Fast forward to January of my senior year of college (the beginning of 2016). One day I decided to weigh myself – I never weighed myself throughout high school and college, mostly because I was scared of disappoint but also because I didn’t have access to a scale and didn’t want to buy one. I stepped on the scale, and I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. I felt embarrassed, shameful, and defeated. I knew I needed to finally commit to making a change. I wanted to commit to healthy eating and exercise because I thought weight loss would kickstart my journey to a healthier lifestyle.
IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is the most common gastrointestinal disorder. IBS symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, and bloating—So. Much. Bloating. While the causes aren’t all known, it’s thought to be linked to lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, hormones, and stress. Sufferers often find that making changes in these areas eliminates or reduces their IBS (and their stomach circumference!). Here’s how these 10 myths about fat can keep you from losing weight.
It is possible to do more in less time — at least when it comes to your workouts. By incorporating interval training — that means bursts of high-intensity moves — you’ll give your metabolism a huge boost, says Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., director of the Kinesiology Program at the University of Virginia and author of The Spark. If you usually jog at a consistent pace, try adding a 30-second to one-minute sprint every five minutes, or, if you’re on a treadmill, change up the incline for one-minute intervals.
The notion that abdominal obesity is the most dangerous kind isn't new. Back in the 1940s, the French physician Jean Vague observed that some obese patients had normal blood chemistry, while some moderately overweight patients showed serious abnormalities that predisposed them to heart disease or diabetes. Almost always, the latter patients carried their fat around their middles. And, almost always, they were men.
Diet is a major part of the equation, but you can also lower your belly fat with a strategic workout plan. Since you can’t reduce fat in one area, you’ll have to focus on a full-body burn. The good news? That means you’ll be trim and lean all over, not just your mid-section. To torch fat, holistic nutritionist and certified personal trainer Ashley Walter recommends weight training and fasted exercise.
You can’t skimp on sleep. Losing weight for good calls for a total lifestyle change -- and that includes getting more Zs. Missing the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye has been linked repeatedly with increased obesity rates. “When you don’t sleep enough, it certainly affects your brain,” explained Dr. Arad. “What we’ve learned is that people who don’t sleep well are making poor choices — eating more unhealthy diets, and they are obviously more fatigued, so they become less physically active.” In fact, people who sleep six hours or fewer per night on average consume about 300 extra calories the following day.
Being a foodie is no easy task. Constantly obsessing over the best foods to eat, which restaurants to visit and where the next meal is coming from can be exhausting. Beth knows how such a title can lead to weight struggles, which is why she uses her blog to document her journey staying healthy after losing 58 pounds - going from 220 to 162.2. She also shares some pretty amazing recipes, tips for success, product reviews and her race results - oh yeah, Beth is quite the runner now.
"One of the hardest parts of losing weight is maintaining the lifestyle changes you’ve made. It’s difficult to stay motivated all the time, especially if you’ve slipped up along the way. But don’t let this affect your end goal. If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, ask a friend to join you for your workout and then afterwards cook something healthy for dinner together."
As funny as it sounds, sleep deprivation may make you fat — and not just because you're susceptible to cases of the late-night munchies (although there's that too). There's tons of research that demonstrates getting less than the desired amount — about 7 hours — of sleep per night can slow down your metabolism. Plus, when you're awake for longer, you're naturally more likely to nosh. So don't skimp on your ZZZs, and you'll be rewarded with an extra edge when it comes to shedding pounds quickly.
Practicing mindful eating can be really helpful if you’re an emotional eater. Check in with yourself to see if you’re actually hungry or just avoiding that assignment that’s hanging over your head. If you’re going to eat, sit down and give your food your full attention. No eating out of the bag, either. If you’re going to snack on some chips, but them in a bowl so you can see how much you’re eating. That might help curb your cravings.
Scientists and nutrition experts like it too and are saying it’s the way of the future for losing and keeping weight off and new books and articles on the topic are being published daily including best selling books like ‘Eat Stop Eat’ and ‘The 8 Hour Diet’. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.
About: Let’s start with Katie by rewinding three years to January 2013 when she hopped on the scale and realized she weighed 247 pounds. That was the moment that “something just clicked” for Katie. Fast forward back to the present, Katie lost 100 pounds, dropped six pants sizes and along the way found a fierce determination to pursue (and stick with) her fitness goals. Katie found her purpose, and she uses her blog to fulfill that purpose: helping others who struggle with obesity, weight loss and food addiction.
At such a calorie deficit, the body goes into starvation mode in order to conserve energy and metabolism slows. You’re also losing muscle because the body isn’t getting the protein it needs. Muscle doesn’t just make you strong and toned, it also helps to boost metabolism. When you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down even more, making it harder to lose weight.
One study from the University of Adelaide in Australia suggests you may lose more weight when you work out towards the end of your menstrual cycle, as opposed to right when a new one begins. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone tell your body to use fat as an energy source. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," study author Leanne Redman says.
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.
#11 – Most importantly, set a goal and try to achieve it! Don’t give up, even if you mess up for a day or two. Just get back on that horse and keep going. Along that note, you need to reward yourself! If you reach a mini goal, then treat yourself to a pair of jeans, or something you desire. I bought clothes at every 5lbs loss. A little crazy, but it worked and I felt great!!
That doesn't mean one type of eating has the edge, however. "I individualize eating plans to allow both men and women to enjoy their preferences for carbs or protein, providing they select the healthy versions," says Tallmadge, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Another difference Tallmadge sees in her practice is that women tend to be fairly knowledgeable about food and calories, while the men don't think much about nutrition.
“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
When Stephen put his first before-photo out there for the world to see, he really encompassed everything it means to be vulnerable and to trust a community for support. He weighed in at a staggering 632 pounds, a point where many people would just give up. But not Stephen. Instead, Stephen has made his wellness journey a lifestyle. Through eating right and a discovered love for running, he has lost almost 300 pounds (and counting!). His blog is truly touching, and he truly embodies the saying, “It’s never too late.”
Sable of Squat Like a Lady is a self-described full-time student and part-time powerlifter, but she hasn't always been buff and tough. After suffering from anorexia as a teen, Sable gained 80 pounds. On her journey back to a healthy weight, she fell in love with heavy weight lifting. Now, her focus is no longer about losing weight—check out her post Don't Call Me Skinny! —but on gaining strength.
While 1,200 may be the right number for some, it can be super restrictive for others, says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Try basing your meals and snacks off this plan and double up on veggies at any opportunity — more fruit at snack time works too! You can also add an extra ounce or two of protein at all meals if you find yourself feeling hungry. The combo of fiber from produce and lean protein makes this an adaptable strategy that’ll help you lose weight safely — one meal (and snack) at a time!
I can’t tell you how much I needed this today, Brittany. I know each of us has a story, and a unique scenario of why changes have happened to our bodies…but I’m sure yours could strike a cord with many others who can relate to the stress, pain, and struggle of unwanted weight gain. I greatly appreciate your raw honesty (and bravery!) on sharing your story and how your account of weight loss can inspire us all. I, too, was the skinny kid, even underweight most of my life, and even after childbirth, would quickly lose the weight (plus more!) after giving birth. I’ve never taken anxiety medications, but have experienced that stress alone, and the cortisol changes that the stress brings on in our bodies, is enough of a catalyst to cause weight gain. I never really had to worry about weight gain (lucky genes I guess)…but then my Mom died, four years ago this month, and my life was turned upside down. I’m an only child, and my Mom was everything to me…my number one supporter, my confidante, my cheerleader, my best friend, my gift of unconditional love. We talked every day, we shared everything, we knew without a doubt, that we could count on each other for everything. My Mom taught me everything I know about life, except how to live without her. Needless to say, the stress of losing my best friend, has taken a toll on me, and I have gained a significant amount of weight over these rough four years. So, thank you for sharing…and thank you for the inspiration!! I adore you, friend, and I thank you for putting your story out there to motivate me, and others, to take the steps that I need to do to get back to my healthy weight. You look fabulous, Brittany, and I’m so proud of you!! Keeping shining, my friend!!
Lisa Cain is a mother and writer for the healthy living blog Snack Girl. After learning from her doctor that she needed to gain control of her weight, Lisa was devoted to finding a new strategy and approach to weight loss that would help her make a long-term lifestyle change. Her blog is dedicated to creating healthy versions of her favorite snack foods and providing helpful tips for enjoying the process.
Jen always has a sugary snack at 10:00 am, Jane loves to eat chocolate at night, they did not realize it but they have a daily pattern and we can use that to our benefit. If you see that you always want something sweet at 10:00 am, have a sweet breakfast like oatmeal, it will curb that craving before you have it and guess what? Pattern broken and extra calories consumed no more.
In the summer of 2009, I was stressed out with life! So after dinner, every night, no matter what I went for a short walk around the block, and within 1 month I lost 10lbs. My body must of went into shock with actually moving around. That was the push I needed. I was so excited to lose the weight that I actually started to watch what I ate. I didn’t calorie count, I started out with portion control. By November I dropped another 10lbs. I was sitting around 150lbs. That’s when I took notice of calories in food. I was shocked to find out how many calories there were in my favorite foods. I thought ordering a salad from Baja Fresh was a good idea! Nope! Having reduced fat desserts from Starbucks was ok,nope. So I started to track calories on a website, my Virtual Trainer. I was sticking to around 1200 calories a day, because that is what the magazines would tell me.
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Thanks, I know the amount of food I was consuming was low working to increase (did I mention I’m Vegetarian) options are limited. Yes I am on the candida diet for a purpose, because of the access of yeast in my body, but I have been told it helps to lower weight. I wasn’t talking about weighting myself every day (saving that for every 2 weeks) I was just talking about a difference in my body. After I’m finished this candida diet I plan on continuing on a weight loss diet similar to what you are on, yet side I don’t eat meat I find it hard to get foods high in calories that are healthy, any suggestions. Thanks for your time.
However, do understand that it may seem harder to gain muscle as you age, says Dr. David Greuner of NYC Surgical Associates, due to hormone changes, age-related illness, and even social factors like a busy schedule. In his opinion, cardio will burn off fat, but to build sturdy muscles, choose heavy weights with a small number of reps or lighter weights with more reps. Also, remember diet and exercise go hand-in-hand for overall health and strength, especially as the years tick by.
“Before you begin to change your diet, spend a week recording everything you eat—and I mean everything. Before I made any changes to my diet, I journaled everything I ate each day for a week, including little things like gum or breath mints. If you have a piece of candy from your coworker’s desk, snag a few spoonfuls of your boyfriend’s ice cream, or finish the few bits of grilled cheese your kid left on her plate, write it down! It all adds up, and you just don’t realize how much you’re eating until you actually see it all on paper in front of you. I, for one, was stunned.” — Maria Menounos, author of The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness, on how she lost 40 pounds
For us ladies there is a dreaded week each month that we hold onto water weight (and usually a bar of chocolate) and guess what, you will be much more forgiving at the end of the week weigh in if you know once a month you just happen to be 5 pounds heavier. You’ll say to yourself, yep that’s my pattern, it’s OK and it will be gone next week. See… sometimes homework can be beneficial.
Keto. Flexitarian. Paleo. Whole 30. Vegan. There are as many diets in existence as there are dangerous weight loss myths. So which eating style should you choose when you’re on a get-fit-quick and have just 10 days? Turns out, numerous studies have found it essentially doesn’t matter which plan you follow for rapid weight loss, be it low-carb or low-fat, as long as you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning. The key is that it’s sustainable: a strategy that you can keep up for the week and a half—and beyond.
I have been following the slow-carb diet for nearly 3 weeks with no significant weight loss. I will admit I have made a few tweaks to fit my lifestyle. I go to the gym at 5:30am and do not have time or the desire to eat a big breakfast before going. So I normally make a whey protien shake with water and about 1/4 cup frozen berries (I know fruit is a no-no) when I get home from the gym at 7. I then eat breakfast – eggs, black beans and spinach at 10. Lunch is either a salad with beans or slice of deli turkey or chili. I have not eaten any grains, sweets etc… I do use milk in my coffee instead of heavy cream. Why is heavy cream a better choice? I do have a glass of red wine at night and an occasional serving of sugar free gelatin. I take a spin class 2-3 days a week and run 20 miles per week as I am training for a Ragnar Relay.
About: Michelle’s first pregnancy was one of the best times of her life, but it was also a time when she gained weight. After her little one was born, Michelle started up her blog as a way to chronicle her weight loss and all her activities being a first-time mom. She lost nearly 60 pounds in six months, and is great if you’re looking for someone to follow who tries out new diets, fitness routines, healthy recipes and more. Oh yeah, and her crafts are amazing.
Hey, im 17 and have been struggling with my weight since i was a kid. I had started working out at the gym and cutting down on the calories LITERALLY, i would go to bed hungry which kinda made it worth while, i lost 20-25 lbs but have plateaued … Its depressing & i still got 15 more lbs to lose, my mom makes us eat so much carbs, thats all there ever is after the vegetables and stuff are finished … I really need your help on losing those last 15 🙂 xx
What are you doing this weekend? I hope you’re signing up for MEND our new virtual 6 week workshop with the wonderful @rosiemolinary We launched a BONUS #bodykindness #podcast today and we have a coupon code for listeners. Enter SpiralUp at registration and you’ll save $130— all 6 weeks for $299 included our live session and Facebook group. Head on over to the podcast for Rosie and Rebecca insight. Then sign up for MEND with us... the only thing broken is how you see yourself. Starts 3/14
Roni starting blogging in 2005 as a way to stay accountable on her personal weight-loss journey. Six years later, she still blogs, but her mission is to inspire others and share her ideas to live a lighter, healthier life. Roni does this through openly and honestly chronicling her weight loss, health, and fitness goals. Roni also founded FitBloggin’, a conference to bring new and seasoned health and wellness, fitness, and weight-loss bloggers together for knowledge, personal growth, and networking. It's clear that Roni is committed to living a healthy lifestyle and sharing her passion with others. I'm so glad to know her professionally and personally.
It’s just as important and beneficial (if not more so) to focus on diet quality rather than quantity, says a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Focus on real foods rather than a strict number of calories and you’re more likely to stay slim over the long term. Shapiro recommends these shedding superfoods, in particular:
In August of 2010, one of my members of Getting in Shape 2010 group recommended I joined Sparks People. I thought what the heck, since my virtual trainer was giving me issues. Well I set up my profile, entered how much exercise I do a week, and what my goal was and guess what? It calculated how many calories I needed to lose 1.5 lbs a week. Don’t forget I was eating only 1200 calories a day. Sparks told me I needed to eat 1550 at the low end and 1700 on the high end. I was so happy, I could eat!!!! It was like a new world opened up for me.