Over the past two years, I’ve been able to enjoy a steady pattern of weight loss. It’s been amazing. I’ve never been (at least that I can remember) very skinny, and for a long time had simply given up hope that I’d be able to be what I considered to be skinny. However, I’ve finally been able to conquer that. And let me tell you, it’s pretty stellar.

Diet & Exercise… Imagine that!

What’s most exciting is that I’ve been able to maintain a healthy, slow, steady pattern of weight loss. And guess how I achieved it? You guessed it… The time-proven “diet and exercise” that we’ve all heard so much about. You see, in my high-school health class I learned something that’s helped me a lot. I’m not 100 percent sure that it’s totally accurate, but it sure seems to make sense. It was this:

The only way to really lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn.

It sounds a lot like financial advice about which I’ve heard so much – all you need do is spend less money than you earn. And you’re set.

The exact same thing applies to losing weight. So, my solution has been simple – eat fewer calories in a day than I burn in that day. Now, of course, doing this requires some guesswork. It’s impossible to know exactly how many calories we burn or consume in a day… But we can get a pretty good idea. My method has been tracking what I eat and do.

Start a Diet – A Simple, Basic Diet

With dieting, I’ve been greatly helped by technology. Livestrong.com – a site centered on health – provides a powerful, free calorie tracker on their site. It’s easy enough to use, and once you’re in the habit of tracking your calories, weight loss becomes something rather straightforward, if not entirely easy.

The important thing is to watch nutrition facts and track everything you eat. I know, it seems extreme… But otherwise you’ll never know how many calories you take in. Really. But if you get in the habit of tracking everything – whether on paper or by using technology- you’ll know exactly how much you’re eating and how much more you can eat in any one day.

Exercise

Setting up an exercise routine (and having someone with whom I can exercise) has been very helpful as well. Though it is still definitely possible to lose weight without exercise, it’s certainly more difficult. Exercise helps burn more calories (which in turn allows you to eat more), build muscle, burn fat, etc. But you already knew that.

Now, I admit, exercising all the time can be difficult. But setting up a routine and sticking to it (use technology to help with that, too… Like having your phone remind you when to exercise) can prove incredibly helpful. I personally find that early in the morning helps me out all day. I work out first thing, then shower and get on with the day.

All Together Now!

To get started, you need to calculate approx. how many calories you need to eat in a given day. Many online resources can help with this. They’ll all give slightly different answers, but as long as it’s a trusted source, you should be okay. Then, track what you eat and what you do, and eat the appropriate number of calories. It’s that simple. Now, it takes some time and effort to get into the groove, but once you’re there, it’s great. And entirely feasible.

Now, at least, I’ve said what works for me. It won’t work for everyone. But I’ve found it to be simple and straightforward enough to follow, and it’s sure worked. Plus, it feels great.