There are a lot of weight loss plans available to consumers. Some are excellent, but some are ineffective or downright dangerous. If you want to lose weight, you may be wondering how to sort through all the hype and find an effective and healthy plan. A common question concerns dieting and exercise. Which is the best approach to losing weight, and what type of diet or exercise do you need? The short answer is that a good weight loss plan will include elements of both food management and physical activity.

Focus on Food

A healthy lifestyle requires both a nutritious diet and regular exercise. However, the food you eat has a much bigger impact when you set out on your personal weight loss journey. Suppose you tend to consume an extra 700 calories each day. To offset those calories, you would have to run about 50 miles a week, and that’s a tall order. However, the chances are good that you can cut 700 calories a day just by eliminating junk food and soft drinks. You should include a regular exercise program as well. You will lose weight faster and feel better. Nevertheless, keep the focus on what you eat every day.

Healthy Dieting: The Basics

The goal of any healthy weight loss plan is to get rid of extra pounds for good, so that you break the cycle of gaining weight, dieting and regaining lost weight. This means changing your eating lifestyle. There are plenty of sustainable diets available, including the Mediterranean and South Beach diets.

All healthy, nutritious eating plans incorporate elements of the well-known “food pyramid.” Keep your intake of fats and sweets low. Eat moderate amounts of dairy products and of meat, fish or poultry. Two or three daily servings of each is about right. Include three to five servings each of vegetables and fruit. Add six to 11 servings of bread, rice and pasta. Whole grain products are much better for you. Health professionals suggest that a person trying to lose weight reduce the quantity of grain products. Substitute extra fruits and vegetables.

It is important to eliminate “empty calories.” This term means things like sugary soft drinks, refined sugar, donuts and the like. Cutting out foods that have little or no nutritional value is often enough to eliminate excess calories from your diet.

A Place for Quick Weight Loss?

You may be wondering if there is a place for quick weight loss plans in an effective weight reduction strategy. The answer is yes, but these diets won’t replace a shift to a long-term healthy eating lifestyle. They can give you a psychological boost by helping you shed a few pounds quickly. You will almost certainly gain the weight back unless you follow up by changing your eating habits. If you want a “fast start” option, pick a plan like the one offered by Xyngular that has a short-term program and encourages exercise.

The Role of Exercise

Exercise reinforces the health benefits of a nutritious dietary lifestyle by further reducing the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other medical problems. Regular exercise also burns calories, so it speeds up weight loss. Adults need at least 2 1/2 hours of aerobic exercise each week. Running, walking, swimming, playing basketball and even raking leaves will do the trick. You should also include weight lifting or another strength training program twice each week.


There’s no magic secret to losing weight. Mostly, it is a matter of eating a balanced diet with moderate portions of food. Diet does need to be the main focus. However, including regular exercise gives you a comprehensive approach that will shed those extra pounds faster and help you keep them off for good.

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