Most people are looking for the easier way to lose weight, one of the most popular solution is Rina Diet. I was very curios to find out what this diet implies ( you can find many versions on the internet and I wanted to discover the original), if it works and to underline its advantages/ disadvantages.
The Rina Diet is a dissociated diet that does not focus much on calories and caloric consumption, but more on the type of food you must eat every day. It is proposed as a healthy and effective diet that can positively change weight in just 90 days and maintain the weight loss over time. This diet promises weight loss up to 25 kg.
The Rina Diet is the product of research on a system of nutrition carried out by two Slovenian authors, Breda Hrobat and Mojca Poljansek under the direction of Dr. Stefan Celan. There are many different online version of this program, that have undergoned changes over time. For those interested the original formula can be found, translated into Romanian, in the book Rina’s 90.
How does it work?
- Taking into consideration the composition of foods, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, the philosophy behind the Rina diet, and all other dissociated diets, is that it is better not to combine foods that are digested in a basic or alkaline environment (such as pasta, bread and potatoes) with food that is instead digested in an acidic environment(as meat, fish and eggs).
- The Rina diet, and all the Dissociated Diet, is based on the theory that eating acidic and alkaline foods at the same time slows digestion, throws metabolism out of balance, and causes weight gain.
- In those 90 days of diet a four days cycle is repeated, in which a specific category of food can be eaten each day:
- The day starts always with a fruit breakfast
- The program starts with a day of proteins (meat, fish, eggs etc) for both lunch and dinner. During dinner a slice of bread can be added to accompany the main course.
- The next two days are represented by carbohydrates which, due to their different compositions, simple and complex, are divided into two groups: day 2 starches – refers to all foods that are eaten in the same state as they were grown and cultivated (potatoes, rice, beans, peas, corn kernels etc) – and day 3 simple carbohydrates – is the day when you can eat carbohydrates without any restriction pizza, pasta, desserts, white bread, a piece of dark chocolate or a slice of cake or an ice cream.
- The fourth day is that of vitamins, where you can eat any kind of fruit you want.
- Then the cycle is resumed with a new day dedicated to proteins. After seven cycles of 4 days, day 29 is dedicated to cleansing the body through water and fasting.
- In all four days, you can accompany the foods of the day with any kind of vegetable: such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers and salad. Raw, cooked or prepared in any way.
- I like the fact that we do not need to count the calories of the foods we eat, because counting calories cannot be done for life. From this point of view this diet has a realistic approach.
- Simplicity – It is not so important how food is cooked and prepared, only the correct combination of food is important. What matters in the Rina diet is associating foods without quantity limits.
- Portions reduction – you cannot eat such large dishes of the same food category and the quantities become smaller.
- „Diet accounting” – The Rina diet also recommends keeping a food diary, which can help in adhering to the diet.
- A longer period commitment – It is a diet requiring three-month engagement, a long period if we think of the food regimes that are advertised and that allow dangerous spectacular weight loss in one or two weeks.
- The Rina diet focus on fruit and vegetables and the necessity of discovering grains that are not often used in our diet such such as farro, barley, oats, millet and rye.
- In the Rina diet, I find it interesting that there is a day dedicated to fasting, no food just water. Although is difficult to have a 24 hours of total caloric restriction, there are many studies that confirm its effectiveness and benefits.
- Focus on hydration and regular physical activity
- The general opinion of researchers, doctors and nutritionists is that this diets (all the dissociated diet) do not have a clear and definite scientific basis. One study compared the results of a dissociated diet versus a diet that allows the consumption of all food groups. Thus, no difference was found between the two types of diet, in terms of weight loss, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, after six weeks. (1)
- In a dissociated diet it is recommended not to mix carbohydrate foods with those rich in proteins. However, recent studies suggest that the enzymes in our body act simultaneously and can digest carbohydrates and proteins at the same time without a problem.(2) (3)
- Extrem weight loss – up 25 kg in three months means about 2 kg of weight loss per week, definitely an amount that experts do not ever recommend due to its negative effects and the impossibility to maintain the weight loss over time. Though weight loss may occur faster at the start of a program, experts recommend a weight loss of 1–3 pounds (0.45–1.36 kg) per week, or about 1% of your body weight.(4)
- Foods are complex from the nutritional point of view, so it is hardly possible to separate carbohydrates from proteins. These are the result of a combination of different nutrients in different proportions, which can be verified by simply checking the macronutrient composition of any food starchys to realize this. For example they are also carbohydrate and protein in pasta and bread, beans, quinoa etc. Nuts also combine protein, carbs, and fat, and our digestive systems can handle them.
- The diet shows deviations from the principles of healthy eating – so the Rina diet allows on day 3 the consumption, without limits, of foods with low nutritional value or those that we can consider even harmful (such as pizza, various sweets and all the range of simple carbohydrates);
- How sustainable can be a diet that propose whole day of eating one type of food. The risk of meals becoming “boring” is high, and the temptation to eat other than permitted foods is also very high. Therefore the lost kilograms can be quickly recovered. Also the eating pattern suggested in the diet is unrealistic for a long-term lifestyle change
I think if you want to achive weight loss you have to watch the calorie deficit, i.e eating less that the amount of energy to burn per day. Moreover the QUALITY of the foods that you caunts no matter what your qoals are.
The extreme diets that limit category of goods, limit calories or other restriction rarely work. Why? Because of the way that restriction makes you feel. You might feel hungry and thinking about food 24/7, tired and depressed.
I truly feel that no matter your starting point, a steady and conservative approach to fat loss is better than trying to loss too much weight very quickly, because that might create hormonal imbalances, unhealthy habits (such starvation or skipping meals) or not getting a well – round balance of macronutrients (carbs, fat and protein).