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THE “COM” Diet (Interview)

THE “COM” Diet (Interview)

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In his latest book, Massimo Spattini explains his experience in the field of diets, introducing a new method of localised weight loss.

“La Dieta COM” (Diet Com) is not the address of a website where you can find precious information about the diet which suits you best. La Dieta COM, where COM is the acronym for CronOrMorfo (ChronoHormonMorpho) is a supplementary approach which considers the Chronobiology of Hormones and Morphology. Hippocrates observed in 400 B.C. that a balanced diet and the right typology of physical exercises was the road to be healthy. However, he had also found out that some particular morphologies, which is to say certain body shapes, were strictly connected to specific characters. It is undeniable that we “become what we eat, reflect how we move and think”, or better, that beyond genetic predisposition we tend to accumulate fat in different ways. People who have an “apple-shaped” body tend to accumulate fat in the upper part of the body and in the abdomen; people who accumulate fat in the inferior part of the body have a “pear-shaped” structure; whoever accumulates fat homogeneously in every part of the body has a “Chili pepper-shaped” structure.

Dr. Spattini starts from these three typologies, shown also on the cover of his book, and claims that fat depot in different regions of the body is tightly connected to the prevalence of certain hormones. Hormones influence fat distribution as much as our eating habits. In its turn, the food we choose to eat influences hormone secretion as to create a closed-circuit. Nonetheless, we must bear in mind two points: hormone secretions vary according to the time of day and the assumption of certain food at different times of day has a different effect on fat accumulation. La Dieta COM considers the individual’s morphology, usually reflecting a specific hormone prevalence. The influence this hormone has on our fat distribution can be controlled and partly modified according to the qualitative and chronological choice of food, favouring as a consequence, localised fat loss.

The System devised by Dr. Spattini represents the integration of La Dieta COM which has as an end hormones regularisation, the restoration of endocrine functions thanks to localised weight loss, the enhancement of physiological fat loss. In the end, our body will be restored, both from an endocrinological and a morphological point of view.

“As a matter of fact, on a biochemical, constitutional or metabolic basis”, Dr. Spattini claims, “we are all very different and it is impossible to find a diet which can suit everybody. In this book I tried all my best to promote a healthy life style, not only a new diet. However, thanks to the ChronoHormoMorpho diet and its four categories we can definitely manage to customise our  intervention”.

The characteristics of these groups are represented by an apple-shaped, a pear-shaped and a Chili pepper-shaped structure. Why does a person accumulate fat in a specific regions of the body?

“Throughout my professional experience I often met people who had problems of localised fat accumulation. I realised that the morphology – fat distribution – was strictly connected to the prevalence of certain hormones in the body. It is scientifically demonstrated that hormones highly influence fat depot and if some hormones are prevalent in our body with regards to some others, we tend to accumulate fat in certain areas rather than in others. For instance, women who have a prevalence of oestrogen accumulate fat in the lower part of the body”.

Therefore, are we speaking of a personalised weight loss, after detecting the reasons for localised fat depot?

“Indeed, but we do not use pharmaceutical hormone manipulations which can have several side effects. With a personalised diet, we aim at obtaining a slimming process according to the morphology of the individual. We should bear in mind that not only hormones can influence body fat, but they are in turn influenced by our eating habits and also that the majority of hormones works with circadian rhythm. This means that they are secrete during the day in a different way. For instance, cortisol is mainly secrete in the morning. Therefore, if we eat certain food in specific parts of day, we can influence hormone secretions by improving or decreasing them. This is where I took the name “La Dieta COM”, an acronym which stands for Chrono (the chronological assumption of food), Hormo (hormones) and Morpho (the physical structure of a person). From the body shape we can easily deduce which hormone prevails, without recurring to screenings”.

This does not mean that a person is suffering from an hormonal disorder?

“It is not a disorder, no”.

However, the prevalence of a certain hormone influences also our mood, is that not so?

“Indeed it is, women can easily see that every month. And a higher level of testosterone in men corresponds to more aggressiveness. It is scientifically demonstrated that lower levels of testosterone favour depression in male adults.

If, thanks to this diet, we change our hormone levels in order to favour weight loss, is there a possibility to have some negative effects on our character?

“If a person is slightly unbalanced and an hormone prevails on the others, he/she will have a certain character, but this does not mean that his/her character is negative or positive. A person can be more or less introverted and, not necessarily, an extroverted individual is always positive and an introverted is negative. They only have two different ways of understanding life”.

However, we could say that an hormonal balance is a synonym for psychological balance.

“That’s correct. Dalai Lama is an example of a perfectly balanced individual. If a person is slightly unbalanced towards a certain hormone and we can restore his/her balance with a diet, the effect can only be a positive one. It is obvious that a person who is drawn to a certain type of food habits can only increase his/her natural ability to express certain characteristics typical of his/her hormonal prevalences. Still, by so doing, he/she can only worsen his/her situation.

Can we make a couple of examples?

“If in a person the cortex-adrenal aspect prevails, it means that he/she is able to face stressful situations in a good way. The suprarenal gland can help us react in the most stressful circumstances, by producing cortisol and adrenaline – the stress hormones. Since this person is already predisposed to produce a high quantity of these hormones, he/she will be more apt to face distressing moments. This person is generally more attracted by salty dishes – salt  stimulates the suprarenal glands. However, by eating too much salt, he/she runs the risk to suffer from hypertension or cardiovascular disorders… therefore, if a person is aware of having such a morphology, he/she should try to diminish these predispositions, in order to hinder or balance his/her body. Adrenal people, which is to say those who produce cortisol, can be easily recognised since this hormones favours the accumulation of fat in the upper part of the body, the abdomen, the back and the chest. Cortisol is also an hormone which raises the levels of glycaemia – an higher level of glycaemia stimulates the production of insulin, which, together with cortisol, favours fat accumulation near the abdomen. These people are generally predisposed to stress, very nervous and they usually like risks, we could say they are also stimulated by challenges. For a person who produces cortisol, having a cappuccino with sugar and a croissant for breakfast corresponds to a glucose bomb. High levels of glycaemia stimulate insulin, insulin takes all the sugar in excess and accumulates it in the adipose cells. In particular, cortisol addresses all the fat in the area of the abdomen, especially at a visceral level, which is to say it turns it into internal fat – even more dangerous on a cardiovascular level”.

Therefore, how should an “apple-shaped” person modify his/her eating habits?

“He/She must be careful about salted dishes and control the assumption of carbohydrates – not ban them from the diet since these people generally have a very quick metabolism”.

Also diminish coffee?

“Absolutely! And, for instance, while we are speaking of the chronological assumption of food during the day, I would also suggest these people limit the assumption of carbohydrates in the first part of the day and have them for dinner. Carbohydrates favour the production of serotonin, the relax hormone. Whoever tends to be very stressed and nervous has a lower level of cortisol during the evening – this is also why the level of glycaemia drops at this time of day and why such a person might feel the need to eat carbohydrates in the evening. If he/she does not eat them and eats proteins instead, they will stimulate the production of adrenaline – the person will feel even more agitated and nervous and unable to sleep during the night. Lack of sleep will lead to a higher production of cortisol… in a word, a vicious circle”.

In short, if we feel we should be more balanced, both physically and mentally, “La Dieta COM” is the book for us!

New Parma / may-june 2012

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