There’s LOTS of information out there about how you can lose weight, which diet you should use, and what foods you need to eat. And many of the diets are great – I’ve tried some of them myself.
But the simple truth is that how you can lose weight is very simple.
Not to get off topic here, but I’m the kind of guy who will skim an article or book before reading it to see if it’s worth my time. I like to get the information quickly and without a lot of fluff. I appreciate it when people get right down to it and say what they mean.
For that reason I’m gonna be blunt – I mean really stupidly blunt because it really is just plain simple.
I know it flies in the face of what you might have thought or what the different fad diets say.
But trust me – all the different diets or ways of eating all come down to one thing:
Truth #1: Calories IN vs Calories OUT
It’s that easy – you need to take in fewer calories than you use throughout the day, otherwise you’re going to gain or maintain weight.
Now there’s a lot of nuances to that statement, because in the long term, you will still need to get your calories from a healthy source. But if you wanted to (for a stunt), ONLY eat twinkies or Big Mac’s as your SOLE food source, you could STILL LOSE WEIGHT.
In the long term your body will start to suffer because you’re not giving it all the nutrients and minerals you need to maintain your health. But could lose weight eating junk food.
So long as the calories consumed was less than the calories used.
Truth #2: It takes Time
Losing weight needs to be done slowly – and over time. Not “15 pounds in 3 weeks” kind of thing. If you want to change your overall health, you need to adopt new ways of eating. You need to redefine in your head, heart, and body how much and what kinds of foods should be going in your body.
This will take time!
Be patient and let it happen gradually.
Truth #3: You CAN eat what you love
I’ll be brutally honest with you – if you stop eating those Twinkies or Big Macs cold turkey, you’re gonna fail at keeping this weight off. You might be able to lose those 15 lbs initially, but once you’re off your “diet” you’re gonna gain all that weight right back – and possibly more so.
You just need to moderate how much and how often you’re eating those “reward foods.”
Truth #4 Weight-loss isn’t a straight line.
I have had my Hyundai Sonata for about 10 years now, and although I love it, and it still runs great, I wanted something new and got better gas mileage. I started looking at all sorts of cars from Mustangs to Hybrids. When you get in a car there’s that “new car smell” that hits you. From there, I kinda feel how the seat fits my body – you kinda wiggle in the seat, getting the fit. Then the hands go on the wheel – you tighten up your hands and grip the wheel imagining what it’ll feel like driving it. The salesman usually asks you if you’d like to take it for a drive, which if you do, you’re probably going to get on a freeway so you can see how it’ll accelerate in traffic. When you get on the ramp for the highway, your foot hits the floor, and the engine roars to life. You feel your body pressed into the seat even more as the car accelerates from 1st to 2nd, then to 3rd and finally into 4th and 5th. That first feeling of acceleration slowly slows to a light feeling of movement as you get up to highway speeds. When you’re in 1st gear, you’re accelerating so fast, its like being shot from a cannon – but by the time you’re in 5th gear, your acceleration isn’t so noticeable, but you’re still speeding up.
Losing fat is a lot like that – you’re going to lose a lot right off the bat from when you start making life changes, and as you reach lower and lower body fat it’ll be a slower pace of fat loss. And let’s be clear – you’re wanting to lose fat, not muscle here…so it’s not just “weight loss” we’re talking about. You’re going to be gaining muscle and losing fat as you progress, so your overall weight may not change *that* much.
The truth is the more out of shape and overweight you are, the more dramatic and fast your fat loss goals will be achieved.
It’s that simple
Truth #5 supplements won’t help you
OK, I know there’s all sorts of supplements out there that make fantastic claims – and some of them may work (sort of), but most are just complete crap, mostly filled with caffeine and other nasty drugs. Many of the popular weight loss supplements are simply stimulants – they make your body work overtime. They will keep you more active and for a longer period of time than you normally would be otherwise, but they don’t burn the fat themselves.
And as for these “cremes”…don’t get me started! No creme in the world will get rid of your fat from a specific part of your body. Fat loss is all over – you don’t get to target if it’s your hips, or love handles, folks.
It’s everywhere or nowhere.
And no supplement in the world is going to help you lower your caloric intake and/or increase your metabolic rate. There are some studies that suggest capsaicin (found in cayenne pepper) and caffeine can increase your resting metabolism by a fraction (i.e. about 50 calories a day!).
But let’s face it, that tiny amount is far easier achieved (and cheaper) by consuming one HALF TABLESPOON of oil a day. That’s easy – and you can take the $50/month you’ll save and use it toward a kickass gym membership! Or a nice date with your loved one (just order the grilled chicken, instead of the fried stuff!).
Truth #6 eating lots of small meals isn’t always good
Growing up, we were all told a few things about quantities and timing of meals. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” or “3 square meals” or “3 hots and a cot” (if you were in the army). Now the biggest thing is that you’re supposed to have 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day – that it’s a more balanced way to have energy. Some people are also (myself included) fond of Intermittent Fasting (basically eating your meals within an 8 hour window).
The truth is that no particular way of eating is going to be perfect for everyone. Your body, lifestyle, schedule, social activities, and upbringing all will impact what is going to be best for you. There’s no magic bullet that is going to allow you to lose fat because of your eating habits EXCEPT EATING FEWER CALORIES. No matter how many meals you consume in the day, or the types of food (gluten, gluten-free, keto, vegetarian, whatever), it all comes down to calories in vs. calories out.
Truth #7 healthy natural fat-free all-natural foods are good for you
Many people buy into the idea that something with the word “all natural” or “Fat-Free” in the title means that it’s alright to eat. There’s lots of reasons to be eating things that say “All Natural” or “Fat-Free” in the title. But many of those titles are simply marketing – nothing really healthy about them.