It never ceases to amaze me when I eat out with friends who are appalled by how much I eat. I eat A LOT (including supplementing my diet with pure saturated fats like coconut oil and fish oil) because in my field of work, every day is basically a fitness marathon of training, so I need all the extra calories just to keep my energy up and to keep from losing lean muscle. What amazes me is when I see my friends down a couple thousand calories of beverages before eating a small unsatisfying meal, and then being shocked and appalled that I'm eating a delicious balanced meal with only half the calories of what they just drank. And then they complain about how hard it is for them to lose weight.
And when I suggest to cut out the extra curricular drinking, I might as well be asking them to switch genders or something considering their reactions "Oh no! I could never do that!"
Another piece of advice I give to clients who want to lose fat is to add one hour of walking each day on top of their regular routine. And yet, the vast majority of people will challenge me on this and say, "Oh, but I already walk to the metro every day." or "I walk my dog every day, so I'm good." Really guys? You want change your body without changing your behavior at all? It doesn't work that way. Throwing money at a personal trainer (as much as I appreciate it) doesn't make you fit any more than wearing yoga pants makes you flexible. You've got to do the work yourself.
Here's why walking an hour a day (not running) works for fat loss:
Running burns stored sugar in the blood (glycogen) for fuel. Everyone has a relatively limited amount of glycogen stores. That's why most people can only run for short intervals of time before tiring out. After burning up the glycogen stores, the body will tell the runner to replenish them- meaning you need to eat more carbohydrates.
Walking, on the other hand, uses a different fuel source- body fat. Most healthy people can walk almost indefinitely before tiring out. Even overweight, very unhealthy people can walk for much longer periods of time than they can run. So, when you consistently walk for an hour each day, you'll be consistently burning fat. Bear in mind, this is not a QUICK FIX. It takes time. Expect to walk every day for the rest of your life and learn to love it! And that's what people don't seem t understand. If you want to see significant changes in your body, it takes a proportionately significant amount of time.
Additionally, walking is much less stressful on the joints than running. It's basically the difference between driving a sports car at top speed and having to refuel frequently, and driving a diesel engine truck at a moderate speed with far fewer fuel stops.
And yet, everyone seems to think that they need to run in order to lose fat. No, you don't. Running will make your heart stronger and it's great for improving your VO2 max, but it's not even close to the best thing you can do for fat loss. In fact, if all you do is long distance running, chances are you're losing lean muscle and sparing the fat stores. If you want to lose fat, you need to move and breathe more than what you're already doing.
And almost everybody says "But I don't have time to walk for an hour every day!" Then wake up an hour earlier. "But I need my full 8 hours of sleep!" Then sleep faster.
That's why I always say "on top of what you're already doing... do this too..."
You don't have to be superman to lose fat. But you do need to be consistent.