Trying to lose weight can be an incredibly frustrating experience for most people. The most aggravating part is that rebound effect. Sure, you lose weight ... but as soon as you stop dieting, it just piles back on – and then some!
The concern is the usual focus on cutting calories. It seems obvious that, if you take in fewer calories, you'll shed the pounds. To some degree, that's true, but it isn't the whole story. In fact, it's probably not even half of it. The primary concern is that, even if the weight is lost, it does no good if it returns.
So, the question is, why does that happen? The answer is really quite simple. You know that initial early rapid weight loss? The part that makes a new diet seem so great? Most of that isn't actually fat. It's water! Then, if you restrict the calories too much, which is what most rapid-loss diets demand, your body's metabolic rate slows down. Part of that slowing is done by cannibalizing your own muscle tissue. What's worse, that slow-down can become permanent!
The result of many low-calorie diets is less muscle and a slower metabolism, a double whammy that sets you up for weight gain the moment you go off the diet. The result is that well-known rebound effect, of course, but also the much worse concern of a near-permanent change in your body's caloric need.
However, you can reverse those changes by taking a different approach to weight loss. First, forget about those super-duper quick weight loss diets. They simply don't work, and though experience has likely told you that fact, now you know why.
How to Lose Weight: the Fundamentals
Muscle burns calories, both day and night. So you need to increase your muscle mass. That, of course, means that you should exercise. There are two main types: aerobic, which increases your metabolism, and resistance, which builds muscle mass.  You need both. Aerobic exercise improves your overall health, but to lose weight, you need to increase muscle mass, and that requires resistance exercising.
Resistance exercises often utilize weights, but that isn't the only way. Any exercise that increases your strength will also increase muscle mass. Therefore, any exercise that involves working against gravity, such as push ups, will also work.
The Nutritional Element
Muscles require lots of protein, so any good weight loss diet includes a large amount of it. Instead of focusing on calories, focus on types of food. You need protein-rich food, and, contrary to what you're generally told, you also need fats — lots of fats. Of course, they need the right kinds of fats — but they aren't what mainstream medicine wants you to believe. 
The Fat Equation
Your body requires different types of fat, and the one that's most reviled is probably the most important for health: saturated fat. The myth that saturated fat is bad comes from junk science that confuses trans fats, which are artificially saturated, with naturally saturated fats, like in butter and meat.
Trans fats should be avoided at all costs. They replace naturally saturated fat in the body. Half of all cell membranes consist of saturated fats, and trans fats can destabilize them, resulting in nutrition being unable to enter cells and toxins being unable to leave. Obviously, if you want to increase muscle mass, you need saturated fats.
Beyond saturated fats, your body also requires omega-3 and omega-6 fats. It's easy to get enough omega-6 fat, but the concern is that nearly everyone eats far too much, because it's the sort that's routinely used in fast and prepared foods. It is nearly always hydrogenated, which makes it shelf-stable in supermarkets, but also makes it extremely unhealthy. If you eat a diet that avoids processed foods of all kinds, whether from supermarkets or fast food joints, you'll get all the omega-6 fats you need in your diet. Omega-3 fats are found in high concentrations in fish, nuts, and oils made from nuts.
If your diet focuses on getting lots of good quality protein and fats, you're well on the way to both good health and weight loss. This isn't the whole story about weight loss, but it's the background for the fun part of this article: 3 crazy ways to burn fat while you sleep. So let's get to it!
1. Drink Green Tea or Coffee
As explained earlier, increasing your metabolism burns calories. Both green tea and coffee do just that. However, simply chugging either one on a single occasion during the day doesn't do the trick. You need to sip your coffee or tea a few times during the day, perhaps on 3 or 4 occasions. That increases your metabolic rate, and the increase continues through the night. So coffee and green tea can help you burn calories, both day and night!  
2. Have a Smoothie with Protein
Protein is, of course, important in a weight-loss diet. So adding it to a smoothie helps lose weight, especially if you have it fairly late in the day, as documented by at least one scientific study.  It found that casein protein is effectively digested and absorbed during sleep, which results in an increase in muscle protein synthesis of about 22 percent during the night. That extra muscle mass will definitely help you lose weight!
3. Eat Pepper
The spiciest way to lose weight while you sleep is just that – hot peppers and even black pepper! Scientific studies have shown again and again that one of the most effective ways to burn fat is to eat peppers.   Your body continues to burn fat while you sleep as a direct result of including them with your meals. So bring on that spicy Mexican, Chinese, and African food!
What? That Sounds Like Crazy Talk...
If you want to lose weight, what's really crazy is to restrict your calorie intake. Dieting has become big business — and no wonder! Calorie-restricted diets are nearly guaranteed to assure repeat business. They give the impression of working because you really can lose weight on them, at least for a while. But ultimately, you end up gaining it.
Instead, why not try something that's been proven to work and actually makes sense? Forget about calories and focus on nutrient-dense foods full of protein and good quality fats. You may also want to try supplementation. Be careful; there are a lot of falsely marketed weight loss formulas on the market. Only buy from a trusted, reputable company.
- Dr. Julian Whitaker. The Two Main Types of Exercise. September 27, 2012. (Last accessed 2013-09-20)
- Mark Sisson. The Definitive Guide to Fats. (Last accessed 2013-09-20)
- Joe A Vinson, Bryan R Burnham, and Mysore V Nagendran. Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity. January 18, 2012. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S27665.
- Cardoso GA, Salgado JM, Cesar Mde C, Donado-Pestana CM. The effects of green tea consumption and resistance training on body composition and resting metabolic rate in overweight or obese women. Journal of Medicinal Food. November 9, 2012. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0062.
- Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B, Beelen M, Wallis GA, Gijsen AP, Senden JM, and VAN Loon LJ. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. August 2012. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363.
- Yukiko Okumura, Masataka Narukawa, and Tatsuo Watanabe. Adiposity Suppression Effect in Mice Due to Black Pepper and Its Main Pungeant Component, Piperine. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. August 7, 2010. doi: 10.1271/bbb.100117.
- Yusaku Iwasaki, Yasuko Tamura, Kimiko Inayoshi, Masataka Narukawa, Kenji Kobata, Hiroshige Chiba, Etsuko Muraki, Nobuyo Tsunoka, and Tatsuo Watanabe. TRPV1 Agnoist Monoacylglycerol Increases UCP1 Content in Brown Adipose Tissue and Suppresses Accumulation of Visceral Fat in Mice Fed a High-Fat and HighSucroce Diet. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. May 20, 2011. doi: 10.1271/bbb.100850.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.