I have been working on my overall health and wellness for over four years, and every week I see this question get asked in some sort of variation: "Do you have any recommendations on how to speed up or give my body a kick start on weight loss?"
Yes, I do. And it doesn't involve any crafty or highly marketed detox smoothies or juices.
So save your $200-or donate $200 to me here- pull your phone out, and download the most well-known FREE tracking application--MyFitnessPal.
Whenever someone asks for a quick and easy way to lose weight, I think they already know the answer: Diet & Exercise.
Diet because you need to take in fewer calories (but above your BMR), and exercise because activity will rev up the metabolism and use the calories creating an even more massive caloric deficit. BMR + Activity = Total Daily Energy Expenditure
But not everyone wants to put in the effort of diet & exercise, hence why they'll pay $200+ for some easy resolve with a juice cleanse. However, those 7 to 9 to 12 days you're on the juice cleanse, do you know what's happening?
You're creating a caloric deficit. -As a result, you'll lose weight.
But what happens after those two weeks of calorie restriction and you're back on your regular diet?
You're creating a caloric surplus. -As a result, you'll gain weight.
This applies to almost every restrictive diet plan that works at first and then doesn't the moment you're off of it- such as Keto. By removing carbohydrates from your diet, you immediately create a caloric deficit so the weight will be lost. Plus with a high-fat diet, you're messing with your hormonal balance, so there's that added part to it as well. Yes, Keto works, but once you're off of it and back to your regular eating habits the weight will return.
You gain weight in a surplus and lose weight in a deficit. But beware, you can't be in long-term deficit without crashing your metabolism. More on that later in the post.
When it comes to diet, if it's healthy and balanced, and you're entirely against working out and being active, as long as you're eating slightly above your BMR (basal metabolic rate) you should manage to lose weight.
Your BMR is your body's metabolism at rest, the bare minimum to keep you alive. When you digest food, you use calories too and what you eat has a thermic effect on your body (TEF). So yes, if you eat quality foods with a high thermic effect, you could potentially lose weight without exercise.
But keep in mind, the body does eventually adapt to caloric intake because your metabolism is a chemical process in your body to try and keep you alive. So if you're continually eating at 1200 calories, over time, your body will adapt to functioning only on 1200 calories which means, you have tanked your metabolism. Because to lose weight you'll need to eat only 1000 calories, and then eventually your body adapts to that 1000, and basically, you need fuel to survive.
But if you are a fan of food, and are looking to lose weight, a simple resolution would be to incorporate weight training to build muscle. Because the more muscle mass you have, the higher your BMR is, and the more calories it takes to keep you functioning daily.
Unfortunately cardio does not build muscle mass, so cardio doesn't improve your BMR, but by doing both cardio and weight training, you can improve muscle mass while expending calories in your cardio activity. Which means you can eat a ton of food and not put on weight. But balance is key.
So to answer a common question about weight loss, if you want to lose weight, you need to eat less than you burn. If you're looking to maintain your weight, you need to eat what you burn. And lastly, if you want to gain weight, you need to eat more than you burn.