Lose weight: How nutrition affects the success of your diet

Which food is suitable for losing weight? A burger or a pizza is not suitable, but vegetables and fruit are – there seems to be a general consensus about that. In fact, the reality is a little different. Because: In principle you can lose weight, no matter what kind of food you eat. Everyone has an individual daily calorie requirement. This is influenced by various factors: for example, age, height, gender, but also habits and professional activity. Those who cover their calorie requirements keep their weight, those who regularly eat more than they need will gain weight, and those who consume fewer calories than they need will lose weight. Whether the calorie requirement is undercut with a single lavish burger meal with chips and milkshake or with several small, balanced meals is irrelevant for pure weight loss.

Diet? Yo-yo effect! Why do extra kilos often come after a diet?

Cabbage soup and Co.: Many diets promise quick results in a very short time. Two kilos in seven days? With a correspondingly high calorie deficit theoretically no problem. However, the body often first separates itself from stored water before it goes to its fat reserves. In addition, the organism drives the metabolism into an energy saving mode during extreme short-term starvation cures in order to avoid any additional calorie consumption. If you then eat normally again after the diet, it will start to fatten all the faster - especially since this only promotes ascetic eating behaviour in the short term.

Sustainable weight loss with the right diet

In order to lose body fat gently, you should choose a low to moderate deficit and strive for a permanent change in diet. For this purpose you should first determine your personal calorie requirement. There are various calculators on the Internet that generally use the following formula:

Men: calorie requirement = [(10 × weight in kg) + (6,25 × height in cm) - (5 × age) + 5] x activity factor
Women: calorie requirement = [(10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (5 × age) - 161] x Activity factor

An activity factor1 f 1.4-1.5 is found in all people who do not participate in sports and who perform predominantly sedentary activities. An activity factor of 1.6 is found in people who do light training once or twice a week. You should multiply your value by 1.8 if you are primarily sitting at work, but are exercising three to five times a week. 1.8 is your activity factor if you mainly work while walking or standing. For 3-5 times a week you add another 0.3. You have a factor of 2 if you do heavy physical work - for example as a construction worker. For a moderate decrease of half a kilo fat per week you should aim for a deficit of about 500 calories. In general, a maximum deficit of 25 percent of your calorie requirement is recommended.

How does a healthy diet help you lose weight?

As already mentioned: As long as you remain in a calorie deficit, you can also lose weight with an unhealthy diet. However, this is not recommended: a healthy diet should be part of losing weight - if only to ensure the supply of high-quality fats, important minerals and vitamins. When selecting foods, you should pay particular attention to the following characteristics if you want to lose weight in the long term and in a healthy way.

  • Dietary fibres – for example in vegetables, legumes and wholemeal products – are largely indigestible and occupy the intestines for some time. That influences again the coal hydrate metabolism and the saturation feeling positively.
  • You can eat yourself full of foods with a low calorie density without straining your calorie account too much. This includes, for example, water-rich vegetables such as tomatoes or cucumbers.
  • Sufficient protein from legumes, soya or dairy products and lean meat ensures that you can maintain your muscle mass even in a calorie deficit. If you lack protein, you lose not only fat but also muscle mass when you lose weight.
  • Weight loss, nutrition and intestinal flora

    A healthy diet is not only helpful in losing weight - a balanced diet rich in vitamins and fibre is also good for your intestinal flora, because it promotes the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria. If these are the majority, they ensure a smooth digestion and keep pathogens in check. A mis-colonized intestinal flora, on the other hand, is often associated with morbid overweight. If you do not lose weight despite some effort, it may be worth getting to the bottom of the microbiom in your stomach. With the intestinal test INTEST.pro you can do this comfortably from home: With the help of the kit you take a small stool sample with the cotton swab and send it with the enclosed envelope to our experts in the laboratory. Some time later you can view your complete microbiota profile in an online dashboard. In this way you can find out whether your intestinal flora may have stood in the way of reaching your dream figure.

    1. https://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/weitere-publikationen/faqs/energie/#pal