Is a diet really worth it

Nobody gets fat between the years. That sounds reassuring, but it calls for a supplement: You don't get thin in these few days either. At least not when it comes to more than just the consequences of the festive festivities.

It isn’t worth worrying about that seriously anyway. Eaten too much, drank too much and did not move enough for a few days? So be it. The main thing is that it tasted good. If it is really only a matter of one or two holiday pounds, they will fall again like the needles of the Christmas tree, even without a diet.

But those people who think their weight problem is more serious have to make a decision. Cabbage soup, low-something, food combining or a Stone Age diet?

Stop. For a moment, forget all the madness and recall the one insight that - astonishingly enough for nutritional research - has outlasted all fashions for years: Every successful diet is a question of simple arithmetic and patience. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than the body consumes.

It's as banal as it sounds. The scale does not care which food the energy comes from. The time most likely doesn't matter either; a sumptuous breakfast is just as fat as a dinner with the same amount of calories. In any case, it will take some time until the kilos disappear permanently; a pound of weight loss per week is a realistic goal.

From a purely arithmetical point of view, the simplest of all diets, the friendly, robust invitation to "eat half" also works. However, enjoyable food and arithmetic have less to do with each other than ready-made pizza and star cuisine. It may work quite well for a while to just cut your usual servings in half.

But if you can persist and lose weight, you probably won't have any serious and pressing weight problem anyway. Because as obtrusively educational it may sound - there is a lot to the mantra of nutritionists that losing weight only works if you get used to a different diet over the long term.