Obesity is a widespread disease. In Germany, more than half of adults are overweight and almost a quarter are even morbidly (obese). Anyone with a BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight. This increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. Besides unhealthy eating habits, the main cause is lack of exercise.
But starting to train is difficult, and those who have never been active or have not played any sport for a long time find it particularly difficult. However, sports scientist Ingo Froboese knows: if you approach the right training slowly, if you eat the right food at the right time, you will notice success gradually.
“Activate the body”: How to start
According to Froboese, training should start with slow, regular movements. “You shouldn’t do any strenuous endurance sports for the first four to six months. You have to slowly get your body, your bones, joints and cardiovascular system used to the effort at first.”
Sports in which the body weight is carried are suitable for this: light swimming or cycling drives. “You can also slowly activate your body with walks and walks,” explains the expert.
“Because if you overdo it at the beginning, you run the risk of injuring yourself. Bone structures can take up to six months to adjust, especially if you haven’t done anything for a long time.”
Regular exercise pays off
According to Froboese, you should gradually increase your resistance training. “In the first two months 30 minutes is enough, in the following 45 minutes. After four to six months, sessions should last about an hour.” Anyone who completes this resistance training three times a week is gradually teaching their body to burn fat.
The fitness expert also recommends combining resistance units with light strength training from the third month. He recommends bodyweight exercises like squats or pushups.
“When it comes to losing weight, muscles are very important. As the largest metabolic organ, it ensures that the body burns fat in a permanent state. Like a motor, it increases metabolism and therefore energy consumption.”
Do not overstrain your body, but overstrain it
After about half a year, you can really get into the sport. Froboese advises seeking the help of a well-trained trainer.
“What the coaches do to candidates on shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ is silly. They overwhelm them, they push them to the physical limit”, explains the expert. “But that is exactly the wrong strategy.”
The right way, on the other hand, is to slowly and steadily get your body used to stress every day. “We are talking here about the subjective sub-challenge. They should put pressure on your body, but not overexert it. Don’t irritate him so much that he needs days to recover.”
To dose your training correctly and individually, to perform the exercises correctly, you need someone to help and guide you. Froboese says, “A personal trainer can give you optimal support.”
As important as exercise: the right diet
But training alone is not enough to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Diet also plays an important role. Froboese considers two points to be particularly important.
1. Know your caloric needs
“Eat only what your body needs, but also be careful not to eat too little. Because your body depends on many nutrients to build muscle”, explains the expert.
You can easily determine your calorie requirement, the following simple calculation provides a good starting point:
1 kilocalorie By normal weight kilogram By day (in hours)
Use our BMI calculator to find out if your weight is within the normal range.
A normal weight man weighing 80 kilograms calculates his calorie needs as follows:
1kcal x 80kg x 24h = 1,920kcal
For an hour of light resistance or strength training, you can another 100 calories Also, the body needs them to build muscle.
2. Pay attention to your biorhythm
“Understanding the body’s biorhythms is important for proper nutrition. During the day, the body is in energy metabolism, at night, however, in construction metabolism”, explains Froboese. This means that the body does not need all the nutrients at all times.
“He can get his energy from carbohydrates in the morning and before exercise. At mealtime, fats, micronutrients and fiber, which give the body energy, are beneficial. At night, before bed, he doesn’t need any more carbs, he should focus on protein.”
Froboese advises always building in four to six hour intervals between meals. “So that the body is not constantly busy with digestion, the metabolism can attack the reserves.” He also recommends high quality natural foods that provide the body with sufficient macro and micronutrients.
For an optimal day, the fitness expert recommends:
Morning: full of energy
Start with a glass of water to offset overnight dehydration. High-quality carbohydrates from cereals, such as muesli or whole wheat bread, are suitable for breakfast.
For lunch, eat nutritious foods, such as a large salad with chicken, tofu, or fish. You can then have a cup of coffee for dessert, after which you allow four to six hours to pass before your next meal.
Afternoon: high protein
After exercise, your body needs protein. Scrambled eggs, fish or lean meats together with a large portion of vegetables make up your ideal dinner. You no longer need carbohydrates. Your body rests after eating, can build muscle and break down fat.