How To Lose Weight

Today I’m going to cover the important principles behind how to lose weight and make it perfectly clear what you need to do to be successful.

Some of what I talk about here will be a reminder for some of you, especially if you’ve been following my running and weight loss tips for a while…

But I want to make sure that you ALL have a good understanding about how to lose weight, what you’re trying to achieve, and how it should be done.

This is important because you need to be crystal clear with these things before you go after it and try to get it. Misunderstand what you need and do and you’re likely to waste months or even years doing things that don’t get you the results you want.

The problem though is this…

There’s so much information out there about all the different weight loss products and different ways of losing weight that it’s easy to get confused and forget about the important things or miss them altogether.

That’s why many people struggle to lose weight for years or regain the weight they’ve lost.

They’re just not following the principles that work and are very often distracted by what doesn’t work and the promise of quick results.

The formula for losing weight is very simple…

To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume.

Now there are other factors that affect how much weight you lose such as the speed of your metabolism, what types of food you consume, and your genetics. However, these are fairly insignificant in comparison.

Burn more calories than you consume and you will be successful at losing weight.

Here’s a summary of what you need to know…

  • If calories consumed is greater than calories burned = Gaining weight
  • If calories consumed is equal to calories burned = Maintaining weight
  • If calories consumed is less than calories burned = Losing weight

Obviously we’re looking to achieve the last one…

But how do you consume fewer calories than you burn?

Well it all comes down to 2 factors which are nutrition and exercise. Good nutrition reduces the number of calories consumed while exercise increases the number of calories burned.

The more effective your nutrition and exercise, the easier it is to lose weight, and the easier it is to keep the weight off.

How to reduce the number of calories you consume

The most frequently used way to reduce the number of calories you consume is to go on a diet.

The problem with diets is that they don’t usually work because they’re used as a short term fix. So while you may lose some weight initially, you end up putting it all back on when you return to your normal lifestyle.

Yes, diets can be used to cut back on calories and help you lose some weight in the short term but you need more than that. Plus, you don’t want to feel like you’re on a diet all your life.

The best option is to develop a healthy diet due to better nutrition which means having a balanced and varied diet. That way you can still eat plenty of food and enjoy your food but you don’t consume too many calories in the process.

By doing this you can also maintain your healthy eating habits which helps you achieve long term weight loss success.

How to increase the number of calories you burn

A lot of people try to lose weight by only reducing the number of calories they consume. The problem with this is that they miss the vital exercise component which plays such a huge part in helping you lose weight and keep it off.

Exercise adds to the calories burned side of the weight loss equation, but it also helps you maintain more muscle while losing weight from fat. This is extremely important for long term weight loss success.

The more muscle you can maintain while losing weight from fat, the higher your metabolism will be after you’ve lost the weight. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat.

This means you can reach your desired weight and still be able to consume plenty of calories without putting the weight back on.

On the other hand, if you lose weight from both muscle and fat then you can still lose the same weight, but you’ll need to maintain a lower calorie diet to keep the weight off.

To increase the number of calories you burn you should also use exercise methods that burn lots of calories. By choosing running you’re already on the right track with this.

To burn the most calories though you also need to exercise in the right manner and improve your fitness and running ability as quickly as possible. That’s why having a good training plan and using good training strategies are important.

Just to summarise the main points…

Burn more calories than you consume and you will be successful at losing weight.

Use a combination of healthy diet and high quality exercise to get the best weight loss results…

Results that you’re happy with now, and also results that will last for the rest of your life.


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2 Responses to How To Lose Weight

  1. Rebecca says:

    Hello James, Thank you for this blog! I have heard much about burning more calories then I consume. But if I am eating..lets say 1500 calories a day, do I need to burn 1501 calories? What I always thought about this was…How much time do I need to spend on exercise? How can I cut my calories in half and exercise? Maybe I m not getting it. I hear calories in calories out…it scares me. I know how fast I can eat 100 in one cookie..but to burn 100 is hard for me. I have two small boys and I dont see how I can fit this in. I dont know how to calculate the calories I do burn. I really hope I am not making excuses, because I am tired of them now. I want to do this. I want to do it now and right. Thank you.

    • James says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      To lose one pound of fat per week you need to burn around 500 calories more than you consume each day.

      A good way to do this at the start is to improve your diet while adding some exercise. For example, if you normally consume 2000 calories per day and also burn 2000 calories per day, then you could trim 250 calories from your diet and burn an extra 250 calories through exercise.

      Then you’d be consuming 1750 calories per day but burning 2250 calories.

      Don’t cut the number of calories that you consume too far though because your body would try to conserve energy and you wouldn’t burn as many calories.

      Calculating the calories that you burn depends on your metabolic rate and your exercise which have quite a few variables. It would be too detailed to include here but if you are interested it is all explained in my eBooks and running programs.

      I hope this helps Rebecca and all the best with your running and weight loss.