If you are reading this expecting for a miracle solution or a short cut, then you are going to be extremely disappointed! Unlike what many medical companies will try to sell out, the only way to lose weight is through a long-term lifestyle management plan where an appropriate diet is followed and exercise is performed regularly.
Many people want to lose weight for many different reasons including health issues, to improve performance in a sport, or to compete in a specific weight category like judo or Olympic weightlifting. However, many find it hard to drop and maintain weight. This is due mainly to inappropriate practices such as following the latest fads (that often do more harm than good) or cutting down food completely. While starving yourself will indeed help you lose weight on the short-term, most of it will mainly be muscle tissue. Muscle is like our calorie-burning factory as they take up a lot of calories just to maintain, increasing our metabolism (the number of calories the body burns during rest to keep it properly functioning). Thus, reducing the size of the muscles will reduce the number of calories you burn daily, increasing the chances of getting the weight back on immediately once you start eating again. This phenomenon is called yo-yo dieting. Weight has to be dropped safely. Rapidly dropping weight can have serious consequences both on health and performance.
Lifestyle management is the key too long term weight management. To lose weight, all that is needed is to burn more calories than you consume, creating a negative energy balance. There are no miracle diets. By increasing the number of calories burnt daily through physical activity and monitoring the calorie intake, we can easily achieve this negative balance and lose weight. If however, the energy intake is bigger than the number of calories burnt, you will instead gain weight. Consuming the same amount of calories as the body’s energy expenditure will create an energy balance and no weight is gained or lost.
Energy balance: Energy intake = Energy expenditure
Positive Energy balance: Energy intake > Energy expenditure
Energy balance: Energy intake < Energy expenditure
(< = less than; > = more than)
Your goal is to reduce body fat percentage whilst maintaining (or possibly increasing) body muscle percentage through a good nutritious plan and training programme. This will keep your metabolism spiked up, maximising the fat burning process.
There is no scientific evidence demonstrating supplement benefits on weight loss and some even have potential side effects (Ríos-Hoyo & Guitiérrez-Salmeán, 2016)
Ríos-Hoyo, A., & Gutiérrez-Salmeán, G. (2016). New dietary supplements for obesity: What we currently know. Current obesity reports, 5(2), 262-270.
Thanks for reading, and as always stay fit!