In the fight against excess kilos, we often think of dieting. But are diets sustainable? And how can we successfully lose weight without feeling hungry and going without?
Forget dieting! If you want to lose weight, you need to think long term. Crash dieting may promise fast weight loss, but this isn’t sustainable. You starve yourself and as soon as you resume normal eating habits, the scales jump up again – the yo-yo effect.
Our body is clever. As soon as we cut down its energy supply, it switches to energy-saving mode. Its basal metabolic rate decreases. The irksome thing about this is that once we start eating a normal calorie quantity again, the body does not switch back immediately, instead building up fat reserves for the next time food is scarce. Successfully losing weight without going hungry means you have to making lasting changes to your nutrition – such as cutting down on carbohydrates – and exercise regularly. Sorry, couch potatoes, but on the sofa, we tend to burn fewer calories than we take on board.
A radical diet or dietary shift poses the risk of a nutrient deficiency. So be careful. In the case of any doubt, try nutrition counselling or Helsana’s health consultation.
If you want to lose weight, you need to achieve a slight calorie deficit. You can do so by doing more exercise and eating a balanced, reduced-calorie diet. However, you shouldn’t go hungry. Most people need to retrain their feeling of being full and eat much more slowly and consciously. You get hungry more quickly if you eat the wrong type of food.
That’s why high-satiety foods can help with hunger during weight loss: wholegrain products, pulses, vegetables, oats, potatoes, eggs, nuts, quark. You should also make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise. Both normalise feelings of hunger and activate the metabolism.
Three meals a day are enough, ideally with four to five hours between. Maybe intermittent fasting can help you reach a healthy body weight?
Ever heard of intuitive eating? Nothing is off limits with this eating style. It’s all about listening to your gut feeling. If you know the rules, you can even get rid of some excess kilos. Take a look at the programme here.
The expert in this field provided the editorial team with advice and input for this article. Kristina Stjepanovic (medical assistant and TCM therapist) works in the Helsana Health Consultation Service. She supports customers on questions to do with nutrition and prevention.