Sustainable weight loss – with Dr. Dominik Dotzauer

This is a transcript of the podcast interview with Dr. Dominik Dotzauer , doctor, author and expert on sustainable weight loss and founder of – many thanks to Dominik at the point.

Note : You can listen to the full podcast interview here (or go straight to Spotify):

You can find the entire interview here:

Martin: Hello and welcome to today’s podcast episode. Nice that you switched on again. My name is Martin Auerswald and I am speaking to Dr. Dominik Dotzauer. Howdy, Dominik. # 00: 00: 41-3 #

Dominik: Hey. Thank you for letting me be there. # 00: 00: 44-7 #

Martin: I am pleased that I have the opportunity today to talk to a doctor about the great topic of weight loss. You have specialized in this area. Please introduce yourself briefly, dear Dominik. # 00: 01: 07-3 #

Dominik: I’m Dr. Dominik Dotzauer, doctorate doctor and work as a health advisor. I create evidence-based programs for clients and help them control their bodies and eating habits. The customers who come to me have tried a lot, from counting calories to all sorts of trend diets. But nothing has helped them in the long term. Therefore, my main concern is the permanent change in habits and behavior. # 00: 01: 46-2 #

Martin: I think it’s great when medical professionals dare to enter this field. There are a lot of lateral entrants who are only interested in profit and marketing. It takes doctors like you who have basic scientific knowledge and who can analyze the studies. Respect for that! You went through changes and tried different things in the past few years before specializing in nutrition, psychology and strength training. How is your career # 00: 02: 23-8 #

Dominik: I was overweight as a child and had a lot of negative experiences. At 17, I was so far that I really wanted to get rid of my excess weight. I started running 10 kilometers a day, but unfortunately that didn’t work. As much sport as possible, this is the typical male way of losing weight. I wanted to find out what I was doing wrong and did some research. I have come across many conflicting theories on the internet. At some point, however, I had an overview and was able to distinguish wild claims and psychological tricks from specialist knowledge. I was so fascinated by it that I switched from studying economics to medicine. # 00: 03: 47-2 #

Only when I changed my eating habits did it work to lose weight, without running 10 kilometers. I started doing weight training and going for walks three or four times a week. By now I had read a lot about the subject of weight loss, and that helped me a lot when studying medicine. My parents are both doctors. That originally deterred me from studying medicine, which is why I decided to study economics.

However, I was still fascinated by the topic of weight loss, and since there was little good information on it in German-speaking countries, I decided to study medicine. At the same time, I started helping others. With that I started my professional path. # 00: 04: 59-3 #

During my studies I gave online seminars and wrote articles and books. In my “Automatic Weight Loss” guide, I explain how to apply the knowledge about losing weight in everyday life in order to achieve results. During this time I also wrote my doctoral thesis.

She explores how to implement it and how to firmly integrate a new way of life into your life. The scientific facts are of little use if it fails in practice. The reason for failure often has a psychological background, and I want to help change habits reliably. # 00: 05: 55-8 #

Martin: I like that you speak from your own experience and that you can bring valuable practice to your work. Losing weight is 50 percent psyche and 50 percent habit. A 28-day slim shake diet is of no use if you continue as before. You have to start with the causes and find out why you put on weight. Then it is necessary to restructure everyday life and adapt it to individual needs. # 00: 06: 46-4 #

Before we get to the myths and misunderstandings about weight loss, I would like to hear from you what a normal day looks like for you. # 00: 07: 08-0 #

Dominik: I go running one lap through the park every day. Because of the publication of my book, I am having a lot of conversations right now that keep me busy. I spend a lot of time on the phone and on the computer. I usually don’t eat anything in the morning, just drink a coffee . There is a snack at lunchtime and my main meal is in the evening. It consists mainly of protein and vegetables . Every now and then I treat myself to something that I feel like doing, even if it’s not very healthy. # 00: 08: 10-7 #

Martin: What weight loss tips have proven useful in your work? # 00: 08: 23-0 #

Dominik: The most important thing is the knowledge that eating behavior is not consciously controlled, but rather happens situationally. Our brains do everything to ensure our survival, and it makes sure that we reach for highly rewarding foods when they are available. Then the pain is little and the reward great. My tip is to forgive yourself a slip, accept it and at the same time look for a way to avoid it in the future. # 00: 09: 26-1 #

Martin: With that you built a bridge to nutritional psychology. I can well imagine that the majority of weight problems stem from psychology. Most diet concepts are based on nutrition and exercise and neglect the mental. Why do we rarely talk about the psychological aspects? # 00: 10: 00-2 #

Dominik: On the one hand, there are complex processes that happen in the brain, and on the other hand, it is usually annoying to have to deal with your own weaknesses and feelings. When you talk to other people about it, it becomes easier. Many diet concepts only consist of nutrition and exercise plans. They are popular because they offer a simple structure that promises quick success. Such a plan sells well. If you want to lose weight in the long term, you have to realize that changing behavior can be time-consuming and painful, but that only this will bring lasting success. # 00: 11: 35-4 #

Martin: With that we opened a barrel that we have to dive deeper into. Do you have a tip for us on how we can deal with our own fears and failures? # 00: 11: 53-8 #

Dominik: My advice is to write down everything that goes through your head. Sometimes you have crazy thoughts or fail to notice important inspirations. By writing it down, the thoughts flow out of us. They allow us to take an objective look at the problems. This allows us to deal with the situation much better. # 00: 12: 47-1 #

Martin: Writing down translates the thoughts in your head onto paper. By consciously sensing the voice in my head, I can find out where the desire for food comes from. # 00: 13: 06-4 #

Dominik: Noting is an important part of my work with my clients because it helps them deal with slips. I describe this method in great detail in my book. Those who go over the top have to learn to accept the situation and to forgive themselves. Treat yourself like your best friend. Often times, stress or sadness is the trigger for overeating. There is also the question of why you have chocolate in stock at home if you really don’t want to eat it. # 00: 13: 53-0 #

Emotional eating is a big issue. Those who eat too much are labeled as undisciplined and inconsistent. Basically, behavior patterns that go on in our heads are to blame. But they also have their uses. Basically, it’s a protective function of the brain that helps us comfort ourselves or energize our bodies by ingesting sugar. If you try to counteract it by pulling yourself together, then you are not responding to the need behind it. Instead of trying to defy the appetite with willpower and discipline, we need to figure out the occasion and deal with it. # 00: 15: 05-8 #

Martin: It’s a very interesting approach. We think we just have to follow the rules to be successful. Dealing with the psychological background can be annoying and even painful, but it is the investment that will benefit us in the long term. Everyone lives in their personal microcosm and experiences everyday life as the applicable normality. It is therefore important to think outside the box and to recognize that there are other ways. Treating yourself like your best friend seems like a good way to go. # 00: 17: 13-4 #

Dominik: Yes, that is a very important point that also helps when writing down your own thoughts. What advice would I give to a good friend who is in the same situation? Many of my clients judge themselves too harshly, much harder than they would deal with a friend. For example, they drastically reduce their calorie intake and thus put themselves under too much pressure. If you try to look at your situation from the outside, it is less distorted. # 00: 17: 56-6 #

Martin: Why do people tick in such a way that they are harder on themselves than on their best friend? # 00: 18: 11-0 #

Dominik: People who are very strict with themselves often also treat others with great severity. This mainly affects people who are close to them. After all, you only want the best. They are likely to feel milder towards outsiders because the bond is missing. I would say that people who are close to you are treated more like yourself. # 00: 19: 13-1 #

Martin: I see a parallel to meditation , in which you concentrate on one thing, namely your breathing. When you find yourself wandering, the central task of meditation is to bring your attention back to your breathing. Was it briefly distracted?

No problem, then you just keep going. It seems to me similar with your concept of weight loss. We want to change our habits, but when we get weak and eat the wrong thing, we just move on without devaluing ourselves. That seems to be the crux of the matter, because it is precisely this focus that is difficult for most of us. How do you manage to forgive yourself? # 00: 20: 30-2 #

Dominik: Every slip is a chance to do better next time. That is part of the change process. It is part of it. Nobody is perfect and can master the challenge immediately and easily. You have to accept the misstep rather than ignore it. Forgiveness is the solution. Only when a debt is forgiven does it dissolve. This principle also applies to friendships and partnerships. Forgiveness is a coping strategy for accepting someone else’s wrongdoing without expecting anything in return. This also applies to myself. # 00: 22: 04-2 #

Often these are firmly anchored values. For example, we have adopted a certain error culture or the eating habits of our parents. Psychotherapy deals very intensively with the patient’s childhood, because the experiences and trauma from this phase of life shape our behavior as adults. # 00: 22: 54-9 #

Martin: At this point I would like to put a lid on nutritional psychology and move on to mindfulness . It is important to keep your own demons in check or to learn to live with them. Can you think of any advice on this? # 00: 23: 31-8 #

Dominik: Sleep is very often underestimated because it also affects appetite. Too much light, too little air, a lack of magnesium and an environment in which one does not feel comfortable create poor conditions for our relaxation. I recommend carefully examining your own sleep behavior and seeing what can be improved. Those who sleep well have fewer cravings . # 00: 24: 38-5 #

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Martin: Some think they can be active longer if they sleep less. However, you say that this strategy backfires. Lack of sleep creates problems and manifests itself in food cravings and binge eating. # 00: 26: 39-5 #

Dominik: These two hours that you supposedly gain cannot be used productively when you are tired. It would be better to sleep two hours longer and use the remaining time efficiently. That way you get better results. Just try it out for a while and see how you are doing with it. Make a conscious decision to sleep longer. Go to bed earlier. Try these small behavior changes first and then make the conscious decision whether the previous or the new habit suits you better. # 00: 27: 48-5 #

Martin: That reminds me of a study that examined the sleep behavior of two groups. The participants in the first group slept six hours a day, the other eight hours. Both did weight training and paid attention to their calorie intake. The group that slept eight hours lost four pounds of fat in a month, and the group that slept only six hours lost only one pound of fat and two pounds of muscle.

As soon as you lose muscle mass, you lose vitality and strength, and the basic consumption decreases. Sleep is the last thing to save on, especially when dieting. I’ve read that 70 percent of all Germans sleep too little. Why do you think most people sleep too little and too badly? # 00: 29: 13-6 #

Dominik: I think that many people are afraid of wasting time or missing out on something. It’s kind of childish behavior, a rebellious uprising against early bedtime. On the one hand, they have to be fit for work the next morning, but on the other hand, they want to use the evening to watch an exciting film or to spend quality time with their partner. As with food, it can be very helpful here to consciously weigh the advantages and disadvantages. # 00: 30: 06-8 #

Martin: Unfortunately that often leads to a vicious circle. If you don’t sleep enough, you are tired during the day. In the evening you are too excited to fall asleep and you reach for a bag of chips to recharge your batteries. The next day you are even more tired than the day before. It’s like a fight with the inner child, which also opens up when you lose weight. There are certainly many who recognize themselves in this scheme, and it is important to confront this problem yourself. # 00: 31: 16-3 #

Being good with yourself also includes admitting mistakes and practicing forgiveness. We also explained why sleep is particularly important. Is there another aspect that is often underestimated? # 00: 31: 23-3 #

Dominik: Women often underestimate the effectiveness of strength training and protein. Men pay more attention to their protein intake because it is important to them to build muscle. They also eat more meat than women. Women are also afraid of heavy dumbbells. 20 kilo deadlifts seem like a lot to them, although you could easily start with 40 to 60 kilos in the first workout. # 00: 32: 20-0 #

Martin: Very few women will actually be able to build extreme muscles because their natural constitution is not made for it. Protein boosts your metabolism, and strength training makes women more compact. Women often tell me that they want to avoid thighs like Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian’s. # 00: 33: 00-8 #

Dominik: You shouldn’t forget that tastes are different. On the legs in particular, there is usually a layer of fat between the muscles. When you lose that fat, you can build good proportions. For my clients, the size of their pants is more of a decisive factor. When building muscle, you should lose fat at the same time so that your legs don’t increase in size. When the pants no longer fit, a critical point has been reached. The muscles don’t grow in gigantic amounts, but they do enlarge under the fatty tissue, which can lead to stretching. # 00: 34: 07-2 #

Many men have a higher tolerance for the muscle mass of women than women themselves. In the end, what counts is what you are comfortable with, as long as it is in a healthy range. Muscle mass can also be broken down quickly, and nobody has to worry about permanently affecting their appearance. # 00: 35: 12-8 #

Martin: What amount of protein is recommended? Is there a rule of thumb? # 00: 35: 22-3 #

Dominik: For muscle building, an intake of 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended. I wrote an article about how to measure body fat percentage. If you are overweight or even obese, the 1.6 gram rule does not apply, because then you would have to consume gigantic amounts of protein. For people of normal weight, 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram is a good guideline. If you want to lose weight, you can increase the proportion to 2 grams. Protein increases the feeling of satiety and is an important source of the amino acids that make up our body. The key to losing weight, however, is reducing your calorie intake. # 00: 36: 58-2 #

Martin: 1.6 grams of protein per kilo of body weight, that should be around 80 to 100 grams, based on the average lean mass in women. A yogurt here and there is by no means enough. To consume 100 grams of protein, it should be chicken breast, fish or protein shake. It is advisable to find out about the protein values ​​of the various foods in order to be able to calculate the amount that you need. # 00: 38: 09-2 #

Dominik: I agree that you should analyze the protein content of your food and adapt it to your personal needs. After all, we also adjust the weights in training with our goals and possibilities. This is the way to make long-term progress. # 00: 38: 38-3 #

Martin: Your book is titled “Automatically lose weight”. What is the method behind it? # 00: 38: 55-8 #

Dominik: Losing weight automatically, that’s initially a title that attracts attention. People face many problems in losing weight. Losing weight is not automatic, it requires discipline and consistency. If you want to lose weight permanently, the crucial point is to change your eating habits so that it is as easy as possible for you. Of course, when I try hard and put a lot of pressure on myself, I lose weight, but it’s easier to build good habits and automatic behavior. We can learn to shop for the right things and to access our feelings. We can give up the habit of “eating the feelings”. # 00: 40: 09-4 #

This also applies to typical situations in which you normally pick up a bag of chips. That’s what automatic weight loss is all about for me. My method complements the advice given by the psychologist Nadja Hermann in her book “Overcome fat logic”. Your book deals with the myths of diets, but it was important to me to give specific tips on how to change your behavior.

I have seen again and again that people have failed with the common concept of saving as many calories as possible. They lacked knowledge of the basic components like protein and vitamins . Also, they had no experience dealing with emotional eating and slips. With my book “Automatic Weight Loss” I want to enable readers to help themselves. # 00: 41: 30-3 #

Martin: I also read the book “Overcome Fat Logic”. I learned a lot of new things in the process, but I also lacked the psychological background. Only a few people manage to strictly reduce calories. With your book they will find a valuable addition. Where do you get your book? # 00: 42: 11-5 #

Dominik: You can find my book in all bookstores, on the Random House site and on Amazon. There are also a lot of reviews there. You can order the digital e-book version with additional materials and current updates on my website. An audio book edition will also appear shortly . # 00: 42: 56-3 #

Martin: We’ll put this information in the Show Notes of this podcast. Can you tell us some of the weight loss myths that typically haunt our minds? # 00: 43: 19-4 #

Dominik: A myth is to think that you wouldn’t lose weight because your metabolism is slowed down. People limit themselves and suffer, but still they don’t lose weight. They believe it is due to a physical malfunction. Nadja Hermann describes this problem in great detail in her book “Overcome fat logic”. For example, we underestimate how many calories can be in a salad.

If there are 1,500 calories, then you shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t lose weight, or maybe even gain weight, even though you are eating a healthy diet. In the end, it’s always the calories that decide whether you gain or lose weight. This is a cruel truth because most of us like to eat. # 00: 44: 31-0 #

I also like to eat very much myself, but my little brother gets sick when he eats too much, for example. He’s always been slim because he never had a big appetite. His metabolism doesn’t run faster, he just eats less than others. His body resists larger meals. There are hormonal and genetic reasons why we eat more than others, and of course it is also due to our habits. # 00: 45: 06-1 #

Martin: That is an exciting finding. Experience has shown that we underestimate the amount we eat. On the other hand, we often overestimate how much energy we burn in our sporting activities. It is very useful to work out your basic consumption and note how many calories you are consuming on a typical day. Women in particular usually have a lower basic consumption than they think. Are there any other myths that persist? # 00: 45: 48-4 #

Dominik: Another myth is that you have to do sport in order to lose weight. Some of my clients have put too much pressure on themselves and I no longer do any exercise with them. The calorie consumption in exercise is actually often overestimated. You can just as easily ruin a whole hour of exercise with a bun. It’s easier to skip the bun than to work out every day. Too much exercise can also lead to side effects such as joint pain.

Everything that relates to food and sport has a kind of price-performance ratio to one another. The challenge is to find a good balance for the behavior changes. The measures shouldn’t be too complex, but still bring something. Many people who want to lose weight swear by sport or think they have hormonal or genetic disorders that require complex treatment. The first thing to do is to monitor your diet over a long period of time. # 00: 47: 29-5 #

I have already had a few clients who switched back and forth between different methods for many years, but did not implement the basics in a controlled manner. They try hard and try a lot, but nothing seems to work because they overlook the gross blunders in their approach. It can be very sobering to look the truth in the eye and see that you’ve done a lot wrong. On the other hand, you finally get a result that takes you further. # 00: 48: 17-4 #

Martin: Many of our listeners will now breathe a sigh of relief when they hear that you don’t have to force yourself to jog. You can do without sport or maybe with an activity that you enjoy. In any case, an individual approach is necessary, because one-size-fits-all diets do not exist. I think it’s nice that we’re talking about these important basics because they are always underestimated. We are more enthusiastic about the new and sensational. # 00: 49: 07-2 #

Today we talked about the important basics, about protein, strength training, sleep and your own beliefs . We have also shown how important it is to keep an eye on your own eating habits. These are the basics of losing weight, and I think it’s nice that we heard your science-based view of it. For those who want to delve deeper into the subject, I recommend the two books mentioned. You can also find further information on your website Dominik, would you like to give us something in conclusion? # 00: 49: 57-2 #

Dominik: Maybe you have already tried a lot, but nothing works? If you think you are a hopeless case or something is wrong with me, then get in touch with me. I would be happy to give you my brief assessment, a tip or a recommendation. # 00: 50: 46-4 #

Martin: We will include the contact details in the show notes. Dear listeners, if you would like another issue with Dominik, then send me an email to [email protected] This podcast lives from the exchange with our listeners.

We prefer to report on the topics that you want. I am therefore pleased about your opinion. Tell us what you like or not like about our interviews. If you would like to find out more about us, visit our websites and We are set up very similarly thematically. Thank you for your time, dear Dominik, and for the insights you gave us. # 00: 51: 59-1 #

Dominik: Thank you and see you soon. # 00: 52: 00-3 #

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