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Lightning diets are unsuccessful
So-called lightning diets promise rapid weight loss when overweight. With these slimming cures you actually lose a lot of fat deposits at once. According to experts, however, the joy does not last long. "Such short-term diets do not have a permanent effect and endanger a balanced supply of nutrients," confirms Antje Gahl, spokeswoman for the German Nutrition Society (DGE). "Losing a lot quickly and just as quickly regaining your initial weight or even more - that characterizes these diets and can lead to the so-called yo-yo effect," warns Gahl. But it can also work differently.
The only chance: long-term weight loss
Instead, the DGE recommends long-term weight loss based on a combination of changing your diet, changing your behavior, and increasing physical activity. A wholesome diet and around 30–60 minutes of exercise per day go together and help to regulate weight. When choosing food, energy density is a useful feature: foods with high energy density contain more energy (calories) per serving than those with low energy density.
Food with low and medium energy density (up to 225 kcal per 100 g) should be the basis of the daily diet. These include natural plant foods, especially vegetables and fruits. A lower energy density makes it possible to eat satiating amounts with a comparatively low energy intake. Two apples (250 g), six carrots (450 g) or 300 g low-fat yogurt contain as many calories as half a croissant (30 g), namely 150 kcal.
Only those who consume fewer calories than the body consumes can lose weight. In order to keep the body weight, the energy supply and the energy consumption must be balanced. With many diets, the energy intake is less than 1,000 kcal per day. This calorically scarce food means that you lose a lot of weight in a very short time. The high weight loss is largely due to water loss and the breakdown of muscle protein. The desired reduction in adipose tissue is limited.
Trend diets in the critical overview:
Intermittent fasting, such as “5: 2 fasting”, is done on one or more days a week. Usually only drinks such as tea or water are added on the fasting days. However, it is up to you how the nutrition and energy supply should look on the remaining days. The DGE does not consider this method to make sense in order to regulate weight in the long term. This does not result in a switch to a health-promoting diet.
Detoxification diets like detox are currently in vogue. By avoiding processed foods, sugar, white flour, gluten or yeast, the weight should be reduced. At the same time, the body breaks down harmful substances such as alcohol, medication or environmental toxins. Teas or massages accompany this diet. However, there is no scientific evidence that such measures promote the elimination of toxins.
Stone Age diet
The Stone Age diet theory, Paleo Diet, assumes that the human organism has genetically adapted to the food environment of the Paleolithic, the Paleolithic. This mainly means a diet with lots of wild plants and game meat. The assumption that only genes shape nutritional behavior is too one-sided. Many factors such as learning certain behavior patterns, the influence of the social environment and physiological mechanisms influence our diet. In addition, the diet varied greatly in the Stone Age, so that one cannot speak of “the” Stone Age diet.
Insulin food combining
The aim of insulin diets is to lose weight by minimizing insulin release. Most are taken three meals a day that contain either carbohydrates or proteins. In the evening, low-carbohydrate foods are consumed to reduce the nightly insulin release. From a nutritional point of view, there is no reason to feed carbohydrates and proteins separately because the body can digest both at the same time. There is also no evidence that a low nightly insulin release permanently promotes weight loss.
Only fast foods that are considered basic may be consumed during base fasting. Important foodstuffs such as cereals and dairy products are recommended in too small quantities because they are considered to be "excess acid". Over-acidification caused by the diet is not to be feared in healthy people. Various buffer systems in our body regulate the acid-base concentration in the blood and keep it constant. Taking additional “base-promoting” food supplements is unnecessary.
Human chorionic gonatropin (HCG) is a hormone that is formed during pregnancy. The HCG diet consists of a diet with less than 500 kcal per day and the intake of HCG in the form of drops, lozenges or tablets. HCG is said to reduce belly fat. However, there is no scientific evidence. In addition, such a diet can negatively affect the hormonal balance. A lack of energy and nutrients can lead to side effects such as fatigue, weakness, reduced performance and circulatory disorders. (sb, dge)