"I don't want to die alone, and I want a girl to touch my dick, so I'm going to lose weight."
- 18 year old, fat friend -
"I'm trying to lose weight so I can fit into my dress for the wedding"
- Bridesmaid -
These are real quotes, but I've heard many things to this effect. The fact is that when most people say "lose weight", what they really mean is "be not fat". No one can see that your mass as easily as they can see if you're fat, thin, muscular, or something in between. This is largely a semantic issue, but it's important to understand the difference so the design of the 'weight loss' program can be done effectively.
First of all, fat loss happens in the kitchen. Exercise can supplement and assist, but if a trainee is not eating less than their metabolic rate, they're not going to lose fat. The best way to do this is to use a calorie counter like Myfitnesspal.com. If a trainee is living at a caloric deficit, exercise can then be added.
Stop doing cardio
Many people (especially fat people) believe that cardio is the most effective form of exercise for fat loss. Cardio, in this context, would be any exercise that is low intensity, long duration such as jogging, bicycling, long distance rowing, or slow swimming. In addition to putting high impact on the knees and back (in the case of running), cardio is just not as effective in fat loss as high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a more effective, more time efficient option.
Alternatively, strength training will assist in fat loss and can be done in conjunction with HIIT. Strength training will also make you look not fat, which is the key. A 200lb, 5'5" woman that drops 90lb will not look as healthy or attractive as a 200lb, 5'5" woman that strength trains and drops 60lb. Firm, powerful arms look nice on women. And, as a recent client of mine phrased it ("that woman has a really juicy ass"), having a juicy look, insofar as firm and muscular, will be far better than just being thin. The same is true of men; a 200lb man with a 405lb deadlift and 315lb bench press will have big arms, a nice big back, and healthy sized legs. The fact is that 6 pack abs can only be seen without a shirt on, and last I checked, most men don't walk around town without shirts. However, a thick back and big arms can be seen through a sweatshirt.
Be useful and not fat
Even if cardio gets you to the look that you want, wouldn't you rather be more useful too? Being attractive and not fat is great, but wouldn't it be nice to also be able to sweep your girlfriend off her feet, or help your best friend move his couch into his truck?
Consider these observations when considering a 'weight loss' regimen. Being thin is the not the goal; being not fat is. Fat loss happens in the kitchen and can be supplemented with HIIT and strength training to not only make you not fat, but give you a sexy look that is also useful in life.