The article The Diet & Weight Loss Industry:  Failure Rates & Reality demonstrates statistically the failure rate associated to an industry whose profits near $70 billion (USA) annually: “Research has shown 95% of those who lose weight eventually gain it back within three years. Beyond 3 years that failure rate is even worse” (Diet Review Post. 2013).

The reason for this failure is that if a diet is too expensive, time consuming, or leaves people feeling starved, then no one will adhere to it.  A successful diet plan needs to be simple in order to facilitate a ‘stick-to-it’ attitude.  Similarly, an exercise program that is over complicated, hard to schedule, boring, or routine could lead to dissatisfaction, lack of commitment, and ultimately failure.

There is no simple solution, but there are ways to accelerate healthy weight loss through exercise and a common sense approach to diet, not dieting.   The adage, more calories out than in, fits the bill. Coco Ballantyne, in her publication Weight-Loss Winner: A Diet High in Fiber, Low in Calories quotes Catherine Loria, a nutritional epidemiologist at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “Reduced calorie, heart-healthy diets can help you lose weight, regardless of the proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates” (Ballantyne, C. 2009).


Dr. Mathew McQueen, in his article Exercise Aspects of Obesity Treatment states that in order to maximize weight loss for overweight and obese individuals and to influence their overall health requires “a significant amount of physical activity that is appropriately supervised and quantified” (McQueen, M.A. 2009).  Professional trainers and instructors are available at your local gym to assist with your selection of the best class for weight loss.  Most classes are included in a basic membership and recruit the latest trends in variety, difficulty, schedule flexibility, and manageability.

Furthermore, many gyms now offer programs and classes that incorporate former solitary routines performed on treadmills, rowers, elliptical and other cardio machines, designed as either a ‘circuit’ or an ‘interval’ format, which removes any boredom; and they do the planning for you.  The conclusion is that a healthy diet combined with the best gym classes for weight loss would hasten your efforts to meet your goals.


Best gym class for weight loss that burn the most calories and blast off the pounds

Aerobics/Zumba/Hot Yoga/Bikram Yoga:    Calories burned: up to 500 per hour
Interval Training/Circuit Training:   Calories burned:  up to 570 calories per hour
Cardio kick boxing/Tae Bo/Boot camp/Tabata/Piloxing:   Calories burned: up to 700 calories per hour
Spinning/Cycling/Indoor Cycling:    Calories burned: up to 800 calories per hour
Running/Indoor/Outdoor:  Calories burned:  up to 900 calories per hour

For a full description of calories burned for common exercises, please see:

Calorie Burning Exercise Statistics

Healthy food choices that promote weight loss

Important considerations for permanent and healthy weight loss are consistency, watch for triggering events, think healthy not skinny, reduce sugar intake as much as possible, but do not avoid all fats.  Instead of skipping meals, choose foods from the list provided at the bottom of this article.

Eat less at each meal but eat more frequently, which revs up your metabolism and shifts the focus to controlling the level of sugar in your blood to avoid spikes, which cause us to crave something sweet. If you recognize you have difficulty eating at restaurants or if there are other events that sabotage your diet, avoid them at least for a short time or until you feel more confident.

Not all healthy people are thin, and not all thin people are healthy.  The goal should be better health, which for you may not be skinny or model thin.  Beware of food packages that titillate us and advocate the latest ‘health food’ through ’low fat’ or ‘fat free,’ because these foods are usually loaded with sugar to compensate for taste.    Finally, high protein diets may lack the many essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, and fats; so include complex carbohydrates found in whole grains.

Food to include in your diet

Breakfast:  eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, whole grain breads, nut butters, cheese, mushrooms, fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and grapefruit.

Lunch:  lean turkey or chicken, vegan protein substitute, multi-grain bread, quinoa, couscous, non-creamy soups, vegetables, nuts and nut butters, cheese, fruit, high protein pasta, and yogurt.

Dinner:  fish (primarily salmon), lean turkey or chicken, vegan protein substitute, beans, lentils, brown rice, vegetables, non-creamy soups, high protein pasta, and avocado.

Drinks:  green tea, low fat milk, protein shakes that are low in sugar but that do not contain sugar substitutes, some tea and coffee, and lots of water.

Snacks:  cheese slices, lean turkey or chicken, protein shakes or bars, nuts – especially almonds, slices of vegetable and fruit.


Stock your fridge with some of these items and prepare vegetable, fruit, and cheese slices in advance.  One portion per serving for most items, but remember that the size of a portion is rarely larger than your fist.  It takes 4 medium size oranges to make 1 cup (8 oz.) of juice.  Watch for hidden sugar and avoid sugar substitutes.  Cook with high quality olive oil or coconut oil.  Keep a bowl of almonds and nuts on hand and grab a few when you are feeling hungry.

Not all vegetable are created equal; carrots, sweet peppers, peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and corn contain 5 g to 13 g of sugar per cup, so use them in moderation.  The best vegetables are lettuce, celery, cucumber, artichoke, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, chard, Brussels sprouts, radishes, cauliflower, spinach, Alfalfa sprouts, and watercress.   Eat breakfast daily and drink water.


Ballantyne, C. (2009). Weight-Loss Winner: A Diet High in Fiber, Low in Calories. Scientific American.  Retrieved from:

Boucher, J.L., Shafer, K.J., and Chaffin, J.A. (2001). Weight Loss, Diets, and Supplements: Does Anything Work?  Diabetes Spectrum. American Diabetes Association.  Retrieved from:

Diet Review Post. (2013). The Diet & Weight Loss Industry:  Failure Rates & Reality.  Retrieved from:

Kruger, J. Blanck, H.M., and Gillespie, C. (2007). Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance.  International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2006, 3:17  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-3-17. Retrieved from:

McQueen, M.A. (2009). Exercise Aspects of Obesity Treatment.  National Institutes of Health.  Retrieved from:

Rahnama, S. (2005). Timing is Everything:  Why the Duration and Order of Your Exercise Matters

University of Michigan. UM Medical School. Retrieved from:

Robergs, R.A., and Kravitz, L.   Making Sense of Calorie-burning Claims.

University of New Mexico.   Retrieved from:

Statistic Brain. (2013). Calorie Burning Exercise Statistics.  Retrieved from:

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