Low carb, keto, Glyx, no sugar or no calories after 4 p.m.: Most people have tried to lose weight on a diet at least once. The ways in which the kilos should go: different. FOCUS online explains which principles make up the most successful kilo killers.

There are an endless number of diets designed to shed the pounds on your hips, stomach and thighs. The internet and bookshelves are full of them. Each one claims to be the best. Some rely on strict calorie counting, others swear by a mono diet morning, lunch and evening with juice, cabbage soup or potatoes. Still others believe that eating on a schedule is the most effective way to lose weight.

But which method really works and, above all, sustainably, is the question asked by many people who have not yet had success in losing weight or only for a short time. “The one that suits my body best,” explains nutritionist Daniela Krehl from the Bavarian Consumer Center. “Every person ticks differently. There is no one diet that will help absolutely everyone lose weight in the shortest amount of time. Promises like ‘Guaranteed to lose 7 kilos in 6 days’ are unrealistic and dubious.”

Nevertheless, there are nutritional principles on which various diets are based – and which have been proven to help you lose weight. The crucial thing, as the nutrition expert says in an interview with FOCUS Online: Don’t rely on quick success, but act for the long term. “Losing a maximum of 500 grams per week makes more sense than losing weight quickly in order to maintain your weight in the long term,” explains Krehl. This usually means that not only do the lost kilos come back quickly, but additional ones are added.

Fiber has hardly any calories, stimulates intestinal activity, prevents constipation and is very filling. Therefore, they help to lose weight, as the nutritionist explains. The plant fibers are also good for the intestinal flora and the bacteria that live in it.

Particularly high in fiber: vegetables such as cabbage, carrots or potatoes, whole-grain products such as whole-grain pasta or bread and fruit.

Krehl’s tip: apples. “They are very filling and have few calories. To get the number of calories in one chocolate bar, you can eat four to five apples. But after just two apples you’ll be full. In contrast, when you eat a bar, you often end up grabbing a second one because you don’t really feel full.”

Proteins also keep you full for a long time and thus help you eat less and save calories. However, it is particularly important to rely on plant protein, explains nutritionist Krehl. “We should only eat animal protein from meat, fish and eggs in moderation. Possible negative health effects, for example from high meat consumption, have been known for a long time.”

Particularly recommended because they are rich in protein and keep you full for a long time: legumes, nuts and seeds, oat flakes, cottage cheese.

“If you drink a lot, you are tricking your body: On the one hand, the liquid fills your stomach and makes you believe that there is more energy-producing mass there than is actually the case. On the other hand, the body has to warm the liquid to body temperature, which uses calories,” explains Krehl.

Her recommendation: half a liter of cold water before every meal. “This means you burn an extra 50 calories per day.”

Sugar, from a nutritional point of view sucrose, is a carbohydrate. According to the German Nutrition Society, it should not be more than 50 grams per day. If you want to lose weight, it’s better to stay below the 25 gram limit.

For reference: This corresponds to eight pieces of sugar cubes and therefore a small glass of cola (250 milliliters), a banana or 200 grams of grapes.

Anyone who eats casually or on the go tends to eat more than they would if they were calm and conscious. The reason: You usually eat faster, but the feeling of fullness only occurs with a delay.

Many people don’t want to hear it, but exercise and sport not only help you lose weight, but also help you maintain the weight you’ve achieved. “If you haven’t been exercising regularly, you should increase the amount of exercise you do in everyday life and in your free time,” says expert Krehl.

These include, for example:

“You should get ‘out of breath’ once a day,” adds Krehl. “Exercising only in your comfort zone is not enough to reduce or maintain weight.”

The rule of thumb is: at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Particularly effective: a combination of endurance sports such as running or cycling and strength training, whether in the gym or at home with free weights and workout videos from YouTube.