of course, serious illnesses suffered in childhood, the use of certain medications or certain physical activities also affect the development of the body – hence the typically different physique of athletes in different sports.   

All this means that statements like “everyone can change their body with the right training” are not entirely true – and trying to completely remake yourself can lead to disappointment. It is better to focus not on changing the figure, but on the joy and benefits of training: strong back muscles are important for the health of the spine, regardless of whether this back is rectangular or V-shaped. The genetic norm of weight for a particular person is also not a point value, but an interval, and the endless struggle with “three extra” kilograms is unsuccessful simply because they are not extra, but normal.

Fat in reasonable amounts is needed by the body

Adipose tissue helps the body regulate temperature, serves as an essential source of energy, produces hormones, and participates in hematopoiesis and the body’s immune defense. Both excess and lack of fat are harmful – the keywords of this paragraph are “reasonable amount.” This is a reasonable amount much higher than in photoshopped photos in magazines or in competitive bodybuilders, and it is much easier to maintain normal body fat levels than unnaturally reduced body fat.   

Healthy body fat is about 20-30% for women and 10-20% for men and can be measured in a variety of ways. To do this, use bioimpedance scales, measurements of skin folds and complex methods such as weighing under water. The well-known body mass index, which is calculated from weight and height, at least does not take into account the level of physical fitness, therefore, it may be too high and indicate “obesity” in a person with large muscle mass.  

The problem with diabetes is not sugar

Most people know about this disease that it disrupts the utilization of glucose – there is too much of it in the blood, and then sugar cannot be eaten, and insulin may also be needed, which destroys glucose. When people talk about the dangers of diabetes, they talk about hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic coma – loss of consciousness due to too low (or high) blood sugar. In fact, the main danger of this disease is different.

Diabetes mellitus seriously disrupts the work of blood vessels – from the smallest peripheral capillaries to large ones like the aorta. In the periphery of the body, this leads to inadequate tissue nutrition – and complications such as loss of vision or necrosis of the toes can occur. Complications from large vessels are the very heart attacks and strokes that are in the first place among the causes of death worldwide. Prevention of diabetes is simple rules of a healthy lifestyle: maintaining optimal weight, being physically active, quitting smoking and reducing the amount of sugar and saturated fat in the diet.    

Pizza is no worse than the first, second and compote 

It does not matter in what combinations and in what form – liquid, dry, cold or hot – the products enter the body. The digestive system still breaks down food into molecules, and each component is used for different tasks or excreted from the body as unnecessary. That is why the theory of separate nutrition has no scientific justification: there are practically no incompatible products (except for conditionally poisonous mushrooms, which become poisonous in combination with alcohol).  

The most important thing in a healthy diet is a balanced intake of various substances into the body. The same pizza can be a great combination of fresh vegetables, seafood, olive oil and a small amount of complex carbohydrates – or it can be almost a fat roll with no useful ingredients. This also applies to sandwiches – if the composition and quantity of their components are balanced, then they may well serve as a healthy lunch.  

Perception of beauty can be changed

Imbued with the ideas of body positive , we begin to oppose the beauty of any body to the so-called conventional beauty – but we forget that it is also different in different cultures. If the Western world is thin or moderately muscled body, in many “countries in Africa beautiful body should be a lot ” – a showcase clips . It is known that the perception of beauty is influenced by “being watched “: the more we see people with different figures or faces, the more natural the variety of features seems to us.  

According to a recent study , even a few minutes of viewing photos was enough to change the ideal of beauty in people’s minds. In a Central American village without electricity, residents were asked in a special program to model the perfect figure – before and after viewing the photos. Those who viewed photos with thin models made the repeated “ideal” bodies thinner, while those who viewed photos of overweight women, on the contrary, modeled their bodies larger. It turns out that in order to normalize the perception of various bodies as attractive, it is necessary that both in advertising filming and in the cinema there were more people with different physiques. 

Diets have a right to exist 

The word “diet” can be interpreted in different ways – both as strict restrictions and as general characteristics of nutrition. In the first case, diets are really useless and even dangerous, in the second, they may well be recommended. It is proved that the inhabitants of a number of countries on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea have a longer life expectancy, and cardiovascular diseases are less common – this is due to the Mediterranean diet . Of course, we are talking about the type of food that is natural for this region, and not about a diet that has been “sitting” on for a while. 

A stricter diet, precisely in terms of restrictions, also has a right to exist – its meaning is not in losing weight, but in the temporary rejection of certain products, because they can be harmful. This happens in the presence of medical indications, for example, after surgery or during pregnancy: the ban on raw fish and raw meat is due to the fact that they may contain pathogens that are extremely dangerous for the fetus.  

You can still speed up your metabolism

Basal metabolism (the one that occurs during sleep) can be increased – then it will be easier to maintain an optimal weight. Regular physical activity, including strength exercises, helps to do this. During training, energy is burned, which is taken from carbohydrates in the blood, but in a dream, after a hard training, the body will spend more energy on recovery. The more muscle mass, the more energy they need to recover, that is, the base metabolism is higher in muscular people.   

That is why it is relatively easy for athletes to maintain their weight at the desired level – they are highly active and have a relatively stable diet. True, severe restrictions can become a problem in order to “fit” into the desired weight category in competitions: a strict diet can be followed by breakdowns, and the latter can lead to eating disorders.

“Something you don’t look sick”: Why is it customary in Russia to suffer

Three days ago, actress and model Stella Baranovskaya died of leukemia. When, after the diagnosis was made, money was collected for treatment, she was accused of fraud – after all, in the eyes of society, an oncological patient should not habitually look good and publish photos on social networks . Otherwise, the person seems to be “insufficiently” sick and does not seem to deserve help and sympathy. “You don’t look sick” is a familiar expression of distrust, as if you need to look after a cold or poisoning in a strictly defined way. 

Probably, tens of years of corruption at all levels led to total mistrust and a search for a catch in every little thing – when for a small bribe or a gift you can take a sick leave for a week or a certificate exempting you from physical education. How many of us had to hide from the teacher, seeing her on the street during a cold, suddenly thinks that in fact there is no cold, but did the parents agree about the help? Although it is obvious that with ARVI it is possible and necessary to walk in the fresh air, but you do not need to go to school in order to recover better and not infect others. We are accustomed from childhood that even this most common cold is a big event that must be treated with a dozen remedies and during which everything is prohibited, even washing – although, it would seem, no one has recovered faster from a layer of dirt on the skin. According to domestic orders, it turns out that, having fallen ill, instead of arranging a comfortable recovery for oneself, one must lie prone, wrapped in a shroud.    

This is partly reminiscent of the situation in stories with violence, when the victim, in someone’s opinion, is ” holding on too well .” If what happened did not break you, did not lead to a hospital or suicide, then this is nonsense, not violence. It is only incomprehensible why others do not act the other way around: they do not admire the strength of character, the ability to survive the trauma and live on, smile, make friends. Moreover, a person’s behavior in public can hardly convey one hundred percent of his inner experiences. Externally directed efforts can have a therapeutic effect, help to get back to normal and not get hung up on a tragic incident – while the negative reaction of others can nullify all this effect.

In a society where both the experience of violence and serious illness are devalued, no achievements are also considered as such – if for the sake of them one did not have to go through suffering. The patient should be pale, the victim of violence – in eternal depression, the mother – exhausted. Have taught the child to sleep in a separate room from an early age – this is not your merit, this is a “gift child”. You also do a manicure without interrupting the baby – like a bad mother, somehow suspiciously simple for you. Having built a career, successfully emigrated, received several higher educations – all this does not count if you are from a complete family and did not climb out of poverty.

On the other hand, as soon as someone admits that they are faced with a serious illness or treatment that takes all their strength, the opposite reaction begins. “Hold on”, “cheer up”, “pull yourself together, rag” – society doesn’t care that chemotherapy can cause severe vomiting or stomatitis that makes it painful to even drink water. A sick person finds himself between two fires: he showed that he was in a bad state – “limp”, leads an active lifestyle – well, probably, he is not so sick. In both cases, however, the experience of others is devalued: instead of compassion, the audience simply tries to isolate itself as quickly as possible from the fact that we never know for sure what is happening in the life of another person: what he feels, what he wants and what efforts he makes.

A sick person finds himself between two fires: he showed that he was feeling bad, – “limp”, leads an active lifestyle – well, probably not so sick 

There is hardly any “normative” level of suffering that will suit everyone – and why, in fact, a sick person should seek the approval of society instead of unconditional support? We often write about people with serious and potentially fatal illnesses, including cancer, and they talk about how important it is to stay active and enjoy life. After being diagnosed with breast cancer , many people have a new alignment of priorities: when it is clear that life may not be so long, you want to enjoy it every day.   

Unfortunately, little attention is paid to the quality of life in our medicine – this is due to the fact that it developed in isolation from the world, and with an obvious lack of funding. If in the West great importance is attached to the management of pain or simply palliative care, then in our country such patients are helped on a leftover basis – practically in no way. The initiative usually comes not from the Ministry of Health, but from private charitable foundations – for example, Elizaveta Glinka has done a lot for palliative care in the country .  

A separate story is criticism for the refusal of chemotherapy from those who themselves underwent it, which Stella Baranovskaya had to listen to on the “Live” program. I would like to remind you that there are actually hundreds of oncological diseases, and there are dozens of chemotherapy protocols, and all of them are transferred differently in different people. With metastatic cancer, in many cases it is no longer a question of the possibility of cure – and doctors can provide a choice: prolong life by several months with painful procedures or leave a person alone and try to make his remaining days as comfortable as possible. It is again about the quality of life, which should not be an empty phrase.   

Those who are involved in bullying people with serious illnesses, accusing them of fraud or “insufficient” level of suffering, can only wish themselves not to be in such a situation. Understand that they are wrong, but not on their own skin. Perhaps, we should all be more attentive and kinder, not look for a dirty trick and not be suspicious. Anyone who with a serious illness continues to smile, move and go to work deserves no less respect than a person who apparently suffers from around-the-clock pain.

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