The Only 2 Things You Need for Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, there are only 2 things you have to get right.
If you’re looking for answers that lie outside the bounds of either one of these two things, you’re just wasting your time (and probably a lot of money).
What I’m about to tell you is simple. So simple, in fact, that a good percentage of the people who read this will shrug it off and try something more complicated just because it “feels” like that’s what they’re supposed to do.
But not you.
You’re done with extreme diets and intense workouts that only give you temporary results at best. You’re ready for something more realistic that will last a lifetime. You’re ready to work on what’s necessary to get the job done and leave all the trivial nonsense behind.
There are 2 things you’ll need to do.
We’ll call her Ashley. Her real name is Chloe, but for the sake of her privacy I’m not going to tell you that (lol, ok that’s obviously not her real name either).
Ashley came to us because she thought she was already doing what she was supposed to in order to lose weight, but it wasn’t working.
She had tried several “brand name” diets, and even had seen some success in the past, but now things were different.
Part of the problem was that those diets just weren’t practical for her life now. I mean, if we’re being honest, they hadn’t been very realistic before, either, but she had put up with it then. Now she wanted something else.
The other issue was that even when she was doing some of the same things she had done before — eating healthy foods, not eating out as much, avoiding snacks before bed, working out semi-regularly — none of it seemed to make a difference.
As frustrating as that is, it didn’t come as a surprise to us. Why?
Because Ashley is just a name I pulled out of thin air — this is a story we hear from almost every single person we’ve ever worked with. The details change from person to person, but the big picture is the same.
It all comes down to this fact:
The things you’re doing that you think are “right,” while they may not be bad things (and sometimes they’re even really good things), they aren’t confronting the only 2 factors that will actually cause you to start losing weight.
100% of our clients only see success and start to lose weight more consistently when they make a change to either one of the following two things, or both.
1. Your Portions
You can’t lose weight if you’re eating too much food and/or drinking too many high calorie drinks (I told you this was simple).
The problem is, you can’t just start eating less food.
This is where most diets go wrong… they tell you to eat less of something (like sugar, carbs, dairy, gluten, etc.). This doesn’t give you some science-y advantage to make your body kick-start weight loss.
All it does is put you in a calorie deficit.
That may sound like a good thing — you do need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight — but if it’s the only thing being impacted, it can steal progress from your weight loss goals by making you excessively hungry, causing you to snack (on more food than you even realize) or binge during the evenings or weekends.
On the other hand, some diets swing the pendulum all the way to the other side and tell you that you don’t have to eat less of anything… you just need to add some oddly specific foods to your meal plan (like kombucha, turmeric, ginger, apple cider vinegar, etc.).
Aside from the fact that the “science” behind those types of tips is often murky (at best), it does nothing to ensure that you don’t continue to overeat on everything else.
In other words, neither of these approaches actually helps you find a consistent balance of portions you can stick with through weight loss.
Getting It Right
It all comes down to getting a suitable amount of protein, veggies, carbs, and fats.
Every single one of those categories of foods comes with its own unique set of benefits. You lose those benefits if you start eating too little of any category. That's why, even though most people do tend to eat too many carbs and fats, we don’t recommend making it a goal to simply eat less of them.
Instead, you need to know how many carbs and fats you SHOULD eat each day and do your best to not go over that amount. (It can be helpful to have a range to work with to give you some flexibility.)
Most people also tend to not eat enough protein and veggies. However, unlike diets that tell you exactly what to eat, it’s more important to know how many servings of each category you need and then develop your own list of go-to foods you can use to hit that number (or range) every day.
The exact number of portions you’ll need per day is different from person to person. A decent starting point is to try and get 1-2 servings of each category in every meal.
From there you can base any changes you make on whether you’re staying full (if not, you’ll want to lean toward more protein and veggies), and whether you’re losing weight (if not, you could try dropping a serving of carbs or fats — just make sure you have realistic expectations on how fast you should lose weight).
2. Your Daily Activity
When you change your diet for weight loss, even if you do a really good job with getting your portions right, at some point your body will adapt and cause you to burn less calories throughout the day. This makes it much more difficult to actually lose weight.
For some people, including myself, this adaptation can be pretty drastic and happens right away.
The two solutions are to either eat less portions or intentionally increase your activity. (Sometimes the solution is a combination of both).
Neither option is ALWAYS right or wrong, but the fact is that you can only eat so little before it becomes impractical, unhealthy, and downright miserable. Being intentionally active, at one point or another, becomes an essential tool for losing weight.
The problem is, the thing most people turn to — exercise — isn’t the answer.
Don’t get me wrong, exercise is an important part of HEALTHY weight loss for a number of reasons. It just won’t make as big a dent as you’d think in the number of calories you burn each day.
That means you can work out regularly and still have trouble losing weight!
Getting It Right
One of the main reasons you can’t rely on exercise to help you burn enough calories and start losing weight is because you can’t do it all the time — not without burning out or getting hurt.
In other words, there’s only so active you can be if the only thing you do to stay active is work out.
Since most people struggle to be consistent with exercise as it is, I always recommend working out less frequently (2-3 days per week for most people) and finding other ways to be active the rest of the week. And when I say find other ways, I literally mean:
Do. Whatever. You. Want.
Anything that gets you off your butt and moving around will do the trick.
That means it can be filled with things you enjoy (e.g. playing with your kids, gardening, riding your bike), new hobbies (e.g. croquet, frisbee golf, tennis), other priorities that often get put off (e.g. cleaning out your garage, landscaping, painting), or simply going for a walk (which is something most people can do consistently without too much effort).
Your overall activity level doesn’t have to be crazy high. It just might need to be higher than it is now, and it might have to continue to trend slightly more active the further you get with weight loss. (On a related note, read How to Use a Step Count to Lose Weight.)
Putting It All Together
Losing weight has never been, and never will be, about eating (or avoiding) hyper-specific foods, having a certain number of meals, eating at certain times of day, working out as much as possible (or as hard as possible), or following any specific diet or exercise program.
You have to get your portions right, and you have to be at least somewhat active.
There are a lot of different strategies you can use to make this easier on yourself (and trust me, I’m not saying it’s easy), but if you have trouble losing weight, it will always come down to those two things.
Putting this all together and finding the strategies that help YOU get these things right isn’t something I recommend doing on your own.
Oh, it’s possible. But it’ll take years of guessing, experimenting, trying, and failing before you figure it out. I know because that’s the process everyone goes through when figuring it out on their own. But it’s not your only option.
We can help you skip the headache by:
✅ Showing you exactly how many portions you need each day
✅ Guiding you on exactly how active you need to be
✅ Giving you specific workouts to follow (with video instruction)
✅ Holding you accountable and keeping you motivated
So if you’re ready to start getting things right (right now), check out how our online coaching can help you.