Every year the same picture: at the beginning of the year the good resolutions and the bad conscience drive hordes of people into the Gyms, diet concepts are omnipresent and promise maximum and above all quick success! But does it really need exotic diets to lose weight? Or what really matters?
The thing with the calories
First of all: there are no shortcuts on the way to a slim body. No matter if you remove all carbohydrates from your diet, do not eat anything from 6 pm, fast or only eat cabbage soup, you can not outsmart the physics. And in physics there is the first law of thermodynamics, which says that the energy in a closed System is constant. This means that neither energy arises from nothing, nor that it simply disappears. In terms of our body, this means that calories supplied through food do not simply disappear by themselves, nor does stored energy in the form of fat deposits. Those who want to get rid of them must ensure that the calorie intake is lower than the actual consumption of the body. Only then will he seriously go to his own reserves and convert them into energy again. Therefore, the first rule for successful weight loss is:
Eat less than you consume!
So far, so simple! But how many calories does the body consume during the day? Say how do you calculate your maintenance calories, i.e. the amount of calories your body neither builds up nor breaks down weight with? To answer this question you need two values, first the basal turnover and then the maintenance turnover. Only when you know how many calories your body really consumes every day can you plan your calorie intake wisely, so the second rule for successful weight loss is:
Know your calorie consumption!
Let's start with the basal metabolic rate: this size indicates how much energy your body needs to maintain all relevant organ functions without further stress. In simple terms, this is the amount of calories you consume every day, even if you would just lie in bed all day. This value now depends on various factors such as age, gender, body weight and height. Quite logically: providing a 1.95-Meter-tall and 110-kilogram-heavy young man with a high proportion of muscle is more complex than a 1.50-Meter-tall and 45-kilogram-heavy woman.
For the calculation of the basal turnover there are now different formulas, of which two are to be presented at this point.
For one thing, we have the Harris-Benedict formula. This is:
- For men: basal metabolic rate= 66.47 + (13.7 x body weight [kg]) + (5 x body height [cm]) – (6.8 x age [in years]
- For women: basal metabolic rate = 655.1 + – 9.6 x body weight [kg]) + (1.8 x body height [cm]) - (4.7 x age [in years]
A 30-year-old man with a height of 185 cm and 90 kilograms has a basal turnover of around 2,020 calories. The basal turnover of a 20-year-old woman with a height of 150 cm and 55 kilograms of body weight, on the other hand, amounts to just under 1,360 calories.
As you can see, this formula involves three factors: weight, height and age. As a result, it provides relatively accurate results.
Another approach is the Katch-McArdle formula. This is:
- Basal metabolic rate = 370 +(21.6 × lean weight in kg)< / li>
- Lean mass= body weight in kg x (1-body fat percentage divided by 100)
A person with a body weight of 90 kilograms and a body fat percentage of 20 percent has a basic turnover of around 1,925 calories.
Exciting with this formula is that it takes into account the lean mass, i.e. the body mass, which also really consumes energy. This can cause enormous differences, depending on how high the body fat percentage is. For comparison: if the same Person had a body fat percentage of 10 percent, the basal metabolic rate would already be 2,120 calories, with a body fat percentage of 30 percent, it would be only 1,730 calories. The catch: you have to know your body fat percentage.
In addition, there are several other formulas, as well as various computers in the Web. Before you give up your plan to lose weight out of sheer confusion, go back to the first Formula if you don't know your body fat percentage and the second if you know it.
Let's now come to performance turnover. This simply indicates how many calories you consume daily in addition to physical exertion. Logical: The more you try, the more calories you smoke. You can calculate how high this additional consumption is with the Physical Activity level, in short the PAL value.
The following applies:
- Maintenance calories = basal metabolic rate X PAL value
You can read how high this value is from this table:
|PAL value||activity level|
|1,2||exclusively sedentary or recumbent lifestyle|
|1,4-1,5||exclusively sedentary activity with little or no strenuous leisure activity eg office employee|
|1,6-1,7||sedentary activity, temporarily also additional energy expenditure for walking or standing activity, e.g. laboratory technicians, drivers, assembly line workers|
|1,8-1,9||predominantly walking and standing work, e.g. Housewives, nursing staff, waiters, mechanics, craftsmen|
|2.0-2.4||physically demanding professional work, e.g. construction workers, farmers, forest workers, competitive athletes, miners|
If you exercise regularly (30 to 60 Minutes a day), you can add another value of around 0.3.
For a person with a baseline turnover of 2,000 calories, this means that their performance turnover can be between 400 and 3,400 calories a day. You see: depending on the degree of physical effort, the performance turnover can even exceed the basic turnover.
If all this is too complex, you can of course also fall back on modern calorie consumption trackers.
No matter how you calculate your maintenance calories, once you have this value, you can now really plan your calorie intake sensibly. The third rule for successful weight loss applies:
Consume more calories than you feed!
Of course, you can also formulate this the other way round, but that doesn't really matter much at first!
Let's see what else can be done:
How much should I eat?
This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to weight loss. There is certainly no general answer to this, but in the beginning you will do well if you create a calorie deficit of 200 to 400 calories below the maintenance calories. This may sound like a lot at first glance, but remember that one kilogram of body fat has an energetic equivalent of around 7,000 calories. Since the body does not gain all the additional energy from your fat pads in the event of a deficit, this means that it takes some time for the fat to visibly melt.
Of course, you can also make the calorie deficit higher, but you should take a few things into account: on the one hand, it is not useful to lower the calorie intake permanently below the basal metabolic rate, because this can lead to a shortage of relevant nutrients and also damage the metabolism sustainably. Because our body is very adaptable: if it finds that it receives less energy than it consumes over a longer period of time, it will gradually shut down less important consumers from its point of view. So he adjusts his consumption to the supply. Therefore, it makes sense not to start with a maximum deficit right away, in order to be able to put another spin on it in such cases.
Therefore, the fourth rule for successful weight loss is:
Don't overdo it with your calorie deficit!
Because let's be honest: your fat pads did not come overnight. Don't expect them to disappear overnight!
You are what you eat?
When we look at this insight, it becomes clear that what you eat does not matter much at first. If your maintenance calories are 2,500 and you consume only 2,000 calories a day, you will lose weight, but if it is 3,000, you will gain weight. Whether you only ate chicken and vegetables or Pizza and ice cream is secondary.
Now, however, there is a but: a Pizza quickly comes up to 900 calories. In addition, two glasses of Coke with almost 200 calories and a cup of ice cream with a good 300 calories, then there is not much left for the rest of the day. Quite logically: the higher the calorie density of the food you eat, the less you can eat in total. So if you want to lose weight and still constantly resort to Fast Food and sweets, you will quickly fall into a hunger trap. Plus: due to the large amount of added sugar, your body will react with a massive increase in blood sugar levels, which then also drops very quickly, leading to food cravings.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the food intake not only serves the supply of sufficient amounts of calories, but is also necessary to supply many nutrients necessary for the body such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Nutrients that are rather sparsely present in the described meal.
Therefore, it makes natural sense to eat a balanced and healthy diet, especially if you reduce your calorie intake. For example, fruits and fresh vegetables should be part of any diet, especially in a diet.
Thus, we note in the fifth rule for successful weight loss:
Eat healthy and balanced!
Low carb, low fat? What now?
Healthy and balanced beautiful and good, but which concept is better? Unfortunately there is no final answer to this question. What can be said For sure: it is always the diet form the best that suits you best! Those who are totally obsessed with carbohydrates will probably drive better to reduce the fats, those who make less of pasta and Co. can achieve great success with low carb. The same applies to the question of the number of meals: eat in such a way that it fits best into your daily routine. Eating convulsively every two hours is hardly useful if it causes you total Stress, on the other hand, intermittent fasting may not be the best solution if you do not naturally like larger meals.
Always remember: the deficit is decisive!
The sixth rule for successful weight loss is:
Adapt your diet to your everyday life and your body!
Many consider Sport as a panacea for losing weight. Not without reason, after all, the calorie consumption can be noticeably increased. But you should not overestimate this factor either, because even one hour of endurance training per day will increase the calorie consumption hardly more than 700 to 900 calories. In addition, the Sport will make you hungry. Strength training, by the way, consumes significantly fewer calories, but has the advantage that you make sure that the body does not start to break down the muscles. This is important because energy is constantly consumed in our muscles. They are, so to speak, the fuel eaters of our body. The more muscles you have, the more energy is needed to power them.
Studies show that a diet that relies solely on the effects of exercise is not very effective. Ideal is rather a combination of a low-calorie diet and sporting activity.
Therefore, the seventh rule for successful weight loss is:
Build strength and endurance training into your diet!
The long breath
As already mentioned, losing weight is not a Sprint but rather a Marathon. Therefore, it is important that you do not overburden yourself completely. For Man is by nature a creature of habit. But here, too, the following applies: while it is easier for one to change everything from now on, others are better at changing habits step by step. Here it is important to be honest with yourself. Above all, however, you must ensure that the diet will not be a pain for you. Do the Sport you enjoy and not the one you think will make you lose the most calories if in doubt. Eat in such a way that you also like it and not in such a way that you constantly lack something.
The eighth rule for successful weight loss is:
Design your diet so that it is not agony!
Ultimately, a diet is also always learning by doing. There is no point in planning everything down to the smallest Detail in advance, rather it is important to just get started! And even though some of the details may not be ideal at first, it's still better than wasting a lot of time looking for the optimal path that doesn't exist anyway!
The ninth rule for successful weight loss is:
Do not be discouraged!
And more importantly: there will always be setbacks. But it doesn't matter! It is not bad if you have eaten a Burger too much or if you have to skip the Training once. Don't let it frustrate you, just keep going. Because the tenth and last rule for successful weight loss is:
Only those who stay on the Ball win!