Obesity is considered a risk factor for many diseases. Nevertheless, more and more Germans are overweight. Instead of relying on crash cures, the key to long-term weight loss success lies in changing your diet. We tell you what to look out for.
In the new year, the project is again at the top of the list of good resolutions for many: lose weight. Some of us actually need it – more than half of all adults weigh too much. Being overweight promotes high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, among other things. Losing weight is not only a visual decision, but also important for your health.
If you want to lose weight, you have to plan for the long term
Actually, we all know how it works: We have to consume fewer calories than we use up, exercise regularly and eat healthily. That means as many vegetables as possible, filling foods such as protein, and little sugar. Meal breaks are also important, there should be at least 4 hours between meals. Despite this, most people find it difficult to lose weight. The mistake that many make: They think too short-term. They radically change their lives from one day to the next and are then surprised that they can only last a few weeks before falling back into old patterns. Experts have long agreed: If you want to lose weight permanently, you have to plan for the long term and not rely on crash diets.
Losing weight requires consistency and patience, our feeling of satiety only changes after about 9 months. 0.5 kilograms is an optimal weight loss per week. Anything above that quickly leads to the dreaded yo-yo effect: you suddenly weigh more than you did before the diet. The body perceives radical crash diets as a kind of famine, launches an emergency program and shuts down the basal metabolic rate. Anyone who eats a little more after the diet will almost automatically gain weight because fewer calories are consumed.
On the trail of fatteners
Losing weight permanently only works with a real change in diet . First of all, it is important to identify the personal fatteners. And these aren’t just the obvious sins, like going to a fast-food restaurant or a piece of cream cake in a café. It is above all the everyday habits that prevent weight loss: the croissant on the way to work, the frustrating snack in the office, sweet soft drinks, the glass of wine in the evening. If you are aware of what, when and how you eat, you have often taken the first important step on the way to your dream figure.
Weight loss tips from the nutrition doc
we have dr Jone , nutritionist and NDR nutrition doc, asked about the special importance of proteins when losing weight:
Why is protein so important when losing weight?
DR. RIEDL: Proteins are good for filling and thus help us regulate our appetite and not take in more calories than we need. They also regulate the glucose level in the blood. When losing weight, a sufficient intake of protein is also important to avoid a loss of muscle mass. Also, the thermogenic effect of proteins is greater than carbohydrates and fats, the 2 other macronutrients. This means that when protein is eaten, 20-35 percent of the calories are directly burned by our body to metabolize the food.
Which are the best protein suppliers?
DR. RIEDL: One of the best sources of protein is eggs. They contain all the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) and are usually easy to digest. Meat, fish, certain dairy products such as quark, nuts, oilseeds and legumes, especially soybeans, but also red lentils and chickpeas, contain a lot of protein. When it comes to meat and fish, it is important to choose foods that are as fresh as possible. Processed products such as sausages and cold cuts and too much red meat, on the other hand, should not be on the menu.
Are vegetable proteins better than animal proteins?
DR. RIEDL: Animal protein has a particularly high biological value. That means it contains all the essential amino acids that our body needs. However, studies indicate that the consumption of vegetable protein can be associated with lower mortality and a lower cardiovascular risk, and the risk of type 2 diabetes is also said to be reduced. Another plus: Those who consume a lot of protein-rich plant foods also take in more fiber and micronutrients. A mix of animal and vegetable proteins with a focus on vegetable proteins is ideal in my opinion. A food diary can help uncover personal calorie traps. Write down everything you eat for 3 weeks – including time and mood. Because stress, boredom and tiredness can promote cravings. Watch what you eat and then consciously counteract it. If you always reach for a chocolate bar in the office in the afternoon, maybe take a homemade energy bar with you from now on and save a lot of calories.
dr Jone is the founder and medical director of medicum Hamburg – Germany’s largest center for nutritional medicine and diabetology. More information at
Protein power: colorful vegetable pan with chicken breast strips
Ingredients for 4 persons:
• 400 g small turnips (alternatively swede, parsnip or celeriac in winter, zucchini or aubergine in summer)
• 400 g young, small carrots
• 400 g young, small carrots
• 3 sticks of celery
• 1 red pepper
• 400 g kohlrabi
• 1 stick Leek
• 30 g butter
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp dry sherry
• 50 ml vegetable stock
• 500 g chicken breast fillet
• 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
• 1–2 tsp sweet paprika
• Salt and pepper
• ½ bunch of chives
- Wash and trim the vegetables well. Leave some greens on the turnips and carrots. If necessary, unthread the celery, then cut diagonally into pieces about 3 cm long. Halve the peppers, deseed and cut into strips. Peel the kohlrabi and cut into sticks. Wash the leek well and cut into rings.
- Melt the butter in a pan with a lid. Add the sugar and let it melt while stirring constantly. Add the vegetables, sauté for 2 minutes. Add the sherry and vegetable stock, cover and cook the vegetables over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, wash the chicken breast fillet, pat dry, then cut into strips about 1 cm wide. Heat the oil in a pan, fry the chicken in it for about 4 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Season with paprika, salt and pepper.
- Wash the chives, pat dry and cut into fine rolls. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives and chicken strips and serve.
When you go shopping for this recipe, why not add the top 12 foods for weight loss right away . In this article we will introduce you to the fat killers in more detail.
Every step counts
The best way to establish new eating and sports habits is step by step. That way, you stay on the ball all the time. Unrealistically high goals quickly become frustrating. Step by step is therefore the motto. If you take on too much right away, you will almost inevitably experience frustration – and quickly break off the dream figure project. Ask yourself what you can do without completely and what not (for now). Drinking the latte without sugar is a start. In the next step you can then reduce the amount – drink only 1 cup per day instead of 3. The same applies to movement behavior. Set yourself realistic goals. A non-sports person doesn’t become a fitness freak overnight. So ask yourself how often you realistically manage to do sports in your everyday life. 1x per week? Maybe 2x? Then start exactly with this workload.
Only when the behavior has become established after a few weeks, slowly increase the training – little by little. Sports apps can help you integrate regular workouts into everyday life. Exercise is important for building muscle and boosting your metabolism. Even at rest, muscles burn more calories than fat tissue. And: Those who train regularly also usually feel more balanced and are motivated to eat healthier. And another tip: reward yourself regularly and also celebrate small milestones. Not with a piece of cake, but with other things that bring you joy. A new pair of trousers when the old ones are too big, a visit to the hairdresser, a nice book. Rewards motivate you to keep going.