Raise your hand: on the way to the new you, who of you doesn’t think about losing weight or at least tighter curves?
Be it to fit back into the clothes from nine months ago. Or to show your ex what he’s missing now. Or to become more attractive to other men. Or, and this reason is the most important, purely for yourself. Basically, having a shapely body is not too different from quitting smoking. It works only if you do it on your own initiative. And not for the (potential) partner.
Well, the bad news first: unfortunately, sport alone doesn’t help much. A six-pack is of little use if it is hidden under a feel-good layer. But you can’t do without it either. After all, nobody wants to be slim and flabby. Where is the balance?
At the end of the day, it’s the calorie balance. Disillusioning, but that’s the way it is: you only lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume. For example, a bar of chocolate has at least 500 calories. To „burn them off“ means jogging for 45-60 minutes. A high price.
Most people who have tried dieting know the effect all too well: yo-yo. It goes down, and then, back up again at record speed. Whether it’s fasting, intermediate fasting, rice days, fruit days, vegetable days, protein only, or water only, it’s stressful on our bodies in the long run, and eventually (no wonder!) they fight back. Don’t get me wrong here: these diets work. Just not in the long run, unfortunately.
But, and now finally to the good news, it is possible. The combination of sports (muscle building, because muscles consume more calories and endurance training for calorie consumption) and the right food lead to a negative calorie balance and thus less weight. Not with diets, not with renunciation, but with mindfulness and awareness that you want to treat your body well.
A good start to the morning is a hot water with lemon. On the one hand, it is supposed to purify, on the other hand, it calms the stomach, which is otherwise used to a cereal or cheese sandwich. Whether you eat breakfast right away or not is up to you. But if one does it, then please in such a way that one also remains full of it for a long time. So no „empty“ white bread, instead lots of fruit, vegetables and fiber-rich carbohydrates (whole grains, oat flakes).
And then? Wait! Don’t think about eating! No snacks! As long as the insulin level* in our body is high (and it is after a meal, especially if it was high in carbohydrates), fat will not be broken down. That’s a rule of thumb. So if you eat something again two hours after breakfast, or drink a soda, cola or other sweet drink, your insulin will rise and fat breakdown will be prevented. So: take breaks. The longer, the better. We can easily keep going for five hours. And sometimes six to eight. And then: eat again. Enjoy. And when we’ve worked out in between, we want to do something good for our bodies. Vegetables, proteins (sometimes vegan in the form of tofu, beans, chickpeas or meat substitutes based on pea protein) and certainly carbohydrates (for example, I get a real headache if I don’t eat carbohydrates). And yes, why not a little dessert? Emphasis on „little.“ Don’t go without. Consciously indulge. And don’t overdo it. Maybe you still feel like a glass of wine? Alcohol is also no friend of fat burning. As long as alcohol is in the blood, it is used (in the form of acetic acid) for energy production and fat burning is thus suspended. But everything is allowed. And please do it without a guilty conscience. But then give your body the necessary break to burn those calories. At least 14 hours.
The change takes place gradually. If you work on your body, you automatically have a greater need to feed it something good. After a workout, you don’t crave a croissant. The body demands – if you learn to listen – healthy calories. For nutrients. And these can be found neither in the said croissant nor in a latte. As soon as the first successes are there, after one week or after four, you know that you are on the right track.
Here is a summary of the most important tips:
- Drink enough. And drinking is water & tea, not coffee & sugary drinks. Green tea and water with lemon are the ideal companions and stimulate the metabolism.
- Leave distance between meals. At least five hours. Waiting for hunger to kick in. No snacks in between meals. Latte would be one. So only water and unsweetened tea.
- Fruit (at breakfast) & vegetables (lunch and dinner) help us keep portions smaller. Start with them. Eat your apple or salad first before you get to the main course. This way your stomach is already full and has less absorption capacity. Konjac noodles may not be to everyone’s taste, but they also help trick the stomach.
- Don’t do without. Indulge in everything, but only a little of the bad. That way you won’t get ravenous.
- A diary also helps in the beginning. What did I eat? And when. It helps to understand whether we 1. eat enough to get full and 2. eat too much, and thus the calorie balance is positive.
- Sports. Sports. Sports. Whatever it is. Running. Fitness. A team sport. Tennis. Martial arts. Try it out. Find what you enjoy. And stick with it. Sport is not torture. It is an outlet. And it helps you think positively. Apart from all the other side effects, once you start, don’t stop. Set fixed times and stick to them. Consistency is the best motivator.
- Don’t punish yourself if things don’t work out. Don’t quit afterwards. If you’ve been to a party. Or you’re not doing well mentally. Just do better the next day. And even better the day after that.
- And one more for the moms: No, you don’t have to finish your child’s plate. Not even his dessert. That’s okay, even if your conscience tells you about starving people on the planet. You’re not helping anyone here by eating up. Especially not yourselves.
There is no law and no reason why a woman can be athletic at 20 and not at 40. It may be that it is less strenuous at 20. And it doesn’t even need sports for the tight body. But there are so many women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond who are toned, confident, and who exude with every pore of their body that they feel good in it. Despite having three children and being over 40, I can say that I am fitter than I have ever been. Whether the scale ends up showing 50, 65 or 80 kilos is irrelevant. As long as you feel comfortable in your body, you’re doing everything right.
*Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for the metabolism in our organism. Insulin transports glucose from the blood (after a food intake) into the cells and thus supplies them with energy. At the same time, it lowers the blood sugar level.