The internet is awash with the latest fad diets and weight loss shakes. Save your well earned cash because the truth is so much simpler and less expensive if you are looking to lose weight.
Calories in versus calories out......or in other words energy balance. Food has a certain amount of energy which we call calories and if we don't use as much energy as we are consuming it is inevitable that you will gain weight. The same way is true that if we eat less calories than we are using we will lose weight.
There are a few factors that determine how much calories your body needs to maintain an energy balance.
Base metabolic rate This is the amount of calories your body needs doing NOTHING...and I mean nothing. Just flat out on your back nothing. Your body uses calories breathing, thinking and keeping you alive.
Age, Gender, Height, Current Weight all affect the amount of calories needed by the body. For example someone who is 6ft tall and12 stone will need more calories to maintain that weight than someone who is 5 ft and weighs 9 stone.
Physical activity. The amount of physical activity you do during the day will also depend on the amount of calories you need to consume daily. Sedentary people require fewer calories than those who are constantly active.
Weight loss, and specifically fat loss, requires a caloric deficit in order to achieve. A caloric deficit is eating less calories than your body requires so that it will start using fat to "bridge" the deficit.
SUMMARY To lose body fat and weight, you you absolutely need to be eating fewer calories than you are using. There is no quick fix or diet shake that will magically make you lose weight.
You can start tracking your own calories in v calories out using popular apps such as myfitnesspal.com