Today I want to talk to you about weight loss.
Nah, screw that. I want to do a lot more than talk to you about it.
I want to help you fully understand it and then successfully make it happen. To do this, I’m going to provide answers to three of the most common (and important) questions…
- What is the best way to lose weight?
- What is the fastest way to do it?
- What is the best way to permanently keep it off after you’ve lost it?
Let the games begin.
But First… The Clarification
In order to properly answer these questions, we need to make sure we understand what it is we’re trying to answer. You see, we might be talking about “weight loss,” but what we’re really interested in is “fat loss.” That’s what we want this lost “weight” to be.
Now that may seem like an annoying nitpick of semantics, but it’s not. There is a very important distinction that needs to be made here.
As I almost always mention in every article I write about this subject (seriously, if you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen me say this approximately 80 billion times before), you could lose fat, muscle, water, glycogen, poop and more, and the scale will tell you that you lost weight. However, out of everything on that list, the one you’re truly seeking to lose here is fat.
This point is important for two reasons:
- To help you avoid losing muscle, or avoid seeking weight loss at the expense of muscle loss. Basically, the secondary goal of everyone trying to lose weight should be to preserve as much lean muscle as possible while that weight is lost, thus ensuring it’s primarily body fat. This is a topic I’ve covered in detail before: How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle
- To help you avoid useless nonsense that will cause some temporary weight loss, but won’t do dick in terms of causing any actual fat loss. This would be stuff like cleanses, detoxes, fasts and other similarly pointless garbage marketed as miracles to people who don’t understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss… in the hope that they’ll be so easily fooled by the fast initial decrease in body weight that takes place that they won’t actually notice there was no body fat lost… or that any weight (water) they do lose is instantly regained right after. Yes, that was a really long sentence.
So while people use these phrases interchangeably all the time (and I’ll probably do it a few dozen times in this article), and we know what most people truly mean when they use them, it’s still worth noting the very important difference between them. It matters. You’ll see why in a few minutes.
With me so far? Cool. Now let’s start answering the first question…
What’s The Best Way To Lose Weight?
I’ve spent a whole lot of time trying to answer this one, and what I’ve discovered is that it takes a combination of three things:
- A fact.
- A method for implementing that fact.
- An approach to implementing that method.
Let me show you exactly what I mean…
Step 1: The Fact
So what’s the best way to lose weight? That’s easy: create a caloric deficit.
Not only is this the “best” way, but the bonus here is that it’s literally the only way. Literally literally. There is no other (non-surgical) way of losing body fat. A caloric deficit is a requirement and every single smart, sane, evidence-based person agrees. That’s my nice way of saying that everyone who disagrees is either misinformed, stupid or crazy. Or all of the above. Or maybe just trying to sell you something useless (so misinformed, stupid, crazy or an asshole).
So what is a caloric deficit, you ask? It’s what happens when you consume less calories than your body needs to burn for energy, thus requiring it to find some alternative fuel source to burn instead. That alternative fuel source is your stored body fat. I explain all of this in detail right here: How To Lose Fat
Wait… what’s that you say?
“But what about the glycemic index and cortisol and clean foods and superfoods and slow metabolisms and starvation mode and carbs and meal frequency and 40 thousand other things?!?!”
“But calories in vs calories out is too simplistic and doesn’t apply to humans and blah blah blah!!”
No. Just no. (Details: The Energy Balance Equation)
“This is just your preference and you’re trying to pass it off onto everyone else!!”
Sure, if by “preference” you mean “proven fact,” you’re right. As I’ve said before, there’s a reason it’s called the law of thermodynamics and not the opinion of thermodynamics.
“But I tried creating a caloric deficit and it didn’t work for me?!?!”
The key word there is “tried.” If you successfully did it for a reasonable period of time, it would have worked. 100% of the time, in fact. So if it didn’t, there was simply no deficit present. Yes, even if you undeniably believe that there was. I promise you, there still wasn’t. Details here: Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
“But I’m losing weight right now and I’m not paying any attention to calories!! My diet allows me to eat as many calories as I want!!”
That’s fantastic. Please let me be the first to congratulate you on unintentionally creating the required caloric deficit you needed. Or, slightly more bluntly, for being too stupid to realize your often pointlessly restrictive “calories-don’t-matter” diet has tricked you into eating less calories. More about that right here.
Sorry kids, but the answer is still no. Calories in vs calories out is, was and always will be the key. If you want to lose weight (and by “weight” again we’re really talking about fat), there must be a caloric deficit. This is a fact.
Always has been, always will be.
And please note that this isn’t me saying that nothing else matters besides calories. That’s not true at all and I’m definitely not saying that. PLENTY of other stuff matters. What I AM saying is that the deficit is always what matters most. Take that away and no fat will ever be lost regardless of everything else. On the other hand, put the deficit in place and completely screw up the rest and guess what? Fat will still be lost 100% of the time.
Yes, even if most of your daily calories come from:
- Twinkies (real world example)
- Potatoes (real world example)
- Fast food (real world example)
The one thing each of these extreme examples have in common is the presence of a caloric deficit. And for that reason alone, fat was lost just fine in all three cases. (And no, I don’t actually recommend these “diets” or anything similar to them. They are however perfect examples of real world evidence that support my point.)
So what’s the best way to lose weight? By creating a caloric deficit. This is not an opinion, or a concept, or a method, or even just my personal favorite way. It’s the required way. If you still want to argue against it, feel free. Just understand that when you argue against a fact, you’re guaranteed to be wrong. That’s just how facts work.
Step 2: The Method
Now let’s move on to part 2 of determining the best way to lose weight. And that is by coming up with the best method of implementing our one required fact.
Or to put that another way, what’s the best way to create a caloric deficit?
There are really only three possible options…
- Diet: Eating Fewer Calories
So if you maintain your current weight eating 2500 calories per day (which is just a random example), eating 2000 calories per day would put you into a 500 calorie deficit (which is just a random example deficit) and cause weight loss to happen.
- Exercise: Burning More Calories Through Cardio And/Or Metabolic Training
So using this same example, if you eat 2500 calories per day but then burn an additional 500 calories through exercise such as cardio (e.g. steady state or HIIT) or metabolic training (which is essentially turning more strength-focused weight training into a form of high intensity cardio), that same 500 calorie deficit would exist and you would lose weight.
- Diet + Exercise: A Combination Of Both
Again using this same example, if you eat 250 fewer calories and burn 250 more calories, this same 500 calorie deficit would exist yet again, thus causing weight loss to occur.
So the question now is, which of these three methods is the best of them all?
Well, strictly in terms of fat loss and with all else being equal, a deficit is a deficit. So whether it’s created by eating less, burning more or a combination of the two, you’ll lose virtually the same amount of fat at virtually the same rate.
So then which method is best? Simple: whichever one best suits your personal needs and preferences, is most convenient, efficient and sustainable for you, and will make you most likely to consistently be in the required deficit you need to be in.
Meaning… how would you like go about creating your deficit? Which method would you prefer to use? Different people will give different answers, which is why you’re honestly the only person who can answer this question.
Here are my best attempts at helping you:
- How Much Cardio Should I Do To Lose Weight?
- Weight Training Workouts For Burning Fat
But wait, there’s more!
You may have noticed that I purposely went out of my way to name cardio and metabolic training as the types of exercise being used for the “exercise” method. That’s because in terms of exercising for the explicit purpose of burning calories and losing fat, cardio and metabolic training are the two most efficient choices.
There is however one other form of exercise I didn’t mention, and that is strength-focused weight training. You know, the kind of weight training you’d use primarily to gain muscle and/or increase strength rather than burn calories and create a deficit like these other two are much better suited for.
Now, sure, this style of training burns some calories as well which means it will certainly help a bit in that regard. But, it’s just not what it’s best used for in this context. Rather, this style of training is best used as a method of maintaining muscle and strength while losing fat (and in certain cases, building muscle while losing fat).
Remember our little weight vs fat clarification from before?
Well, in terms of losing weight, all forms of exercise are completely optional. Seriously. Your deficit can very easily be created through diet alone and not a second of cardio, metabolic training, strength training or anything else ever needs to be done at all. (Which, by the way, is a point I wish all of the “I want to lose weight so badly but I just don’t have any time to exercise” people would realize.)
But in terms of improving the composition of the weight being lost (fat or muscle), the cardio and/or metabolic stuff still remains completely optional (yes, seriously… and I personally rarely do any myself). HOWEVER, heavy, intelligent, strength-focused weight training now becomes a requirement.
Why? Because some form of heavy, intelligent, strength-focused weight training is what signals your body to preserve muscle mass in a deficit, thus helping to ensure the “weight” being lost is primarily body fat.
Now if all you care about is just losing weight, seeing the number on the scale go down, fitting into smaller clothes and being skinnier, you’ll be fine without it. If, however, you want to maintain whatever muscle and strength you currently have or potentially gain more muscle and strength while you lose this fat, or you simply want to look strong/lean/toned/muscular/other-similar-words instead of skinny/thin… then you will NOT be fine without it. For this purpose, heavy, intelligent, strength-focused weight training is required.
Additional details here: How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle
So what does all of this mean for the “method” portion of weight loss? It’s pretty simple.
Decide how you want to create your deficit. You can do it through diet, a typical calorie-burning form of exercise (e.g. cardio), or some combination of both. And make this decision based solely on your own personal preferences and needs because that’s really the only part of this decision that actually matters. Pick the most convenient, efficient and sustainable option for YOU.
Then, assuming you don’t want to lose muscle/strength while you’re in this deficit (or that you’d like to gain some while you’re in this deficit), combine that deficit method with the type of heavy, intelligent, strength-focused weight training needed to ensure this second goal is taken care of, too. (Superior Muscle Growth contains workouts that fit this description.)
If you care what I think, my default advice is to use your diet to cause fat loss (meaning set the deficit by eating a little less than you currently do), and use weight training to maintain (or increase) muscle and strength. Cardio and/or metabolic training are completely optional.
I prefer using them only if I ever reach a point where I’d rather start burning a little more rather than eating a little less. Which is rare as hell. But that’s just me. You should do whatever is best for you.
Step 3: The Approach
Okay, quick recap.
We know that losing weight requires a caloric deficit (the fact), and we know this deficit can come to exist via diet, exercise or a combination of both (the method).
The final part of this equation is the approach. As in, what type of diet and/or workout should you use to create this deficit?
Well, in terms of exercise, we kinda already just covered the majority of what you need to know. Additional details you might be seeking are covered here: What’s The Best Cardio Exercise?
What I really want to focus on now is how you should approach your diet. Because, in case you haven’t noticed, there are about 150 billion dietary methods out there aimed at allowing a person to lose weight. The only question is, which one is the best of them all?
In order to answer this, we need to come up with some kind of classification system to narrow things down a bit. And if you ask me, there’s really only one form of diet classification worth mentioning…
The Direct Deficit vs The Indirect Deficit
Basically, we can put every diet designed for weight loss into one of two groups:
- Diets built around directly creating a caloric deficit.
- Diets built around doing other things that indirectly cause you to create a calorie deficit (all typically while claiming/pretending/assuming it’s these other things that are making weight loss occur when in reality it’s still always the deficit these other things indirectly caused).
With all else being equal (e.g. adherence), every diet in the first group is guaranteed to work. Always. Every time.
The diets in the second group? With all else being equal, most of them CAN work. And many DO work. No doubt about that at all. The problem however is that in this case, it’s less of a guarantee and more of a lucky side effect.
What I mean is, the diets in Group 1 are all about figuring out how many calories you need to consume in order for your deficit to exist, and then simply putting everything else together with that calorie intake as the foundation of your diet.
The diets in Group 2 don’t do this. What they do instead is ignore calories while placing various rules and restrictions on the way that you eat (e.g. special foods/food groups you can eat, special foods/food groups you must avoid, special times you can eat, special times you must avoid eating, special combinations of foods must eat or avoid, and on and on and on), thus indirectly causing you to eat less… thus indirectly causing a deficit to exist.
So think of the low carb diet. Or the low fat diet. Or a diet that eliminates all sugar, or wheat, or grains or gluten or whatever else. Or the paleo diet, or a vegan diet, or a raw food diet, or an organic diet. Or a diet built around only eating “clean” foods. Or any diet that puts some non-calorie-based limit on when, how or what you can eat. Or 800 other similar examples.
These are all Group 2 diets. Can they cause weight loss? Sure. It happens all the time. However, it’s never because of any of the specific rules and restrictions they entail (even though they will all claim that it is). It’s always because those rules and restrictions indirectly caused you to eat less total calories, which caused the required deficit to exist.
Or at least… HOPEFULLY caused that deficit to exist.
And therein lies the problem (well, one of the problems) with all Group 2 diets. You’re doing stuff you don’t truly NEED to be doing for the purpose of causing the one and only thing you NEED to be doing. And those non-essential things are not always guaranteed to be enough to make it happen.
Meaning, regardless of what kind of rules/restrictions a diet employs, it’s always going to be possible for a person to out-eat them. So while limiting this, this and that should hypothetically make it harder for someone to eat more calories than they should be, it certainly doesn’t make it impossible.
Which is a fact many people on these types of diets unintentionally prove on a regular basis.
And that, combined with the fact that these various unnecessary rules and restrictions often force you to eat in a manner that doesn’t fit your personal preferences or just flat out annoys the crap out of you (thus often leading to problems with adherence and long term sustainability… more about that later), is the main difference between Group 1 diets and Group 2 diets.
Let me make this extra clear:
- If you want to do a bunch of unproven, gimmicky, fad-ish, non-evidence-based, non-science-based, sometimes unhealthy, largely-if-not-entirely-unnecessary things with your dietary approach for the purpose of maybe indirectly causing the one proven, non-gimmicky, non-fad-ish, evidence-based, science-based, healthy and necessary thing (a caloric deficit) to happen… then a Group 2 diet is perfect for you.
- If however you’d rather just directly set your calorie intake to an amount that causes fat loss to occur, and then get all of those calories from a good balance of protein, fat and carbs, and then get those nutrients from a variety of foods you truly enjoy eating, and then put it all together in whatever the hell way best suits your personal preferences and is completely free from all of the stupid rules and restrictions that make weight loss a lot harder than it needs to be… then a Group 1 diet is perfect for you.
I don’t know about you, but my vote goes to Group 1.
For the full step-by-step details on exactly how to set up a diet fitting this description, check out my free guide to doing just that: The Best Diet Plan
What’s The Best Way To Lose Weight… FAST!!
Alright, so now we’ve fully answered the first of our three questions. We learned the required fact, figured out a method for implementing that fact, and came up with an approach for implementing that method.
Which brings us to question #2, which tends to be the one everyone cares about the most: how do we do it all as FAST as possible?!?!
As in, how do you lose weight fast?
Well, the way I see it, there are really only three “options” to consider:
1. Silly Temporary Water Loss
So what’s the fastest way to lose weight? Simple. By losing something that ISN’T body fat.
The most common example is water. To quote myself from the beginning of this article…
This would be stuff like cleanses, detoxes, fasts and other similarly pointless garbage marketed as miracles to people who don’t understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss… in the hope that they’ll be so easily fooled by the fast initial decrease in body weight that takes place that they won’t actually notice there was no body fat lost… or that any weight (water) they do lose is instantly regained right after.
So sure, if you wanna waste some time doing silly (often unhealthy) nonsense that will make it temporarily appear as though “fast weight loss” has taken place, this is how it is done (and no, I definitely don’t recommend it… at all… even a little). You’ll basically just lose a bunch of water weight and then regain it soon after all while having no effect whatsoever on the body fat you’re actually trying to lose.
Then again, you can also cut off one of your legs and achieve a similar “fast weight loss” effect. Although, in this case, the results will be waaaay less temporary.
(Disclaimer: please don’t cut your fucking leg off.)
2. Unrealistic Expectations
Then we have what can best be described as the insane, unrealistic expectations people have about weight loss that exist primarily as a result of being lied to by the weight loss industry for the purpose of getting you to buy a bunch of useless crap.
You know… magic pills, powders, equipment, diets, workouts, programs or whatever else that will supposedly allow you to “get the six pack of your dreams in just 4 weeks!” Or “torch 30lbs of belly fat in just 1 month!” Or “melt away 20lbs of fat every week!”
And so on.
It all sounds nice. And it all panders to our universal desire for getting the fastest results possible. And it all does a pretty good job of convincing millions of people to buy a lot of shit that does nothing.
But unfortunately, it’s just not how weight loss actually works in the really real world. Or how it could ever come close to working outside of our unrealistic hopes and dreams.
3. The Size Of The Deficit
Now for the big secret behind legitimate fast weight loss.
Although honestly, this “big secret” isn’t a secret at all. It’s just common sense. And math.
Basically, if a caloric deficit is the sole cause of fat loss, the sole determinant of what makes it happen slower or faster is the size of that deficit.
- A larger deficit (let’s say 30% or more below maintenance) will cause faster weight loss.
- A smaller deficit (let’s say 10% or less below maintenance) will cause slower weight loss.
- A moderate deficit (let’s say 20% below maintenance) will cause weight loss to occur at a rate somewhere in between.
So if you maintain your current weight eating 3000 calories per day (just an example), ending up some degree below 3000 calories would put you into a deficit. As I explained before, you can do this by either eating less, burning more, or some combination of both. For the purpose of showing examples, I’m going to pretend it’s done by eating less.
So, if 3000 calories is some example person’s maintenance level, they could eat 2100 calories per day, 2700 calories per day, or 2400 calories per day… respectively.
What would the difference be between these 3 scenarios? Well, in terms of the speed at which weight loss takes place, the bigger deficit will cause the fastest weight loss. And vice-versa.
Now if this was the only factor worth considering, aiming for the largest deficit possible (something even bigger than the 30% example) would make all of the sense in the world, right?
Unfortunately, speed is NOT the only factor to consider here.
Health (both physical and mental… my breakdown of “starvation mode” and eating “1200 calories day” covers some of the lovely effects of very low calorie diets), the potential for nutrient deficiencies, the potential for disordered eating habits to develop, the potential for food and body image issues to develop, strength, performance, recovery, muscle maintenance, hunger, mood, metabolic issues, etc. etc. etc. and just your overall ability to consistently stick to your diet in the short term and then sustain it in the long term are all factors that need to be taken into consideration as well.
And, generally speaking, while a larger deficit will always cause the fastest weight loss (good!), it’s also the most likely to be problematic in terms of these other factors (bad!). A smaller deficit is the opposite of this… the least problematic in this regard (yay!) but also the slowest rate of weight loss (boo!).
For this reason, a moderate deficit tends to be the sweet spot for most of the people, most of the time. You’ll get a lot of the good while avoiding a lot of the bad.
An additional factor that should also be taken into consideration is the amount of weight that needs to be lost. For example, someone with 100lbs to lose will be able to use a larger deficit with a much lower risk of any potential downsides (and the more fat you have to lose… the faster you can and arguably should lose it), whereas someone who is already lean and looking to get REALLY lean will often do best with a smaller deficit (and thus a slower rate of progress).
So exactly how realistically fast should you expect things to go? Typically between 0.5-2lbs lost per week in most cases (or potentially more in the case of someone with a very significant amount of fat to lose).
…And Keep It Off?
Okay, so by now you know how to lose weight, and you know the most relevant aspects of the “losing it fast” part.
Which brings us to the third and final question: what’s the best way to keep the weight off (permanently) after you lose it?
Ready to have your mind blown?
I’ve already answered this question throughout this article.
Almost… kinda… subliminally.
You know the answer to this question right now.
Think about it.
See it yet?
How about now?
Just in case you don’t, I’ll lay it out for you.
The best way to keep the weight off after you lose it is by losing it in a manner that is sustainable in the long term.
- No quick fixes.
- No silly gimmicks.
- No stupid fads.
- No bullshit products.
- No unrealistic expectations.
- No unnecessary rules.
- No annoying restrictions.
- No unhealthy methods.
- No excessively large deficits.
- No very low calorie diets.
- No extreme amounts of exercise.
- No forcing yourself to eat in a manner that goes against your personal dietary needs and preferences.
- Just… no.
Because while all of this sort of stuff certainly has the potential to cause weight loss to occur, research, common sense and an infinite amount of real world experience shows us that people are much more likely to regain the weight when it is initially lost in a manner fitting any or all of this description.
Why? Because THIS is the type of stuff that is LEAST sustainable in the long term.
Which means at best, trying to do so will make your life miserable while simultaneously making it much harder than it needs to be to keep the weight off after you have lost it. And at worst (and more commonly), you’ll just fail and eventually gain the weight back.
That’s a losing scenario either way.
So how do you avoid it? Simple. You avoid all of the unsustainable stuff in favor of things that make your results as sustainable as possible.
Because let’s face it, losing fat sucks. It’s not fun. Most of us would love to just sit around and eat whatever the hell we want whenever the hell we want with no regard for calories, macronutrients or the quality of that food. For proof of this, look no further than the fact that this is what most people actually do (and of course why most people are fatter than they want to be).
Which means, by default, doing anything besides this is always going to suck to some extent. To make it work, your goal is to make it suck the least amount possible. How do you do that? By approaching weight loss in a manner that is as efficient, convenient, preferable, enjoyable and sustainable for you as realistically possible.
Not only will this greatly increase the potential of your weight loss progress remaining permanent in the long term, but it will also greatly increase the potential of you successfully losing that weight in the first place.
And that, right there, is the winning scenario you want.
NEW: My brand new fat loss program, Superior Fat Loss, is now available. It’s completely designed to allow you to lose fat as quickly and effectively as realistically possible… WITHOUT losing muscle, or feeling hungry all the time, or giving up the foods you love, or doing tons of cardio, or following annoying diet rules, or experiencing excessive metabolic slowdown and plateaus, or regaining the fat after you lose it. You can learn all about it right here: Superior Fat Loss
“What is the best way to lose weight?” is the burning question on the minds of millions who choose to lose those extra few pounds as their New Year’s resolution. We’d all like to look slimmer and healthier. It’s a self-survival instinct built into our DNA. The advantages of staying fit and healthy are just too important to ignore.
In many ways, losing weight is like a military battle. There are two major strategies that you can choose to adopt. You could try the shock and awe technique which involves flinging your entire arsenal at the enemy hoping to overwhelm him within days.
Keep in mind that people who choose to crash diet do exactly that…crash.
Unfortunately, the problem with this approach is that it very rarely works. You might lose weight initially, but most of the weight is bound to come back (with a vengeance) once you stop which inevitably happens.
The second approach to winning the battle with weight loss is adopting a patient approach to the problem. Building a sustainable battle plan and sticking to it. This is the best way to lose weight.
By making certain healthy lifestyle changes, you will not only lose weight, you’ll be able to keep it off. So what are the best ways of losing weight? Well, the following are some universally accepted tips that you simply can’t ignore.
Reduce your Daily Calorie Intake
If you’re serious about weight loss then you simply must change your current eating habits. Until you do so, you’ll find it that much harder to lose weight.
When it comes to weight loss, the enemy is calories. After a meal, your body converts the calories that it needs into fuel and then stores the rest. The body requires at least 1,200-1,500 calories to carry out its everyday activities.
Your mission (now that you’ve chosen to accept it) is simple. In order to lose weight, you’ll need to ensure that you’re eating just enough food to fuel your body. This way, your body will be forced to turn to its fat reserves to make up the deficit.
Reducing your daily calorie intake doesn’t mean that you need to starve. In fact, it’s possible to eat five meals during the day without ever going hungry. To achieve this, you’ll need to change your diet to healthier foods.
Eat more fruits, vegetable and whole grain meals. Complex carbs take a lot longer to digest and do not have as much calories as processed foods.
Avoid refined foods. They’re stripped of most of their nutrients and contain nothing but carbs. Instead of eating a biscuit or chocolate as a snack, try eating a fruit instead. You’ll lose weight faster. You can also start a food journal to track what you eat daily. If you reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 calories, you could lose as much as 8 pounds in a month.
Drink Lots of Water
How much water do you drink every day? Water plays an invaluable role in your body’s metabolism. This is important because you lose weight faster with an elevated metabolism.
Many people sometimes mistake the body’s thirst demands as signs of hunger. The next time you crave a snack, try drinking water instead. Water is filling and contains no calories. A good tip is to drink water before every meal. Statistics show that people who drink water before a meal tend to eat less. Drinking water also keeps your metabolism active, burning more calories.
Instead of drinking fizzy drinks and sugary beverages, drink water. Without the surplus calories, you’ll be able to lose weight at a much faster rate.
Eat Regular Meals and Smaller Portions
Instead of three large meals, break it into 5-6 smaller ones. Remember the aim is to provide your body with just enough calories for what it needs. Eating a large meal will leave your body flushed with more calories than it actually needs. It’ll also slow down your metabolism which is why many people go to sleep after a heavy meal.
Don’t skip meals. Starving yourself is the worst possible way to lose weight. Your body will fight back by holding on to the fat that it already has. Do not forget to eat breakfast. An early breakfast is the best way to kick-start your metabolism. Eating breakfast will also ensure that you have enough energy during the day. Statistics show that most people who skip breakfast end up overeating later on in the day.
Don’t Eat at All – Fasting Weight Loss
Ok this goes against what I just said above but there’s a lot of research going on into how well fasting works with weight loss. I’ve actually been testing out a modified version of Eat Stop Eat, which I think is well researched and thought out.
Here’s an alternative to the eating regularly plan lined out above. If you do decide to go the fasting route I would suggest that you be on an exercise plan to really kick your metabolism into gear.
The goal is to only eat during an 8 hour time frame, preferably starting in the middle of the day. You want to eat 40% of your calories during your first meal. Load up on coffee with sweeteners if you need something to keep you going.
The rest of your meals can be spread out during the 8 hour window with your last meal being higher in slow absorbing proteins like casein which is found in cottage cheese or alternatively lean meat. You should also be eating some kind of greens and add an omega fatty acid supplement to the mix or olive oil.
To really kick your metabolism into overdrive workout prior to your first meal. Prior to your workout you should be taking a BCAA (branched chain amino acids) supplement. I just started on this diet routing myself to see if it really works but I have been told by a few natural body builders that they use this method and get excellent results.
Your goal should be a 16 hour fasting period each day and make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables with your meals.
Personal Recommendation for Dieters on the go
If you’re like me you don’t have a lot of time to be preparing meals and store bought healthy frozen meals just don’t cut it.
They’re typically loaded with tons of sodium which causes water weight gain and gives you that bloated look.
There is an alternative.
What is it?
…freshly cooked prepared meals delivered to your home.
Many companies sell them like eDiets, Jenny Craig, Diet-to-go, etc. There is one company that I’ve been using off and on now for a good year and a half.
So why did I pick them?
Well, for one reason they have great prices. If you compare it to what you would spend at a store, it comes out to around the same price and that’s not counting what you end up throwing away in your fridge.
The other reasons are because it’s fresher and better tasting than frozen dinners. Not to mention healthier.
They have a good selection of meals with 3 variations: low-carb, low-fat, and low-sodium.
So, if you’re strapped for time and you’re looking for a good alternative to cooking meals or buying frozen meals give diet-to-go a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
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This is one of the best ways to lose weight for people who just don’t have the time for following a diet.
Changing your eating habits will reduce the amount of calories coming into your system but exercising will boost the amount of calories that you burn during the day allowing you to lose weight faster. The amount of calories that you burn will depend on the exercise that you do.
For instance, you can burn as much as 900 calories a day by running for 60 minutes while you can burn 400 calories for walking for the same period.
To get the most out of your exercise routine, you need to exercise at your target heart rate which is an aerobic zone that falls between 50 % and 80% of your maximum heart rate. An easy way of calculating your maximum heart rate is to subtract your calendar age from 220.
Ok now that I got the textbook exercise answer out of the way, what exercises work best to lose weight?
I have yet to find anything that works better than weight training.
If you’re a woman you’re probably thinking something along the lines that it’s going to make you look bulky or bigger.
Listen up women…it’s not gonna happen.
You are not designed to get big and muscular. The only way that’s going to happen is by either a) you body build professionally or b) you do steroids.
If you want my honest recommendation on the best exercises to lose weight you have two options.
Option 1: Move Some Iron!
Chin-ups (palms facing you shoulder width apart)
Pull-ups (palms facing away slightly wider than shoulders)
For simplicity I’m going to give you a simple routine. Workout 3 days a week and do each exercise twice during the week. Your goal should be to constantly be adding more weight to increase your strength and to be pushing each set to the point where you can’t do another one.
Prior to starting get on the treadmill or bike for 5-10 minutes to get you warmed up.
The reps and sets should look something like this.
3 Sets – Set 1 (6-8 reps at heavy weight), Set 2 (8-10 reps at slightly lower weight), Set 3 (10-12 reps at even lower weight)
Make sure when you start lifting weights that you do a warm up set. And if you’re not familiar with these exercises have someone show you proper form so you don’t hurt yourself.
I guarantee that if you focus on getting stronger with every workout that you will start leaning up so fast that you won’t believe it. Working out with the focus of getting stronger with every workout will turn you into a fat burning machine.
Option 2: It’s Beach Body Time!
If you’re just dead set against lifting weights than your next best option is to get a program like Beach Body. And yes I’ve done this one too…it kicked my butt.
Beach Body is cardio on steroids. I have never done more intense cardio EVER! And let me tell you I like to push myself. I found myself having to slow my pace with this program.
I highly recommend Beach Body for those who don’t want to go to the gym. You can easily pace yourself and work up to higher intensity levels. In fact, it comes with a notepad to keep track of your results. Try it out for yourself – Beach Body
Would you believe I tried to keep this article short? Hopefully it didn’t bore you and answered your question of “What is the best way to lose weight?”
The answer really comes down to making incremental changes by changing bad habits to good habits. It’s no different than anything else you want in life it’s just a matter of how much you want it.
More Weight Loss Tips:
Losing weight is always a challenge, because you have to change your usual eating habits to ensure that you consume fewer calories and build up a calorie deficit. When you need to lose weight it might seem obvious what you have to do in order to lose weight, but actually putting the theory into practice is another matter. You know that you have to reduce your calorie intake and, ideally, increase your calorie expenditure, but you may cut your calories too much or not enough, so that you lose weight extremely rapidly or do not lose anything at all.
is that there are so many diets to choose from that the whole process of losing weight can become much more complicated than it should be. Instead of focusing on making healthier food choices and eating less at meal times, whilst doing more exercise, you can find yourself trying to stick to some ridiculous rules that guarantee you will lose weight. Of course, you are bound to lose weight if you stick to the rules when most of the diets available get you to cut out whole food groups from your diet and encourage you to eat very-low calorie foods.
However, you can’t stick to very restrictive diets for long when you feel hungry and miserable all the time, especially when they deprive you of vital nutrients. When you lack energy, it becomes difficult to resist the temptation to binge on junk food which is full of sugar and calories. Plus, going on such a diet makes it difficult for you to lead your normal life,
as you are unable to eat out with friends or enjoy the buffet on offer at a wedding, amongst other activities. In the long run, if you are going to maintain a healthy weight, you have to learn to deal with everyday temptations.
The key is to embrace healthier dietary and exercise habits, so that you can still lead a normal life without having to give up treats completely. If you go on a diet, you may lose weight rapidly, but you don’t get into a routine of making the right food choices and controlling your portion sizes. When you’re on a diet you don’t really have to think about what you’re eating, as it is all planned out for you, which is not the case when you’re trying to maintain your ideal weight. You are therefore better off losing weight by embracing a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
If you make long-term changes to your lifestyle, you will be in a much better position to control your weight, as you will be able to adjust your calorie intake whenever you put on a few pounds, to avoid your weight spiralling out of control again. By making exercise a regular feature of your life and learning to eat healthier and smaller quantities of food, you may not lose weight as quickly as you would if you went on a crash diet, but you have a higher chance of keeping the weight off, which is surely the preferable option.
What Is the Best Way to Lose Weight?
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The eternal question of how to lose weight is a controversial and often debatable topic. For many who have tried and failed, it can be tiresome and daunting—but like with anything in life, you’ve got to have the will to do it or there’s just no point. One sure thing is that there is no quick fix when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, despite what many pharmaceutical companies would have you believe. It’s been said time and time again and ultimately, it’s true—when not health related, weight is a result of lifestyle and attitude. If there are changes you’d like to make to your body all you need is a bit of will, some logic and an appreciation of balance. Here are our top three most effective ways to lose weight, slow and steady!
Your body is a machine that needs to be fueled. The point is that you need to be putting the right kind of fuel into it for the best results. Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day not only keeps your body and mind adequately fueled, but it also helps to curb cravings and the need to binge. Starving yourself may seem like a great option, but running on empty will only make you feel weak and ultimately, feed the desire to eat the things that you should probably be saving for a treat. There’s no need to deprive yourself, as long as you maintain a healthy balance between good food and that giant cake. There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a treat, but make sure you are including the right kinds of food in your diet more often than not. And be sure to eat breakfast, there’s a reason why our mothers and their mothers all said it’s the most important meal of the day.
Keeping yourself hydrated is vital. You can still enjoy other beverages, but it’s important to have a higher ratio of water drinking to any other kinds of liquids that you consume. If you’re a compulsive soda drinker, every time you feel like a drink force yourself to have a glass of water instead. It’ll take a bit of practice but once you tip the scales and start drinking more water every day, you’ll start to enjoy it and thirst for it more.
The best for last… but not really. Find something that works for you, something that doesn’t feel like torture or a long hard road to hell, and give it a try. If an exercise routine isn’t for you then simply try to be more active wherever you can—let your muscles feel alive! Take a walk on the beach or in the park instead of sitting in front of TV all weekend, take the stairs if you can or sit and do some weights. If you have a balanced eating plan, exercise will either enhance it or help you maintain your weight. If you need to eat pizza, then balance it out by doing more exercise. Balance, balance, balance!
About the author: Warren Kings writes for Evergreen, a Natural Health Practice store.