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What are the Different Ways to Lose Weight?

By Tara Barnett
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are many different ways to lose weight, but most people who are interested in losing weight are interested in decreasing the amount of fat in their bodies or becoming more healthy in general. All ways of losing weight involve burning more calories than a person eats, which typically means making conscientious choices in diet and adding exercise to one's schedule. Many diets and exercise programs claim to have a special or unique program that promotes faster weight loss, but most of these programs are simply elaborate versions of the formula above.

Even though many people claim otherwise, there are no quick ways to lose weight. One's weight can fluctuate slightly depending on what one has eaten or drunk recently, so some diets can give the illusion of rapid weight loss. Most people cannot and should not lose more than 2 pounds every week. If one is interested in losing weight through the surgical removal of adipose tissue, it is possible to lose more weight than this at once. In general, it is best to try losing weight naturally first.

The basic strategy behind most ways to lose weight is to change one's diet and to increase the amount of exercise one does. Changes in diet may be relatively simple and may include eating smaller portions, eating more vegetables, or even just giving up one kind of food or drink that is highly caloric, such as beer or soda. Exercise need not be exercise at a gym and may involve simple changes like walking to work, taking the stairs more often, or gardening. Minor changes when monitored closely can yield large results.

Sometimes this basic strategy of weight loss can be supplemented in other ways. Some people believe that certain medications can help with weight loss, either by reducing hunger cravings or increasing metabolism. Another common strategy is to time eating in certain ways to change what the body will be doing when the food is being processed. Most of the time, people who need help losing weight want help maintaining the will power to make basic lifestyle changes, which can be accomplished through dieting programs, clubs, or support groups.

Weight loss is not always synonymous with health or thinness. For instance, an unfit person can actually gain weight or stay at the same weight by getting fit because of the weight of muscle. Certainly, there are many ways to lose weight that are downright dangerous, such as anorexia, bulimia, or drug abuse. The best ways to lose weight are always healthy and sustainable changes to living habits that result in gradual but long-term changes.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Laotionne — On Jun 19, 2014

One of my favorite aunts was really overweight. I guess she would have been called obese if you go by the definition. Anyway, she had been that way for about 15 years. There was no medical reason why she gained all the weight. She started putting it on gradually at first, and then over the years it got to be a problem that she couldn't control.

She tried a lot of those lose-weight-fast fad diets over the years. From time to time, she would get motivated and start doing exercises to lose weight, and there were times when she seemed to be headed in the right direction, but she always abandoned her diets and exercise routines, and she would put on even more weight.

She was so frustrated and depressed until her doctor suggested she consider surgery. I know surgery shouldn't be your first choice, but it worked for my aunt. She is no longer overweight and she is so much happier with herself.

By Sporkasia — On Jun 18, 2014

This article makes two points that I think everyone who is trying to gain or lose weight should understand. Please read the first paragraph carefully so you will understand that losing weight is a simple formula: burn more calories than you take in. That's what it takes. Once you understand this you will be less likely to fall for all of these expensive quick-fix diets that you don't really need.

Another great point this article makes is that you don't have to go to a gym and lift weights or take exercise classes to burn calories. If you enjoy doing those things then you should do them, but if you're like me you can find more enjoyable ways to burn calories. Find a physical activity you enjoy and that way you will stick with it, and that should help you lose weight. Just remember you have to burn more than you take in.

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