If you want to lose weight successfully, you have to choose the right strategy. Whether the pounds will melt away in the long term depends heavily on the nutritional concept selected. The nutrition expert Elisabeth Höfler recommends two ideas.
The diet consultant Elisabeth Höfler knows tasty recipes and gives practical tips on how people with diabetes can lose weight successfully. However, individual nutritional advice that considers the type of diabetes and treatment as well as social aspects and personal preferences is also decisive for the success of a diet.
In the New Year, many people decide to lose weight again. But what is the best way to do this? “A reduction in carbohydrates has the greatest positive effect on blood glucose levels and also on weight loss,” explains Professor Monika Kellerer. “But an exclusive focus on carbohydrate intake is not expedient,” said the German Diabetes Society (DDG) president.
Which Diet Concept Suits Me?
Elisabeth Höfler has been helping people with diabetes lose weight for 30 years. The DDG nutrition expert recommends two concepts:
- Largely avoiding carbohydrates (low carb) or
- The energy-reduced mixed diet.
“It is important that the diet chosen is satisfactory,” emphasizes Höfler. “Because you have to hold out for a long time so that the pounds drop.” That is why every change in diet starts with the question: Which concept suits me?
Can I get by with little bread? Do I like to eat a lot of vegetables? These two points are crucial when it comes to low carb. “We often have patients who cannot imagine breakfast or dinner without bread,” reports Elisabeth Höfler. “They also find it inconceivable not to eat potatoes and pasta.” In this case, low-carb is out of the question. “That cannot be implemented in the long term,” says Höfler. The vegetables should also be freshly bought and prepared – this can lead to a change in shopping behavior that should also be considered.
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Cook Once, Eat Several Times
When it comes to low-energy mixed food, the central question for working people is: Can I have lunch in a canteen that offers a salad buffet, lots of vegetables, meat and fish without compact sauces? “If there is mainly pizza, pasta, kebab and burgers in my environment, it will be difficult,” emphasizes Höfler.
Then you have to be prepared to pre-cook at home and take the food with you in a transport box. “I would like to give you a tip: cook once, eat several times,” explains Höfler. Example: Prepare twice the amount of salmon, mix a marinade of lemon and olive oil for the second part and take it with you to the job with a salad. This turns the warm dish into a cold plate for the office.
Another critical point: the diet must be suitable for everyday use. “Invitations, trips, holidays or official events can easily get you out of your rhythm,” explains Höfler. “You have to be able to imagine being motivated to return to the tried and tested concept the next day and to compensate for the small sins.”
Low Carb: A Life Without Bread
And this is how low carb works: Vegetables from the basis – it has to be between 750 and 1,000 grams per day to satisfy hunger. “With low carb, you can only get satiated with vegetables,” emphasizes Höfler. For the carbohydrate giant’s bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice, the following applies: Almost 120 grams per day are allowed. Lean meat and lots of fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna are suitable as protein carriers. As far as fats are concerned, cheese is allowed up to 45 percent fat. Otherwise, rapeseed, olive, walnut, and hazelnut oil are ideal. “By the way, linseed oil is highly recommended. It is very healthy and prevalent at the moment,” advises Höfler. Her tip: fry the poultry briefly, serve with the vegetables with a filling dip made from quark, cottage cheese, or yogurt, seasoned with herbs and curry – and on top a teaspoon of linseed oil.
Of course, sweets can only be on the menu at low carb in exceptional cases – for example, a small piece of fruit cake once a week. To satisfy the appetite for sweets, the nutrition expert recommends using chopped fruit in quark or yogurt. For drinks, you have to switch to sugar-free variants. Anyone who uses light variants should look at the list of ingredients and avoid fructose.
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Low-Energy Mixed Diet: Eat Fewer Calories Than You Consume
The principle is that you take in between 500 and 800 kilocalories less per day than the body needs for basal metabolic rate plus exercise. The demand can be calculated, for example, with the energy demand calculator the German Diabetes Aid. For example, if you work at a desk with little movement, the requirement is 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day.
“A target value of 1,500 calories is recommended here,” says Höfler. “It shouldn’t be much less. Otherwise, this principle cannot be maintained, especially since important vitamins and minerals could be missing.” For a physically active craftsman, the daily energy requirement amounts to 2,400 to 2,800 calories. If he wants to lose weight successfully, he should target a maximum of 2,000 calories per day. Warning: In women going through menopause, the basal metabolic rate drops to 1,700 to 1,800 calories.
Otherwise, everything is allowed, as long as you stick to your “calorie budget.” This sometimes seems more straightforward than it is. Therefore: Avoid foods with a high-fat content such as sausage and cheese or dishes with sauces, but eat plenty of salad, vegetables, and lean meat. Moderate amounts of confectionery are allowed, but the same applies here: Better to prepare a fruit dessert. When purchasing finished products, consumers should carefully study the list of ingredients. “A ready-made pizza can cover the entire daily requirement. It is essential to pay attention to the size and topping,” warns Höfler. Tip from the diet expert: Instead of pizza, choose to fill frozen fish dishes that only contain 500 to 800 kilocalories.
Lose Weight Successfully With Three Main Meals – And Nothing Else
Whether it’s low-carb or energy-reduced mixed food, there are also recommendations for eating intervals. “We strongly recommend three main meals,” says Höfler. Between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there should be four to six hours without eating. “It is ideal to stay food-free for twelve hours through the evening and night,” adds the expert.
When it comes to drinks, mineral water ranks high on the list. “It should be as rich in calcium as possible to strengthen bone health,” explains Höfler. The calcium content is declared on the labels. Those who do not appreciate mineral water can switch to herbal and fruit teas. Fruit juices should be diluted with water in a ratio of one to three. DDG expert Höfler has a tip ready: “Vegetable juices are lower in calories than fruit juices – many people like tomato juice just as much as orange juice.”
Losing Weight Successfully Requires Patience: You Have To Plan A Year For Ten Pounds Of Weight Loss
Those who consistently implement low-carb or energy-reduced mixed diets will lose weight successfully. “Initially, 500 grams to one kilo of weight loss per week is realistic,” reports Höfler. Then stagnation usually sets in, but this must not be frustrating – perseverance is required.
If you want to lose more than ten kilos healthily and sustainably, you should plan for a year. “A patient who weighs 160 kilos and consumes a maximum of 1,800 calories a day can lose 20 to 25 kilos in a year if he is consistent,” says Höfler from experience. And: Weighing once a week is enough!
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