Ive often wondered if there is a magic formula or method for achieving successful weight loss. Though I know the solution would not really be magical, it seems an organized methodology to follow would make it easier. The challenge for many people is misunderstanding exactly what works for their body.

In general, burning more calories than consumed results in lost weight, but the speed at which this weight disappears and the fluctuations that occur can be frustrating. The time it takes to structure a healthy diet and determine an ideal amount of exercise causes many people to give up before they find their magic solution.

How important is proper diet? What role does exercise play in weight loss?

First, it is important to understand the relationship between calories and exercise. I know many people have just a general understanding of the mathematics of exercise. They know running burns a lot of calories or so-and-so got fit from yoga or Pilates. However, they fail to understand exactly how exercise works for them and how much exercise is needed to compensate for poor food choices.

I recommend this: Anyone who wants to understand how exercise affects weight loss should complete a workout designed to burn the calories from one of their favorite foods. The amount of exercise needed varies from person to person because people burn calories at different rates.

So, if your favorite fruit is a banana, which contains approximately 100 calories, hop on the treadmill and walk or run until your body has burned 100 calories. Depending on your age, current weight, and intensity of movement, your 100 calorie workout will range from five to 20 minutes and thats just for a single banana! Now imagine how long you need to exercise to burn a dish containing 700 or 800 calories.

Exercising a super-high calorie diet is nearly impossible for the average person.

Underestimating Calories

In addition to fully understanding how much exercise is needed to burn calories, people do not realize how many calories are in their favorite meals, nor are they aware of how many calories they consume in a day. Ive been guilty on several occasions of assuming Oh, I ate about 1800 calories today, only to calculate and realize it was closer to 2400.

This is one of the most common weight loss saboteurs for people. Keeping a food journal and tracking everything that is eaten within a day makes it easier to have a truthful record of caloric intake.

Advantages of Exercises

Despite exercise not acting as a cure-all for overeating, it does provide many advantages. First and foremost, it can make weight loss easier. Exercise helps you lose weight faster and offers a long-term metabolic boost, so your body uses food more efficiently, even when you are not exercising.

Exercise also provides health benefits that are not directly related to weight loss. It improves heart health and helps your body process glucose, reducing your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Exercise also helps you feel better in general. I notice a big difference when I occasionally neglect exercises versus when I am diligent and committed. It improves my mood, prevents minor aches and pains, and boosts my energy and enjoyment of life. Even at my ideal weight, I consider exercise an important part of my day.

Using the Three Ps to Build a Successful Weight Loss Program

There is a little more to just exercising and eating right when it comes to a successful long-term weight loss plan. Dieters able to master the three Ps of weight loss enjoy their journey more and are more apt to achieve lasting results. What are the three Ps?


Psychology plays an important role in weight loss. In nearly every case, there are emotional reasons for a person being overweight and there are psychological blocks to losing weight. Additionally, being overweight causes emotional consequences and as the weight loss journey begins, even more psychological issues spring up.

An important part of weight loss is to understand the reason you are overweight and work through the emotions you experience during weight loss.


Everybody is different and the fitness and diet plans that work for one body might be the opposite of someone else. Physiological factors in weight loss play a significant role in a persons success, which is why it is important to work with a medical expert during your weight loss journey.

Medication and disease affect every cell in your body, which can help or hinder weight loss. Understanding your body and what factors play a role in your weight loss is an important part of your success.


Finally, successful weight loss includes mastery of physical activity. This does not mean you must perform yoga or running or your chosen activity perfectly, but it does mean you must incorporate exercise into your life on a regular basis.

Part of your journey to a healthy weight should include getting to know your body and understanding what it is capable of doing. Physical challenges help you gain respect for your body and make weight loss part of an overall self-acceptance plan.

If you are ready to begin your weight loss journey, we are here to help. Our community understands the importance of supporting one another in each of our personal journeys and we provide information that you can use to live your healthiest life.