Eating less – if you want to lose pounds through this alone, you will fail again and again. Because it is also important to bring movement into everyday life. Experts give tips on how to do this without any problems.
Christiane Nauroth started the first diet when she was in her early twenties . Since then, the 39-year-old has been trying to get rid of her extra pounds. She has already tried a lot: smaller portions, potatoes instead of rice or fruit and vegetables instead of meat. Although this was the first successes to be achieved, Christiane Nauroth did not succeed in permanently reducing her weight. With a height of 1.75 meters, she weighed a maximum of 116 kilos, the trained industrial clerk is currently a little over 90 kilos. For a long time she couldn’t bring herself to do sport. “I’ve always been a bit of a sports grouch,” she says.
Like Christiane Nauroth, many overweight people believe that the ideal route to ideal weight is the right diet. They chastise each other when they eat, nibble on carrots, drink apple cider vinegar and yet fail every time. Because if you want to lose weight permanently, you also have to move .
“It is advisable to start slowly,” says Ingo Froböse, head of the Center for Health at the German Sport University Cologne. “It doesn’t have to be the marathon.” Instead of starting sports immediately, the first goal should be to integrate exercise into everyday life . Because the body cells don’t really care whether their owner rides a bike, cleans windows, digs up the garden or lifts weights in the gym.
The examples show that there are numerous opportunities to get active. The problem: countless movement killers lurk in everyday life to keep us from doing it. Elevators save us the stairs, the S-Bahn takes us almost to the front door and electric bicycles ensure that we don’t have to pedal so hard.
If you want to lose weight, you should avoid such comfort traps – and get off one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way home. Going for a walk is a good gateway drug anyway. Because at the beginning: “A lot of exercise and little stress,” says Froböse. “Half an hour of walking a day is enough, an hour is ideal.” The expert advises against maltreating yourself with a stress EKG and fat measurements right from the start. “Beginners shouldn’t overwhelm themselves with data like this. Walk up your butt and leisurely, that’s enough.”
“People are made for movement,” says Gerhard Huber from the Institute for Sport and Sport Science at the University of Heidelberg. He also advises overweight people to start slowly and celebrate their successes. However, not with sweets or overeating – because a bar of milk chocolate can destroy the usefulness of an hour of jogging in no time. Huber has also observed that knowing exactly how many calories an exercise burns is an incentive for many overweight people.
Lazing around and shedding fat
Sports scientist Froböse doesn’t think much of it. “The value of exercise is in burning more energy later when I’m on the couch,” he says. Lazing around and shedding fat – what sounds incompatible is actually possible. But only if you first increase your basal metabolic rate (GU).
Behind the bulky term hides the amount of calories that our body needs at rest to maintain its vital basic functions such as breathing or the heartbeat. The GU, which depends on weight, gender and ambient temperature, has a 60 to 70 percent share in our metabolism. If it reaches a higher level, the energy consumption also increases.
“Obese people have to turn this screw,” says Froböse. “Your metabolism is often poor: you take in more calories than you use.” In doing so, they do not necessarily eat more, they only utilize the energy they supply less than people of normal weight. The GU can be calculated using a simple formula . If you want to know exactly, you can have it determined with the help of a test by a specialist or in a sports medicine institute .
Christiane Nauroth had her GU determined at the Sport University Cologne – with a breath test, for which she had to appear sober. “The GU was pretty much in the basement,” she says. This is not surprising, because diets drive him down mercilessly. The body learns to get by with less energy and shuts down the engine. “Eating less would therefore be the wrong way to go, because then the metabolism would be further weakened,” says Froböse. If you lose weight in this way, you also lose mass in the wrong places, because instead of fat, the body first breaks down muscles.
More muscle, less fat
But how do you get the JV up? “About a sustainable nutrition program and metabolic tuning,” says Froböse. The path leads to more muscle mass. Because our body’s powerhouses are real energy guzzlers; after the liver, they consume the most calories – and not only during exercise, but also when you are resting.
However, those who want to lose weight have to cope with a little shock at the beginning when they train their muscles. Because they initially weigh more and are therefore “the enemy of the scales”, as Froböse says.
But perseverance is worth it: If you build muscle, you also reduce the amount of fat in your body and create energy-hungry power plants. Every kilogram of muscle mass consumes around 50 kilocalories more energy than one kilogram of body fat per day – which corresponds roughly to the amount of energy in a bar of milk chocolate. If you have a good GU and exercise regularly, you can treat yourself to something sweet now and then.
Load joints gently
Anyone who decides on a sport should make sure that the joints, heart, circulation and bones are gently strained. “Cycling or aqua jogging is great for beginners,” says Froböse. Also important: “Overweight people have to do sport with sufficient oxygen supply. Only then is the fat metabolism stimulated and the body burns additional calories.”
Five times a week ten minutes of muscle training with your own weight or the Theraband and three times a week endurance training, for example half an hour to three quarters of an hour of walking with medium load: Froböse is convinced that anyone who incorporates this training dose into their everyday life drives well. For a start, however, it is enough to be physically active for 15 to 30 minutes every day and slowly increase this dose – first in scope, then in intensity. In order to overcome the first hurdle on the way to more exercise and the desired weight, offers from the health insurance company are also helpful.
Keeping up is everything
Christiane Nauroth now walks with her husband for an hour two to three times a week. She also trains her muscles at home – at least three to four times a week for half an hour. “At first it was difficult, but now I even enjoy it,” says the 39-year-old.
However, it is important to stay tuned : Only those who do sport regularly can have a lasting effect on their metabolism. “If I’ve chucked myself ten kilos in ten years and now think it should go away in three weeks, that’s the wrong idea,” says Froböse. Sports scientist Huber also emphasizes: “Movement is a life’s work.”
Because the body doesn’t change overnight. It takes time for him to break down fat deposits and build up muscle fibers. Body fat is high in energy; there are around 7000 kilocalories in one kilogram. To burn them off, an athlete weighing 70 kilograms would have to jog for around ten hours at an average speed of a good eight kilometers per hour.
Exercise not only has a positive effect on the display of the scale. The psyche also benefits: Those who move, feel more balanced. After moving for a while, the body breaks down stress hormones and releases happiness hormones. “After a hard day in the office, I can clear my head with an hour of running,” says Christiane Nauroth. “If I don’t do sports for a few days, I now notice that I am lacking movement.”