There's no great secret to losing weight. Anyone can tell you that you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. The easiest way to do so is to eat less and exercise more. Beyond that, however, I never really understood why both components are needed. During the 30-day challenge I finally understood it, at least in terms I could understand.
I was eating pretty much anything I could find, so long as it came from the grocery store and not from a restaurant. It should be no surprise that I gained a little weight. Yet my clothing simultaneously fit better and looked better from the exercising every day. I finally realized the magic secret - the amount of food determines how big my body is, and the amount of exercise determines how muscular or shapeless that body looks. It's so simple!
As further validation of my "discovery," I found a story published by Time called "Why Exercise won't make you Thin." Their reasoning is more scientific than mine, but essentially all the same.
This is further proof of why all women need to be lifting weights. Not only does it lift and tone what we want lifted and toned, it makes the body smaller, even without any weight loss; burns more calories, even when at rest; and helps prevent osteoporosis and other old lady diseases. If you can carry in a bag of groceries, you can lift weights!