Losing weight - The reasons why you aren't losing weight and how to surpass your goal weight without dieting

upfit meal plan for weight loss

Losing Weight and Nutrition

If you want to lose weight, you should know the basics about weight loss:

1. Losing weight is a degredation process

This means that the body processes its components (in the best case, the fat) to compensate for a deficit of supplied energy. This means that you have to produce this deficit yourself by giving the body less than it uses up. Alternatively, you can increase your calorie consumption (above the amount you eat) by exercising. The best method would of course be a mixture of both approaches. Tip: With the Upfit Calorie Calculator you can quickly find out how high your calorie intake should be.

2. The quality of the supplied energy is crucial

It matters what the energy you supply to your body consists of. For example, a calorie from carbohydrates works differently than a calorie from protein.

3. It is not only your diet that determines your success

What you do besides your diet is also important. Sufficient sleep, plenty of exercise and a healthy approach to stress are important factors for the success of your diet.

Here's how you lose weight

Eating less than your body needs and still not being hungry all the time – how is that supposed to work? Your body gives satiety signals when it registers that the stomach is full and also when it detects certain nutrients. When looking to lose weight, it is importand to consume foods that have a low energy density and to drink lots of water (about 3 litres a day). This way, you fill your stomach and provide your body with nutrients without too much excess energy entering your body. (Tip: You can easily determine your optimal nutrient requirements with our BMI Calculator.) The energy density of food is the ratio of calories to volume. For example, a bar of chocolate has a high energy density. Vegetables have a low energy density and also provide the additional satiation factor of a high fibre content. It is therefore a good idea to ensure that you have a high intake of liquids and also that you maintain your calorie deficit until you reach your desired weight.

You should avoid foods that strongly influence your blood sugar (for example white bread, cake or cola), as these could increase hunger. These “fast” carbohydrates are not suitable for losing weight. Only once you have reached your desired weight should you slowly increase your calorie intake. However, pay close attention to your body’s signals. Of course losing weight requires discipline, but by choosing the right food you will be much less likely to be at the mercy of hunger pangs or food cravings. Therefore you should get your daily calories (your calorie requirement minus about 500 kcal) from low-fat sources of protein, oils and nuts with healthy fats, some complex carbohydrates and up to 2/3 from vegetables.

Protein for losing weight

protein for definition and fat burning

When losing weight, your body needs a sufficient amount of protein (1-2g per kg of body weight per day) in order to maintain muscle mass and to break down more fat. Low-fat meat and fish products contain fewer calories than foods with higher fat contents. Processed meats, such as sausages, are unsuitable due to added fats and other substances. Of course you can also consume vegetable proteins, for example from soybeans.


PRODUCT Protein / 100 g Fat / 100 g SUITABILITY
Bresaola Ham 33 g 2 g High
Saddle of venison 24 g 3 g Very high
Turkey escalope 24 g 2 g Very high
Chicken breast fillet 23 g 2 g Very high
Flank ham 23 g 3 g High
Sirloin steaks 22 g 2 g Very high
Pork tenderloin 22 g 2 g High

Fish and Seafood

Product Protein / 100 g Fat / 100 g SUITABILITY*
Tuna fillet without oil 24 g 1 g High
Zander 20 g 1 g Very high
Gilthead sea bream 19 g 2 g Very high
Cod fillet 16 g 1 g Very high
Shrimp 15 g 1 g High
Scampi 15 g 1 g High

Other animal products

Product Protein / 100 g Fat / 100 g SUITABILITY*
Low fat feta 19 g 9 g Medium
Cottage cheese 12 g 4 g Medium
Low-fat quark 12 g < 1 g High
Skyr 12 g < 1 g High
Caviar 11 g 4 g Medium

Plant products

Product Protein / 100 g Fat / 100 g SUITABILITY*
Tempeh (tofu alternative) 17 g 9 g High
Tofu 13 g 10 g Medium
Lentils, cooked 8 g 1 g Medium
Chickpeas, cooked 5 g 1 g Low
Quinoa, cooked 4 g 2 g Low
Mushrooms 3 g < 1 g High
Broccoli, cooked 3 g < 1 g High
Cauliflower, cooked 3 g < 1 g High

*The suitability of a source of protein depends on the biological value of the protein contained, the proportion of protein in the total calories of the food and health-related properties.

Important fats for losing weight

fats and fat acids for definition and fat burning

Oils and nuts contain good fats that we need in order to have sufficient nutrients for building cell membranes, signalling substances and vitamin transporters. We also need them to regulate our blood cholesterol and to make fat metabolism as efficient as possible. Fats consist of fatty acids, which occur in short, medium and long molecular chains. They are found in 3 different forms: saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Each one has a different role in the body: simply put, these are energy carriers (saturated fatty acids), cholesterol regulators (monounsaturated fatty acids) and building material for the body or nutrient transporters (polyunsaturated fatty acids). You should obtain fats solely from fresh products or oils and avoid processed food with a high fat content. Each day, you should consume around 1g of fat per kg of body weight, some of which (at least 5 g) should come from monounsaturated and polyunsatured fatty acids. The body relies on these but cannot produce them itself. Industrially processed foods can contain many trans fats, however you should avoid these when losing weight.

Good saturated fatty acids

Coconut oil 85 g Ver high
Palm kernel fat (no palm oil) 78 g High
Cocoa butter 59 g High
Pumpkin seed oil 52 g High
Butter 50 g High
Cream cheese 22 g Medium

Monounsaturated fatty acids

Olive oil 71 g Very high
Macadamia nuts 57 g Very high
Hazelnuts 52 g High
Pecans 45 g Very high
Sesame oil 41 g Very high
Almonds 34 g Very high
Avocados 8 g High

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

Safflower oil 74 g High
Walnut oil 68 g High
Linseed Oil 67 g High
Punpkin seed oil 52 g High
Sunflower oil 51 g High
Sesame oil 43 g High

Vegetables for losing weight

definition and fatburning guide carbohydrates pre-workout

Vegetables should make up most of your diet if you are trying to lose weight. When you look at your plate, vegetables should make up 2/3 of the total amount of food. This gives you a simple formula that you can use to check whether the ratio of vegetables to the rest of your food is right. Vegetables contain few calories (low energy density), so you can eat them in large quantities without running the risk of taking in too much energy. The idea is simple: you need fewer calories to make you feel full.

Different vegetables provide you with a wide range of vitamins, minerals and secondary plant compounds, which are important for your metabolism and therefore also for losing weight. In addition vegetables contain fibre, which fills you up and is good for digestion.

Steamed vegetables

Product Kcal / 100 g SUITABILITY*
Rocket, uncooked 26 kcal Very high
Broccoli 23 kcal Very high
Carrots 21 kcal High
Kohlrabi 20 kcal High
Peppers 20 kcal High
Courgettes 19 kcal Very high
Aubergines 17 kcal High
Mushrooms 15 kcal High

Carbohydrates for losing weight

Resistant starch in potatoes

Whilst you should definitely avoid “fast” carbohydrates from sugary products, it is okay to consume a certain amount (1-2g per kg of body weight per day) of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates have a much lower influence on your blood sugar and do not slow down your metabolism if you eat them throughout the day. Unprocessed complex carbohydrate suppliers also contain a lot of fibre.

Complex Carbohydrates

Product CARBOHYDRATES /100G Value
Oats, uncooked 59 g Medium
Whole grain basmati rice, cooked 27 g Medium
Bulgur, cooked 25 g Medium
Quinoa, cooked 19 g High
Lentils, cooked 17 g High
Potato, cooked 14 g Medium
Sweet potato, baked 14 g Medium
Blueberries 8 g High

Drinks for losing weight

1. Water

Drink plenty of wateryou should drink about 3 litres a day. Drinking plenty of water increases your calorie consumption and is good for your organs and your performance. In addition, the filling volume of water in your stomach supports the feeling of satiety.

2. Coffee

You can easily add up to 3 cups of black coffee a day (preferably without milk and sugar) to your water consumption. Due to the lower amount of caffeine compared to filter coffee, we recommend an “Americano”, i.e. a watered-down espresso. Contrary to popular belief, an espresso contains less caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee. If you add water to your espresso so it fills a normal sized cup, the taste is still strong, but the amount of caffeine is lower than with filter coffee. Do not drink 3 coffees in a row, but spread them out between breakfast and 4pm. Caffeine stays in our body for about 6 hours and our bodies tolerate a moderate amount of caffeine well. A sudden high increase in caffeine causes a strong feeling of exhaustion as soon as the caffeine level drops back down. As there is a habituation effect with caffeine, you tend to need more and more in order to feel the same effect. It is better to keep the amount of caffeine per coffee low and thus prevent habituation.

3. Tea

Unsweetened tea, like coffee, counts towards your water intake. Green tea has stimulating and antioxidant properties and is therefore a good substitute for coffee. Be careful not to drink sweet teas with added flavours. Tea, like coffee, has a dehydrating effect in large quantities, so we recommend drinking 1-3 cups a day.

4. Infused Water

If you drink too little water, this can help to liven it up. In the past a simple slice of lemon was used, but today there are many different flavours to be found: exotic ones like pineapple and mango, herbs like rosemary and nettle or refreshing flavours like mint and lime, plus many more flavour combinations that bring taste and variety to water. The rule for infused water is: do it yourself! Ready made drinks contain artificial flavours and sweeteners, which you should avoid. It is perfectly sufficient to add a few slices of citrus fruit to water and possibly add some mint or ginger to finish it off. Within minutes, the flavours will infuse and some vitamins and minerals will enter the body.

5. Juice and Sparkling Water (Schorle)

As a healthier alternative to fruit juice, try making a fruit juice schorle! Schorle is a German drink made by mixing fruit juice with sparkling water. You can mix this yourself in a ratio of 4:1 (4 units of sparkling water to 1 unit of fresh or unsweetened fruit juice). Just as with coffee and tea, consumption of this juice drink should be spread out and no more than one glass at a time should be consumed. In total, you should not drink more than 3 glasses of this a day, which at 250ml per glass is about 1/4 of the minimum daily allowance. Although juices are considered healthy, they contain a lot of fructose, which slows down weight loss.

6… but what about beer?

If you are serious about losing weight, you should give all alcoholic beverages a wide berth. Whilst alcohol is in your body, fat burning is completely suspended, which is already bad enough. In addition, even small amounts of alcohol increase your appetite and have a negative effect on your activity level. Of course this differs between alcoholic beverages. Mixed drinks, cocktails, liqueurs, sweet wines and beer have other bad qualities besides alcohol, while dry wines are not quite as bad. So if you have to, stick to these four rules: drink only dry wines, drink slowly, drink water on the side and reduce the amount of alcohol to one glass. An alcohol-free wheat beer tastes almost the same as normal wheat beers, is isotonic and provides you with nutrients after excercise. Drinks play an important role in losing weight and it is important to remain disciplined.

No Go's when losing weight

If you are trying to eat right to lose weight, some foods are not suitable. Give them a wide berth and make no exceptions. In addition to a high energy density and numerous fattening ingredients (additives, “fast” carbohydrates), many of these foods have an additive effect on your brain so that you develop a craving for them, regardless of your satiety. This makes these foods poison for any diet.

Examples of No Go's

Other industrial products Ready-made sauces, salad dressings, canned food, ready meals, frozen pizza, packet soup
Cereals Cornflakes, Smacks, Cocoa Pops, Vitalis
Dairy products with additives Fruit yoghurt, fruit quark, rice pudding, tiramisu
Fried food Crisps, chips, churros, fried pastries
Processed meat Sausages, salami, mortadella
Confectionery Wine gums, liquorice, sugary sweets, chewing gum
Chocolate bars Mars, Snickers, Bounty, Twix
Soft drinks Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Ginger Ale, Dr. Pepper
Sweet baked goods Doughnuts, muffins, cinnamon buns, cakes, biscuits

Lose weight with the right diet

With an individual meal plan you don’t have to worry about the right food for losing weight. Save your precious time for more excercise, family or career. Losing weight and good nutrition are the key your desired weight. Together with an active lifestyle (for example going on walks or runs, weight training or other sport training), motivation and discipline, you can achieve everything you want!

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