Let’s begin by looking at how things work when you’re both out of shape and have a lot of weight to lose. When this is the case, getting started is the crux.
When you’re very overweight, almost anything you do will lead to improvement. Any exercise and any diet that isn’t all fast and convenient foods, will kickstart the process. The hardest part is changing your habits so that exercise and thinking about making better food choices is a way of life. Of course, if you add a structured exercise program and a sensible eating plan, it will work better, and much, much, faster. Throw in a few tips on how to do this, and a super motivating fitness trainer, and it starts to get addicting.
Beyond the mental crux, things are pretty simple. At the beginning of a program, your body isn’t too picky. More exercise and less food is the key. Splitting hairs is merely a bonus. In fact, when you’re very overweight, you can eat way less than you technically need to survive and not only see great results, but feel better. Since this tactic does not work forever, it requires an explanation.
You’re bringing your body into homeostasis; a point where it’s functioning as humans were meant to, which includes exercise and eating foods that come from the earth. We are built to move, and when we do, our bodies release performance-enhancing hormones to regulate processes, including how to think and expend energy. All of which lead to not only weight loss, but more energy, mental alertness, and feeling better.
You’re body also doesn’t like to be overweight. Because we’re built for survival, and excessive body fat slows us down, your body can quickly turn this fat into an energy source. What basically happens is that you starve yourself and your body uses its (ample) reserves of adipose tissue (aka fat) to survive. As those reserves get used up, you shrink and lose weight, all of which leads to everyone telling you how great you look and inspiring you, perhaps, to workout even harder and eat even less. But then, at some inevitable point, things get tricky.