Sometimes the diet and weight loss mis-information that pervades television and the internet is all words and no-show. No matter what the infomercials tell you, you can lose weight steadily and without risk to your health if--and only if--you burn more calories than you take in. Fad diets, even good fad diets developed by well-intentioned doctors, do little more than put you on the yo-yo syndrome-lose a lot and then gain back more; then repeat the cycle all over again.
No exercise, no healthy weight loss.
If you really and truly intend to lose weight, you must exercise daily. You must combine reasonably intense cardio-vascular exercise with strength training. Cardio-vascular exercise maximizes the calorie burn, and strength training adds muscle mass which in turn increases your metabolism. Any form of exercise will do the job, and the fun factor matters a great deal, because you will not stay with a program that does not satisfy you in the moment and leave you slightly hungry for more.
Popular diets contribute to "yo-yo syndrome."
The only thing miraculous about the acai berry is how miraculously expensive it is. In fact, blueberries, grapes, and strawberries do just as well for weight loss; and pomegranate, the acai's closest North American relative, does just as well for taste. Detox diets are effective, and they are extremely dangerous. In fact, in all probability, the guy who invented the original lemon-cayenne detox diet spent his entire life fending off lawsuits from people who lost loved ones to his various detoxification and purification systems. Although some fasting may give a diet program a head start, you must remain hydrated and nourished. The "ketonic" diet recommended for children with epilepsy remains the one area where research suggests some promise from strict restrictions on food intake-and the research for all dieters remains preliminary, sketchy, and less than reliable.
Seek professional advice and guidance.
If you are seriously over-weight, "morbidly obese" by the technical definition-10% over your ideal body mass index-you should lose weight with a doctor's guidance. If your doctor suggests you use one of the popular weight loss drugs to jump start your program, follow your physician's advice…and follow it to the letter, because the drugs are fiercely habit forming. Moreover, as you begin your weight loss program with your doctor's supervision, make sure that your primary care person tests your thyroid, because hypothyroidism will stymie almost all your best efforts to lose weight, and it will discourage and depress you beyond measure and well beyond your tolerance.
Swimming is best, but…
Although walking and running burn more calories, swimming remains the best overall conditioning exercise, because it involves zero impact, builds strength in your entire body, and keeps your heart rate elevated even at the slowest pace. Two significant drawbacks hinder people from embracing swimming as their exercise of choice: First, year-round pools are hard to find, and sometimes they cost a great deal; and, second, swimming is, by definition, anti-social-you cannot chat with your girlfriends while you keep your head underwater. Most importantly, most people cannot swim proficiently enough to complete a truly challenging workout.
My other article talks about how real weight loss can be achieved without following any ridiculous diets, read here -> No Diet Weight Loss Tops.