The US Department of Agriculture report "Profiling Food Consumption in America" states that "Although multiple factors can account for weight gain, the basic cause is an excess of energy intake over energy expenditure." Translation, we gain weight when we eat more calories than we burn.
Part of the weight loss challenge is that too many diets and diet experts spend far too much time tinkering around the edges of the problem by selling ideas that have little effect on real weight loss. They promote dieting, intense exercise, pills, supplements and shots. All to no avail.
There is a simple fact that cannot be avoided. To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you expend. Nothing else will work.
If you're serious about losing weight there are some things you must know and truths you must face if you're to be successful.
o Burning more calories than you eat is the ONLY WAY to lose weight. You must burn 3500 calories more than you eat in order to lose 1 pound of body weight.
o It is almost physiologically impossible for the average person to lose more than about 4 pounds of body fat in one week. Even with a Basal Metabolic Rate of 2,500 calories and eating only 500 calories each day, it would only be possible to lose 14,000 calories per week, that's 4 pounds. Exercising on top of that or staying on that diet for very long would be virtually impossible for most people.
o Any diet that promises 20 pounds of weight loss in 30 days is talking mainly about losing water weight. To actually lose 20 pounds of body weight in 30 days, a 30 year old, 180 pound woman would have to burn 2,333 calories per day, that's about 233 more than her BMR. That means she would have to spend about an hour on a treadmill every day while eating nothing for an entire month. On a 500 calorie per day diet with no exercise, she could only lose about 12.86 pounds in one month, or about 3 pounds per week.
o There is no pill, product or diet on the market that can significantly increase the number of calories you burn without reducing how much you eat.
Weight loss can only be accomplished by retaining fewer calories than you eat and there are only two ways to do that. You can reduce how much you eat or you can burn off some of those calories through exercise. There is nothing else that will produce weight loss.
So if you are a typical young woman and believe you can lose 20 pounds of fat in one month, here's what you need to do. Just exercise for one hour every day and eat nothing for the entire month. That's right - eat nothing. Go ahead, try it.