here is what I have learned about weight loss, by personal experience and through a lot of reading up on the biochemistry of weight loss:
To burn body fat that has been stored, you need to get your body to switch from sugar-burning to fat-burning mode. That switch takes time and we usually don't go from one to the other, throughout the day.
Your body can only enter fat-burning mode once there is no significant insulin production. So, you have to stop eating sugars and starches. Let's say you do that, starting on Monday. Then here is roughly what will happen:
1) You have about 2-3 days worth of glycogen (sugar) stored in your muscles and liver. You'll be using those up, first. This will cause you to quickly lose a few pounds of water, since each gram of glycogen holds on to 3-4 grams of water.
2) Once you run out of glycogen, and there is very little insulin being produced because you are not eating sugars and starches, your pancreas will produce enzymes that get you into fat-burning mode. Those enzymes will break down the big triglyceride molecules that are trapped in your fat cells into smaller fatty acid molecules, which are release from your fat cells and burned for energy.
3) From here on, you will be losing weight steadily, as long as you stay away from sugars and starches. So, you need to cut out all fruit, because it has a lot of fructose. Also, most dairy has to go, if it contains lactose. And unfortunately, anything else that might contain sugars and starches (grains, beans, lentils, even starchy vegetables like corn, peas, and carrots)
4) This leaves all non-starchy vegetables and many protein foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, etc.
This may seem like an "unbalanced" diet, but the body adapts to it quite well. Personally, I haven't had any sugars or starches in over 6 months. I make sure I get adequate amounts of fat through avocados, nuts, and olive oil. This increases my daily calorie intake a bit and therefore limits my weight loss to about 1.5 pounds per week now, but I think that's still a pretty good number.
Why don't you read up a bit on the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet, and the Ideal Protein diet, which are all low-carb diets, and then decide whether this is something you want to try.
As long as you eat fruit or whole grains, for example, which are considered a healthy clean food, you'll never stop producing insulin, so you'll never really get into fat burning mode. If you simply reduce your calorie intake without eliminating sugars and starches, insulin keeps your fat "locked up" and your body then turns to burning muscle, which really isn't what you want! And you'll lose the same few pounds over and over......
PS. I simplified a lot of the science, above, but that's roughly what it boils down to.
Highest weight ever: 220 pounds
Followed the IP protocol with slight modifications from June to December 2012 and lost 58 pounds.
In Maintenance mode from December to July. Didn't re-introduce any of the carbs recommended by IP for Phase 4 and Maintenance. Increased fat intake and was able to maintain my weight.
Back on Phase 1 of IP to get to 140 pounds. Hitting some snags, though.
| current weight: 163.4