How to Lose Weight

The goal of this website is to help you lose weight the easy way, which also happens to be the best way. And the only way to do that is by following the principles of weight loss outlined below, and adhering to our easy diet plan. Before you read on, I recommend understanding the very important difference between body weight and body fat.

Best Diet for Fat Loss

There are two ways you can go about starting The Easy Diet. Like breaking any bad habit (think of it like quitting smoking), either you can gradually transition out of your current lifestyle to a healthier one, or you can make an abrupt switch. Pick whichever one works best for your personality type and will be sustainable for you over your fat loss timeline. Personally I quit smoking, drinking, and my poor eating habits all in one day (June 26, 2010), and have never looked back – but that’s because I have an obsessive personality and this works better for me. For some people, going ‘cold turkey’ inevitably results in them ‘falling off the wagon’ so choose wisely. Only you can decide which option will work best for you.

Neither option is better or worse than the other. Remember, this is not a temporary fad diet, it’s a permanent lifestyle change and you want to make sure you are mentally and physically ready to adopt this new lifestyle to achieve and maintain your fat loss goals.

Essential Rules of Fat Loss

There is so much misinformation about fat loss out there so I have compiled the following essential rules for you. Live by these rules and forget everything else. There is literally nothing else you need to do, as long as you follow these rules.

1. Know your daily caloric burn – before you do anything else, you have to know how many calories your body burns in a day. You can do this by following steps 1 and 2 of The Easy Diet. As I’ve mentioned before, there are some things that can impact your daily caloric burn and whenever any of these things changes, you’ll have to do the calculation again. Your height, weight, age, and gender all impact your BMR and your activity level impacts your Harris-Benedict multiplier. For example, as you lose weight, your BMR will go down because your body will require fewer calories to maintain itself. Account for every little change and do it frequently because small deviations or estimation errors can add up over time.

2. Calculate your daily caloric goal – Simply take the number you calculated above (your daily caloric burn) and subtract 300 calories from that to arrive at your daily calorie consumption goal. For example, if you burn 2500 calories in a day, you should aim to consume 2200 calories a day for an ideal fat loss diet.

I could just stop here. That is almost all it takes for you to lose weight. The next few steps will 1) make sure you lose weight from fat and not muscle, and 2) will help you mentally and emotionally cope with your weight loss journey.

3. Monitor your macronutrient requirements – There are three macronutrients and you need to make sure you get the right amount of each in your diet. These macronutrients are Carbohydrate (which provides 4 calories per gram), Protein (which provides 4 calories per gram) and Fat (which provide 9 calories per gram). Each of these is essential and any diet that tells you otherwise should be avoided. A standard goal should be to have a 40:40:20 ratio of Carbohydrate to Protein to Fat. So a 2000 calorie diet should have 800 calories (200 grams) of Carbs, 800 calories (200 grams) of Protein, and 400 calories (44.5 grams) of Fat. Minor deviations from this are perfectly fine as long as you don’t go over your daily caloric goal. You can learn more about this in our guide to essential macronutrients and by taking a look at our list of low-glycemic foods.

4. Plot your weight every week – Weight loss should be a gradual process. Know that there are no shortcuts and the only way to be successful is to do it correctly the first time. If you maintain a daily caloric deficit of 300 calories and monitor your macronutrient requirements, you will lose approximately 1 lb of fat every 12 days. This means even a relatively small weight loss of 5 lb should take you 2 months. This may not seem like a lot in numerical terms, but keep in mind that our process will ensure that your weight loss is coming entirely from fat while maintaining the  muscle mass you have. A 5 lb fat loss is monumentally more significant than 5 lb of weight loss. Losing weight at a gradual pace can mean that physical changes wont be immediately obvious to you so it’s a good idea to plot your weight over time to keep you sane and keep you on track. Numbers don’t lie, so even if you can’t see a change in your body (by looking in a mirror or comparing before and after photos) but you see the numbers going down, keep doing what you’re doing and with time you’ll notice the changes eventually. Again, this is also where your support group will come handy.

5. Make a weight loss timeline – it helps to chart out your weight loss journey ahead of time. That way you can constantly stop yourself from worrying about not losing consistently or enough. If you follow all the previous steps there is no way you will not achieve your fat loss goals within this timeline. Follow the previous steps, make the calculations, plot your numbers, and create a weight loss timeline. This way you know what to expect and when to expect it and you wont be tempted or discouraged. Have faith in the system. It works.

Additional Rule of Fat Loss

In addition to the essential rules of fat loss, I follow this rule that has changed my life and lifestyle completely.

6. Cook your own meals – as often as you can, buy, measure, and prepare your own food. This accomplishes several important things for me. Most importantly, if I only eat what I cook, I can force myself to only purchase nutritionally dense ingredients that will help me maintain my macronutrient requirements and daily caloric goals. When you measure and plate your own food, you can make sure you are correctly calculating serving sizes, as opposed to restaurant servings which are often 2-3 times larger.  Also, I’ve noticed the more closely I follow this rule, the more predictable my grocery list is, and the lower my grocery bill is. You don’t have to be Top Chef, just learn how to cook a few basic but delicious meals. I can make myself a 600 calorie breakfast, and a few different but basic 900 calorie lunches and dinners. This way I know that 600 calories + 900 calories + 900 calories = 2400 calories every time and don’t overindulge (or eat too little) for any meal. Similarly, I’ve noted the macronutrient totals for each of my meals so I can mix and match without missing my macro requirements.

Diet Versus Exercise for Fat Loss

Once you understand that fat loss is simply a result of burning more calories than you consume, and that you need to burn 3,500 calories to get rid of 1 lb of fat, the question (should you focus on diet or exercise) will become a lot easier to answer. If it’s easier for you to reduce 300 calories from your diet per day, you’ll lose 1 lb of fat every 12 days while maintaining muscle mass. Alternatively, you could keep your diet the same but burn 300 calories from exercise and achieve similar results. There are some differences between the two but the minutiae is inconsequential for beginners or people with large amounts of fat to lose. Do whichever is easier and more convenient for you – for most people it’s controlling their diet.

If you have significant weight to lose, it is advisable to not start an exercise regimen till you’ve gotten your weight down to a more manageable level. In the meantime, you can focus on stretching and yoga, both of which will help you gain flexibility and improve your mobility, reducing the chances of injury when you eventually start an exercise program. Think about it – do you want to be pounding the pavement when you’re carrying an extra 40 lb of fat? Why not get rid of the excess baggage first? If you absolutely must exercise, focus on no-impact exercises to minimize stress on your joints.