Overweight: the most important questions and answers

Overweight - losing weight - eating

The topic of overweight seems to be omnipresent. The media is full of articles, interviews and ads on nutrition tips, diets and products designed to make losing weight easy. Keywords such as BMI and Jojo effect have become linguistic common property. Actually, the thing seems simple: whether one weighs too much shows you the balance. A healthy, balanced diet and adequate exercise are the most important measures in the fight against extra pounds. Every child knows that today (probably or hopefully). But is it really that easy? Why then does the average weight of Germans continue to increase instead of decrease? And, while everyone knows that being overweight is unhealthy in the long run?

Not only in the US: we are getting fatter

In fact, obesity, especially in its morbidly enhanced form of obesity, seems to be one of the biggest health problems in our society. Some experts even assume that the life expectancy, which has been rising for decades, could decline again in the future due to the massive overweight.

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This is especially true for the US, where nearly two-thirds of the population is already overweight and about 30% obese. But even here in Germany more than half of the adult population is too heavy. According to a continuous data collection by the Robert Koch Institute, men account for a good 67%, and for women 53%. The proportion of morbidly overweight individuals (body mass index or BMI ≥ 30) has risen both in men from 19% to 23%) and in women (from 22% to 24%) within the last evaluation decade.

The main reason for the overweight: not only the eating habits but also the habits

The reasons for the widespread obesity are mainly to look in the lifestyle. Pathological causes such as genetic metabolic disorders or hyperthyroidism are rarely responsible. The overeating is literally more important. It is favored by food supplies in abundance and at a low price. The high sugar or fructose content plays a particularly sad role in many foods, especially in finished products.

The increased energy intake is often paired with lack of exercise, which aggravates the excess energy even further. The same applies to lack of sleep and night work. Stress on the one hand and boredom on the other hand are reasons for food cravings and snacking as satisfaction behavior. They make it clear that body weight is often not just about food, but about lifestyle. This is also shown by the opposite correlation between education and overweight.

When are you overweight?

When are you actually overweight? The currently most common and well-known criterion for answering this question is the Body Mass Index (BMI).

BMIHe sets the body weight in relation to body size. With a BMI over 25 (kg / m2) one is considered medically overweight. A slightly more sophisticated interpretation takes into account that the still healthy BMI limit moves upwards with age. Nevertheless, the BMI remains only a statistical benchmark, which incidentally was developed in the insurance industry. For children, the BMI is not useful and even in adults, he should not be overestimated in its validity. Because he takes no account of the respective weight proportions of muscles and fat as well as the distribution of fat. But both play a role when it comes to how problematic an existing overweight can be classified. For one thing, there are better formulas that take into account the waist and hip circumference. On the other hand, recent studies have shown that slightly overweight people even have certain benefits in life expectancy.

Survival benefit for overweight: no alibi for unhealthy lifestyle

The study statements are partly contradictory and should not serve as an alibi for an unhealthy lifestyle. For some situations (for example, when suffering from surgery, infections, or even cancer), the physical "bailout" may actually be helpful. This includes the mental patch function of high-calorie pleasure intake. Study results show that fat people (statistically) have a higher resistance to stress. On the other hand, overeating increases the risk of certain diseases in the long term.Above all, for diabetes, hypertension, heart and vascular problems and for certain cancers, e.g. Colon and breast cancer. And from a BMI over 30, the risk of premature death is definitely increased.

It's not quite as easy as it seems with the weight. Otherwise there would not be so many people with weight problems, and the trend is rising. This can not be only due to a lack of knowledge. The relationships are, as usually in life, reasonably complex. Focusing on just one factor does not do justice to the integral organism of man and his diverse relationships in the inner and outer life. This also applies to the ideal weight. Beyond the statistical BMI scores, this is a very personal matter that depends on individual factors and current living conditions. If you actively and consciously take care of it, you will notice if he / she is in the healthy weight range or on the way there. The honest look in the mirror helps.

How is losing weight?

On the way to healthy weight you can not avoid a permanent change in nutrition, if the goal is to be maintained. The movement and, as already mentioned, the sleeping behavior also play an important role. So it's all about a more conscious and healthy life. And that is probably the reason why, despite all diets and media flood of information, the average weight continues to rise.

In everyday life, the little tricks help, if you also apply them: step instead of escalator, bike instead of car, standing instead of sitting, in between getting up, stretching the body and so on. Incidentally, it has been proven scientifically that sitting too long not only prevents you from moving, but also poses a health risk.

Know what (and how) you eat

It is important to be at least roughly informed about what you actually eat and how (un) healthy that is. Therefore, many questions and answers revolve around food and its ingredients, diet and eating habits. Also on energy density, basal metabolic rate, slimming and thickening we clarify you. Because these terms always haunt the media and advertising flyers and ads. The usefulness of this information is usually low, they should animate especially for buying: dietary supplements, diets or books and media on the subject. One rule of thumb is that there is neither a diet nor a dietary supplement that makes you healthy and happy. All extremes carry the danger that it comes to an extreme setback. When losing weight this is known as the yo-yo effect.

Dear slower and long term

Better in small steps long term and permanently as fast down starvation with short-term success. In millions of years our body has adjusted to the optimal utilization of our usual food spectrum. Therefore, there is no normal dietary ingredient that would be harmful on its own. Fat is essential to life, and this is not just true for the widely advertised unsaturated fatty acids. Only with excess and imbalance, too much of the one and too little of the other, it becomes problematic. This also applies to an exaggeration in the opposite direction: Underweight appears from a health point of view even riskier than the overweight. So it all depends on a balanced, moderate diet combined with a healthy lifestyle. The more this is the rule, the less occasional sinning comes into play. Literally.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of low-calorie mixed foods?
A big advantage of the reduced-calorie mixed diet is that in principle all energy suppliers are allowed: carbohydrates, protein ...
How do I choose the food in the low-calorie mixed diet?
Anyone who wants to adjust to a calorie-reduced mixed diet, must change his shopping habits. Although in principle all ...
Low-calorie mixed diet: How do energy intake and weight loss work?
How does the energy intake work with the calorie-reduced mixed diet? Especially sensible is a calorie-reduced mixed diet, if through complex ...
How does the calorie-reduced mixed diet work?
The reduced-calorie mixed diet is a diet with the goal of weight loss. A well-known example is the Brigitte diet. The...
Which different program variants does Optifast offer?
In addition to the Optifast 52 program, which lasts 52 weeks and targets overweight people with a body mass index (BMI) above 30, ...
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Optifast 52 program?
The Optifast 52 program offers some advantages, especially through the professional support of an interdisciplinary team. Even people with ...
How does the Optifast 52 program work?
The Optifast 52 program is an offer from Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition aimed at overweight people. Strong overweight ...
How can I tastefully cook in spite of low-fat methods of preparation?
Who wants to lose weight should cook as low as possible. But fat is an important flavor carrier and many foods develop only through the ...
Which low-fat types of preparation are there?
The fat content of food can vary greatly depending on the preparation. If you want to lose weight, you should take care when cooking, as little as possible ...
The balance is standing still - what can I do?
At the beginning of a diet, the kilos usually tumble very fast. This is because we mainly lose water and the stomach and ...
Pounding prospects
Despite all diets: The Germans are getting fatter. Scientists in Leipzig have now found a possible explanation why many ...
image Myths about fitness: What's wrong?
Sit-up against the beer belly? Training on an empty stomach? The German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention takes common myths under ...
image Losing weight - but right
High blood pressure, diabetes, joint problems and, according to a recent study, also a significantly increased cancer risk - there are many reasons to ...
image 10 tips to lose weight
My personal recommendations for weight loss Those who want to live a healthy life should be occupied with their diet. Who...
What is energy balance and what should it look like?
The energy balance is a term from the nutrition sciences. It describes the difference between energy intake by food and ...
How does carbohydrate metabolism work?
Carbohydrates are important energy sources for our brains, our muscular activity and any physical activity. If we carbohydrates ...
Stimulate the metabolism - how to lose weight effectively!
Obesity is one of the biggest health problems of our time. According to the latest statistics, about half of all women and almost ...

Our 10 most important tips for losing weight

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