The amount of calories you consume and the amount of energy you expand is directly related to weight loss or gain. Simple, right? Not really quite as simple as that. There are other factors that come into play that are not talked about too much.

If you go to any of the "diet" centers, many times they will focus on the food you eat and tell you to concentrate on that. You look at the commercials with Kirsty Ally and she talks about the great food and she's not starving or missing out on desserts, because the program has all that 'sinful' food. But the thing is, you aren't going to eat their food all the time or forever, so what's a girl to do? : )

The thing that happens is that you revert to your former eating habits and probably return to your original shape. Many people add to their original weight, at least a couple pounds. This is why there is a series of commercials using the expression stay an 'after' meaning don't return to your before weight.

The only way you can "stay an after" is if you change your lifestyle from your before lifestyle. Meaning you need to encorporate the eating habits and some sort of exercise program and MAINTAIN that. The exercise program tends to get overlooked, but that must be a part of your plan. It is a known fact that muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you have more muscle, you are using more calories, even if you are just sitting around watching TV. no extra effort needed, the muscle is helping to keep you in shape at all times.

When you just change your diet you tend to lose muscle. When you lose muscle, your body doesn't work at hard at burning calories. What goes on is you lose muscle and then you start eating like "before" and your body doesn't burn the calories like it used to, so you gain the weight back faster than before, and you don't add muscle, you add more fat; unless you are exercising.

Here's the next thing. The exercise that most people turn to is cardio (running, biking, walking, etc.) to burn the fat. But that doesn't add much muscle to your frame. The better option is to lift weights. This will burn calories and 'replace' fat with muscle, which will in turn burn more calories and get you started in the opposite direction of the fat burning operation. You will gain muscle and it will help burn calories and keep you in shape.

Lifting weights will not necessary make you lose weight, but you will look and feel better. Muscle is heavier than fat, but it is also more dense. You can keep the same weight and drop a few inches off your waist. Women don't worry, you don't have the testosterone to gain huge bulky muscles. You will keep a trim fit appearance and not turn into a 'muscle-y mannish' woman. That can't happen without some serious supplement help and probably steroids as well.

Before anyone writes me to defend the Jenny Craigs of the world, I am not putting down any healthy method of weight loss. If a center, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, whatever, can help you on the track to health and fitness that is terrific. They can provide excellent support groups and calorie counting methods and all that stuff. I am just saying that unless you incorporate a change in your lifestyle, you are likely to gain weight back. I know the "weight loss centers" all agree with that.

Author's Bio: 

Robert Britt is a writer, author, entrepreneur, husband and father of four. At age 41 he got his bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology and began writing and pursuing lifelong goals. He specializes in personal transformation, self-esteem and following dreams. Contact Rob: or visit his websites