Regardless of the nonsense you read in most diet books, losing weight is not fundamentally difficult. In my honest opinion, the last 30 years of research has told us all we really need to know about the topic. My grandmother knew how to lose weight before that but everybody knows that grandmothers know everything.
The bottom (and rather simple) line is that you have to adjust your food intake (or activity levels) so that you're burning more calories than you take in. Over time, this causes you to lose weight (I'll be making a distinction between weight and fat loss in the next chapter). That's really it and I've joked that my job is to turn the idea "Eat less, exercise, and repeat forever" into a 300 page book. One of these days I'll write/finish my magnum opus but for right now, this is what you get.
Even the books that tell you that you don't have to count calories still ultimately trick you into eating less, by adjusting what you can eat (and sometimes when you can eat it). Low-carbohydrate, low-fat, the Zone, you name a diet and they are making you eat less food in the long run. There's simply no way to escape that, no matter what magic they promise. Other weight loss approaches take the exercise route, get you burning more calories through activity under the assumption that you won't just eat more to compensate (which tends to be a rather bad assumption most of the time). There's really nothing magical to weight loss no matter what you want to believe.
Quite in fact, no weight loss study ever has found people who don't lose some amount of weight. They all do even though weight loss varies quite a bit between individuals (for a variety of reasons). All of the people you know (or you yourself) who have dieted have lost weight, too. You can't deny that. Eat less or exercise more and you will lose some amount of weight. How much depends on several factors depending on the severity of the diet, how long you stay on it, gender, genetics and a host of other stuff. But, fundamentally, losing weight is not difficult. Eat less, exercise (or both), repeat forever. That's the bottom line and the sooner you accept that the closer you'll be too reaching your goal.
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