I've been fortunate to work with a lot of people in the gym over the years. While many have wanted to reshape their bodies or improve their fitness and conditioning, most really just wanted to lose some weight. So how do you do it?
At this point, there are really just two approaches. You can either add some activity to your day (exercise), or you have to start watching what you eat (diet).
I've seen people get decent results with either, although it's not automatic. You have to be pretty good at it, and you have to be very disciplined. Miss a day of working out, or have a bad day with your diet, and you can easily undo the progress made the day before.
But the best results always come when people attack it from both ends. By adding activity AND watching what they eat. Here's where you have substantial power for change.
By using both strategies, you can slip a little in one area without it costing you too much. You can miss a few workouts, but if you're on it with your diet, it won't set you back too much. In fact, you can still make progress.
On the flip side, if you have a bad day with your diet but you're nailing your workouts, you're also insulated from disaster. You may not lose any weight that week, but you won't necessarily gain any either. You'll keep even.
That's why I believe the best approach is to go ahead and overhaul both areas. You don't have to be perfect at either, but you can still get good results. And if you can get good at both, watch out. You're on your way to becoming a weight loss warrior!
This approach has worked well for our latest Biggest Loser, Mark Clark. He really dialed in his diet early on and lost quite a bit of weight. Then after losing only 2 1/2 lbs last week, he doubled down on his workouts this week, even "jogging a little bit."
It worked, because he was our Week Eight winner, losing an amazing 8.0 lbs and 2.7% of his body weight. This brought his eight week total to 36.0 lbs. What's even more impressive is that he joined us in Week Two, missing the whole first week. Mark has lost 36 lbs in just 7 weeks. Now that's the way you do it!