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, even the most popular diets that promise a quick fix solution aren’t sustainable. Time and time again I’ve seen that a ‘diet’ always lands you back where you started!

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 rarely 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 actually make it harder for your body to sustain weight loss.

Did you know diets usually cause muscle loss?

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 before they start burning muscle. This means that extreme diets promoting fast weight loss, are really delivering fast muscle loss with some fat loss. 

If you follow a restrictive weight loss diet your metabolism may slow down, which means you’ll struggle to maintain your weight loss unless you reduce your food intake even further.

How to lose weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, your body needs to burn more energy than it consumes. It’s pretty simple. However, most people think the only way to lose weight is to put themselves on a restrictive 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’. You can lose the kilos without starving yourself or cutting entire food groups out of your life.

Since consistency is key to losing weight, the best way to lose weight (and keep it off) is to find a healthy eating plan that you can enjoy. If you’re enjoying eating healthy you’ll find it’s much easier to stick to!

You don’t have to ‘diet’ to lose weight and keep it off, but you do need to eat healthily and move more.

When people talk about my 28 program, it is often referred to as a ‘diet program’, but I always politely correct them and say it’s a sustainable healthy eating plan. You might not realise it, but there is a significant difference between the two! Although both can help you lose weight, the most important differences is that a diet is quite restrictive and inflexible so it’s usually only feasible to follow for the short term, whereas a healthy eating plan doesn’t feel like a diet, because it isn’t. It’s designed to be sustainable and enjoyable so you can lose your excess weight naturally, without feeling deprived.

What is the healthiest way to lose weight?

After helping over 150,000 people lose over 2 million kilos I can tell you the eating philosophy of JERF (Just Eat Real Food) that my 28ers follow, is the healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off.

If you follow a quality eating plan that has nutritionally balanced meals, like the ones created by my 28 Nutrition team, you won’t ever go hungry or feel deprived, and this reduces the usual temptation to ‘cheat’ on a diet. 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.

When you skip the crazy diets and detoxes, and you focus on eating healthy wholesome foods to lose weight, you’ll discover you have more energy throughout the day. And the best part is that it’s going to fit into even the busiest lives. 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 with friends.

healthy eating planner

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.  

My program has helped over 150,000 people lose over 2 million kilos so, 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

The best way to lose weight (infographic)
The best way to lose weight in 8 simple steps

#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 deprived.

#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 Get fit with HIIT

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most effective and efficient ways to lose weight and stay in shape. HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity recovery periods and in my experience, it’s one of the very best ways to lose weight and torch those calories.

I always tell my clients that the key to weight loss is to just get moving every day – and while this is key – your results will come so much faster if you can add a few HIIT sessions into your week. Then on the other days of the week, make sure you do any of your favourite low-intensity alternatives like walking or going for a swim with the kids.

VIDEO: Home weight loss workout for beginners

If you’re a beginner I definitely don’t expect you to smash a HIIT session each day. If you’re just getting started and dipping your toe in the HIIT waters, give my At Home Beginner Workout a try.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most effective and efficient ways to lose weight and stay in shape.

#5 Make mindfulness matter

Mindset is an important part of your weight loss journey

When we’re trying to lose weight, often we pay plenty of attention to our training and nutrition but we 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, but now I’ve learnt when you get your head in the right place, your body will follow.

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!

How mindfulness can help you lose weight

Research shows that mindful eating can help people control overeating or binge eating and can help us enjoy food because we are more in touch with the body’s internal hunger and satiety signals. To find out more about mindfulness and why it matters to our health, click here.

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

#6 Variety, intensity & consistency is key!

When it comes to training for weight loss, my proven 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
  3. Active recovery sessions

You don’t need to waste hours at the gym sweating away on the treadmill. The HIIT and resistance workouts on my program are only 28 minutes long (because that’s all you need to get results) so you can get a fast fat-burning workout, and save a bucketload of time too!

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

#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!

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 150,000 people improve their health and lose more than 2 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. Sam Wood has over 18 years experience in the health and fitness industry, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators. He is also the founder and trainer at Australia’s number one online fitness and nutrition program, and owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed.