“We are not made to renounce!” That’s why rigorous diets are useless. Nutritionist Matthias Riedl knows why healthy is the new slim and how we can still achieve our feel-good weight.
BRIGITTE: Diets are out, but not losing weight – isn’t that a contradiction in terms?
dr Matthew Riedel: diets They work, but only for a short time: Because they require asceticism and are not tailored to individual preferences. But we were not made to live celibate and renounce for a long time. Word has got around in the meantime.
So why not just let the weight loss be easy?
Because every kilo too much damages our body. According to the German Alliance for Non-Communicable Diseases, 90 percent of our diseases are now non-contagious diseases of civilization – half of them are diet-related and related to obesity. Being overweight is the new normal today. And: The probability that parents perceive their child as fat has fallen in recent years.
In other words, our perception has shifted. It’s actually very positive that we’re changing our viewing habits and no longer find super thin particularly beautiful…
On the one hand, yes, because the pressure to be as slim as possible is decreasing. At the same time, however, it is a problem: more and more people see themselves as not overweight, even though they are. And they don’t see the connection to their health. In addition, the desire of the overweight to be slim is still there. Because being fat means: sweating a lot, not being resilient, not being able to do many things and not feeling comfortable in your body.
But not all overweight people are automatically sick, right?
Yes, that’s right. We call them the “healthy obese”. Unfortunately, it won’t stay that way forever. Everyone has their own sensitivity and timeline for developing obesity outcomes: one has severe osteoarthritis in their 40s, another is still playing tennis in their 70s. But it is only a matter of time before the damage occurs. The overweight, perfectly healthy over 70 years of age is therefore a rarity. However, there are also slim people who have internal fatty degeneration, the so-called fat thin people: BMI normal, but fatty liver, increased internal abdominal fat and usually an increased abdominal circumference. They are threatened by the same diseases of civilization.
Has the pandemic made the situation worse?
Corona gave us another five kilos more on average. Blood sugar and blood pressure levels have deteriorated in many of my patients. Now life is starting again for her, only with a worse starting position. Because the body always wants to settle down to this new target value. But – and that’s good: Corona has made many people internalize the knowledge that the body can heal itself if we take good care of it and give it the right nutrition. Because who dies? The sick, overweight, old people – everyone who has a disturbed self-healing. And every kilo more disturbs this self-healing.
What food keeps us fit and healthy?
A species-appropriate one: i.e. primarily plant-based with little meat, as varied and balanced as possible, with fresh, unprocessed food. What’s cool: The healthiest nutrition is also the most effective for losing weight! So, in principle, species-appropriate food is suitable for everyone. We should finally stop dieting and change our diet over the long term. Even if it is exhausting at the beginning and the success comes more slowly. People don’t like radical changes, they prefer gradual improvements.
There is also a lot of fake news circulating about food. Her new book summarizes the scientific status of slimming research. What do you know for sure?
First of all: knowledge is power. Knowing what I need, how much, and being aware of how I eat is the first step towards a healthier life. There is now well-established scientific knowledge for almost all food components. The diet that works well for most people is a low-carb diet. Carbs are for burning…