Healthy weight loss means losing weight slowly. Image: karepa/stock.adobe.com
There are many reasons for the desire to lose weight. It is not uncommon to associate being slim with success, beauty and willpower. Many people therefore simply want to conform to the current ideal of beauty. Others are concerned about their well-being because they notice that endurance and mobility deteriorate due to the higher body weight.
Pronounced overweight, on the other hand, almost always leads to secondary diseases in those affected. Back and joints become overloaded and start to hurt. The risk of permanent joint disease, diabetes mellitus, heart attack and stroke increases.
Am I really overweight?
Losing weight does not necessarily mean reaching your ideal weight. Even a few kilograms of weight loss have a positive effect on your health.
Overweight can be determined by the body mass index, known as BMI for short. It is calculated by dividing the body weight in kilograms (kg) by the square of the height in meters (m) and allows weight comparisons between people of different heights. Normal is a BMI of 18.5 – 25 kg/m2, if it is higher, it is called overweight. If it exceeds 30 kg/m2, the overweight is called obesity. Older people and sportsmen may have a little bit more than 25 kg/m2. For children and adolescents there are separate weight tables, so-called percentile curves.
Slightly overweight is not necessarily harmful, it also depends on the fat distribution. It becomes critical when the waist circumference (at the level of the belly button) is over 80 cm for women and over 94 cm for men.
Formula Body-Mass-Indes: BMI=body weight (kg) / height (m) squ.
Unfavorable are so-called crash or lightning diets with promises of high weight loss in a short time and those with one-sided diets that easily lead to malnutrition. This includes, in particular, mono diets in which one food is the main focus. Even some trend diets have their pitfalls. They often contain strict rules that do not take into account individual preferences and lifestyles.
How to lose weight successfully – without the yo-yo effect
The lower the calorie content of the diet, the greater the risk of the so-called yo-yo effect, which results from the lowering of the basal metabolic rate and the lack of learning success of crash diets. The weight shoots up like a yo-yo after the old eating habits have been taken up, and a new diet is programmed.
An energy-reduced but balanced mixed diet that includes all food groups as far as possible is ideal:
– Energy-free drinks – plenty of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains (sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber) – daily dairy products (sources of protein) – animal products in moderation (sources of protein) – little fat and sweets
A slow weight reduction of about one year is sensible half a kilo per week.
A weight loss program is only successful if the meals are satisfying. It is not the calorie or fat content of the food, but the quantity (volume) that has the strongest influence on satiety. When the stomach is filled, a good feeling of satiety sets in. How long we are full depends, among other things, on the composition of the food: Protein makes us feel full for a particularly long time and is important for counteracting a loss of muscle mass. Muscle mass is important for the supporting apparatus, but also for energy metabolism, so that the basal metabolic rate does not drop during a diet. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, fill you up quickly, but only for a short time – especially if they contain little fiber.
You will become and remain really full if a meal is sufficiently large and varied in composition. At the same time, the energy density of a food should be low. In short, the energy density describes the energy content of a food in calories (kcal) per gram or per 100 grams. Above all, foods with low (up to about1 kcal per gram), but also medium energy density (up to 2.25 kcal per gram) are very suitable for losing weight, as your plate remains well filled in the process. Alternatives for foods with a high energy density would be, for example, baked potatoes with herb curd (instead of French fries) or a portion of salty popcorn (instead of chips).
It all depends on the taste
Eating is pleasure, so flexible control of eating behavior is also more beneficial – z. B. instead of never eating chocolate again, only one bar a week instead of the previous four. The diet should be adapted to individual preferences, so that the diet can be continued with enjoyment. In addition, a successful diet must be practicable in everyday life. Be tailored to the life situation. And it has to taste good, because otherwise it's usually programmed to be discontinued. Regular meals are an advantage, because too much time between meals promotes attacks of ravenous hunger.
Exercise helps you lose weight
Sport not only makes it easier to lose weight, but also to stabilize the new body weight. It directly increases energy consumption and also counteracts the decrease in basal metabolic rate by maintaining muscle mass. Through strength training it can even increase muscle mass. In addition, sport improves performance, lifts the mood, promotes well-being and prevents secondary diseases of obesity.
In addition to light endurance training combined with strength training, everyday activities such as climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator, walking instead of driving, or going for a walk instead of watching TV are also important. It is important that the exercise is fun, because that is the best reason to stick with it.
Lose weight with the DGE program "I'm losing weight
Long-term nutrition programs are best, where participants not only lose weight slowly but also stabilize their new weight. In principle, losing weight on your own is possible. The "I'm losing weight" program helps of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), which combines a change in diet with exercise and relaxation.
The program is used just as successfully in group consultations. Nutritionists who carry out the program in group counseling can be found in the Internet offer of the DGE. Groups allow sharing with each other, which can significantly help increase motivation.