Remember that these are all perfectly understandable evolutionary design features. Higher estrogen levels during puberty drive fat gain as an energy reserve in case you get pregnant. During early pregnancy, they go into overdrive to “stock up” for the approaching challenge. Your body still hasn’t caught up to the 21st century; it still thinks its job is to keep you (a) alive, and (b) fertile in an environment of extreme food scarcity and a constant threat of famine. So storing extra fat at every opportunity makes perfect sense: back in the day, it could have meant the difference between life and death (or a healthy baby and a miscarriage).
In short, focus on eating a sensible diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. You also want to balance maintaining a reasonable calorie deficit to promote weight loss without starving yourself. To do this, dietitians recommend cutting out about 500 calories per day from your daily intake through diet and exercise. Doing so sets you up to lose about 1 pound per week, which is a highly sustainable rate of weight loss.
Annamarie Rivera’s weight loss transformation has been 10 years in the making. In early 2010, Annamarie weighed 400 pounds and wore a size 28 in pants. Today, she is over 230 pounds smaller and has an entirely new outlook on life. Her blog, Weight Loss With Annamarie, shares her incredible weight loss journey along with the joys and struggles that come along with it. Whether you’re just beginning your weight loss journey or trying to lose those last few pounds, Annamarie’s inspirational blog will help you persevere through the ups and downs.
Eat more slowly. Take your time to taste your food and enjoy it. This will not only help you be more mindful of what you are putting in your mouth, but will give you the opportunity to get to know your hunger and fullness cues a little better. Research implies those that take longer to eat - 30 minutes vs. 5 minutes - can reduce feelings of hunger and increase feelings of fullness, regardless of calorie intake and hormonal responses to food (41).  

While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to researchers at Yale, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.
Include some fat in your diet to get the nutritional benefits, but be mindful of how much fat you are adding to your meals. If cooking or dressing your own meals, keep oil and butter portions to 1 Tbsp or less per person, and don’t overdo it on high fat toppings and ingredients like cream, cheese, nuts, nut butters and seeds. If eating out, opt for grilled, baked or steamed options over fried, breaded, and heavy sauces.

You know not to crush half a pizza before jumping in bed, but even munching on something healthy-ish at night can throw off your calorie-burning momentum. Ideally, while you're sleeping, you want your body to burn its current fat storages (read: that pesky middle-jiggle) for fuel as opposed to whatever you ate as a midnight snack. Make sure to fill up at dinner every night, and then banish yourself from the kitchen at least two hours before bed.
The journal "Yale Scientific" reveals that the phenomenon of targeted weight loss, while intuitively appealing, is essentially a myth. Focusing your exercises on your thighs can help improve muscle tone, but it won't necessarily help you lose thigh fat in a hurry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fat loss occurs across the body in response to a calorie deficit. You can create a calorie deficit through aerobic exercise, strength training and a reduced caloric intake. You will need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories for each pound of fat you want to lose.
Not all white foods are bad for weight-loss. In fact, plain boiled potatoes are the most filling food there is, according to the Satiety Index of Common Foods, an Australian study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To maximize their flat-belly benefits, throw ’em in the refrigerator and make a potato salad. The cooling process will crystallize the tubers into resistant starch, which takes longer to break down in your intestine, producing fat-burning butyrate and delaying hunger pangs.

Well, I should begin on the child hood years.  As a child I was not over weight.  I was pretty active as a child, my weight didn’t go up till I hit puberty.  I guess all that candy and soda caught up with me.  However when I hit about 15, the weight came back off, I was a cheerleader in the fall, and I played softball in the spring,and did a lot of other activities in between.  Then when I hit 18 I really started to work out.  I kind of got obsessed, I was working out to Carol Alt’s VCR tapes (remember VHS tapes?) and I got into the best shape ever.  I am 5’11 and made it to 135 lbs, not too shabby.  However, I didn’t eat that much and felt horribly guilty when I did eat.  Not good!  Honestly I don’t know what happened after that, to why I stopped working out that is.  I guess that’s when I hit age 20.  The discovery of pizza, beer, bars, guys and friends.
There are a couple of things I tried my best to remember each day. One of the biggest things was portion control. Portion control makes such a difference! What I mean is having one serving of something instead of two or three. It means that when I went out to dinner, I would eat half of my giant plate and take the other half home for lunch the next day. I think I always thought my body needed more food than it actually did. I used to eat something as soon as I started feeling hungry, but it's actually totally normal for our stomachs to feel hungry sometimes. That isn't to stay you should starve yourself by any means, but let yourself get hungry before you go in for a big meal. I remember packing multiple snacks (granola bars, pretzels, candy, etc.) for the 3 hour drive from Kirksville to St. Louis, which just wasn't necessary at all - I now pack one snack like some fruit or granola.  
While there is research to show foods can create a minor uptick in metabolism after eating them, the effects are fairly minimal and short lived. Keep in mind that thermogenesis only represents a small portion of BMR (10%), and even with a large upswing, the effects don't stick for more than a few hours - resulting in only tiny increases in calorie burn over 24 hours. 
I’ve always been one of those “all or nothing” kind of people. That combined with zero will power led to me taking every single item out of our pantry and refrigerator and giving it ALL away. I remember having boxes and boxes of food in our butler’s pantry. Following his “ingredient guidelines”, I loaded our house with only food in line with his program. I didn’t need to lose like ten pounds. I needed to lose one hundred. It wasn’t going to be one of those “let’s ease into this” kind of diet. I needed a complete overhaul.
About: The Failed Dieter is a newly-launched website from Jessica, who formerly was the owner of Jessica’s World, a personal blog she used to chronicle her weight loss journey. Now, her blog has morphed into so much more — a place where Jessica gives tips and recipes for stopping yo-yo dieting, and choosing to live healthy. Jessica lost 50 pounds making small lifestyle changes and giving up bad habits. Now her mission is to help you do the same.
In Part 1 of this series, we covered everything but the hormones. But now it’s time for the million dollar estrogen question: do female hormones make it harder for women to lose weight? And if they do, what can you do about it? In this article, we’ll look at the pro- and anti-fat effects of estrogen (yes, there are both!), what this means for weight loss, and how diet can affect estrogen levels in various ways.

Thank you so much for this article on carb cycling & weight loss for women! I found it tremendously helpful for personal reasons but also because I work with so many women (as a personal trainer) who encounter significant frustration when it comes to weight loss, health & hormonal status (the interplay among them). Your article seems to speak to mostly women of reproductive age or to women who are still menstruating. I also work with many women age 50+ and wondered what recommendations, if any, might you have to offer regarding carbs/carb cycling for peri-/menopausal/post-menopausal women? Thank you so much, Stefani – the info & wisdom you share on your blog & via your podcast (which I love!) are invaluable to me. I also totally dig your book and recommend it to other women all the time! I so appreciate the work you’re doing!

Jennifer, you have given absolutely wonderful advice here. You get it! The only thing I would tell you is that while milk chocolate is not good for you, dark chocolate is (65% cacao or higher). The principles you outline are basically what I’ve been following, so I know what you say is accurate. The other thing I’ve learned is that one can have alcoholic beverages in moderation and still lose weight. I am certain that if you stick with the principles you’ve outlined, you will keep your weight off. Congratulations on a job well done!

Use the weight-training equipment correctly to achieve favorable results. Move through a full range of motion, never use momentum and keep your body in good alignment with all your exercises. For example, for lunges, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in. Step forward with your right foot and lower yourself by bending both knees. Stop when your right thigh is parallel to the floor and left knee is an inch above the floor. Step back to the starting position, repeat with your left leg and continue to alternate legs.

Do it better: The best way to know if you're eating too much is to write it down. "Even if you note it on a napkin and then throw it away, that's okay. Just the act of writing makes you more aware," says Taub-Dix. Portion control cues help too: A baseball-size serving for chopped veggies and fruits; a golf ball for nuts and shredded cheese; a fist for rice and pasta; and a deck of cards for lean meats.
This classic lunchbox sandwich condiment is teeming with flat-belly nutrients such as cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats and is a great source of plant-based protein. According to a recent study presented at the annual Society for Endocrinology conference, researchers found that when protein is digested and broken down into amino acids in your body, one of those amino acids—phenylalanine—triggers hormones that help reduce appetite and ultimately leads to fat burn and weight loss. Go for brands that have an ingredient list of just two items: nuts and a little salt, or look to our guide: Best and Worst Peanut Butters.
Make leg presses a part of your workout and you’ll lose thigh fat and enjoy greater muscle definition in no time. Seated leg presses can help work your hamstrings, butt, quads, and calves, increasing your metabolism with every pound of muscle you build. Fortunately, you don’t have to add tons of weight to your routine to achieve serious results; research suggests that adding more reps with lighter weight is just as effective for weight loss and building muscle.
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