The secret to weight loss is like the fountain of youth: everyone wants to find it but in reality there is no such thing. Weight loss is dependent on a solid exercise routine as well as a proper diet. If you’re doing both, you will lose weight. There’s no need to look for an expensive plan that promises to give you the secret or unlock a hidden door because all the information is out there in the open for you to see.

Weight Loss Equation

A lot of people have a hard time losing weight, not because it’s impossible, but because they don’t know how. They try special diets, take herbal supplements and wonder why they aren’t losing any weight. If you want the “secret to weight loss” which should actually be called the main rule to losing weight, look no further than this equation: calories eaten should be less than calories burned. If you plan your diet and exercise around this basic principle, you will lose weight.

The equation has two sides: amount you 1) eat and 2) burn. When losing weight, you need to increase the amount of calories you burn (exercise) while decreasing the amount you eat (diet). For the quickest results, use both sides of the equation at the same time: exercise and cut calories.

Calorie Expenditure

Your first step is to find out how many calories you actually burn. Once you know this number, you’ll get an idea of how much to eat and how much to increase your exercise level by. You can figure out how many calories you burn by using equations that estimate this using your height, weight, age and activity level. The Calorie Calculator will do this for you. Make sure to play around with your activity level and see how much you need to exercise. The higher your activity level, the more you will be able to eat while still losing weight.

Calorie Intake

After you figure out how many calories you burn, start counting your calories to make sure you eat less. Only by eating less will your body be forced to draw on its fat stores for energy which will cause weight loss. Losing weight also requires exercise. You can technically lose weight by dieting alone but it will be a lot harder. Exercising burns calories which lets you eat a bit more comfortably while maintaining your weight loss.

Exercise

Remember the more you exercise, the quicker the weight will come off. This doesn’t mean you should exercise everyday because your body won’t be able to handle it. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, start your routine slowly by exercising 3x per week for the first 2-3 weeks. You can then increase it to 4x a week and when you feel ready, 5x per week. You need to combine cardiovascular exercise that burns calories with strength training that builds muscle. Building muscle speeds up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories at rest, further increasing your weight loss.

The Bottom Line

There is nothing secret about losing weight. If you stay on the path of calorie restriction and physical activity, the weight will come off. There is no magic pill, quick diet or any “secret” that will get you there quickly with no effort.

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