The Tisanoreica diet is a weight loss regime. The method is based on the idea of ketogenesis, integrated with special dishes that protect muscle mass. The duration of the diet varies from a minimum of 20 days to a maximum of 40 days and is only carried out under the guidance of a doctor or at Tisanoreica Centres (in Italy). Once the diet is finished, following a balanced diet combined with adequate physical activity will allow you to maintain the desired weight and all the pyscho-physical benefits associated with it.
Why is it not worth losing weight with a low calorie diet?
According to numerous scientific studies, the body interprets a reduction of calories as a sort of ‘famine’ and to get the energy it needs that is not being provided, it uses muscle mass, reducing it and thus reducing the amount of energy required to maintain vital functions (the basal metabolism). In other words a low calorie diet reduces the basal metabolism by consuming not just fat but also muscle, since muscle tissue is what determines the body’s energy needs when resting. Consequently, we lose weight in the period that follows such a diet but as soon as we start to eat normally again – or eat a little less than before, keeping in mind the recent work – we put back on some of the weight we have just lost because the basal metabolism will be slower.
Why follow a ketogenic diet to lose weight?
A ketogenic diet is one where no carbohydrates are consumed for a specific period of time however other macronutrients are still eaten in normal quantities, which is the case for the Tisanoreica diet as it includes a ketogenic diet with a normal balance of proteins and fats. The human body, as well as satisfying its energy needs, has to provide the necessary amount of ‘glucose products’ because some muscle tissues only work with glucose. In order to do this, after having used up all the glycogen (a type of stored glucose), one of the following metabolic pathways is activated:
The differences between a ketogenic diet and a balanced, low calorie diet are:
It is evident, therefore, that to satisfy the body’s glucose needs, by using fatty tissue (ketogenesis) and not muscle tissue (gluconeogenesis) the weight that is lost relates to the body fat percentage, whilst the muscle mass remains the same. Moreover, it is clear that there will be some noticeable weight loss which will satisfy the patient and be easy to maintain.
The Tisanoreica method – the research
What is presented here has been scientifically proven and was tested at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the University of Padova by means of comparing the Tisanoreica diet with other traditional diets like the Mediterranean or ‘zone’ diet. The study, carried out in 2005, lasted 40 days and involved 30 candidates, males and females, divided into 3 groups that represented similar characteristics. The first finding was about the number of ‘drop outs’; 50% of the candidates following the Mediterranean diet dropped out, 40% following the ‘zone’ diet dropped out but only 20% following the Tisanoreica diet dropped out. The exams carried out to assess the effects the diets had on the candidates’ health included blood tests, urine tests and a body composition test. The results of the blood tests to assess the hepatic and renal functions revealed that, for those who followed the Tisanoreica diet, the neither liver nor kidney functions were especially effected or over worked.
During the study, body composition of the candidates was assessed too; the Tisanoreica diet was the diet that brought about the most weight loss, in terms of fat percentages. Furthermore, the percentage muscle mass was assessed (this is important because it determines the basal metabolism) and this also showed that the Tisanoreica diet caused less muscle loss in respect to the other diets.
The respiratory quotient (RQ) was also examined (the RQ is a value that explains
which energetic substrates the muscles use to obtain the necessary amount of energy):
- high RQ: the muscles obtain energy from carbohydrates
- low RQ: the muscles obtain energy from fats.
As the following table shows, the Tisanoreica diet lowered the RQ of the candidates much more than the other weight loss regimes and this makes it is easier to maintain the new weight.
The Tisanoreica method – what to do
As mentioned, the Tisanoreica method is a scientifically tested weight loss programme that is only carried out under the guidance of a doctor. The Tisanoreica method suggests you eat a low glucose diet with normal fat and protein consumption combined with specific dietary supplements that have been researched, the so called ‘Tisanoreica dishes’ and ‘Tisanoreica extracts’. The Tisanoreica dishes, which have to be consumed with the recommended foods, contain an average of 18g of essential and non-essential amino acids which, commercially speaking, are equal to 1 PAT (the unit of measurement used to define the quantity of amino acids and phyto extracts contained in each Tisanoreica dish). As well as the amino acids that are present in the Tisanoreica dishes, there is also a Tisanoreica ‘activator’, made up of a mixture of 8 plants, whose principle function is to increase proteolytic activity (i.e. make the absorption of protein easier). This allows you to follow a ketogenic diet with normal protein intake, which is otherwise difficult to do.
Being based on the process of ketogenesis, the diet does have some moderate side
effects that can be eliminated by using herb extracts. The herb extracts are obtained
through the decottopia method; only water and different temperatures are used
to extract the active parts of plants, therefore no alcohol or preservatives are
used. Each extract is made from at least 10 plants, the harvesting of which is
rotated every 2 months to avoid the risk of addiction. There are 4 functional
extracts of the Tisanoreica diet:
- Extract no. 2, a cleanser which is fundamental for hepatic functions; as ketosis is a metabolic pathway, the plants used in the extract make the liver’s functions of filtering and producing bile easier;
- Extract no. 6, a regulator that is particularly good for women because it is made up of plants that minimise the vasomotor symptoms that occur because of the menopause and reduces pre-menstruation pains;
- Extract no. 12, a good diuretic with antioxidant properties;
- Extract no. 13, a toner that anticipates the state of ketosis (considering that for each day the body is in ketosis it is possible to lose 3-5 ounces, by anticipating ketosis it is possible to get better results and sooner).
The Tisanoreica diet has two parts and can last for different periods of time, from 20 to 40 days. In the first phase of the diet, the intensive phase, no carbohydrates are consumed and as many green vegetables (raw or cooked) can be eaten as the patient wants. Meat, fish or eggs can also be eaten but only once a day. All other meals are Tisanoreica dishes/snacks, which are normally eaten 4 times a day.
In the second part, the stabilising part, only 2 Tisanoreica dishes are eaten per day and complex carbohydrates are reintroduced: bread, wholegrain pasta and other carbohydrates with a high GI. Fruit, potatoes and non-green vegetables are still not eaten in this phase though. During the stabilising phase, weight is not usually lost but nonetheless it is an important period of transition that the body needs to be able to come out of ketosis and prepare itself for a normal and balanced diet.