The journey to a fit lean body is often a bumpy and surprisingly confusing one. Who knew weight loss could be so complicated? Seems impossible, right? Well, the good news is that it’s not. In fact, it’s the most ridiculously simple formula of all. What’s made weight loss and fitness so confusing is the 50 billion dollar a year industry which has bastardized the most straightforward concept on the planet. Eat wisely and move your body often. Can you imagine what kind of shape you’d be in if you lived by that seven word sentence? I assure you, you’d be thrilled with it.

abs performanceSo here’s the deal. 753 times a day you’re being bombarded with pitches and advertisements for magical diet pills and weight loss shakes. They sound miraculous, totally effortless and just so EASY! Well, I have a question for you, which makes the entire concept quite clear. If a magic pill, shake, wrap or other existed… don’t you think Oprah Winfrey would have it? I mean really!!! That woman has every resource in the entire world available to her, combined with her desperate wish to be a size 10. Don’t you think she would BE a size 10 if those miraculous items mentioned above actually worked? Of course she would! So can we all just realize once and for all that absolutely NONE of that snake oil works? Don’t be fooled. Don’t be enticed. Just say “no” to the nonsense.

And after all of THAT, this is the real not-so-secret, secret to weight loss. You must manage your calories wisely. The formula I’ve found most effective is to add a zero to the end of your goal weight, and consume no more than that amount of calories each day. Our bodies burn about an average of about 10 calories per pound of body weight per day, so if you consume the number I suggested, you’ll eventually shrink down to that weight. If you add moderate to vigorous exercise on top of that, you’ll get there more quickly.

Let’s review. You weigh 179 pounds. You’d like to weigh 150 pounds. (3,500 extra calories consumed = one pound gained. 3,500 extra calories burned = one pound lost.)

We know that you’re eating at least 1,790 calories per day to maintain that larger weight. So when you drop down to 1,500 calories per day, you’ll experience a 290-calorie per day deficit. With this formula, you’ll lose about one pound, every 12 days. That’s almost three pounds per month. Burn an extra 400 calories each day through exercise and you’ll end up with a 690-calorie deficit each day. That would lead to one pound lost every FIVE days and six pounds lost every month! Much quicker, right? Wow!

While managing your calories, you’ll have a much easier time of it if you choose lots of produce, lean sources of protein, lean dairy products and whole grains. These un-processed foods pack a ton of nutrition and are very low on calories. Just make sure you eat them without a bunch of sugar, oil, butter or caloric beverages.

Diets are dumb, so I’m not suggesting you “go on a diet”. What I’m hoping to convince you to do is become a person who makes wise choices when it comes to the items you put in your mouth, and then follows through by monitoring how much you put in by managing your caloric intake. For life!

It’s not rocket science. In fact, it’s equivalent to balancing your checkbook. We’re likely to overspend unless we keep track. The same thing happens with food. We’re likely to overeat unless we are aware of exactly how much we’ve consumed. Download an app like CalorieCount or MyFitnessPal to help you keep track. It’s an uncomplicated process, which always pays off with big results.

So there’s your well kept secret, folks. Make the decision to do better with both food and physical activity, for the rest of your life. If you don’t like being overweight today, you likely won’t enjoy being overweight in 12 years. With great habits, the REAL results you’ll experience are far more miraculous than anything you’ll find on the shelf of a supplement store or in the trunk of a direct sales rep.