The GIFT Diet is a latest generation food strategy founded by doctors Attilio Speciani and Luca Speciani; the two doctors argue that, unlike many other methods, DietaGIFT is not based on calorie counting, but on the natural stimulation of the metabolism by activating the regulation centers. More precisely, DietaGIFT tries to modify the bio-regulatory structure of food-intake by acting directly on the cerebral sites of the hypothalamus and promoting caloric consumption instead of fat deposits .
Based on the principles of DietaGIFT (from which the acronym derives), by working on the metabolism and not on the caloric reduction it is possible to preserve the muscle mass , eliminate thefat mass and water retention , with the advantage of progressive and constant gain.
Before dwelling on the details of the strategy, it is advisable to accurately report the image that the creators of DietaGIFT try to communicate / advertise to the kind public.
What follows is only a summary of the notions reported by Dr. Speciani on the DietaGIFT website :
GIFT is the acronym that summarizes: graduality, individuality, flexibility and tone . The idea is not to count calories and eat in a varied, complete and balanced way, in order to restore the ideal weight by eliminating excess fat mass.
- Maintaining insulin calm thanks to a reduction in carbohydrateswith a high glycemic index
- Metabolic hyper-activation in order to increase fat burning
- Careful choice of healthy foodsnot altered by industrial processes
The 10 rules of DietaGIFT:
- Protein/ carbohydrate combination to limit the rebound effect of insulin
- Control of the glycemic index and load
- Optimal caloric distribution of meals (decreasing throughout the day)
- Free fruitand vegetables , with the trick of adding them at the beginning of the meal
- Generous supply of water and dietary fiber
- Long chew
- Decisive reduction of junk foods
- Physical activitywith a preference for aerobic effort
- Control of food intolerances(DRIA test) which, by triggering the mediators of inflammation, can negatively affect insulin action (the solution is food rotation)
- Psychophysical balance; Food can affect mood, just as mood can affect how you eat. ” DietaGIFT requires a deep understanding and an active removal of this bondage”
- Activation of the metabolism,well-being, inexorableweightloss and with the satisfaction of a wide variety of foods
- Slowness in weight loss.
Does GIFT diet work?
Hoping to have correctly translated the three cardinal principles and the relative 10 rules (apologizing to the creators of DietaGIFT for the essentiality adopted), I will now try to analyze the GIFT strategy with the utmost impartiality (and a veil of criticism).
Assuming that overall it is undoubtedly an excellent method, or rather, an excellent lifestyle, what emerges from a first analysis is the absence of revolutionary concepts for which DietaGIFT claims to have had (based on what is written in the website) an unparalleled success. This absolutely does not mean that the stratagem adopted by the authors is not correct, Rather! Exactly the opposite! GIFT diet contains all the most important and concretely applicable guidelines for maintaining a good diet (with some variations of questionable usefulness).
Let’s get down to specifics.
The first aspect of the GIFT Diet that catches the eye is undoubtedly the absence of the calorie count, with the trick of modifying thevarying the foods and ensuring a balanced and nutritionally complete regimen. With a similar attitude, the authors of DietaGIFT kill two birds with onestone: in the first place they say everything and nothing; in the sense that today, between professionals and laymen, speaking of balance and nutritional completeness, everyone has a say about him! Secondly, by limiting themselves to deepening percentages, weights and divisions, the Speciani doctors skilfully avoid the innumerable controversies that nutrition professionals often exchange with each other. From these two points of view, DietaGIFT is undoubtedly a very intelligent strategy: it does not dwell on details and focuses on thenutritional educationof patients.
However, a clarification deserves to be made: applying all the dietary principles of a healthy diet NECESSARILY induces a reduction in caloric intake; by associating physical activity with it and correcting unsuccessful attitudes and habits, weight loss is guaranteed. Yet, even in this respect, the therapy hides a not negligible merit; DietaGIFT aims at improving the health status and achieving theideal weight(which I would rather define PHYSIOLOGICAL and DESIRABLE), subjectively improving the perception of “psychophysical well-being”. That is, this lifestyle modification aims at the effective improvement of the state of health by diverting the patients’ attention from the achievement of utopian aesthetic goals (which I would define more often than not useless if not harmful). It doesn’t matter if it is also a business, DietaGIFT stands out for the ethical correctness of its founders who take into account both the metabolic and psychological aspects of its consumers.
Of course, the same argument above applies to increasing metabolic activation for optimal fat burning; nothing new. With regard to the caloric balance, it is now known that theincrease in energy expenditure during exercise 2. The increase in post-exercise metabolic energy expenditure in proportion to the volume and intensity of execution 3. The maintenance of muscle mass, therefore of a goodbasal metabolism.
The principle according to which it is advisable to consume simple and not very elaborated foods, giving up poor quality industrial preparations rich in food additives, is fundamental and highly educational.
Regarding the ten rules of the GIFT Diet that explain the three cardinal principles in more detail, what is perplexing is the advice to consumefruit and vegetables.in absolute freedom; among other things, an aspect that partly recalls the overseas “ Zone”. Regardless of the caloric amount that could be reached by consuming free fruit and some vegetables (such aspotatoes, carrots and peppers ), and the relative increase in the percentage of simple sugars , it is essential to underline that excessive levels of dietary
fiber – contained in fruit and vegetables – could negatively affect the absorption of some micronutrientssuch asiron, calcium andmagnesium; this occurs mainly due to the chelating action of the phytates . DietaGIFT probably does not take into account the variables of local consumption; in areas characterized by the development of agricultural activity, where the cultivation of orchards could be defined as ubiquitous, the diet of the population already includes very high (if not excessive) quantities of fruit; 800-1000g per day are easily reached, and if combined with generous portions of bread , pasta or polenta , they could constitute a considerable calorie-carbohydrate excess.
I would also like to ask a nice question mark on the reliability or otherwise of the DRIA tests;as other sources also cite (British MedicalJournal– 1988): his ability to evaluate pathologies is practically random . The fact remains that the intestine of the obese often reflects the general health conditions of its bearer, therefore very bad; the mucous membrane of those who eat in an unbalanced and disordered way can become irritated, therefore, following a correct dietary re-education, the room for improvement is wide. In this regard, the food rotation of the GIFT Diet could be a good method of “intestinal” rehabilitation, but this advantage does not justify the diagnosis of foodintolerance.
The last rule of the GIFT Diet, number ten, describes the importance of psychophysical balance as a fundamental requirement in finding a good overall state of health; nothing more right. It is therefore not possible to obtain good results in an “active” therapy such as food and exercise if, first of all, the patient is unable to eliminate the anxiety and stress factors responsible for an inappropriate lifestyle.
“DietaGIFT requires a deep understanding and an active removal of this bondage”
Well, to a similar request, if I were obese I would answer… Thank you very much!
The role ofmood disorders,anxietysymptoms,depressive symptomsand ieating disorders (Binge Eating Disorder, Uncompensated Bulimia , Grignotage etc.) is well known to all clinicians who treat obesity and its complications. Suggesting to take care of mental equilibrium in order to obtain greater compliance with therapy is certainly a shrewd and intelligent advice, 100% approachable. On the other hand, evaluating the correlation between symptoms of a psycho-pathological nature and inappropriate eating habits, it seems obvious that the ” understanding and active removal of these slavery” they are not that easy to achieve. With a similar requirement, DietaGIFT seems to limit its catchment area to subjects capable of managing their emotions.
To a superficial analysis, DietaGIFT could appear to be an innovative method based on revolutionary and countertrend concepts (see NOT calorie counting and METABOLIC activation), but, by carefully analyzing each cornerstone and the respective rules, it seems obvious that DietaGIFT does not and other than the OPTIMIZATION and the correct COMBINATION of ALL the dietary and motor principles aimed at improving the state of health.
No magic formula or innovative discovery, only professionalism and accuracy.