Home Diets and Weight Loss Exercise and nutrition: how to lose pounds!

Exercise and nutrition: how to lose pounds!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 287 views

If you exercise and watch your calories, you lose weight. But is that really true? Find out here whether you can lose weight through sport alone, what role nutrition plays and what can be the reason if your stomach doesn’t want to shrink despite sport and a healthy diet .

Lose weight with exercise and nutrition: That’s how it works

The crux of weight management is the relationship between the energy consumed and the energy consumed: if you take in the same number of calories as you burn, your weight remains the same. If you eat more than you need, your body stores the excess energy and you gain weight. If you are in a calorie deficit, lose weight.

Sounds easy, but how can you achieve a negative energy balance and maintain it until you reach your desired weight? Is exercise enough – or is nutrition more important?

Lose weight with exercise

When you exercise, you burn calories – significantly more than sitting or standing. So regular physical activity should help you lose weight. However, most people overestimate the effect of exercise.

For example, women burn an estimated 65 calories per kilometer when running, and men 77. That means a good 320 or 380 calories per five-kilometer jogging round.

You have that again with a portion of spaghetti with tomato sauce. But you shouldn’t go hungry either, as the body tries to save energy and slows down the metabolism if there is a permanent deficit.

Sport alone is therefore not enough in most cases to lose weight. But it is a useful addition. For example, if you have already lost kilos, it will help you maintain the weight. Exercise also improves cardiovascular health and strengthens muscles. The latter, in turn, consumes more energy than fat , even when at rest .

Here you can find out more about losing weight with sport .

Lose weight with diet

Yes, you can lose weight through diet. In fact, it is the key factor when it comes to losing weight. For many, however, it is a challenge to design them in such a way that the pounds tumble without getting cravings and, in the long run, perhaps nutrient deficiencies.

Since no food contains all nutrients, it is important to eat as varied a diet as possible and to ensure that there are sufficient macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates ) and micronutrients (trace elements, minerals, vitamins).

Fruit and vegetables should form the basis, supplemented by whole grain products – they all provide fiber, among other things, which fills you up and stimulates digestion. To do this, combine protein suppliers such as legumes, eggs, tofu, fish or low-fat dairy products.

If possible, you should avoid heavily processed products, they often contain a lot of fat and/or sugar, provide few important nutrients and only fill you up for a short time. Even sweets are ok in moderation – it doesn’t have to be a whole pack of biscuits or a whole bar of chocolate. But forbidding yourself something makes many people want it all the more.

Important: Losing weight through diet is a slow process. Crash diets rarely have a lasting effect, the point is to fundamentally change eating habits.

You can find out more about changing your diet here .

Why am I not losing weight despite exercising and eating healthy?

The beginning is usually motivating: If you start exercising regularly and paying attention to what you eat, the pounds will seem to fall off by themselves. After a while, however, the scales will remain stubbornly on the same number or you will even gain weight. Despite the unchanged sports and nutrition program. Rest assured, you are not alone with this frustrating phenomenon.

If you don’t lose weight or even gain weight despite a healthy diet and exercise, this can be due to various reasons, such as retained water , an increase in muscle mass (which is slightly heavier than fat) or undigested food at the time of weighing. In addition, the following causes are possible:

You underestimate calorie intake

Do you notice weight gain despite exercising and eating normally? You may be eating more than you think. People tend to misjudge the amount of calories they have ingested. According to a 2016 British study, participants underestimated their calorie intake by an average of 32 percent.

A food diary is helpful for an overview of what and how much you eat every day. There are studies that show that there are effects when you write down or photograph what you eat during the day. However, this method is not suitable for people who have a history of eating disorders, as it can intensify them.

They don’t care about the quality of the food

There are now plenty of bars and shakes that are supposed to help you lose weight. But not everything that looks like it is healthy food. Sometimes packaged muesli bars and the like contain a lot of sugar and/or fat.

Therefore, always read the list of ingredients if you really need to use ready-made products because time is short. Better: reach for fresh, unprocessed food. Fruit, vegetables and whole grain products are ideal. Thanks to fiber, they fill you up and stimulate digestion.

You eat too little protein

If you’re not losing weight despite exercising and eating healthily, you may be neglecting one macronutrient: Protein is an important factor in weight management because it boosts your metabolism.

Protein also fills you up and keeps you full, making food cravings less likely. You eat less as a result. This is probably also due to the fact that protein consumption affects appetite-regulating hormones such as ghrelin. And: Muscles also need protein to grow.

You drink high-calorie drinks

According to the German Society for Nutrition, an adult should drink around 1.5 liters per day. Those who are physically active, a little more. However, if you mainly cover your fluid requirements with juice, soda, sports drinks or one of the modern “vitamin waters”, this can backfire in terms of weight.

Most contain sugar. This makes them comparatively high in calories – but our brains don’t perceive those drunk calories as food and demand just as much solid food. as if we had taken water. So it can happen that you gain weight or at least do not lose any weight despite exercising and eating healthily.

Whoever grabs the water right away has gained in several respects: thirst is quenched, it boosts the metabolism and it contains no calories, but when drunk before a meal it fills the stomach, so smaller portions are sufficient.

You train wrong

Do you have a big belly despite exercise and a healthy diet? Maybe you’re not exercising properly. In order to have a lasting effect on your weight, you should train for at least 200 minutes or three hours a week.

At best, this training consists of strength and endurance training . When doing strength training , you work with a resistance – for example the weight of a dumbbell or your own body. As a result, they build or maintain muscle mass.

You should supplement the strength units with endurance training, i.e. running, swimming , cycling or another discipline that increases the heart rate. This is considered a particularly effective means of burning fat – especially the so-called visceral fat.

This is fat that resides in the abdominal cavity and surrounds the internal organs. Carrying around too much of it over a long period of time can lead to undesirable consequences such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Learn more about losing belly fat here .

People who don’t exercise but are on a strict diet sometimes lose not only fat, but muscle as well. The latter not only look good, but also burn many times more calories than fatty tissue.

You sleep too little

A fat belly despite a healthy diet and exercise can also be due to your sleeping habits. Whether you sleep sufficiently and well has a significant influence on your weight and your athletic performance.

Studies show that adults and children who don’t get enough sleep have an up to 89 percent higher risk of obesity.

Diet and exercise: the best tips

Did you recognize yourself in one or more of the above points? Or have you not yet started the “Sport and Healthy Eating” project, but would like to do everything right from the start? Then these tips can help you.

  • Eat a high-protein breakfast. Cottage cheese, yoghurt, scrambled eggs and other sources of protein keep you full and help to avoid cravings.
  • Avoid processed foods whenever possible. Your diet should consist of unprocessed, whole foods. When it comes to rice, pasta and bread, it is best to use the whole grain version.
  • Drink water and unsweetened tea or coffee. Juice spritzers are ok from time to time. Alcohol contains a lot of calories, it should also be an exception – and then only in moderation.
  • Keep a food journal (handwritten or in an app) to keep track of what you ate during the day. This will help you identify calorie traps and unnecessary snacking.
  • Combine strength and endurance training and you will lose fat but not muscle mass.

Conclusion: Lose weight with exercise and a healthy diet

Basically, weight loss is always an individual matter that is influenced by various factors. And losing weight is not something that happens overnight. The kilos weren’t on your hips overnight either.

In addition, the body needs time to get used to a diet that is often rich in fiber and to adapt the structures such as tendons and ligaments to the stress of sport.

A combination of sensible exercise and a healthy diet ensures that you are supplied with all the important nutrients, don’t lose muscle mass and burn more calories.

However, be patient with yourself. Even with exercise and a healthy diet , you will not lose weight very quickly . There will be weight plateaus and slips in diet and exercise. That is normal. It is important that you find a level that is sustainable for you in the long term.

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