When it comes to weight loss the answer is simple and that is: less calories in than out. BUT that doesn't mean this answer is easy.
Many people seem to get "simple" and "easy" confused. Just because something is simple that doesn't necessarily make it easy. And weight loss is a perfect example of something that is simple but not easy.
I think people choose to make many things including cutting weight more complicated than it really is. On the surface this doesn't make any sense, why in the world would anyone want to make something more difficult that it is?
I think the answer is as follows:
If something is simple (like eating less) and you can't do it, then you might feel embarrassed, or ashamed of yourself for not being able to get to your bodyweight goal. It's a serious shot to your confidence and your ego if you cannot do something that seems so simple.
It's hard to admit to yourself that something so simple can be so difficult (simple things aren't always easy things). Therefore to not feel like a total failure people latch on to a belief that dropping weight must be very complicated to justify why it is difficult.
I'll be the first to admit that weight loss isn't "easy" but it's totally simple. Eating less is the goal, but finding a way to eat less is the hard part, and in many cases discouraging.
Here are a few more examples of things that are SIMPLE but not EASY:
Running 15 kilometers – almost anyone with two functioning legs can run at least some short distance (without becoming fatigued), but running for 15 kilometers non-stop isn't easy.
Holding your arm straight out in front of you for 5 minutes without putting it back down is simple, but not easy. I hope you can now see the difference between simple and easy and how you might confuse one with the other.
To protect your feelings you might try to make something that is simple and (but not easy) into something that both complicated AND not easy.
Fitness and nutrition marketers know that people get discouraged when they attempt to lose weight and find out how hard it is. They also know that you don't want to believe that something so simple is so hard so they sell you complicated and expensive solutions that seem to justify why it is so hard.
It's much easier for you to believe that something so hard is also very complicated (kind of like doing a complicated calculus problem or trying to learn how to read and write in a new language).
This is how the fitness industry comes up with a never ending stream of complicated weight loss solutions for you to waste your money on year in and year out.
Just think of all the complicated 'solutions' that marketers have tried to sell in the past 10 years like: low carb, blood type diets, paleo diets, raw foods, high protein, carb cycling, special meal timing etc.
Each of these diets will show you success stories of people who have used their program and I'm sure they're all true. So if each one of these diets can produce similar results for all kinds of different people then there must be something they all have in common, and that is LESS CALORIES.
As long as you choose not to accept the simple answer of calories in vs calories out, you will always be susceptible to fitness marketing claims that promise a more complex and much more expensive solution.
Source 4 Foods Never To Eat