Everyone will know it, the next beach season is just around the corner and the winter fat is still clinging to the body. Now things often have to be done quickly so that a few more kilos can fall off. Diets, extensive cardio and lots of salad are on the daily schedule for most of them. But is this really the best way to lose weight effectively? Why do so many people try this approach and still fail?
Losing weight affects not only your physical appearance, but also your health. That's why in this article we'll show you tips and ways on how to lose weight healthily and effectively in order to lose as much fat as possible. We try to give you the most important basic knowledge and introduce you to methods and means that can support you in your goal.
the essentials in brief
- Every person needs a different number of calories per day, since everyone has a different total turnover. Total sales depend on many different factors.
- In order to lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. Don't focus on the pace when losing weight. A much too low energy intake can trigger the yo-yo effect and you usually only lose water and muscle mass at the beginning.
- A healthy diet and exercise will help you lose weight effectively. There are also natural ways you can use to speed up fat loss.
Background: What you need to know to lose weight effectively.
Before we show you how you can lose weight effectively, you first need a certain basic understanding in order to know why, for example, extreme diets or the nutrition plan of your friends are not working for you. That's why this part deals with the basic knowledge you need to be able to understand the second part of this article more easily and so that you know what really matters when losing weight.
How much weight do I need to lose to get a healthy body fat percentage?
The first station at which you can see whether you have a normal weight for your height is the so-called body mass index (BMI). You can easily calculate your BMI yourself using the BMI calculator on the Internet. Simply enter your gender, age, height and weight.
BMI should not be used as a definitive guide. Muscle weighs more than fat. This means that particularly muscular people, such as bodybuilders, can be overweight according to the BMI calculator.
It is much more important to look at the body fat percentage. This value varies slightly depending on age. For women, the guideline for a healthy body fat percentage is between 11-25%. For men, the values fluctuate somewhat more between 10-20%, depending on age(1).
How many calories per day does my body need?
How many calories your body needs per day depends extremely heavily on your life situation and your goals. Your body has a certain basal metabolic rate - which can depend on age, gender, size, medication and the ratio of muscle mass to fat. In addition to this basal metabolic rate, there are also the physical activities that you do throughout the day.
The basal metabolic rate (also resting energy requirement) indicates how many kcal your body needs per day to keep your bodily functions in tact.
Basically, one can say that normal people have a calorie requirement of:
- 1700-2000 kcal for women
- Have 2000-2500 kcal for men.
To calculate your basal metabolic rate, you can either use the Harris-Benedict formula or use a free online calorie calculator. (Image source: recha oktaviani / Unsplash)
However, you should still calculate your own individual energy requirements . You can find various kcal calculators on the Internet, where you can get a rough idea of how many calories you should be consuming per day.
Can I effectively lose weight in specific areas of the body?
Unfortunately, no. Where you lose weight first and last depends on your disposition. Some people are very quick to store fat in their stomachs and others in their arms. This can be different for every person.
When the body loses fat, it always happens in the places where fat was last stored. That's why most people have stubborn belly, hip, and thigh fat that stays with them for so long. Since you only lose weight in the other places.
Do I have to exercise to lose weight effectively?
You don't have to exercise to lose weight. However, exercise offers you some advantages(2) when it comes to losing weight:
- boosts fat metabolism
- Weight training prevents muscle loss
- through exercise you can eat a little more kcal or get into a deficit more easily
So you can see that sport can help you lose weight effectively and also ensure that you lose what you really want to get rid of. Namely fat!
How long does it take to lose 10 kg in a healthy way?
First of all: When it comes to losing weight effectively, speed is not a quality feature. You keep hearing about well-known personalities who have managed to lose 10 kilos in a month.
But that's not really healthy and shouldn't be your goal either. If you lose too much weight in a short period of time, the yo-yo effect often occurs.
If you lose weight extremely quickly because you eat very little or save a lot of calories with salad, you often only lose water and muscle mass at first.
It is important to know that there are around 7000 calories in one kilo of body fat. So if you want to lose 1 kg of fat in a week, you need a total deficit of 7000 calories. Spread over 7 days, that would be 1000 calories less each day. Here is a brief overview of how long you will need:
|calories||weeks to lose 10 kg|
|Save 7000 calories each week (1000 calories per day)||10 weeks|
|3500 calories each week (500 calories per day)||20 weeks|
|2100 calories each week (300 calories per day)||33 weeks|
So it is possible to lose 10 kg in a period of 2-7 months. However, this overview only gives a rough overview, as there are other factors that are important when it comes to losing weight.
Very heavy people initially lose weight much faster than people who are only "slightly overweight".
In addition, if the deficit is too high, you also lose heavy muscle mass and may accelerate weight loss.
What is a yo-yo effect when losing weight?
In the case of a diet with too little energy intake, the carbohydrate and protein depots are mobilized first. If you are not physically active, muscle protein - i.e. muscle mass - is broken down. The body now requires less energy to maintain its functions. Due to the reduced body mass and low energy intake, you have a lower overall turnover.
The weight goes off first, but often comes back more quickly. Like a yo-yo. (Image source: piviso/ Pixabay)
If you now return to your old eating habits and provide the body with more energy, it will try to replenish its fat deposits as quickly as possible. Due to the lower basal metabolic rate , weight gain usually occurs very rapidly . Depending on the muscle mass lost and the suddenness of the diet change to the previous eating pattern, sufferers may even be heavier than before the diet(3).
Are there any special tools that can be used to lose weight faster?
The means by which one should be able to lose weight effectively are:
- natural means
- Legal Means
- Illegal Means
So that you can do something with it, we will briefly explain what we mean by that.
Commonly found in the form of spices, vegetables and "superfoods". They help your body to detox naturally or have an impact on the substances in our body that are responsible for fat metabolism.
These funds are offered by many supplement manufacturers. They often advertise their fat burner capsules, pills or powders. Whether these remedies really help you is not really scientifically proven.
Caffeine, green tea extract and magnesium are ingredients that have been scientifically proven to work.
No ingredients such as hormones that are on the doping list in Germany are permitted in these products.
These funds are particularly effective in burning fat. They are also popular with bodybuilders to help define muscles. They have a big advantage: They break down fat extremely quickly and leave the muscle mass alone as far as possible. But these funds carry a very high risk.
Lose weight effectively: The best tips, methods and means to get to your desired weight in a healthy way.
In this section we will show you the best ways, tips and methods on how to lose weight healthily and effectively.
Exercising regularly helps to lose weight effectively
Exercising helps you a lot in losing weight. Through sport you can eat more despite a calorie deficit or have to give up less food because you burn more kcal through sport. Sport also ensures that when you lose weight, not so much muscle mass is broken down, but fat.
The more muscle mass you have, the higher your daily energy requirement. (Image Source: Alora Griffiths / Unsplash)
Muscles are real energy burners. If your body notices that it no longer needs them for a longer period of time, it increasingly breaks them down. But let's be honest, many people don't want to lose muscle mass, they specifically want to lose fat.
Here is a small overview of the advantages of the individual sports/exercises:
|Jog||Has a positive effect on general health.|
|HIIT||Saves time, is very tiring and has a strong afterburn effect(5)|
|Sprint||Promotes production of human growth hormones(6), which help build lean muscle mass.|
|weight training||Also burns kcal and protects against muscle breakdown.|
|hula hoops||Burns about as many calories as jogging and can be done while watching your favorite series, for example.|
|jump rope||Burns a little more kcal than jogging and takes up little space.|
|To swim||Very easy on the joints, trains many muscles and endurance. A real all-rounder.|
Of course, there are a few other sports and full-body exercises that are suitable for burning fat. It is best if you do several physical activities a week. For example, jumping rope, jogging and weight training. Or swim, sprint and hula hoop.
Staying in a slight calorie deficit ensures long-term gains
As you already know, if you are in a calorie deficit that is too high, you will primarily lose water and muscle mass in the beginning. In addition, the yo-yo effect often occurs after the diet. To avoid this, your calorie deficit should be between 200-500 kcal per day. You can make a list to get a feel for how many calories you actually consume each day. Write down what and how much you ate in the list.
There are also dedicated fitness apps that help you calculate your energy needs and make it easier for you to track your calories.
If this whole process is too exhausting for you, you can also have a nutrition plan created for you.
Comply with the specified macronutrient recommendations
The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) provides the following macronutrient recommendations for adults(7):
- Protein: 0.8 grams per kg of body weight
- Carbohydrates: more than 50% of energy intake (also "bulking agent")
- Fat: 30-53% of energy-maximum 65 grams per day (0.6-1 gram per day)
It is also important to know how many kcal the individual macronutrients have. We have summarized this data here:
|macronutrient||calories per gram|
This knowledge is important for our calculation in the example below, as it helps us calculate how many carbohydrates we can eat in a day.
What is considered: A man weighs 100 kg and needs to eat 2600 kcal a day to maintain his weight.
His goal: lose weight healthily and effectively.
Since the man wants to lose weight, we subtract between 200-500 kcal. In our example we subtract 350 kcal. So he has to eat 2250 kcal a day .
He needs 0.8 g/kg of protein, i.e. 80 grams a day. 80g x 4 calories = 320 calories.
In addition, he has to supply around 0.6 g/kg of fat, which corresponds to 60 grams a day. 60g x 9kcal = 540kcal.
The fats and proteins alone claim 860 kcal. Now you subtract these 860 kcal from 2250 and the amount of kcal that is left is filled up with carbohydrates (hence the term "filler"). So 2250-860= 1390 kcal that are left over.
To find out how many grams of carbohydrates the man has to eat, we calculate 1390 kcal : 4 kcal = 347.5 grams of carbohydrates that he still has to eat.
We summarize. He has to eat as much a day:
- Protein: 80 grams
- Fat: 60 grams
- Carbohydrates: 347.5 grams
If he adheres to this daily energy supply with the right distribution of nutrients, he will effectively lose 10 kg in about half a year.
Boost your metabolism with intermittent fasting
There are different types of intermittent fasting:
- 2 day diet
- 5:2 diet
- 16:8 diet
- 20:4 diet
- Alternate day fasting
- Dinner cancellation
In the next step, we will explain the 16:8 diet to you as an example.
The 16:8 Diet
When you fast, you voluntarily abstain from eating for a long period of time. If the body needs energy, the carbohydrates are consumed first, since energy production from fat is more complex. The body only starts burning fat when the carbohydrates are low.
This happens after about 12 hours. After 16 hours, the excess fat reserves are broken down to generate energy. As a result, you still have 8 hours a day to eat(8).
Household remedies and nutrition that get your fat metabolism going and help you lose weight effectively.
In order to lose weight effectively, there is no getting around a healthy diet . Whole grains, vegetables/fruits, legumes, nuts, fish/seafood, lean meats and lean dairy products are good choices.
The Mediterranean cuisine offers you a good basis for nutrition. (Image Source: Ella Olsson / Pexels)
Here we show some natural remedies that boost fat burning and make it easier to lose weight:
- rosemary, parsley, oregano, basil, chives(10)
Due to the caffeine content, coffee and green tea can also help you lose weight and offer other health benefits. However, those who do not tolerate caffeine should be careful here.
Too harsh diets are often used to lose weight as quickly as possible. People often find it very difficult to stick to these diets over a long period of time. They also put stress on their bodies. Instead of fat, they often only lose water and muscle mass in the beginning. If you eat normally again after the diet, it is very likely that the yo-yo effect will occur.
In order for you to lose weight effectively and healthily, your focus should not be on the pace. Losing weight to such an extent that you can see a noticeable difference takes time. Otherwise there would only be people with a perfect ideal weight and body.
You have to do something for your body in the long term. A healthy, varied diet and exercise can support you enormously in your goal and have other positive effects on your body.
- About the influence of physical activity, Florian Michael Friedmacher. Body Mass Index, percentage of body fat and age on cardiopulmonary performance in humans with normal and impaired glucose tolerance. Medical University Clinic and Polyclinic (Department) Tübingen.2009. p.36 sources
- Adams V, Linke A. Impact of exercise training on cardiovascular disease and risk. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2019 Apr 1;1865(4):728-734. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2018.08.019. Epub 2018 Aug 28. PMID: 30837069. Source
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- Sousa D, Carmo H, Roque Bravo R, Carvalho F, Bastos ML, Guedes de Pinho P, Dias da Silva D. Diet aid or aid to die: an update on 2,4-dinitrophenol (2,4-DNP) use as a weight loss product. Arch Toxicol. 2020 Apr;94(4):1071-1083. doi: 10.1007/s00204-020-02675-9. Epub 2020 Feb 20. PMID: 32078021. Source
- Liu Y, Dong G, Zhao X, Huang Z, Li P, Zhang H. Post-exercise Effects and Long-Term Training Adaptations of Hormone Sensitive Lipase Lipolysis Induced by High-Intensity Interval Training in Adipose Tissue of Mice. front phys. 2020;11:535722. Published 2020 Nov 25. doi:10.3389/fphys.2020.535722 Source
- Rundqvist HC, Montelius A, Osterlund T, Norman B, Esbjornsson M, Jansson E. Acute sprint exercise transcriptome in human skeletal muscle. PLoS One. 2019 Oct 24;14(10):e0223024. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223024. PMID: 31647849; PMCID: PMC6812755. Source
- dge.de: reference values for nutrient intake. Source
- Patterson RE, Sears DD. Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annu Rev Nutr. 2017 Aug 21;37:371-393. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634. Epub 2017 Jul 17. PMID: 28715993. Source
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