You finally decide to lose those excess pounds of body fat. You open your favorite search engine and start looking for the "best weight loss program" or some "magic" pill that will make things much easier for you. You find tons of ads that offer you fast and effortless weight loss in few weeks or even days, and you think, "Wow, that's exactly what I am looking for."
Unfortunately, the chances of finding something that really works are minimal. Why? Because 99% of the weight loss systems or drugs you will find are either potentially dangerous for your health or pure marketing hype. Everybody likes to hear that losing weight is fast and easy, and nobody wants to hear it is a gradual process that requires some effort and discipline. So the self-claimed weight loss "experts" are giving to you exactly what you are looking for - a fast and easy solution for your problem. Unfortunately the easy way is not the way that will lead you to healthy and long-term results. If you want to learn how to detect the hype and the gimmicks you have to understand the basics of weight loss first. So let's start!
Weight loss vs. fat loss
First of all, let's consider the differences between both things: There are many ways to lose weight -losing water weight, losing muscle and bone weight, and losing body fat. In fact, it is very easy to lose "weight." Just start exercising and reduce your water intake and you will lose several pounds in the first few days. When exercising, your body loses a lot of water and because you have stopped drinking liquids, you easily become dehydrated and you will weigh several pounds less. But is this is a long-term and healthy weight loss? Of course not. You will gain back the weight as soon as you restore your normal water intake.
Here is another example: When you go on a diet and cut your calorie intake too much, your body detects the severe calorie deficit and slows down your metabolism. As a result, you stop losing fat (your reserve fuel), and start getting the energy you need from the muscle tissue. The result is decreased body weight, but unfortunately you have lost muscle instead of losing body fat.
As you see, to achieve long-term, natural weight loss you need to burn as much fat as possible with the minimum lean body mass loss.
How exactly fat is burned?
If you are a healthy person, to successfully lose fat you only need to burn more calories than you eat (or drink) while maintaining your metabolism fast. Isn't it simple? In order to achieve this, your calories must come from the proper food sources, such as lean protein (chicken breast, egg whites, seafood, extra-lean red meat), complex carbs (oatmeal, brown rice, whole grains, vegetables, etc.) and "good" fats (olive oil, flaxseeds, fatty fish and cod liver oil). You should also add some kind of cardio exercise to your program, such as walking, jogging or cycling. Keep in mind that cardio is considered the best way to directly burn the fat.
Let's look at an example:
If you burn 2500 kCal and eat about 2000 kCal every day, that is a deficit of 500 kCal. There are 3500 kCal in 1 pound of fat. This means you will be burning 1 pound per week of pure body fat. Surprised? Yes, only 1 pound per week. I know "10 pounds in two days!" sounds much better, but that is far from realistic goal.
Keep in mind that if you cut your calorie intake too much, you will slow down your metabolism, and this is not desirable if your goal is fat loss. This means that "Eat 500 kCal - Burn 2500 kCal - Lose 4 pounds per week" won't work for you.
It's definitely possible to burn fat at faster rates (with proper nutrition and exercise program), even without supplements, but keep in mind that the maximum rate that is considered healthy is 2 pounds per week (if you are extremely overweight, up to 3 pounds per week is fine). Achieving healthy long-term weight loss faster is practically impossible. If you find products or nutrition plans that promise fast weight loss, they probably base their claims on dehydration. You can lose water weight really fast but this is not a real fat loss and can lead to serious health conditions.
You don't need a pill to lose weight. You don't need to starve yourself, to restrict the intake of any macronutrient, or to buy any "miracle" product. You just need to consume fewer calories than you burn, and those should come from good natural food sources. The best way to increase the amount of calories you burn and to create such calorie deficit is to exercise. Mild calorie restriction plus 30 to 40 minutes of intensive cardio exercise every day is the "magic formula" you are looking for and that will make you lose fat like never before.