Are you a serial dieter? Have you tried every diet under the sun to lose weight, only to find that once the diet is over you pile the weight back on just as quickly as you lost it?

If you’ve been struggling with yo-yo dieting, and you want to finally lose the weight and keep it off for good, you’re not alone. During my many years in the fitness industry, I have witnessed first-hand that diets don’t work. All the popular diets that promise a quick fix solution never work over the long term and, in fact, I’ve seen time and time again that a ‘diet’ always lands you back where you started… if not worse!

Why ‘diets’ aren’t the best way to lose weight

The problem with a typical restrictive ‘diet’ is that, although it may give you quick results, the results don’t last. There are a few reasons why diets don’t work. Firstly, if you’re not enjoying what you eat, sticking to the diet every day is going to be hard… much harder than it needs to be! The other problem is that restrictive diets can create several physiological changes that may actually make it harder for your body to sustain your initial weight loss success.

Avoid extreme diets, even if they promise you quick results.

Did you know diets usually cause you to lose important muscle mass? Several studies have shown that many ‘fat loss’ diets might be better called ‘muscle loss’ diets. Our bodies can only shed a certain amount of fat in a given period of time before they start burning muscle for fuel.

Extreme diets promoting fast weight loss, are really delivering fast muscle loss with some fat loss. 

If you follow a restrictive weight loss diet and you lose muscle then your metabolism may slow down. This can create an unhealthy spiral, where you’ll struggle to maintain your weight loss without reducing your food intake even further which puts you at risk of losing even more muscle.

How to lose weight… without dieting.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to make you sure body burns more energy than it consumes. It’s that simple. However, most people think the only way to go into calorie deficit and lose weight is to put themselves on a restrictive and unenjoyable diet. This isn’t true at all. The good news is that you can lose weight and keep it off without going on a ‘diet’.

The best way to lose weight (infographic)

SKIP TO: 8 changes you can make TODAY to create big weight loss results

Diets Vs Healthy Eating Plans

A lot of people call my 28 program a ‘diet program’, and I always correct them because it’s not a diet plan, it’s a sustainable healthy eating plan. There is a big difference between the two!

Although a diet and a healthy eating plan are both capable of helping you lose weight in the short term, a diet is rarely a long term solution.

It’s over the long term that the big differences between a diet and a healthy eating plan really start to show.

Because a traditional diet works around the concept of restriction, a diet is rarely enjoyable or flexible, so it just isn’t a viable long term solution for busy people who want to be healthy, but also want to enjoy their life! Whereas a balanced healthy eating plan should be enjoyable and it can easily become a natural part of your healthy lifestyle, so you could follow it for a lifetime without feeling like you’re missing out.

If you follow a healthy diet plan that is enjoyable and flexible enough to adapt to your busy lifestyle, then it’s going to be SO much easier for you to stick to it. Enjoyment and sustainability is the key to why a healthy eating plan is a much better solution than a diet if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

Consistency is the #1 factor to achieving significant weight loss, the best way to lose weight (and keep it off) is to find a healthy eating plan you enjoy.

healthy eating planner

What is the healthiest way to lose weight?

You don’t have to ‘diet’ to lose weight – let me show you how you can do this naturally, safely and quickly.

Sam xx

My approach to losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way is to follow the JERF philosophy. Just Eat Real Food.

If you follow a quality eating plan based on my JERF principle, then you’ll be eating nutritionally balanced meals made with fresh, wholefood ingredients. JERF works, and its the healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off forever.

You can lose weight the healthy way, quickly, and it doesn’t have to feel like you’re on a diet.

Unlike weight loss shakes, detox teas and other extreme diet fads, a real foods approach doesn’t leave you hungry or feeling deprived. JERF embraces meals packed with fresh flavours and offers a variety of textures and tastes, so you won’t get bored either. This is why, compared to a traditional diet, a healthy eating approach feels so easy to stick to. It also provides you with all the nutrition and energy you need to lose weight safely without the risk of muscle loss commonly associated with restrictive diets.

Food is supposed to be an enjoyable part of life, and finding healthy foods you actually enjoy is one of the secrets to successfully sticking to a weight loss plan.

Following a simple, real foods philosophy makes it easy to stick to your weight loss plan, whether you’re at home, at work or even out to dinner with friends. When you don’t have to worry about harsh dieting rules, and you don’t have to cut out entire food groups from your life it also means you can still live your life as you’ll always be able to find something suitable on a menu if you go out to dinner with friends and family.

We were designed to eat real food. So skip the crazy diets and detoxes, and just focus on eating delicious whole foods to lose weight. If you do, you’ll soon discover you aren’t just losing weight, but you’ll have lots more energy throughout the day too!

Beginner’s Weight Loss Exercise Video

What is the fastest way to lose fat? 

Although going on a traditional diet might drop the numbers on your scales faster than a healthy eating plan alone, it won’t help you lose fat any faster. The fastest way to lose fat and keep the fat off is to combine a nutritious, healthy eating plan with the right kinds of daily movement and exercise.  When done together in the right way, it won’t feel like you’re on a weight-loss plan at all.

My program has helped more than 300,000 people lose over 3 million kilos so you know my approach to healthy weight loss works. If you’re looking to lose fat in a healthy way – and keep it off for good – then I want you to ditch ‘the diet’ and follow this simple weight loss advice instead.

8 small lifestyle changes you can make TODAY that will create big weight loss results

#1 Cut the crap


When it comes to nutrition, my philosophy has always been as simple as this – just eat real food! When you keep it real and say goodbye to packaged and processed food and hello to whole foods and real ingredients, you naturally avoid the added sugars that are hidden in too many foods found on the supermarket shelf. Focusing on real food means you don’t have to count calories or worry about every single thing you put in your mouth. Instead, you can build a healthy relationship with food and love everything you eat. After all, food should be enjoyed, not counted!

As my 28ers already know, you can successfully lose weight without starving yourself or feeling like you’re ‘missing out’.

#2 Small changes = big results

Healthy weight loss is all about slowly but surely working those bad habits out of your routine and putting new, healthy ones in their place. So whether it’s replacing your daily 3pm choccie fix with a Greek yoghurt instead, leaving your car at home and walking to work or having two coffees a day instead of three remember that it’s the little changes that will lead to the biggest results.


#3 Work in 28-day blocks

I’m a big believer that 28 is truly the magic number. It’s long enough to see results but also short enough that you won’t feel like the mountain is too high to climb or your goal is too far out of reach. So, try setting yourself a 28-day goal. Whether it’s to just get moving every day or to have 3 alcohol-free days a week – set a goal, tell your family and friends, write it down and put it on the fridge. When the 28 days is up, reward your efforts, hit reset and work towards a new 28-day goal. Yes, it really is that simple!

Set specific and achievable health & fitness goals in 28-day blocks – it will help you stay on track to achieving your ultimate weight loss goals.

#4 Lose it with HIIT

I always tell my PT clients and my 28ers that the key to weight loss is simply to move more every day; and, while this is true, you’ll get faster weight loss results if you can challenge yourself by adding a few HIIT sessions to your week.

High-Intensity Interval Training is one of the most effective (and fastest) ways to safely lose weight, get fit and stay in shape.

HIIT is an acronym for high-intensity interval training. It’s a term for exercising in a specific, structured way where you will do a quick burst of high-intensity activity followed by a short recovery interval of low-intensity activity, and then straight back to a high-intensity exercise again. Regular HIIT encourages your body to build lean muscle, and when you have more lean muscle you naturally burn more calories so it is a great way to help you lose weight.

After helping over 300,000 people lose weight and stay in shape at home, I can tell you the most effective workout guaranteed to help you lose more weight is: High-Intensity Interval Training.

How HIIT workouts can help you lose weight

When you compare all the kinds of exercises out there, in my experience HIIT truly is the best option to lose weight in a sustainable, healthy way.

High-intensity interval training (aka HIIT) is one of the fastest ways to lose weight from exercise because it’s a natural metabolism booster. HIIT helps you build lean muscle, and that means your body will naturally burn more calories, even while you sleep.

VIDEO: beginner’s home weightloss workout – HIIT it with Sam Wood!

If you’re just getting started, give this beginner’s weight loss HIIT workout a try. It’s intense, but it’s only 28 minutes so it’ll be over before you know it!

If you’re a total beginner, aim for two or three HIIT sessions in your first week, and then move up to three, and then four workouts.

Good news! You don’t need to work out every day to lose weight

Between three to four physically challenging HIIT workouts per week is enough to create results. You should also give yourself a couple of gentler active recovery days, as your body needs time to repair and build that important lean muscle!

Don’t forget to give your body at least 2 days to recover each week – you’ll see better weight loss & fitness results in the long run!

Remember, regular HIIT workouts is the best exercise to keep your metabolism revving, and your body naturally burning fat every day… even while you’re on the couch watching Netflix!

#5 Make mindfulness work for you

Mindset is an important part of your weight loss journey

When we’re trying to lose weight, we pay plenty of attention to our training and nutrition but we often neglect one important part of the weight loss process: our mind! I’ll admit, this is something that I have been guilty of in the past too, but now I’ve learnt when you get your head in the right place, your body will always follow.

How mindfulness can help you lose weight

Research shows that mindful eating can help people naturally control urges to overeat or binge; it not only helps us enjoy and savour our food but it also helps us become more in touch with our body’s internal hunger and satiety signals. In other words, if we pay more attention we will enjoy our food more, and we usually eat a lot less without even realising it! We just feel fuller, quicker.

Try this exercise in mindful eating. Each time you sit down for a meal, pay particular attention to the taste, smell and texture of your food. And make sure you ditch the technological distractions, focus on the people around you, and notice how your body feels after eating. It’ll make a difference!

#6 Make sure you’re focused on variety, intensity & consistency

When it comes to training for weight loss, my philosophy is based around variety, intensity and consistency. You’ll experience the best weight loss results if your weekly fitness program includes a combination of three kinds of exercise:

  1. 28 minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
  2. Resistance training (with or without home workout equipment)
  3. Active recovery sessions (I always encourage you try something new)

There’s a good reason why HIIT and home resistance workouts on my program are only 28 minutes long: that’s all you need!

You don’t need to waste hours at the gym sweating away on the treadmill. You only need 28 minutes of intense activity to achieve long-lasting results. And you only need to do HIIT it hard four times a week, with gentler activities on the other three days. It’s that simple!

Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Resistance Training
There’s lots of home workout videos to try!

The key to an effective weight loss fitness program? Mix up your routine, push yourself, and move every day.

#7 Make sleep a priority

I am always amazed when I meet new clients who aren’t losing weight but they have been consistently training and eating well. The answer can usually be found when I take a closer look at their lifestyle. The #1 reason why people don’t get the results they should be seeing is usually because they aren’t getting enough sleep.

When you’re well-rested, you can bring the best version of you to everything you do. You’ll also find it’s much easier to smash all your goals… including your weight goals!

Sam xx
Get more sleep, it helps your body lose those kilos naturally

When we consistently don’t get enough sleep, it slows down the process which the body converts calories to energy, AKA, our metabolism. When our metabolism isn’t working efficiently, the body can start to store unused energy as fat. Remember – you can’t pour from an empty cup!

Prioritize getting at least 7.5 hours sleep by ditching technology, sticking to regular bedtimes and making your room a dark, cool environment.

Read more about the importance of sleep.

#8 Focus on the journey, not the destination

All too often when we get in a “diets’ frame of mind, we become overly focused on the destination of weight loss and a goal weight that we can easily lose sight of how to get there. I’m always telling my 28ers that the journey will be so much more enjoyable if you acknowledge the little wins that you have here and there that take you one step closer to your final destination.

You can lose weight the healthy way and keep it off… forever!

Trust me, if you focus on improving these aspects of your lifestyle, you can finally say goodbye to yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuations, and hello to keeping yourself at a consistently healthy weight, without ever feeling deprived.

Progress, not perfection wins every time

Never forget that when you’re striving to lose weight the healthy way it’s important to focus on making progress, not achieving perfection. Even the smallest healthy changes to your lifestyle will produce big results in the long run. Stay on course, and stay healthy, because you’ll get there!

Are you ready for me to be the personal trainer in your pocket?

My fitness & nutrition program has helped 300,000 people improve their health and lose more than 3 million kilos. And now… it’s your turn!



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Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.