Getting rid of fat is one of the hardest things to do unless you are a serious athlete. I am not a serious athlete so getting a little bit of help is always a good thing. Like most folks when i first started on my journey towards losing a little (ok, a lot) of weight I didn't really know what to do and of course i went with my gut instinct and it was wrong.
I recently saw this image on Instagram and while I don't necessarily agree with their assessment of what "most people do" because of the "pills" part, I think that for the most part this graphic is correct.
I have a family member who is a very expensive per hour personal trainer to hire and they have on multiple occasions told me that all weight/ fat loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. This graphic plays with those numbers a bit but basically is saying the same thing. Every trainer worth their salt is going to agree.
If you had a healthy diet but didn't exercise at all you would probably still at least look healthy. However if you are someone that exercises all the time but eats burgers and pizza with full flavored beer and coca cola at every meal, you are going to eventually get fat. There are not exceptions to this especially as you get older.
I often refer back to a college friend named Larry. He was a stocky dude who spent a lot of time in the gym and also a lot of time in Buffalo Wild Wings - which is a place that I can also relate to loving. Larry was in his 20's at the time and insisted that he was never going to change his diet and that he would just exercise more in order to counter his bar and restaurant habits. Well this idea sounds nice but unless you are burning more calories than you are consuming this is never going to work. A burger with fries and 10 lagers is going to take a half-marathon to burn and let's be honest - you are not going to do that every day.
Later in life I saw Larry again in his late 30's and "life happened" in that he now had a full time job, kids, and other responsibilities. His bad diet habits had continued, but the time he had for exercise had gotten smaller. Larry was friggin massive and looked terrible. His arrogant plan in his 20's didn't work then and as he got older it became even less sustainable.
This isn't the only point I am trying to nail home here though. The main factor aside from diet, which I think is quite obvious, is that most people have the misconception that cardio and doing only cardio is going to get you to lose weight and keep you fit. While the cardiovascular benefits are very good with running, cycling, swimming, etc it doesn't help you to lose weight nearly as well as weight training does.
This notion isn't just some gimmick to sell gym memberships either. It has been shown time and time again in clinical control trials done by very smart people in peer-reviewed studies that it actually is the case. They take people of about the same size and give them the same diet, one group does only cardio, the next cardio and weights, and the last group does only weights. The "only weights" group ALWAYS loses the most weight.
Look here at one of the many scholarly articles if you can endure the type of talk that people put into peer-reviewed papers if you think I am making it up.
I used this method to lose over 50 lbs over the course of a year and it worked for me, so I also know from personal experience that it DOES work. Now I run as well but when i was losing the weight I almost never did any cardio at all once I learned "the trick."