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Losing Weight: How It Really Works

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Calories, energy expenditure, yo-yo effect? We have all heard of the terms and know they belong to the topic of weight loss. But how exactly are they related? HEALTH BAS clarifies eight important questions.

Fuel for the body: what are calories?

We count them, curse them and usually don’t even know exactly what they are: We are constantly talking about calories and how many of them are in our food. Calorie is a term for energy. And this energy is in our food. Often the term calories (cal) is used synonymously with the term kilocalories (kcal). The more calories a food has, the more energy it provides. And it is precisely this energy that we humans need to live. What gasoline is to the engine, the energy from food is to our body.

Basal metabolic rate and performance metabolic rate: How is our consumption made up?

And our bodies are constantly consuming fuel, regardless of whether we’re just lying comfortably on the sofa or running the next marathon. Heart, brain or kidneys – all of these organs need energy to be able to work. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes less.

For example, if we were to lie on the couch for 24 hours, we would burn the amount of calories known as the basal metabolic rate. Logical, because we breathe or digest anyway. But most of us don’t spend our day completely immobile. When we walk, run, work or play, we use energy through movement. This amount is called performance turnover. And this is composed very differently in people, depending on how hard they exert their body.

Losing Weight: How It Really Works
Losing Weight: How It Really Works

Energy intake, energy consumption: when do I gain weight or lose weight?

And we absorb this energy by eating fruit, bread or burgers. Ideally, the food provides exactly the energy that we consume during the day. Only: Sometimes it is not that easy to achieve a balanced energy balance. It can always happen that we absorb more energy.

And then it can get annoying: instead of letting it fizzle out, the body stores the excess energy. In the form of body fat. If you take in more energy than you consume over a longer period of time, the fat deposits also grow. And we’re gaining weight. What to do? The best way to fix the problem is to rebalance your energy balance.

The pitfalls of a diet: How does the yo-yo effect arise and how do I avoid it?

Sure, now you could go on a radical diet for a few days. One could simply use up the energy that is in our memory. Sounds logical, if it weren’t for the yo-yo effect. If the body receives too little or no food, it prepares for a kind of famine. The metabolism is then only on the back burner. The body is now tapping into its energy stores, but unfortunately the wrong ones.

Since fat loss takes a long time, the body falls back on a source that is most quickly available: the muscle cells. And now it gets annoying: As a result of the reduction in muscle mass, our basal metabolic rate also drops. If we eat the same way after the radical cure as before, then we gain weight. In the worst case, we will have more weight than before. In order to prevent the yo-yo effect, it is therefore important to to eat enough and balanced food even while on a diet. But it is best to increase the performance turnover. And that goes through sport.

Losing Weight: How It Really Works

Increased performance: what influence does exercise have on weight?

Sport is an indispensable part of a successful diet. Because the additional exercise burns a lot of calories. Another plus point: muscles are built, which increases the basal metabolic rate. Because muscle cells consume significantly more energy than fat cells. So there are lots of good reasons to put on your jogging shoes immediately. Not sure how to start? HEALTH BAS shows the best sports for beginners .

Daily energy consumption: how do I know how much I can eat?

You can calculate your calorie requirement on the Internet, for example at https://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html. In the end you will get your total sales. These are the calories you can take in without gaining weight. The HEALTH BAS recipe search by calories can help you plan your meals. If you want to lose weight, you can now increase your energy consumption or reduce your energy consumption.

The German nutrition advice and information network recommends reducing energy consumption by 30 percent in order to lose weight in a healthy and long-term way. With an energy requirement of 2000 calories, you would have to save around 600 calories a day. On the other hand, the energy requirement can also be increased: if you normally consume 2000 calories a day, jogging for half an hour increases your balance to 2300 calories. In this way, only 300 calories would have to be saved when eating.

And now specifically: How do I know if I’m too fat?

When looking in the mirror, most of us see rolls of fat and problem areas. The body mass index, or BMI for short, is used as a rough guide as to whether you are overweight. You can calculate your BMI by entering your height and weight. But be careful: Extreme athletes and bodybuilders usually have a high BMI.

And that although they are not fat and certainly not overweight. The reason: The BMI calculation formula is based on average people with average muscle proportions. And since muscles are heavier than fat, many muscles are then considered overweight. If you want to be on the safe side, you should seek advice from your doctor.

Losing Weight
Losing Weight

The appetite trap when losing weight: how does cravings arise?

It is the biggest trap in losing weight: Sometimes we get an irrepressible craving for chocolate, ice cream or fast food. This cravings can ruin some diet success. The most common cause of extreme cravings for sweet or fatty foods is hypoglycaemia. Sugar-containing or white flour products initially cause our blood sugar level to rise rapidly.

A short time later, however, it falls back into the cellar just as quickly. Cravings arise when too little is eaten during the day, for example when dieting. Regular meals, whole grain products and high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables keep you full for a long time and avoid unwanted blood sugar fluctuations. Read on HEALTH BAS: The best tricks against appetite attacks .

Successful weight loss: what’s left?

Fasting cures, strict diet plans and a ban on chocolate are no fun for anyone and because of the yo-yo effect or food cravings, success is usually not achieved. A diet that should be successful in the long term is also based on your own needs and preferences. Dr. Oberritter, Scientific Director of the German Nutrition Society, calls the nutritional goal “a varied, low-calorie mixed diet rich in vegetables, whole grain products and fruit”.

Conclusion: A balanced diet combined with exercise bring the most lasting success. Read the top tricks for long-lasting slim success on HEALTH BAS .

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