Dinner: Dinners are all over the place. If you missed my blog post from a few weeks ago, I made a Recipes for Success post which included a lot of the meals I've been cooking recently. You can read the post for actual recipes, but basically my favorite thing to make is "bowls." I like having quinoa or brown rice with veggies, greens, and protein. You also don't need to be a cook to throw everything in a bowl. I just tried to make a lot of "lighter" means with protein and fresh foods.
Stephen Colbert may be on to something. UCLA Center for Human Nutrition researchers divided study participants into two groups, each of which were fed a nearly identical low-cal diet for 12-weeks. The only difference between the groups was what they were given to eat as an afternoon snack. One group ate 220-calories of pretzels while the other group munched on 240-calories worth of pistachios. Just four weeks into the study, the pistachio group had reduced their BMI by a point, while the pretzel-eating group stayed the same, and their cholesterol and triglyceride levels showed improvements as well.

Excellent question! I suppose you could look at it like this: you are less insulin sensitive in the luteal phase, so in order to prevent fat gain it is “more important” to burn sugar and fat at this time – so if weight loss is your goal, and if you do good, hard anaerobic workouts, then this will sharpen your insulin sensitivity as much as possible and help keep you lean via that mechanism. If, on the other hand, weight loss is not your goal but fitness and strength are, then you may wish to do aerobic work at this time (with higher blood sugar you can accomplish greater aerobic feats), and save the anaerobic work for the rest of your cycle. Does that make sense? At least, that is what I am guessing is happening here.

Love this post of your weight loss journey. Thank you for sharing. You are so real and honest and I love that about you and your blog. I too am struggling with my weight loss/gain since having my daughter in Jan 2009. I lost 80lbs back in 2000 but it has all come back on especially since having my daughter and not focusing on my well being and putting all my enegy into my daughter. This totally inspires me that I can get back on track. Congrats to you for your weight loss accomplishments. You look fabulous!
Top Quote: “While this is my playful attempt of sharing my experience with you, I have to be completely honest when I say that it’s been hard. I can live with giving up on all the gadgets, gizmos, systems and plans that barely saw the light of day, but it’s really hard to accept that I gave up on myself. While I know I have a long arduous journey ahead of me, I hope that I will inspire others to keep me company along the way.”
While many professionals tout light bouts of resistance training for women, the truth is that light weight will only allow the body to adapt to so much. While it may seem counterintuitive, using heavier weights can have a more favorable outcome for weight loss.[7] Not only does heavy resistance training create a greater calorie expenditure for up to 24 hours post-workout, but it can also help you add muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories at rest!

About: Kristina is a plus-size model with a mission: help women learn to love their bodies while working to exercise, eat right and live healthfully. But most importantly, Kristina’s blog is about exploring body confidence and “healthy curves.” Her blog is the perfect balance of encouraging healthy living and loving yourself at the same time. Plus, Kristina’s great about taking it outside herself. Every month, she features the “Curvy Girl of the Month” where she profiles other successful women.

Think of each almond as a natural weight-loss pill. A study of overweight and obese adults found that, combined with a calorie-restricted diet, consuming a little more than a quarter cup of the nuts can decrease weight more effectively than a snack comprised of complex carbohydrates and safflower oil—after just two weeks! (And after 24 weeks, those who ate the nuts experienced a 62% greater reduction in weight and BMI!) For optimal results, eat your daily serving before you hit the gym. A study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that almonds, rich in the amino acid L-arginine, can actually help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts. Fill up, but don’t fill out: Use these Eat This, Not That!-recommended 10 Daily Habits That Blast Belly Fat.
Attend a weight loss camp. Sometimes sticking with an exercise routine and diet plan is too challenging. Old habits and daily routines will steer you back to your old foods and activities at every turn. To combat this, many people enroll in residential weight loss programs that remove them from their daily lives. Sometimes called fitness retreats, these programs come in dozens of different styles, and are available for youth, adults and seniors.[12] You should always make sure before attending, that your weight loss camp of choice is equipped to safely handle your age and health specific needs.[13]
Consistent with the current study, improvement of metabolic factors after 4 weeks of VLCD was reported in a study by Erik et al. In this study, it was found that VLCD in the short-term intervention could cause a significant reduction in the levels of blood glucose, cholesterol, and TG in a fasting condition (27). The study of Laaksonen et al. showed that administration of VLCD diet for 5 weeks improved metabolic factors and decreased cutaneous water loss and increased subcutaneous fat water. This researcher suggested that WL and consequent improved insulin sensitivity could mediate an increase in abdominal subcutaneous fat hydration (31).
Unfortunately this reduces the debate to a very simplistic level.  Why?  Because we know that hunger, appetite, energy expenditure (i.e., metabolic rate), and even our propensity to be active are highly regulated by an increasing list of hormones and signaling molecules, not to mention our genetic inheritance (Bouchard 1994).  Moreover these various factors interact with each other – for example: exercise stimulates hunger, calorie restriction increases hunger and decreases spontaneous activity (Keys 1950), calorie restriction reduces metabolic rate, and exercise plus calorie restriction markedly reduces metabolic rate (Phinney 1988).
Sometimes, you might need an external motivator—like a race or a competition—to keep you on track. After a slow start to her slimdown, Maribel Contreras decided to sign up for a 12-week body transformation contest at her gym. She swapped out her fast-food trips for healthy homemade meals and revved up her workouts, which ultimately helped her win the competition. She now maintains a 77-pounds-lighter frame. 
When you want something sweet, all those fat-free, sugar-free options seem like a smart choice for weight loss. But researchers at Cornell University found that overweight people who choose low-fat versions of snack foods rather than the regular kinds consume, on average, twice as many calories. "The terms 'fat-free' or 'sugar-free' can create a green light effect, triggering people to eat more," says dietitian Cynthia Sass, RD. But many fat-free foods have about the same number of calories (or more) as their full-fat counterparts. 
The theory behind carb cycling and weight loss is that it optimizes your body’s metabolic needs. So the theory goes, while in a low carb period, your body sharpens insulin sensitivity, produces glucagon to help you burn fat, and becomes metabolically streamlined. These are great things. Yet if you persist in being too low carb for too long your thyroid hormone levels will drop, and your insulin sensitivity may actually worsen. In short: you may gain weight.
Strength Training is very important part of your workouts.  Try for 15 – 30 minutes of strength training.  Don’t be afraid of strength training.  You burn more calories all together.  You’ll tone your muscles and you get stronger.  I like that my arms are strong, that way I can carry more bags at the mall.  🙂  I like to do circuit training which is full body workouts. I only do them 3 times a week, every other day.  Never do strength training on back to back days, unless you work one muscle group at a time. Such as Monday Upper Body, Tuesday Lower Body, Wednesday Core, Thursday Upper Body, Friday Lower Body, you get the picture.

About: Healthier key lime pie. Lower-calorie chocolate caramel snickers bars. Lower carb chocolate-filled cookies. If you have a sweet tooth but are trying to lose weight, Kaylie’s blog is for you. Kaylie is a registered dietitian who has a sweet tooth of her own. So, naturally, she figured out recipe swaps for making desserts with lower calories while maintaining all the sweet deliciousness. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

About: The truth is we all love a good success story — they show us what other people, real people that went through the same things we did, were able to achieve. They also give us ideas on how we can kickstart our own weight loss journey and succeed. The Weigh We Were is a one-stop shop for all those stories, real stories from other people who lost weight, plus how they did it. It’s just the place to get ideas from similar people to see what might work and what won’t.
I kept my blood sugar from spiking by following a fat loss program built for me. It was quite similar to the slow carb diet. The methods I used were from the advice I found from a variety of locations, surrounding foods and how diet alone can make for some amazing weight loss. You can get the program we used for this right here: women click here – and – men click here.
“Stepping on the scale frequently makes you aware of small changes and helps you quickly react to those changes. The National Weight Control Registry, a large group of people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for 5 years, found that successful ‘losers’ weigh themselves often and make adjustments accordingly. When you begin to understand that sodium, carb intake, hormones and alcohol intake can impact weight and that it isn’t possible to gain 2 pounds of fat overnight, you will begin to better understand your body. The key is to pay attention to overall trends; don’t obsess over day-to-day numbers! — Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, food and nutrition expert

“Oolong, or ‘black dragon,’ is a kind of Chinese tea that’s packed with catechins, nutrients that help promote weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to metabolize fat. A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost a pound a week, without doing anything else to change their diet or exercise habits.” — Kelly Choi, author of  The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse
To encourage ketone production, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production. And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis.
I know what you mean bout struggling through weight loss/gain. My Husband is super skinny and my step-daughter is thin too and they don’t understand the issues of weight. For me, weight can come on pretty quick. I will always be one of those people that has to watch there weight, I just can’t eat anything and not gain weight. It’s a struggle. I drive my family crazy sometimes, when we go out I say no, can’t eat that, thats to fattening, no thanks I don’t need fries, ect… and than I have my Husband who says your fine, enjoy it, eat it. Than I do than I feel horribly guilty. Sometimes we have to know to let go that we are not all perfect. The main reason I started my blog was for support. If I opened up and put it out there, than I feel accountable for my actions and I wanted people to know they aren’t alone. Thanks for leaving a comment, today I was actually feeling kind of bad, but you made me feel better. Take care of yourself and please feel free to stop by anytime. – Jennifer
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3) In our recent blog post on NK and appetite, we point to newly published studies showing how low-grade inflammation can change the brain’s response to signals from hormones like insulin and leptin. In our on-going study with Dr. Hallberg at IUH, we have reported large and consistent reductions in two inflammation biomarkers (CRP and WBC count) at baseline and 1 year in the ketogenic diet group, which adds another level of complexity to the metabolic responses to various levels of dietary carbohydrate intake.
Only 11% of Americans correctly estimate their ideal daily calorie requirements, according to one survey. The rest of us tend to overestimate, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Let's say you assume that consuming 2,000 calories per day will allow you to reach your target weight, but it really takes 1,800: Those extra 200 are enough to keep an additional 20 pounds on your frame. 
The results of the current study showed that both protocols of rapid WL and slow WL caused a reduction in waist circumference, hip circumference, total body water, body fat mass, FFM, LBM, and RMR. Greater reduction of waist circumference, hip circumference, and FFM was seen with slow WL and greater reduction of total body water, LBM, and RMR was seen with rapid WL. It seems that the effect of slow WL in maintaining body water and LBM (as a metabolic tissue) was more significant than rapid WL.

Biz is a healthy recipe developer and creator of the blog, My Bizzy Kitchen. For years, she struggled to maintain a healthy weight after working a desk job for close to ten years. When the time came to get serious about her health, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and has since been learning to navigate her weight loss while being an insulin dependent diabetic. She shares her weight loss journey and her healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as a healthy dose of humor, on her blog.


Leah Campbell is a writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. She’s a single mother by choice after a serendipitous series of events led to the adoption of her daughter. Leah is also the author of the book “Single Infertile Female” and has written extensively on the topics of infertility, adoption, and parenting. You can connect with Leah via Facebook, her website, and Twitter.
I want you to know you can find inspiration through healthy perspectives. It’s not about weighing 100 pounds and eating kale every day. You don’t have to run 10 miles every morning. It’s about finding balance and enjoying the journey. It’s about filling your world with a balance of all things – fitness, nutrition, faith, friendships, and all things. It’s about focusing on a healthy lifestyle that works for you.
On a traditional diet, rapid weight loss is the loss of more than 2 pounds in 1 week. According to the Mayo Clinic, 1 pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, so losing more than 2 pounds in 1 week would require a calorie deficit through some combination of dieting and exercise of over 1,000 calories each day. If you create the deficit through diet, it can be very difficult to get the nutrients you need. If you create the deficit through exercise, you risk over training. Cutting 250 to 500 calories from your diet each day and burning an additional 250 to 500 calories through exercise can lead to a safe, healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds each week.
Also, while your menstrual cycle may not affect weight gain or loss, losing or gaining weight can affect your menstrual cycle. Women who lose too much weight or lose weight too quickly may stop having a period, or have irregular periods. Women who have obesity may also have irregular periods. A regular period is a sign of good health. Reaching a healthy weight can help women who have irregular periods to have cycles that are more regular. Learn more in our Menstrual Cycle section.
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