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Lose weight, but how to start? 8 tips

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  • Weight loss principle: YOU have to want it – not others
  • 1. Set realistic goals and adjust expectations
  • 2. Change in diet instead of crash diet
  • 3. The right calorie deficit
  • 4. You don’t have to commit to one diet
  • 5. Avoid overzealousness and excessive demands
  • 6. Don’t get stressed and get enough sleep
  • 7. Don’t focus on the scale
  • 8. Accept slip-ups and stick with them

The fear of failing to lose weight is widespread. Especially if you want to lose a lot of excess weight, just the thought of changing your diet and starting a strenuous exercise program can seem quite frightening. However, proper nutrition and sufficient exercise are the two key factors for successful weight loss.

But there are a few basic things that can make it easier for you to get started and apply to everyone when losing weight, no matter what your starting weight is and what requirements you have.

Weight loss principle: YOU have to want it – not others

This is the most important prerequisite for the long-term success of your weight loss project. The decision to lose weight must come solely from you. Don’t let others put you under pressure – you don’t have to prove anything to anyone! If you’re only half-hearted about it, you can basically leave it alone. You have to get to the point where you say: I don’t feel good anymore, something has to change. Maybe something else motivates you to lose weight, like your kids who you want to play soccer with without getting gasped.

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The following strategies will help you lose weight and maintain your desired weight permanently. Don’t give up too early – even if things don’t go well for a while. Our tips will show you how to overcome the physical and mental obstacles to your new exercise and nutrition plan.

1. Set realistic goals and adjust expectations

As already mentioned above, the right attitude is the basic requirement for a successful “diet” (more on that in point 2). So don’t expect too much from yourself and stay realistic, especially when it comes to the number of kilos and the period in which you would like to lose them. (Major) weight loss takes time – the duration varies from person to person and is difficult to predict. If you change your diet and want to lose weight in a healthy way, you will lose around 1 to 2 kilos per week, but it is often more at the beginning and if you start off with a high weight. Some days you may lose weight dramatically, while others may not have much on the scale – that’s completely normal.

2. Change in diet instead of crash diet

Classic diets with strict and often excessive calorie restrictions are doomed to failure from the start. Sure, the weight loss may be significant at first, but we can promise you one thing: If you lose weight quickly with a crash diet, you’ll gain the pounds back after a few weeks – keyword yo-yo effect. You will only have long-term weight loss success if you actually change your diet.

Scrambled eggs in the panShutterstock.com / Oksana Mizina

Don’t panic: Nobody is asking you to throw out old eating habits overnight and banish everything you love – including pizza and chocolate – from your life. Changing your diet takes time and should be done step by step. Here we will tell you how best to proceed.

3. The right calorie deficit

Losing weight basically works according to a very simple principle: If you consume more calories every day than you can burn, you will gain weight. Conversely, this also means that if you reduce your calorie intake and consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. This is called a “negative energy balance”. You can calculate how high your total calorie requirement per day is with just one click on our calorie calculator. The optimal calorie requirement for losing weight is approximately halfway between your basal metabolic rate and your total calorie requirement – but never below your basal metabolic rate!

If you want to maintain your weight later, eat as much as your total calorie needs allow. You should not reduce your calorie requirement by more than a maximum of 500 calories per day – better: 200 to 300 calories. So you lose weight more slowly overall, but in a healthy and sustainable way.

4. You don’t have to commit to one diet

Low carb or would you prefer a keto diet, high in protein or reduced in calories? Or how about intermittent fasting? Why not just a little bit of everything? You don’t have to strictly adhere to a specific nutritional concept in order to lose weight successfully and in the long term. Because basically the basis is always the same: Eat protein-rich foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables, avoid too many and, above all, unhealthy carbohydrates, industrial sugar and eat healthy fats instead of “just” low-fat ones. Point.

5. Avoid overzealousness and excessive demands

In the beginning, the ambition to lose weight is often great. This usually leads to you wanting to introduce a variety of new habits starting tomorrow. Do more exercise, cook healthier, drink a lot. Caution: You quickly run the risk of overextending yourself. It’s best to start with one thing: How about, for example, aiming to drink more water every day and reduce soft drinks? Or you can start looking for protein-rich weight loss recipes for a healthy dinner and go shopping for them.

Start small and only make the next change when you are really ready for it. This way you avoid unnecessary frustration.

6. Don’t get stressed and get enough sleep

Have you optimized your diet and are you exercising regularly? Class! But there are still a few small adjustments you can make to advance your weight loss project: factors such as sleep, exercise and stress are all connected. If you neglect one, the others will suffer too. An example of this is suboptimal sleep (less than 7 hours): there are many studies on the subject. For example, researchers at the University of Leeds in England found that longer sleep duration (7 to 9 hours) is more likely to be associated with a low BMI.

So try to balance your body – you’ll achieve greater weight loss with holistic changes that go beyond dietary changes. Here are, for example, 5 tips on how to sleep more restfully.

7. Don’t focus on the scale

We often make our weight loss success dependent on the number on the scale. But don’t fixate too much on these measurable successes, but also pay attention to subjective changes: Do you feel lighter, do you have more energy, is jogging easier for you now or do your old jeans fit again? Congratulations, you’re making progress. Be consciously aware of these feelings because they will help you in the future to keep going despite small setbacks. Above all, don’t be unsettled if your weight stagnates for a week – just carry on as before.

The fact is: muscles are heavier than fat. This means that anyone who swaps their fat reserves for muscles will inevitably gain a little weight instead of losing weight.

Tipp: With a body fat scale like RENPHO’s best-seller, which not only measures your weight but also your body fat percentage, muscle mass and many other parameters, you get a better feel for your progress.

However, if nothing happens on the scales for several weeks, then increase your training intensity. Your body quickly gets used to the increased physical activity and eventually consumes fewer calories. That’s why it’s even more important to vary your cardio and strength, to always try new things and to run that extra kilometer.

8. Accept slip-ups and stick with them

Everyone craves a piece of pizza or a greasy burger with extra cheese every now and then. This is normal and totally okay as long as you don’t lose sight of your goal and continue to eat healthy. If you sin once, you won’t immediately ruin your previous weight loss success. In addition, strict bans are of no use when it comes to losing weight; they only make the desire worse. Accept a slip-up as such, nothing more, nothing less.

On a bad day, it helps if you take some distance (for example, do some exercise and clear your head) and try to understand that such “cheat meals” are also part of the learning process. Over time, you will feel the desire for fattening foods less and less, I promise.

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