Weight Loss - How to lose weight sustainably and healthily (without the yo-yo effect)?
Weight loss in a nutshell:
In order to lose weight, it is necessary to burn more calories than the body consumes. To do this, you can either increase your calorie expenditure or decrease your calorie consumption.
People who are active and who exercise burn more calories. The more significant and regular the physical exertion, the greater the calorie expenditure and the higher the basal metabolism.
It is important to be careful with diets, especially severe diets. An unbalanced diet is dangerous to health and can cause a yo-yo effect.
For weight loss to be sustainable, it is recommended to change your eating habits and choose a balanced diet.
The best way to achieve a healthy weight is to combine a balanced diet with regular physical activity.
As summer approaches, the extra weight accumulated during the winter months weighs heavily on the conscience. Then we wonder: how to lose weight quickly, easily and above all without depriving yourself too much?
There are many diets these days that all promise quick success. Although many of these approaches produce good results, success is often short-lived, with many people quickly returning to their initial weight.
In the following lines you will find how to reach the optimum weight in a natural and sustainable way without too much deprivation and, above all, by avoiding the yo-yo effect (the process of fast weight switching and regaining lost weight).
What is my ideal weight?
Having a few extra pounds doesn't always mean you're overweight and should lose weight. There is often a few kilograms difference between our true healthy weight and the idea of a perfect silhouette.
Putting a little belly or a little fat on the body is very much in the interest of our health. In fact, it is essential that we feel satisfied and that our bodies are resistant enough to deal with stress.
How do you calculate body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio?
Your body mass index (BMI) can be a first indicator of whether you are overweight or underweight. BMI is calculated from body weight and height. Weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of body height (in square metres).
Easily determine your BMI using our BMI calculator: Click here for BMI
The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the following guideline values for adults over the age of 20, regardless of age and gender:
- Nutritional status: lean
- BMI <18.5
- Nutritional status: normal weight
- BMI between 18.5 and 24.9
- Nutritional status: weight gain
- BMI between 25.0 and 29.0
- Nutritional status: moderately obese
- BMI between 30.0 and 34.9
- Nutritional status: severe obesity
- BMI between 35.0 and 39.9
- Nutritional status: obese
- BMI >40
- Account example:
- Weight: 70 kg
- Height: 1.70 m
- 1.70 * 2 = 3.4
- 70 / 3.4 ≈ 20.588 . BMI
Please note: BMI should not be used as the sole indicator of healthy body weight, as it is very general and does not take into account gender, age or other individual physical conditions. Thus, BMI does not distinguish whether BMI consists of more fat or muscle mass.
It is useful to measure the waist-hip ratio (WHR) when the BMI is high or above 30. The WHR describes the waist-hip ratio (waist circumference divided by hip circumference) and thus helps determine how fat storage is distributed throughout the body. There are two types of distributions:
The pear-shaped or "gynaoid" silhouette is characterized by clusters of fat located more in the hip area. While this may be unsightly for some, this form of distribution does not present significant health risks.
The apple-shaped or "android" silhouette is characterized by the presence of fat mainly in the abdomen. In this case, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is much higher.
The RTH should be less than 0.85 in women and 1.0 in men.
Anyone with a BMI equal to or greater than 30 and an unfavorable WHR should consult a physician to more accurately determine the associated health risks. In addition to age, gender and body measurements, many other factors that can negatively affect health must also be taken into account.
What are the different ways to lose weight?
If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than your body consumes. You can do this either by spending more calories, reducing calorie intake, or a combination of the two methods.
Lose weight with exercise to boost calorie loss
It is known that physical activity burns more calories. The more you exercise regularly, the more calories you burn and the higher your basal metabolic rate.
Jogging (or running) is a great weight loss activity. In fact, almost no other sport is good at burning calories. What makes running more effective than cycling or other similar activities? Running exercises almost all muscles. Thus, the need for energy increases, which makes it possible to lose weight more quickly.
Swimming is also an ideal sport to support a slimming diet. It is suitable for beginners and professionals. Since this is a full-body workout, losing weight in a short time and building muscle in a targeted manner is entirely possible. In addition, swimming makes it possible to move all muscle groups without severe stress on joints and ligaments. This is a gentle activity, ideal for those who don't like sports, but nevertheless want to lose a few pounds gently.
Yoga can also support weight loss, although it burns much fewer calories than endurance sports - although this will also depend on the type of yoga used.
Sports and nutrition:
When the body is active, it is important to provide it with energy and nutrients through food.
To lose weight in a healthy way through physical activity, it is recommended that you monitor your calorie needs and make sure that your food choices are healthy. In fact, foods containing sugar and refined flour prevent fat burning, while whole grain products and fruits enhance it.
Contrary to what some ads suggest, exercise alone does not allow you to lose fat in a targeted manner, especially in certain so-called "problematic" areas such as the stomach or legs. In fact, fat mass loss almost always occurs within the basic metabolic framework. However, muscle growth stimulates the metabolism and thus contributes to weight loss.
In addition, regular physical activity (in particular endurance sports or weight training) allows you to simultaneously burn fat and gain muscle mass. Therefore, pure weight loss may be less obvious on the scale.
Thus, it is better to base your weight loss success on reducing your waist circumference rather than reducing your body weight.
Lose weight with the help of a diet
At present, the offer in terms of diets is diverse. The goal of any slimming treatment is to lose weight as quickly as possible. However, the duration of the diet for weight loss should be limited in time.
You should also be careful with extreme diets, as they are very restrictive and the risk of a yo-yo effect is greater. In order to monitor weight loss permanently, it is recommended to follow a balanced diet.
What is the best diet for me?
Everyone should find out for themselves the diet that best suits their lifestyle. Here are some examples of diets that can help with weight loss or weight control:
In this diet, carbohydrates and foods containing protein are not eaten at the same time, but rather in different meals.
Diets of this type severely limit the consumption of foods high in fat.
Low carb diet
The goal of this diet is to significantly reduce carbohydrate consumption.
Low glycemic index diet
Those who follow a low glycemic index diet focus on foods with a low glycemic index (referring to a food's ability to raise blood sugar). The higher the glycemic index, the higher the sugar in a person's blood.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was originally developed to treat high blood pressure.
The carbohydrates eaten in this diet should come primarily from foods rich in fiber such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. This diet also recommends reducing your salt intake.
The FDH diet ("Frisst die Hälfte", eat half) originated in Germany and consists of half of what you normally eat. Here, more attention is paid to the size of the portions rather than the nutritional value of the food.
Mediterranean foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, and nuts, are the basis of this diet. The Mediterranean diet rarely includes red meat and high-fat dairy products. However, the weight loss is very gradual.
In addition to the above diets, there are many other methods, subtypes and combination diets. For example, the so-called Montignac method is a popular diet based on a low-GI diet, a low-carb diet, and a split diet. However, it has its own rules and claims to promote permanent weight loss without resorting to exercise. The diet called "Loose Weight While You Sleep" is also inspired by several methods mentioned above. However, it must be accompanied by physical activity in order to be effective. Finally, there is also a trend to replace whole meals with alternatives, in the form of powder or liquid or solid foods.
Choosing the right diet depends strongly on individual needs and living conditions. Therefore, it is always beneficial to be aware of your lifestyle habits and consult a doctor or dietitian before starting a weight loss treatment.
Beware of the yo-yo effect
The yo-yo effect is a common consequence of frequent dieting to lose weight. This is the recovery of lost weight after an initially successful diet. It may happen that the body weight exceeds the weight before the diet. In order to avoid the yo-yo effect as much as possible, nutritionists recommend permanent changes to lifestyle and eating habits after dieting.
If nutritional deficiency is observed during a diet, it is important to put an end to it or at least consult a doctor in order to identify and prevent potential health risks as quickly as possible.
Can fasting promote permanent weight loss?
Fasting is the partial or total deprivation of food for a certain period of time. There are several forms of fasting that differ in tradition and purpose. As a result, you will more or less fit your weight loss goal. Fasting is primarily for healthy adults. Children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, as well as the elderly and the chronically ill should not fast or do so only on the advice of a healthcare professional and under medical supervision.
Therapeutic fasting is a fast that aims to purify the body, soul and spirit. The fasting period can last from one to several weeks and occurs under medical supervision. During this time, we give up eating solid foods. After the fasting phase, the body gradually returns to its normal diet. Thus, therapeutic fasting can lead to permanent weight loss if followed by a conscious change in diet.
Alkaline fasting (also called acid-base fasting) is a form of fasting in which food intake is reduced to fruits, vegetables, and herbs. On the other hand, all acidic and other acidic foods are avoided. It aims to lose weight and remove acidity from the body while providing it with plenty of vitamins and fiber. Effectively losing weight in this way depends in particular on being able to balance your diet after the fasting period.
Another very popular form of fasting is intermittent fasting. Here alternate phases of eating and fasting. The different phases can follow each other quite differently, over the course of a single day or over the course of several days. One of the most common forms is 16:8 intermittent fasting, where each day is divided into 16 consecutive fasting hours and 8 hours during which food can be eaten. For example, if the eating phase is set from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, the remaining hours are part of the fasting phase.
Another common form of intermittent fasting is the 5:2 diet. In this case, we usually eat 5 days a week and fast for 2 days - without necessarily that the days do not follow each other.
Intermittent fasting, unlike most other forms of fasting, is designed as a sustainable way of eating. However, we can regret the lack of a nutritional recommendation on the foods to eat during the food stages. Therefore, this type of fasting is not necessarily associated with a balanced diet. Therefore, successful and lasting weight loss depends largely on individual eating habits.