The Brigitte Diet

Huge bowl of salad with apples, avocado and nuts

Brigitte Diet: What is it and how does it work?

The Brigitte diet is a diet that is causing a stir throughout Germany. It was developed in the 1960s by the German women’s magazine of the same name. It is based on a balanced mixed diet and no foods have to be cut out – one of the reasons why this diet is so popular. The principle behind the Brigitte diet is as follows: each food is assigned an energy density value. If the amount of calories is high despite the food having a small volume, the energy density increases. According to the Brigitte diet, the lower the energy density, the better the food. These foods are then used to make three meals a day (morning, lunch, evening), so that the total daily calorie intake is 1200 kcal. No more than 40g of fat should be included in the diet. With additional sporting activity, up to 200 kcal more can be consumed. Apart from these rules, the dieter can put together the meals as he/she wishes. Suitable recipes are published weekly on the internet and in the print edition of the magazine and are regularly expanded. A bonus of the diet is that there are even ready-made meals developed especially for this diet, some of which can be purchased in supermarkets. The target group for the Brigitte diet is mainly women, but according to Brigitte, this form of diet is also suitable for men. The same rules apply, but men are allowed a daily calorie intake of 1500 kcal.

What is allowed in the Brigitte diet and what is not?

Permitted Not permitted
Carbohydrates (e.g. pasta, rice and potatoes) Excessive consumption of high-fat foods
Lean meat (e.g. poultry, beef) Sugar containing drinks
Anything suitable for a low-fat diet Alcohol

For whom is the Brigitte diet suitable?

  • Even though most of the followers of this diet are women, it is also perfectly suitable for men.
  • The diet is aimed at adults with a body mass index of over 25.
  • Since the diet is based on a calorie-reduced mixed diet principle, it is suitable for anyone wanting to lose weight.
  • The dishes can therefore be cooked without hesitation for young and old.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Brigitte diet

Advantages Disadvantages
The diet does not put restrictions on any foods so you don’t have to give anything up. It is necessary to track the calories consumed in order not to exceed the recommended daily amount of 1200 kcal.
The recipes are very varied and can be enjoyed by the whole family. The amount of calories and nutrients are not adapted to the individual dieter.
The Brigitte ready meals can be incorporated into the diet to save time. Your diet is not actually changed, your calories are just reduced. In order to achieve success on this diet you need to meticulously track your calories.
Decades of research have shown again and again that diets with a dramatic calorie reduction are not effective in the long term. The danger of the yo-yo effect occuring after stopping the diet is very high.

The Brigitte diet in detail

How individual is the Brigitte diet?

  • The Brigitte diet is based on a balanced mixed diet principle and can therefore be individually adapted to tastes and special diets such as vegetarianism or veganism.
  • A fixed daily amount of calories is prescribed, which only differentiates between men and women and does not take into account any individual factors.

How flexible is the Brigitte diet?

  • No special foods are required. You can go shopping in the supermarket as normal.
  • There are special ready-made meals for the Brigitte diet, which are available to buy in the supermarket. This is especially practical for busy people or those who work a lot.
  • Strictly limiting the amount of calories can make a visit to a restaurant or eating out a little more difficult.

How suitable for everyday life is the Brigitte diet?

  • By following the Brigittte diet, there is no extraordinary change in diet and you do not have to change your eating habits completely.
  • Above all, the ready-to-eat meals that can be integrated make it easier, especially for working people, to eat something on the go without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

How scientific is the Brigitte diet?

  • In contrast to most other diets, carbohydrate-rich foods such as cereals, pasta, rice and potatoes make up the main part of the meals. Low-fat protein sources are also included.
  • From a nutritional point of view, the Brigitte diet does not involve any risks due to the variety of different dishes. It promises weight loss through calorie reduction.
  • The Brigitte diet doesn’t just focus on a calorie reduction but also on foods with a low calorie density. This automatically results in a reduction in fats, since fat has the most calories per gram of the three macro nutrients.
  • Low calorie diets with a high proportion of carbohydrates have a significantly higher drop out rate than similar diets with a moderate proportion of carbohydrates. The reason for this is probably the carbohydrate-induced blood sugar fluctuations that influence the feeling of hunger.
  • Your muscle mass also suffers from a low-calorie high-carbohydrate diet, and this effects your body’s energy balance.

How sustainable is the Brigitte diet and what risks does it entail?

  • Diets based on a calorie deficit are the most effective. However, the Brigitte Diet does not take individual factors into account and can therefore have completely different results on two different people.
  • Studies have shown that very low calore diets often lead to the yo-yo effect. The sustainability of the Brigitte Diet is therefore questionable, as it depends on the adequacy of the calorie intake for the dieter and this calorie intake is standardised.
  • Calorie-reduced diets with a high carbohydrate content are also associated with a greater loss of muscle mass, which as metabolically active tissue increases calorie consumption. The body therefore adapts to the energy intake, making it more susceptible to renewed weight gain.
  • If the Brigitte diet is successful, the principles and recipes can be used permanently to maintain your weight.
  • In the long run, you probably won’t want to stick to the prescribed dishes every day, but you can use the basic rules of the diet to make permanent changes to your eating habits.
  • The daily recommended calorie intake of only 1200 kcal for women and 1500 kcal for men is insufficient in the long term and should be slowly increased to a normal level again after reaching your desired weight. It is important to increase calorie intake slowly and to increase your activity level through sport in order to avoid the yo-yo effect.
  • There are no health risks when carrying out the Brigitte diet. By sticking to the prescribed recipes one is supplied with sufficient nutrients and should not experience deficiency symptoms.

Summary and evaluation

On the whole, the Brigitte diet is quite suitable as a long-term change in diet. Only unhealthy, heavily processed foods such as sweets, fast food etc. are avoided, and the focus is on foods with a low calorie density. This usually reduces the average calorie intake and consequently weight is reduced. Negative aspects are, however, the distribution of nutrients, which includes a high proportion of carbohydrates, a lack of adaptation of the diet to the requirements of the dieter and a very superficial evaluation of the food (according to calorie density). A good idea, but one that has not been sensibly implemented, are the ready meals of the Brigitte Diet, as they contain a relatively large amount of sugar and preservatives and are therefore not necessarily dietary. Therefore our overall rating is as follows:

Criterion Evaluation
Customizability
Flexibility
Suitability for everyday use & feasibility
Scientific character
Sustainability
Total valuation

Brigitte diet vs. Upfit

Criterium Brigitte diet Upfit
Customizability
The Brigitte diet is based on a balanced mixed diet principle and can therefore be individually adapted to tastes and special diets such as vegetarianism and veganism. A fixed daily amount and distribution of calories is provided, which only differentiates between men and women and does not take into account other individual body characteristics or specific goals. Adapted to your goal, taking into account calories, nutrient distribution, allergies and intolerances and eating habits. Optional adaptation to your personal diet, such as vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, flexitarian or paleo. Features such as "meal switcher" and "favourite dishes" individualise the plan.
Flexibility
No special food is required. The Brigitte Diet has included ready-to-eat meals in the diet, which are even available in the supermarket. Due to the strict dietary restrictions, going out for a meal in a restaurant or eating out could be a little more difficult. The meals are predefined. The Meal-Switcher and pre-determined details allow for adaptation to personal everyday life. When visiting a restaurant, the meal can be skipped.
Suitability for everyday use
With the implementation of the Brigitte diet there is no extraordinary change in diet and you do not have to completely change your eating habits. Nevertheless, a lot of cooking is necessary and has to be planned and purchased accordingly, as the ready meals are not a high-quality alternative and should only be used in exceptional situations. Suitable for everyday use, thanks to short cooking times and consideration of your food budget. For people who are very busy or working, midday cooking can be excluded and/or the time-saving pre-cooking option can be used. A shopping list that can be adjusted from one day to a week makes shopping a lot easier.
Science
Unlike most other diets, carbohydrate-rich foods such as cereals, pasta, rice and potatoes make up the bulk of meals. Low-fat protein sources are also added. A sufficient supply of nutrients takes place, but the distribution of nutrients is very questionable. The fixed calorie requirement without regard to the requirements of the person performing the diet makes it easily extendable, but also a gamble. From a nutritional point of view, the Brigitte diet does not pose any health risks and promises weight loss through calorie reduction. Scientifically sound dishes and snacks that are tailored to your personal requirements for nutrients and vitamins in the portion size that fits your goal, based on a low-carbohydrate nutritional principle developed in cooperation with sports and nutritional scientists.
Sustainability
The nutritional principle with a calorie deficit is the most promising means of weight reduction. However, the Brigitte diet does not take individual parameters into account and can therefore have a completely different effect on two people. In studies, diets that rely on a strong calorie reduction often end up with a yoyo effect. The sustainability of the Brigitte Diet is therefore questionable, as it depends on the adequacy of the calorie intake for the needs of the dieter and is not adaptable. Calorie-reduced diets with a high carbohydrate content are also associated with a greater loss of muscle mass, which as metabolically active tissue increases calorie consumption. The body therefore adapts to the energy intake, making it more susceptible to renewed weight gain. Dishes and snacks that are scientifically sound and tailored to your personal requirements for nutrients and vitamins in the portion size that matches your goal lead to healthy and long-term weight loss. The diet can also be carried out over an indefinite period of time.
Total Brigitte diet Upfit

Slimming and Upfit: Varied nutrition with your individual diet plan

To lose weight permanently, nutrition is the key to success. A diet plan for losing weight that will lead you to your desired weight in the long term should suit you and take your preferences and possible allergies into account. Upfit gives you the opportunity to adapt your diet plan to your individual needs and helps you lose weight in a healthy way.

Depending on your desired weight, cooking time and your sporting activity, you can create your personalised nutrition plan in just a few steps and let the kilos drop.


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