While there are an incredible number of people who embark on their own project to lose some weight every day, the vast majority of them do so without really giving sufficient thought to what is actually going on with their bodies during the process.
Understanding the basics of weight loss is so important to improving your chances of success.
So why do so many people fail to include that small part of the overall big picture, when without it they all too often end up staring failure in the face.
For anyone who is interested in getting that understanding so it will boost their chance of success, here is a concise primer that will explain the foundations of the weight loss process and what you need to realize to make it work.
There are actually only two basic precepts that you need to know about to gain an insight into everything else that revolves around this fascinating process. One is physical and the other, mental.
The Physical Basis of Weight Loss
The physical side to the process of losing excess body mass is very simple indeed. It all boils down to one very simple law, which says that as long as your body burns more calories than it consumes, then you will lose weight.
This may sound like one of the easiest things to understand, but it is surprising just how many people choose to ignore it. You hear more excuses for failure to lose weight that most anything else, but very few of those excuses centre on this fact.
Sugar and Insulin
Of course, there are other factors at work, such as the amount of sugars being consumed and the resulting spike in insulin to deal with it, where insulin is the main hormone responsible for storing glucose in fat calls while suppressing the body's ability to extract sugar from fat cells.
This is something that is often ignored, but keeping insulin levels down by eating less often and avoiding foods high in carbohydrates (which are converted into glucose) can go a long way to maximizing any physical efforts to burn sugar and then stored fat through exercise.
But in essence, the process is quite simple and follows the laws of physics in that you cannot create something out of nothing, meaning that you cannot gain body mass if you don't eat more than your body can process. Here is why.
When you consume food and drink liquids that contain sugars, fats, carbohydrates, protein etc, you are consuming the fuel that your body can convert into energy that it can burn.
Whether you're eating a special diet for a man or for a woman, the body burns that fuel through work, which, for our purposes, is mainly done by the muscles.
The harder the muscles in the body work, the more energy they burn and consequently the more fuel they need to achieve that work. If you consume more fuel than the muscles can use, the excess gets stored for later use, in fat cells around the body.
If, on the other hand, you consume less fuel than the muscles need to use, then the body provides the shortfall from its store of fat cells. When that happens, you will reduce your body mass.
That is the basic physical process and from that you can see that if you exercise more, or work harder so the muscles need more fuel, then you will lose mass as long as you don't increase the amount of food you consume to compensate and negate the shortfall.
That will take us into the realm of eating a healthy and sensible diet, for which I have several related diet articles that you can read, such as this one on dieting right by eating the right food combinations that your body needs.
Of course, it is possible to help the process along by turning to one of the simple to use diet meal delivery programs that exist, but for many people the cost of Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig, Diet-to-Go or Bistro MD for example can be a little off putting unless you're determined to go that route.
The Mental Basis of Weight Loss
The mental side of losing weight is an integral part of the process and also one that should not be ignored. Again, at its most basic, the mental process, for it to work is a simple one. You need to have and maintain a positive mental attitude towards your desire to lose weight.
In other words, if you truly want to reduce your body size, then you need to get yourself mentally motivated into a state where you truly believe you can and will lose that weight no matter what.
That places you in a frame of mind that is so determined to succeed that any thought of failure cannot manifest in your mind. Your whole mental attitude becomes one of absolute faith in your ability to achieve your goal.
When you have this level of determination, then the outside obstacles that railroad many dieters simply do not exist for you. The temptation to eat high calorie snacks or to cheat on your diet in any way simply doesn't enter your thoughts so you don't do it.
When you set out an exercise project, you stick to it without any thought of skipping off a day or missing a session, because you are so determined to succeed that you actually look forward to your exercise sessions and there is no way you would miss them for the world.
So you see when you combine these two basic precepts and use them to your advantage, you set yourself up with an unstoppable physical and mental combination of positive desire and understanding.
Armed with this knowledge, you can then undertake your own weight loss strategy and be assured of success not just in the short term, but for the long term too.