Experts agree that there is no single best way to diet. However, in order to lose weight, it’s proven that you need to take in fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis. When you consume more calories than you need, your body stores the additional energy as fat. You can determine your estimated caloric needs using this nifty tool.
Sounds simple, huh?
Well, for most people, it's not that easy. Weight gain happens overtime even without overeating.
Watch the video on the right to learn why losing weight is more than just basic arithmetic.
With all the complexities of weight loss in mind, I'm sure you've heard the rudimentary theory about calories-in-calories-out before. It, the theory, is not actually a theory at all. It's 100% accurate and scientifically documented. Maybe not what you wanted to read, but let me prove it to you once and for all. We will then uncover what researchers have deemed are the most effective ways for you to lose weight now and keep it off.
The proof is in their scientifically significant numbers, not the pudding.
First, let’s define a calorie.
In layman’s terms, it’s essentially the basic measurement of the energy a food holds. One pound of fat on your hips or anywhere else on your body is equivalent to 3500 stored calories. Thus, in order for you to lose a pound, you need to put your body into a 3500 calorie deficit.
The best way to lose that pound in one week?
Implement manageable weight loss by taking in 250-500 calories below your maintenance level and burn an addition 250 calories daily with movement.
In other words, combining manageable nutrition changes (a diet that you can stick with) in combination with realistic exercise routines is the most effective or best way to lose weight now and in the long-haul according to research.
As stated above, there is no single best diet to lose weight. Finding a good plan really depends and should be based on what works best for your particular lifestyle and preferences. There's been countless studies on different diet types (for example, low carb vs. low fat, vs Mediterranean) attempting to determine which is best. And guess what; there is not one evident winner. Why? Because calories and behavioral changes are the true factors that lead to loss of weight. All the different diet plans work for one simple reason; a reduction in overall calories.
So, if they can all work for you, what’s the damage in trying something new like the high protein plan? These theme diets teach you the wrong facts about why you are losing weight. Misleading really and very frustrating for all us fitness pros and nutritionists that attempt to tell you otherwise. Don't be brainwashed into thinking otherwise no matter what your Aunt that lost 100 pounds tells or tries to sell you.
Based on the research finding, the most effective ways to lose weight are to:
1. Find a diet plan that you can consistently stick with.
2. Burn more calories than you take in regardless of foods eaten or diet type. You are losing weight for this reason only: less calories in (eating), more calories out (burning)!
3. Combine the two suggestions above with regular exercise.
Exercise, the third suggestion, should not be overlooked no matter how busy you are or how well your diet plan is going. Here's one study of many about why it made the list of the best ways to lose weight.
A study conducted by the Cancer Research Center determined that exercise coupled with diet was correlated with more weight loss in pre menopausal women. It may not be the easiest way to lose weight, but exercise will make your efforts a lot more successful than just diet or exercise alone. Check out the numbers below.
Weight Loss & Exercise
The exercise only group lost 2.4 % of their starting weight (averaging 4.4 pounds). The diet only subjects shed 8.5 % of their starting weight (15.8 pounds). The exercise plus diet peeps dropped 10.8 % of their starting weight (19.8 pounds).
This study gives further support that the “best bang for your butt” is by mixing together a diet plan and exercise regimen that you can manage and stick with. You don’t need to go cardio mad. Start slowly and increase your exercise daily for realistic results. A little bit of exercise can help the entire process of weight loss and even may facilitate new behaviors that can benefit you for years to come.
Matthew Johnson (Google+) is a certified personal trainer, nutrition expert and an on-line fitness consultant that started ChangingShape.com back in 2001.