Obesity: myths and facts

Obesity: myths and facts

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Book review: “Overcoming Fat Logic” by Dr. Nadja Hermann

Dr. In “Overcome the fat logic” Nadja Hermann systematically clears up myths about decreasing and increasing. The author was overweight all her life, weighed 130 kilos at the age of 20, then fasted down to 68 kilos with a height of 1.68 cm. At 30, she weighed 150 kilograms, and instead of starting the fight against obesity, which she now considered impossible, set other priorities: she did her doctorate in psychology, trained as a psychotherapist, married and renovated a house. She believed that she had consciously decided against starvation and self-mortification and for zest for life.


“As a behavioral therapist, I failed because of my own overweight for years. The reason for this is that (behavioral) therapy only works if you know which behavior to change and if you are also convinced that it works and you can do it ”(Nadja Hermann). Obesity was not a problem for her husband, not even for her friends and colleagues. She said she was comfortable and just wanted to be a little sportier.

However, her externally expressed satisfaction was not completely waterproof, even if she wanted to believe it herself. She visited an obesity outpatient clinic and received advice on how to reduce her stomach size. Then she decided against surgery and focused on research that proved that being overweight is not harmful. She takes up this myth later in the book.

High blood pressure and back pain

The author suppressed the examination of health risks. So she rarely went to a doctor because she didn't want to be confronted with her weight. If she went there once, it showed that she had high blood pressure, but she blamed it on the stress that visits to the doctor caused her.

However, the blood pressure was also high at home. She stopped taking the pill and drank a lot of green tea, and the value decreased a little. But it was still too high. She tried to ignore the fact that she often suffered from back pain and slept badly - also because of snoring.

While doing the housework, she injured her knee and torn the cruciate ligament; the meniscus tore when renovating. She limped, and half a year later she lay flat for several weeks without being able to move. Six months later, the forced bedriddenness was repeated.

The consequences cannot be overlooked

Now Ms. Hermann realized that her weight had increased continuously and her health was getting worse. If it went on like this, she would soon be unable to walk, the author writes. She was now intensely concerned with her eating behavior and researched genes, metabolism, diets and obesity.

Even a scientific education on the subject had not previously prevented her from reading selectively: she had graduated in dietetics from her diploma in psychology, but had only acquired what she wanted to see from herself. Now she focused on the 95% of the research she had previously ignored.

The bold logic

The more articles, books and studies she read, the more she put her "fat logic" aside. The term “Fat Logic” found her on a website, and it brought to the point what she had previously believed. According to the author, bold logic describes the entire package of supposedly medical conditions, good advice, your own guesses and fantasies that make losing weight almost impossible.

According to Herrmann, believing this had little to do with general naivety. Rather, she had been surrounded by this fat logic since childhood. Correcting things she had believed in all her life was a painful process.

The trap of wisdom

Here she describes a selective perception that applies to most traditional worldviews and can lead to what Michael Schmid-Salomon calls traditional blindness.

It is much easier, and literally self-evident, to believe that what we grow up with and that we learn as small children is true. Our social environment confirms these "wisdoms" and even structures them. Children of devout Catholics believe in God not because they have a special “experience of God” but because they internalize this belief.

To break with such conventions requires not only courage, but our unconscious mind works against it first. Our memory, our associative thinking, the life patterns that are stored in our synapses and can be called up there by no means show us the truth.

Rather, these patterns design a coordinate system with which we move around the world. It does not matter whether and to what extent this is scientifically correct or wrong. Criminalists therefore learn to trust indirect evidence more than what witnesses say.

In Herrmann's case, these stored "wisdoms" included the supposedly "fat genes" of their family, which almost inevitably led to the relatives having to become fat.

For the author, enormous suffering and the prospect of soon being unable to walk led to uncomfortable truths that did not fit into her traditional world view. With success: In September 2014 she was at normal weight, a few months later she weighed 63 kilograms, the same amount as the last time when she was twelve.

She translated her findings into comics, which she published on her internet blog, but then decided to publish her knowledge as a book. This provides a mix of personal experience and facts. Precisely because the "fat logic", according to Hermann, is so overpowering, it focuses on the facts that contradict it.

Fat logic only for overweight people?

The book is not only aimed at people who are overweight. According to Herrmann, the “fat logic” also affects people with underweight or normal weight, and the individual chapters are just as suitable for people who want to gain weight as for those who want to lose weight.

Why: As the author goes on to say, overweight people estimate the calories they consume as less than they are. However, people who are underweight and who complain about not being able to gain weight, conversely overestimate how many calories they eat. Each chapter deals with a common misconception among overweight people - from "hunger mode" to "yo-yo effect".

Only 1000 calories a day?

Chapter 1 deals with the popular statement that you only consume 1000 calories a day and still not lose weight. According to Herrmann, these are subjective assessments of overweight people who are wrong. She shows this with a personal example.

In her overweight years, she would not have devoured fast food in large quantities, but her favorite food was salad with fish. She always assumed that it had 500 kcal. Then she checked it carefully: the three tablespoons of olive oil alone would have already had 300 kcal. The fish, namely fried salmon, would have brought the meal to a total of 1500 kcal. With a single meal, she would have already exceeded the daily dose of 1000 kcal by a third - she was convinced that she would only take half a daily dose.

Metabolism differences would actually not have a wide range, as the "fat logic" says. The main factors for the body's energy requirements are firstly the body mass and secondly its composition. The less body mass a person has, the less energy he needs to supply this mass. But that doesn't mean that very fat people have to eat all the more now because their bodies need it.

Muscle mass, says Herrmann, uses a lot more energy than fat. She writes: “Muscle mass is similar to electrical devices that use energy when in use, but also draw some energy in standby mode. Fat mass, on the other hand, only has to be heated and supplied with blood. ”

Women have biologically proportionally more fat mass than men, which is why women with the same height and body weight need less energy than men. In extreme terms, this means that the least energy needed would be a small woman who weighs very little and is very inactive - little body mass, little muscle mass and little consumption through exercise. The opposite extreme is a tall man and a heavy man who trains his muscles and moves a lot.

A twenty year old bodybuilder with a height of 200 cm and a weight of 100 kg needs 2500 kca every day, a 150 cm tall, 45 kg heavy and inactive woman only needs 1200 kcal. With a bodybuilder, the muscles use energy even when they are not moving. If the training were included in the calculation, the bodybuilder would be even with a daily calorie requirement of 4000 kcal.

All in all, even people with low calorie consumption would still need significantly more than 1000 kcal per day. If you do not eat more than 1000 kcal per day, you will lose weight in any case.

The more body mass someone has, the more he or she would lose weight. If the little woman weighed 45 kg instead of 45, her energy requirement would increase from 1200 to 1750 kcal. At 1000 kcal a day, she would lose a kg of weight in a week. Most people would lose weight if they reduced their daily calories to 1500.

The daily calorie requirement could be calculated individually: The parameters are body weight, height, weight, gender and approximate activity. This basic metabolism is not 100% accurate, but at least up to 95%. That is always enough to create a plan for losing weight. For most people, this basal metabolic rate would be between 1400 and 2000 kcal per day.

Hermann's conclusion is: "Losing no weight at 1000 kcal per day is practically impossible."

Overestimate and underestimate calories

According to the author, a study from 1992 showed that "diet-resistant" people very much underestimate their calorie intake. The subjects stated that they consumed less than 1200 kcal per day and still did not lose weight.

Measurements showed that their daily energy consumption was well over 1200. So the problem was not in metabolism etc., but in a misjudgment. The participants underestimated their daily calorie intake by 47% and at the same time overestimated their activity by 51%.

She explains this fat logic: All participants ate too high in calories and exercised too little to lose weight. Everyone also believed that their eating behavior was normal and suspected that they had a genetic predisposition or problems with the thyroid gland as a reason for their overweight.

A study of identical twins confirmed this misperception. The overweight people rated their eating behavior and movement as being the same or similar in comparison to their normal weight siblings. However, the normal-weight group indicated that the overweight twin ate more and more unhealthily and moved less. The measurements showed that the overweight people assumed an average of 800 kcal to be too few calories and at the same time overestimated their consumption by 450 kcal. So they got 1250 kcal more per day than they thought.

In general, the higher the calories, the more difficult it would be for people to estimate the calories of meals. Chicken breasts, for example, still assessed subjects fairly accurately in studies, but meals above 2000 kcal with little more than 1000 kcal. Participants gave 700 kcal for pasta dishes, which actually had 1500 kcal, and they estimated the extremely high-calorie cheese fries with ranch dressing to be 900 kcal instead of the real 3000.

Hermann's conclusion: "Anyone who thinks" actually not eating so much at all "and inexplicably overweight has a problem with perception and no metabolism."

Myth: "My slim girlfriend eats a lot more than I do"

Studies would show that those who consumed the most sugar were 54% more likely to be overweight. The participants' self-assessments were diametrically opposed to this. Those who thought they had the most sugar were 44% more likely to be overweight. Objectively, the slim people consumed less sugar than the overweight, subjectively they believed they consumed more.

The reason for this misjudgment is that people with a low appetite consider even small amounts of food to be large, while people with a large appetite consider sumptuous meals as small.

The overweight, who believe that slim people eat as much or more than themselves, were also misled by evaluating eating behavior in public. In restaurants, at birthdays, parties etc., however, all people would eat up to 72% more.

Afterwards, the slim ones feel less hungry and eat less when they are alone or spend their time doing sports. The overweight, on the other hand, misjudged the size of meals, would forget the snacks, "the sample of cheese in the supermarket or the handful of nuts that the colleague offers".

For the lean, the following applies: "A person who can eat what he wants without gaining weight can and will simply eat much less in most cases and does not have the feeling of restricting himself."

The overweight, on the other hand, would have the feeling of restricting themselves and would still eat more and more calories than the slim ones. While, according to Herrmann, the overweight people forgot to include the “snacks in between”, the slim people would not notice that they had not eaten breakfast.

To really know how many calories you are consuming, just help put every bite on the kitchen scales and write them down.

Self-observations are incorrect

Confusing data in studies arises from the fact that they are self-observations. This would have led to supposed puzzles that overweight people eat less than normal people and studies have focused on genes and metabolism. In reality, the overweight's self-assessment was inconsistent with the facts.

It is even more blatant among the underweight: According to Hermann, a nutritional study with 60,000 participants found that the overweight underestimated their calories by 180 kcal and heavily overweight by 590 kcal. Studies based on participants' self-statements about their eating behavior would give the impression that overweight people eat less than normal weight people.

The author shows how self-statements and sloppy publications about study results spread distorted ideas. For example, “Slim people report that they consume more sugar”, which turns out to be a misjudgment in objective measurements, “Sugar makes you slim”.

Myth of metabolism

The next thing she does away with is the myth that a disturbed metabolism is largely responsible for being overweight. But there would be no mysterious hunger mode in the metabolism, into which the body switches back, which means that those affected no longer lose weight.

The body would only massively reduce the energy if the fat reserves were used up in such a way that there was a danger to life. The consumption would be lower, but only to the extent that it is normal due to the lower body mass.

Even people with a liquid diet of 800 kcal per day only reduced their energy requirements by 139 kcal per day. Even those who lose weight with a lack of nutrients and without exercise only have a maximum 10% lower energy requirement.

So the idea that the body is “on the back burner” is wrong, says Herrmann. On the other hand, reduced energy consumption can be explained by deficiency symptoms if the body does not get enough fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

In any case, the following applies: “The fewer calories you consume, the higher the fat loss. (…) The less energy is absorbed, the faster the energy stores are emptied. ”

Who eats little, loses muscle?

According to Herrmann, most radical diets are only aimed at reducing calories. This would result in a lack of nutrients, which would be dangerous. A protein deficiency shows itself in exhaustion, problems with the circulation, paleness, weakness, concentration problems, depression, hair loss and water retention.

Many people who have had radical diets have now attributed these complaints to reduced calories. It is about the lack of nutrients, not calories. Conversely, you can also consume a lot of calories, but still suffer from an undersupply of nutrients.

Especially overweight people would suffer from a lack of vitamins, proteins and minerals. For example, in India there would be many obese children who, despite being heavily overweight, were so severely nutrient deficient that there would be delays in development.

Herrmann reports that despite a large calorie reduction, she would have had no complaints as she was taking protein and vitamin supplements and thus even made up for an existing iron deficiency and deficiencies in vitamins D and B.

A wrong idea equates calorie deficit with energy deficit. Here, fat tissue is stored energy, which guarantees the basic supply. In addition, you would only have to get vitamins, protein and some fat.

Another myth is that with reduced calories the muscle mass decreases. The body would only break down muscles if it did not need them or if it could not supply them.

Muscle mass and fat mass are two separate systems, and the build-up and breakdown of one mass is generally independent of the other. It is not the calorie intake that is crucial for muscles, but first the nutrients and secondly the training. The more a person does sport, the more the muscles are used, the less he trains, the more muscles the body breaks down and the muscles adapt to the actual load.

So the muscles don't need calories, but proteins, vitamins and minerals. Anyone who does sports and does not get enough nutrients, such as anorexics, could even lose muscle mass. Obese people who reduce their calories, do strength training and take in nutrients at the same time can even build muscle mass and lose weight at the same time.

Diseases and medicines

There are indeed diseases that cause severe overweight, says Herrmann. For example, Prader-Willi syndrome would result in those affected having an uncontrolled appetite and little muscle mass, so they would hardly consume energy. However, they too could reach normal weight under strict control. Ultimately, it is a question of the energy balance.

An underactive thyroid would really slow down the metabolism. But losing weight is not impossible here either. There would be an uncontrolled weight gain due to water retention. But this is not a real weight gain, and treatment would quickly reduce the weight.

Hormones and cortisone lead to water retention. A doctor can address these with drainage tablets or lymphatic drainage. However, to “remove” this water has nothing to do with a diet to reduce fat.

Other drugs would give energy or make you tired. Without realizing it, one would move less in everyday life.
Diseases and medication can also cause us to lose appetite or develop feelings of hunger. If the appetite were increased, it would appear as if we were eating too little, although in reality we were consuming too many calories.

Overall, medication and disease could make conditions more difficult to achieve a calorie deficit, but not prevent weight loss.

The genetic makeup

After the medication and diseases as an argument not to lose weight, she devotes herself to the genetic disposition and also separates the true core and myth.

She has no doubt that the genetic makeup plays a role in obesity, but differently than the idea of ​​not being able to lose weight assumes. Accordingly, it is primarily a genetic predisposition to have more appetite than people who feel less hungry.

But while a chronically non-appetite child does not get fat even if it is constantly surrounded by high-calorie foods, the situation is different for those at risk of fat.

However, genes do not mean inevitability, says Hermann, but only different starting conditions. Half of alcoholism is also genetically justifiable, but that does not mean that someone is "naturally" alcoholic, but that alcohol has a more intense effect on him and therefore the risk of developing a dependency is greater.

She explains the connection between genes and obesity in a similar way. Although people with a genetic disposition for a large appetite would have to actively counteract instead of being in an environment that still promotes their genetic disposition, it was only a temporary effort, since new habits could also be trained.

The metabolism slows down in old age?

Another half-truth, according to the author, is that the metabolism works slower in old age and seniors therefore get fat. Rather, it is correct that the muscle mass is reduced in old age and that is why those affected get used to a more inactive lifestyle.

However, this only means paying attention to building muscle with increasing age, or even better, maintaining existing muscle mass. The supposedly slower metabolism in old age does not mean that you have to gain weight, but rather that you start strength training early.

Individual differences in metabolism also do not mean that you cannot lose weight. Even the most petite people would lose weight if they consumed less than 1,000 calories a day.

No weight loss without exercise?

Some people could not lose weight because they could not do sports, so the next idea that Hermann is picking apart. This is also not correct, according to the author, because losing weight is based on consuming fewer calories than is consumed.

That, she writes, works without any sport. People could even gain weight with exercise because the movement increases their appetite and they then consume more energy than reduce it.

Extremely obese should be very careful even in the first phase of losing weight with exercise. Their excessive weight harms the bones and organs in many sports. Instead, they can start walking. The exception would be strength training, which makes sense for all weights.

Weight comes from muscles?

The belief that overweight people are fat but also strong is also a fairy tale for Hermann. The body mass index came from a time when no distinction was made between fat and muscle mass.

However, new studies have shown that this in no way suggests a higher muscle mass, which is expressed in overweight. On the contrary: Only one percent of those examined in a study from 2012 would actually have been overweight because of their muscle mass.

In contrast, two out of five of those examined had too much body fat, even though they were of normal weight. The body mass index would therefore massively underestimate the proportion of overweight people instead of "overly judging muscular people".

Is obesity not that harmful?

She believes that being overweight is harmless is the most common fat logic and, at the same time, the one that can best be refuted. The following medical section may seem a little dry to some readers, but is very revealing.

Extreme overweight shortens lifespan more than smoking, with a BMI of 50 it costs up to 13.7 years lifespan.

Adipose tissue attaches itself to vital organs such as the heart and liver and impair their function. The enlarged heart pushes the lungs outwards, the lungs can no longer expand so far, and so less oxygen gets into the organism.

At the same time, the body of the obese needs more oxygen to supply the additional tissue - the consequences are rapid exhaustion, fatigue and less energy.

Due to the higher body mass, all organs would have to do more to provide blood and nutrients. The already disturbed heart now has to pump more, and this leads to faster wear.

Overweight leads to permanent pressure on the joints, which results in high levels of inflammation and joint wear. In the case of overweight people, the fat would also press from the outside, such as lying down and thus impairing the function of the lungs and airways.

In the following, she deals with a whole range of diseases that are significantly promoted by overweight or even arise from it. Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancer, sleep apnea, arthritis, infertility, back pain, asthma, incontinence, biliary problems and depression.


According to Hermann, excessive fat tissue destroys cells because it causes inflammation. Therefore, the body is less responsive to insulin and does not process enough carbohydrates in the blood.

This increases blood sugar permanently, which can damage nerves. This diabetes leads to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, blindness and leg amputations and, according to doctor Max Pemberton, reduces life expectancy by ten years.

The diabetes rate increases from 1 in 20 to 1 in 5 compared to normal weight. The BMI is the main factor for the disease. Women who had gained 8 to 11 kilograms had an increased risk of diabetes of 270%. If they had lost 5 kilograms or more, the risk increased by half.

Cardiovascular diseases

In cardiovascular diseases, the risk for men who were overweight increased by 29%, for men who were heavily overweight, even 72%. The risk of suffering a heart attack increases by 76% in obese men. As with diabetes, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases significantly with the amount of excess weight. If the weight increased from 11 to 19 kilograms, it would be 92% higher, if the weight gained more than 20 kg it would be 265% more.
The heart would be strained by the higher body mass even if those affected did a lot of sport and had a lot of muscles.


According to Hermann, the risk of the following types of cancer in obesity rises sharply: breast, uterus and ovaries in women, prostate in men; Intestine, esophagus, kidneys and pancreas in both sexes.

The exact cause of this relationship is unknown, but doctors would suspect that adipose tissue has properties that favor tumors. Obese breast tissue is denser and harder.

Brain power

One surprising finding, according to the author, is the link between being overweight and underperforming the brain. Thus, the memory performance of severely obese people decreases, in relation to their body mass index.

Heavy overweight promotes the development of Alzheimer's, because obesity increases protein levels, which in turn trigger the disease.

A variety of myths

Hermann works his way through one myth after another, myths that we have all heard a hundred times in everyday life - from “sweeteners are used in pig fattening” to “before I lose weight, I first have to know why I am fat” up to "if you want to lose weight, you should eat more fruit."

On the basis of studies she has read intensively, she refutes that healthy eating is expensive, that there are foods with negative calories, that you can gain weight from diet products, that you can lose a maximum of one pound a week, that calorie counting is nonsense, that obesity is a disease ( against which there is nothing you can do), you would quickly slip into anorexia, or that the overweight problem would be overrated.

No diet guide

What is refreshing about “overcoming fat logic” is that it is not the thousandth book on the right diet, which questions 999 other diets and leaves behind helpless readers who try one diet after the other, but continue to gain weight.

Such guides are reminiscent of homeopathic "wisdom" in which one sugar ball after another is tried out instead of asking whether the basic assumption is correct. Hermann always starts with the state of the art - it is only at the end that she gives tips for losing weight in a narrow sense.

A good overview

First of all, it's a good summary. Sure, honest people with weight problems have tested some myths and found them wrong. But we carry others around with us as "truths", and still others we have not considered as possible misjudgements at all.

The author starts from the truism: Those who stay below a certain and precisely calculable calorie limit every day lose weight; those who exceed it daily increase. Das erklärt dann auch den Jojo-Effekt, nämlich warum Menschen zwar Radikaldiäten auf sich nehmen, Gewicht verlieren, aber innerhalb einiger Monate wieder genau so viel oder sogar mehr zunehmen als vorher.

Sie kommen nämlich wieder zu ihrem alten Essverhalten zurück. Dieses aber bedeutete, permanent ein paar hundert Kalorien zu viel zu sich zu nehmen, und das heißt, dass sie, Gewichtsverlust hin oder her, auf Dauer mehr Gewicht zulegen als vor der Diät.

Bücher, die bekannte Wahrheiten aussprechen, legen viele beiseite, weil sie meinen, darin „nichts Neues“ zu finden. Das gilt für solche guten Übersichtsarbeiten wie der von Frau Hermann aber nicht. Erst einmal hilft es, Altbekanntes systematisch, Mythos vor Mythos seziert zu bekommen – denn dadurch kommen diese Mythen en bloc in das Bewusstsein.

Dann wird aber auch klar, worum es nicht geht: Es geht nicht darum, ob sich ein Mensch mit schwerem Übergewicht schön oder hässlich findet. Im Zentrum steht vielmehr, dass Übergewicht nachweislich eine Menge Krankheiten fördert, die Lebenszeit ebenso verringert wie die Lebensqualität, da es die Mobilität einschränkt.

Der Nutzen der Verhaltenstherapie

Die Autorin ist Verhaltenstherapeutin, und das zeigt sich zwischen den Zeilen. Sie schreibt zwar keine Abhandlung über Verdrängung, Rationalisierung, selbst erfüllende Prophezeiungen oder Ideologiebildungen, also einer Form des falschen Bewusstseins, das einem einseitigen, voreingenommenen Blick der Realität entspringt. Doch sie entlarvt eine Konstruktion nach der Anderen, die letztlich dazu dient, den Fakten aus dem Weg zu gehen.

Vollkommen zu Recht zeigt sie bereits zu Beginn, dass eine Verhaltenstherapie nur erfolgreich sein kann, wenn ich weiß, um welches Verhalten es geht. In ihrem eigenen Fall hatte sie sich mit ihrem sehr schweren Übergewicht bereits abgefunden und damit gelebt, bis der Körper ihr unmissverständlich erklärte: So geht es nicht.

Im Buch geht es erst einmal nicht darum „richtig abzunehmen“. Im Unterschied zu den unzähligen Low-Carb, Paläo, Low-Fett etc. Diäten ruft sie immer wieder das entscheidende Gesetz in das Bewusstsein: Beim Abnehmen geht es weder um Vitamine, noch um Mineralien, sondern um Kalorien. Gesunde Nahrungsmittel wie Äpfel sind eben nicht notwendig Lebensmittel, die schlank machen. Wer am Tag fünf Cola trinkt, nimmt weniger Kalorien zu sich, als der, der fünf Äpfel isst.

Bewusstsein schärfen

So empfiehlt sie am Ende auch keine bestimmte Diätform, sondern plädiert dafür, das Bewusstsein zu schärfen. Ähnlich wie Menschen mit einem Alkoholproblem empfohlen wird, ein Alkoholtagebuch zu führen, rät sie, zuerst eine Woche ein Essenstagebuch zu führen, am besten mit einem Abwiegen der Lebensmittel. Das Wissen über die spezielle Kalorienaufnahme gibt Aufschluss darüber, wo die Problembereiche liegen.

Bei Alkoholkranken, die, das ist die Voraussetzung, wirklich vom Alkohol weg kommen wollen, erwiesen sich solche genauen Buchführungen als erfolgreich. Ebenso wie bei jedem anderen schädlichen Verhalten zeigt die detailierte „Bestandsaufnahme“ nämlich, wo jemand sich am meisten Kalorien zuführt. Mit diesem Wissen lässt sich das Problem auch angehen.

Zum Beispiel könnte jemand feststellen, dass er zwar bei den Hauptmahlzeiten auf Kalorien achtet, aber vergisst, dass sein morgendlicher Latte Machiatto ebensoviele Kalorien wie das Mittagessen hat – aber bei ihm nicht unter Essen fällt. Oder er stellt verblüfft fest, dass die nährstoff-, vitamin- und mineralienreiche Handvoll Packung Studentenfutter bereits zwei Drittel der täglichen Kalorien ausmacht.

Der Diätmarkt ist ganz besonders im Fokus unseriöser Heilsversprechen. Bei Hermann hingegen erwarten den Leser Aha-Erlebnisse. Statt die „richtige“ Diät versprochen zu bekommen, bietet die Autorin wissenschaftlich fundierte Erkenntnisse, die sich in das eigene Leben integrieren lassen.

Aufklärung über esoterisches Geschwurbel

Sie räumt mit esoterischem Halbwissen und mystischen Viertelwahrheiten auf und stellt diesen klare wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse entgegen. Das ist immens wichtig, weil die meisten von uns sich immer wieder in solchen mythischen Fiktionen bewegen, wenn es um unser Gewicht geht.

Dabei behauptet sie gerade nicht, es wäre einfach, diese Erkentnisse umzusetzen, weil sie so einfach zu verstehen sind. Heilslehren vom Abnehmen weben ein mysteriöses Netz über „Stoffwechsel“, „Gene“ oder „Hormone“ und versprechen zugleich, diese mit einfachen Methoden durchbrechen zu können.

Die Autorin tut das Gegenteil: So wie ein Alkoholkranker nicht über die spirituellen Hintergründe seines körperlichen Falls räsonieren sollte, sondern nur die Chance hat, vom Alkohol wegzukommen, so haben schwer Übergewichtige „nur“ die Chance, Kalorien auf Dauer zu reduzieren. Sie verspricht keineswegs, dass das einfach ist, zeigt aber, wie es möglich wird.

Am Ende gibt sie dann doch praktische Tipps. So reduzieren fünfzehn Minuten dauernde Spaziergänge die Lust auf Süßes erheblich, grüner Tee hilft nicht nur beim Abnehmen, sondern fördert auch die Gesundheit, Wasser zu trinken verhindert, dass Durst- als Hungersignale missverstanden werden, Essgewohnheiten sind an Situationen geknüpft und lassen sich so bewusster durchbrechen (hier spricht die Verhaltenstherapeutin).

Fazit: Nadja Herrmann schriebt kein Buch „schlank sein in zehn Tagen“, sondern setzt sich intensiv mit körperlich-psychologischen Mechanismen auseinander, die zu Übergewicht führen und es möglich machen, abzunehmen. Es dient dazu, Mythen und Manipulationen zu erkennen, und auf der Basis von Fakten, seinen eigenen Weg zu finden, um das zu tun, was jeder, der abnehmen will, tun muss: Kalorien reduzieren. Ausdrücklich zu empfehlen. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Nadja Hermann: Fettlogik überwinden, Ullstein Verlag Berlin, 2016

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