The only thing out growing the obesity epidemic is the diet industry. Well, that and the advertisements that addict us to the very foods that make us overweight. Its mind boggling how many new diet plans are out each year, but the excess fat and waist lines continue to grow. So, we’re all asking each other the same question- “What do you think is the best way to lose weight?“
I can only tell you that for most of us, losing weight is probably a lot simpler than you think?
And evidently, keeping it off is a lot more difficult than most people think?
the process of losing weight is so simple and so direct, there’s really only one best way!
In fact, unless you’re having surgery to remove the fat, this is the only way:
Use more calories for energy – most days of the week – than you consume by eating and you will lose weight.
Because that is really the only way — without surgical intervention — the rest of this post will delve into ways to make that happen.
What Do You Think Is the Best Way to Lose Weight?
I think every diet plan for losing weight on earth winds up being about a simple caloric deficit.
Because there are a multitude of ways to get into a caloric deficit, people selling diet books, apps, and plans, can easily confuse the issue. But, in the end, that deficit is what you’re looking for to get rid of excess fat, pounds and inches.
What Does Caloric Deficit Mean?
Our bodies utilize the food products we consume for the energy we require to stay alive and move around. That food contains calories, which is not a measurement for fat accumulation, but rather, a measurement used to calculate energy.
What happens is simple enough: When you consume more calories than your daily energy requirements your body stores those calories as fat cells. (It’s important to remember that those fat cells are meant to serve as reserve energy.)
A calorie deficit is when you consume less calories than your daily energy requirements.
When you put your body into a caloric deficit, it will start using the stored fat cells for energy for normal body functions along with any movement or exercise.
How to Get into a Caloric Deficit?
It’s a simple concept that takes discipline to achieve.
Eat less calories than you use for energy on a daily basis until you get to the weight you desire.
3 ways to reach a caloric deficit:
- Eat less food and more nutrients
- Eat food with less calories
- Burn more calories than you eat
Eat Less Food and More Nutrients.
I believe this is absolutely the best and primary way to start losing weight and increasing health.
The foremost cause of the obesity crisis is eating too much food with too little nutrients.
Processed foods are packaged and canned foods. Foods are highly processed to increase the shelf life. The processing eliminates most of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we need for good health.
What we’re left with are plenty of calories with no nutrients, called empty calories. If you remember, calories are used for energy and what’s not used is stored as fat. Because the calories contain little to no nutrients, they are quickly stored away as fat, while your body continues to crave more food.
With that out of the way, the best way to eat less food to lose weight, is simply eat far less processed foods, and far more fresh foods.
Replacing most of your processed foods with fresh or fresh frozen foods will help get you to a caloric deficit by satisfying your cravings.
Eat Food with Less Calories for Weight Loss
Eating foods with less calories goes back to getting away from processed foods. And sugar and flour are highly processed foods that are high in calories, low in nutrients, set you up for cravings, and are addictive.
Start counting the calories that you eat and you will quickly see that bread, pastas, sodas, and anything with sugar or corn syrup must be the first thing to go.
You will see that fresh vegetables, lean meats, fresh and canned fish are low in calories. This is a thorough and free food calculator, or just search Google for calorie counters and you will find many free and paid apps for your computer and phone.
If you have much weight to lose, slashing calories can cause a couple of problems:
- Without regular exercise, only cutting calories can well leave you with hanging and lose skin.
- Cutting calories can get you to a calorie deficit which will cause you to lose weight, sometimes fast, but without more lifestyle changes, the weight usually comes back.
Reducing the number of calories you consume while using the same amount or more for energy creates a caloric deficit that causes your body to use stored fat for energy.
Burn More Calories Than You Eat for a Caloric Deficit
Burning more calories than you eat most days of the week is by far the fastest and best way to lose weight.
But how can you do that? Simple, institute an exercise program that becomes a regular part of your long-term lifestyle.
Along with exercising most days of the week for 45 minutes to an hour, stop looking for parking places close the entrance.
- Instead, park at the far end of the parking lot (when it’s safe, of course) and make the extra steps to burn more calories.
- Take the stairs every time it’s feasible instead of depending on elevators.
- Mow the lawn or rake the leaves instead of depending on someone else.
- Get off the couch and do most anything at all
You must stay aware that exercise alone will rarely burn enough calories to cause weight loss.
Exercises and physical activity do burn calories, some far more than others, but won’t keep up with bad eating habits that got you overweight.
If you only implement an exercise program without cutting calories you will help tone your body, improve your health, lower your risk of most common diseases and cancers — but only maintain your present weight.
The best way to reach and maintain a caloric deficit for weight loss is with better food, less calories, and more exercise.
Eating Less Calories for Weight Loss
To tell you the truth, it’s possible to do either one of those alone and get results. However, I don’t think focusing on only one of those is the best way to lose weight. Here’s why:
Fad diets and crash diets usually focus on only slashing the calories you’re eating. Sure, they come under many names; Dr Atkins, Nutri-System, Ketogenic, Low Carb, Paleo, and on and on.
But they are all cutting calories from your diet.
I recon that’s the first thing that comes to mind for most dieters? And even though cutting calories is usually imperative, it’s important to go about it correctly.
The Problem with Only Decreasing Calories for Weight Loss
Only slashing calories from your diet can definitely get you into a calorie deficit and cause your body to burn fat cells for energy. That has little choice but to lead to weight loss.
However, doing this can lead to:
- Decrease in lean body mass
- A body that looks bad with hanging skin
- Cycles of weight loss followed by weight gain with the weight gain slowly increasing with each cycle.
There’s a multitude of ways to eat fewer calories, and just as many ways to use more calories than you eat.
Only eating few calories to lose weight puts you at risk of looking bad with hanging skin. And, if you don’t make some lifestyle changes to go along with slimming down, it’s probably coming back a lot faster than it left.
That’s why What Exercise Should I Do for Weight Loss? is so important to now and the future.
How Does Exercise Help with Weight Loss?
Any legitimate weight loss program will advise you to exercise several times a week.
The reasoning is simple enough:
- Burns calories that leads to weight loss
- Tones muscle to keep you looking good as the weight leaves
- Builds lean muscle mass that burns even more calories even when you are sleeping. (don’t worry about being muscle bound because that is a different animal)
- Increases metabolic rate which increases your overall calorie usage
I should think it’s obvious that exercise puts an additional workload on your body which burns more calories than normal. But it’s important and often overlooked that exercise causes your body to increase calorie burn at rest.
So, you are expending calories while you are performing any exercise routine and continue to burn calories at a higher rate for hours afterward.
Different exercises burn fat differently and more efficiently.
Aerobic exercises such as walking, running, jogging, swimming, rowing, stair climbing, and most sports activities (not golf) burn the most calories.
The reason aerobic exercises are the best for losing weight is that they require more oxygen. Here’s why that’s important:
The phrase “burning fat” means that the body is using stored fat cells for energy.
- When you perform aerobic exercises, you are required to breathe deeply during the workouts. The increased breathing rate increases your heart rate strengthening your lungs and heart.
- Fat cells are the most easily spent and used with exhaling from your lungs. So, any exercise that increases your heart rate will increase your breathing and burn more calories.
Conversely, Anaerobic exercises such as weight training or yoga do not require an increase of oxygen for energy. Instead, those workouts depend mostly on stored glycogen in muscle tissue.
Anaerobic workouts are definitely key to weight loss, and weight maintenance, but in different ways. Even though they do burn a few calories, they are important for strength, building muscle that requires more oxygen to survive, and increasing metabolism.
So, the fact is, both forms of exercise help with weight loss and burns calories. However, weight training is the best for increasing your basal metabolic rate which means you are burning more calories while at rest.
That means that in order to get the best possible effect, both types of exercise on different days are best for weight loss. Cardio (aerobic) exercises for building heart and lungs. Weight training for building your basal metabolic rate.
Here’s the Best Way to Lose Weight
Face it: The best way to lose those excess pounds has nothing to do with eccentric diets.
It’s going to happen as a result of doing the same things other people have done that lost weight, and actually kept it off.
Keys to Successful Weight Loss
The first thing to notice about people who have lost weight and kept it off is what their efforts have in common.
- They stick to a low-calorie and low-fat diet.
- Eat less calories than the burn day after day.
- Regular exercise is part of their lifestyle.
- Keeping a food journal is a daily routine.
- The best losers have a lot of support from other people.
- Realistic weight loss goals are the norm.
- They weigh every week and compare the results with the goals.
- Successful losers reward themselves often for weight loss
Do these 8 things that are proven to produce results and you will lose the weight and keep it off. Why:
Because you will change your lifestyle as you change your weight
8 Ways to Have a Successful Diet
1. Stick to a Low Calorie and Low-Fat Diet
The old ideas about high fat diets causing weight gain are almost out of vogue these days. That’s generally because most of us get fat from eating empty calories from sugar and flour.
But it’s important to remember that just sticking to a low-fat diet won’t do the job. Counting, or at least being super aware of the calories you eat is imperative.
It’s just as easy to get too many calories on a fat free, trans fat free and low-fat diet as from other places. In fact, a lot of people wonder why they’re on a strict low-fat diet and not losing weight. That’s because they replaced those high fat foods with food with a high and empty calorie content like sweets and pastas.
The best way to lose weight is by eating a lot of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Add to that a sensible amount of lean meat, fish, and dairy and you will naturally eat less carbs and calories.
2. Eat Fewer Calories Than You Burn Each Day
We all know by now that the secret to losing weight is to consume fewer calories each day than you burn.
First you find out how many calories it takes to support your present weight. Next you start eating fewer calories than you would to maintain that weight.
Just go to this site, put in your age and weight, and see how many calories to maintain your present weight, and how many for losing weight.
3. Exercise Regularly
Losing weight simply requires burning more calories than you consume. The best way to reach that calorie deficit is by exercising from 30 minutes to an hour 5 or 6 days a week.
Even if you’re one of the masses that refuses to do regular exercise, you well know that all studies prove that exercise for weight loss works.
Here’s 4 reasons exercise helps weight loss:
- Exercise burns calories. It’s simple enough to realize that you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. We all know and agree that eating fewer calories does that. However, let’s say you have a deficit of 300 calories from eating less to lose about 1/2 – 3/4 pound a week. Why not burn 200 more with exercise and double that loss?
- Burn more calories at rest. Regular exercise increases your resting metabolism. Your body must burn some calories even while asleep to maintain life. Exercise causes an increase in resting metabolism so you’ll burn more calories for hours afterwards.
- Exercise tones and builds muscle tissue. First of all, you want to look good after weight loss without hanging muscle and skin. Exercise tones and strengthens those muscles. Next, muscle burns more calories than fat, or nothing. So, the more toned muscle, the easier it is to burn excess fat for energy.
- Increased Energy Levels. Dieting, can and does often lead to less and less energy. Regular exercise helps you feel more energetic, and fight depression that might come as a result of body changes. Simply walking every day will help lose weight and increase energy levels.
If that’s not enough, exercising regularly helps avoid common illnesses such as dementia and a lot of cancers. All research indicates that the people who exercise regularly drop the most pounds and have the most motivation to slim down.
4. Keep a Food Journal
If you’ve dieted several times and not kept a food journal, this may surprise you:
It’s possible to double your weight loss by simply keeping a food journal.
Some time ago there was a study done by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that showed people who kept strict records of their food intake every day lost twice as much weight as the ones who didn’t.
The best way to keep a food journal is to make a note of the:
- Approximate amount of food you’re eating
- Nutritional value and calories
- Your feelings or emotional state at the time
It will be no time at all before you start seeing patterns in your eating habits. Most overweight people find they eat more when nervous, angry, or lonesome.
When you start seeing why you overeat, it’s much easier to think of different ways to deal with emotions than eating them away.
5. Get Weight Loss Support
It’s best not to go on your weight loss journey alone. Social support is a powerful motivational tool for success, according to Kenneth J. Gruber in the Adolescence article “Social Support for Exercise and Dietary Habits.”
There are many resources to help you find group support. Overeaters Anonymous is a worldwide organization that brings people together for emotional support. There is usually a small voluntary donation at each meeting. OA is based on the same 12-step principles as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Weight Watchers also has weekly support meetings; however, there is a small fee to join Weight Watchers. There are also many other resources for support. Check local community resources or ask your doctor about weight loss support groups.
6. Realistic Weight Loss Goals Are A Must
Losing weight too fast is never a good idea, and can lead to disastrous results. If you want to get in a cycle of losing and gaining for years to come, lose weight fast.
One of the primary reasons for that is the fact that you never retrain your body and mind to eat differently. Of course, we can all go on crash diets or merely fast the pounds off, but in order to maintain that weight, it’s important to change your eating habits.
All health experts agree that consuming less than 1200 calories a day or losing more than 2 pounds a week is bad news.
When you don’t eat enough calories, you get into nutritional deficits that affect your health negatively. Losing weight too fast is also the gateway for spending a lifetime of losing and gaining.
Weekly, monthly, and yearly weight loss goals are what separate constant dieters from people who lose successfully and then maintain that weight for years to come. And for your goals to work for you, they must be realistic!
What is a realistic weight loss goal?
A couple of pounds a week at first, followed by 1-2 pounds a week is a realistic goal. When you set your goals to lose at a low and steady rate it’s easier to avoid failure, allow your brain and body to adjust to your new weight, and stay healthy.
7. Weigh Yourself Often
Research reveals that people who weigh themselves every day are more likely to drop pounds and keep those pounds off permanently.
Founded in 1994, the National Weight Control Registry, tracks dieters who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off for an extended period of time, typically a number of years. The NWCR reports that the most successful dieters weigh themselves at least once a week.
Other studies have shown that people who check the scale every day are more likely to shed more weight and keep the pounds they’ve lost off permanently (The Weighing Game).
If you weigh yourself every day, you’ll hold yourself more accountable for your food and exercise habits. Keep in mind, however, that it’s normal for the scale to fluctuate a few pounds day to day sometimes because of water weight. What’s important is noticing a trend in your weight over time.
8. Successful Losers Reward Themselves Often
Successful losers reward their weight loss journey to celebrate their accomplishments. They do it often, even for the smallest accomplishments.
Rewarding yourself matters because reminds you what and why you are dieting along with the fact that you can indeed make it happen.
Celebrating your successes on a regular basis keeps you motivated, especially on the days when you would rather forget it.
Just be careful to choose the best rewards for losing weight. Rewarding yourself with food or alcohol is never a good idea, as tempting as it may be? Instead try rewards that enhance your new lifestyle, like:
- A piece of exercise equipment
- Trip to the Spa
- New clothes
- Gym membership
You can’t get around the fact that going on a diet and staying for the results can be from difficult to almost impossible. Rewarding yourself for every accomplishment goes a long way towards keeping you on track and losing the pounds.
Why is it So Hard to Lose Weight?
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to lose weight?
It’s frustrating and we’ve all been there.
- You might have yearned to look slimmer and maybe better.
- You might have dieted and starved yourself.
- You even told all your friends you were dieting.
But your results were dismal and you gave up. (again)
Have you ever taken a step back to think about why and wonder
“What is the best way to lose weight successfully?“
The answer might be that you’ve been missing some important aspects of dieting.
You might think it’s easier to just get up one morning, realize you can’t wear your favorite clothes and decide to go on a diet. A spur of the moment decision.
But the truth is: I do not think that is the best way to lose weight!
Success takes thinking, planning, and programming your weight loss. In fact, thinking, planning, and programming your success is just too important to skip over.
The famous Dr Phil had this to say about losing weight:
Successful weight loss takes programming, not will power.Phil Mcgraw
That quote may not mean a lot if you’re the type of person that avoids planning. But planning and programming your diet is definitely the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
As soon as there’s a new diet trend everybody’s talking about, we’re immediately convinced it’s the best way to lose weight. We spread the word with everyone at the office and get the credit card in hand.
But the cold hard facts are this:
It’s not the best, it’s just another diet. A plan someone devised mostly to make money from.
And some of the free fad diets are so outlandish, we wonder what sort of mind could have conceived this plan?
The truth is — most all “fad diets” — paid or free, rely on extreme measures that only temporarily change your eating habits. And guess what you become with temporary weight loss and diet changes?
A LifeLong Loser
Sure, you might drop a few pounds, but they will be back quicker than you can say jack splat. Not to mention that extreme diet measures aren’t the best or healthiest way to drop pounds.
So, you diet and lose a few or even a lot of pounds. But they quickly start sneaking back as you revert back to all the old habits that got you overweight.
In a year or so, you start all over again. You diet the pounds off, and gain them back. You’ve turned into a lifelong loser.
The two most prevelant attributes of LifeLong losers:
- Lower than should be self esteem
- Everytime you lose weight and gain it back, it’s more difficult than the last time.
Bottom line – losing weight can be difficult, but possible for almost everyone. You simply have to be willing to make some changes to your lifestyle.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give up all the foods that you love, it simply means that you need to start eating them in moderation, start adding healthy foods to your diet and get up and get moving – every day.
Finally, don’t expect immediate results. It took several months, or years, to put on the weight, so you must expect that it’s going to take time to burn the fat off as well.
Think of weight loss as a journey. Do you remember when you were a kid and your family would take long trips? You’d watch the road signs to see how far it was to get to the next city. Sometimes it seemed like it would take forever to reach some of these milestones, but you always DID, didn’t you?
Weight loss is no different. As long as you stay on the right path you WILL eventually reach your destination. Simply stay the course and you’ll be there before you know it.