There’s a phenomenon I’ve see happen again and again. A husband and wife realize they’ve been enjoying their after-dinner snacks a bit too much and are seeing the numbers on the scale rise. They decide to embark on a healthy diet to shed those excess pounds and, ideally, lose weight fast. Two months later, the husband’s shed serious pounds and is looking trim, while the wife struggles to get the scale to budge, even after a diet full of kale salads and grilled chicken breast.
I played tennis from my freshman through junior year of high school and, again, really enjoyed the sport, but abhorred the running. Our coach was a middle-aged guy who could run circles around me. The entire team would have finished their laps around the field, while I was still stumbling along next to the (also middle-aged) assistant coach, who I’m quite sure they sent in as an attempt to get me to run faster.
Each slice of grapefruit you add to your salad acts like a match to spark your body’s fat-burning ability. A study published in the journal Metabolism found that those who ate grapefruit for six weeks lost a full inch off their waistlines. What’s behind the belt-tightening effect? The fruit is rich in phytochemicals, bioactive compounds that recent research shows stimulate the production of a hormone called adiponectin, which is involved in the breakdown of body fat. Japanese research suggests the smell of the juicy fruit can “turn on” calorie-burning brown fat cells, promoting the breakdown of body fat while reducing appetite.
I know, I know. It sounds great to just be able to eat whatever you want to stack calories, but you really only want to increase your intake by 5 to 10% to promote more lean mass. Fat storage is a fairly simple process in the body, heck, we are designed to store more fat for survival purposes; whereas laying down muscle takes more time and requires more specific approaches, including adequate protein intake and strength training. Research suggests it may be possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, but this phenomenon is not well understood and success can vary drastically from one person to the next (4,5).
About: Andie’s well-known for her New York Times bestselling memoir “It Was Me All Along” where she chronicles how she lost 135 pounds 10 years ago. But it’s her blog that drew us to her for this list, especially considering that she’s managed all this time to KEEP that weight off. Andie also wrote a cookbook, “Eating in the Middle,” featuring (mostly) healthy recipes. Plus, Andie’s blog is chock full of healthy recipes too (and the occasional indulgence), lessons she learned while losing weight and how she transformed her relationship with food and her body.
Running at an incline rather than on a flat surface has been shown to increase total calorie burn by as much as 50%, says Jill Penfold, a Los Angeles-based personal trainer. Whether you're outside on a hill or at the gym on an inclined treadmill, start out walking for 5-10 minutes, then jog, suggests Penfold. "Your heart rate should elevate pretty quickly as you pick up your pace," she says. Maintain the jog for 5-10 minutes, then pick your pace up again and start running. "This doesn't have to be an all-out sprint," says Penfold, but you should be working hard enough that you couldn't have a conversation with someone running next to you. Spend 5 minutes running, then drop your pace back down to a jog. Continue alternating 5-10 minutes of jogging with 5-10 minutes of running for 30-45 minutes.
Furthermore, when we studied 9 lean healthy young men and fed them first a ‘balanced diet’ for a week locked in a metabolic ward and then the exact same calories as a ketogenic diet for 4 weeks, they did not lose any body fat (only about 2 pounds of water) despite being consistently and strongly in nutritional ketosis. (Phinney 1983) And finally, the 10 low carb runners from our FASTER Study had been following a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle for at least 6 months (average blood ketones of 0.6 mmol/L); but while thin, none of them were continuing to lose significant weight (Volek 2016).
What to eat to lose weight is a sticky subject because there are so many diets on the market right now. You must use a diet that helps you eat the best food, and you need a diet that is tailored to your body. Someone who plans to lose weight must have a diet that fits into their exercise routine, and they must be willing to eat things that they might not have eaten before.
Thus these observed 2% and 4% increases in energy expenditure on the ketogenic diet underestimate the true metabolic effects of a well-formulated ketogenic diet. From the short-term perspective of a month or two, whether this is 75 Calories per day or 300 Calories per day, the added effects on weight loss would not be spectacular. But from the longer term view, a sustained daily increase in energy expenditure of 200 Calories would translate to 20 lbs of adipose either lost or not gained.
The Mediterranean diet is not just another commercial diet but it is a lifestyle that promotes healthy eating and healthy living. It is a natural weight loss program that was nominated by UNESCO as the world’s healthiest diet. The Mediterranean diet is a mixture of the cultures and dietary preferences of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean basin and hence this is from where it got its name.
About: When you read Ayah’s blog, it’s almost like you can hear her accent. And that’s what drew us to her blog — the idea that no matter how different cultures might be, we all struggle with the same things. As Ayah puts it, she’s a person just like anyone else, a person who’s fought to lose weight, gone up and down multiple times and these days just tries to maintain her fitness while sharing her journey (and tons of great recipes) along the way.
In this study, women were put in one of two groups. Group 1 ate a “normal” diet with 15% of calories from protein. Group 2 ate a high-protein (30%) diet, with a special emphasis on low-glycemic-index foods. Both groups lost weight, but the Group 2 also had impressive hormonal improvements, specifically a decrease in androgens (male sex hormones) and markers of inflammation, and an improvement in insulin sensitivity. It’s complicated because there were two interventions at once (the protein and the glycemic index), but this seems to suggest that getting enough protein is important for hormonal healing.
Listen to your mum - dieting is faddish. Instead, improve the "quite" to "all" healthy and eat only nutritionally balanced, healthy foods. Cut out all sweets and junk foods, apart from an occasional treat, as humans would have always done till recent times. The exercise is important, and include plenty of stealth exercise, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and cycling to the shops instead of driving, etc.
Thank you so much, Cindy! You should absolutely document your journey! It makes such a big difference to have people to cheer you on and especially for you to have those pictures to look back on your journey. You can do it, one small change at a time. If you decide to document your journey on a blog or social media, please share it with me. I’d love to cheer you on!
You know the kind, says Jillian: "Everyone's like: 'Give up carbs!' 'Give up fat!' 'Wait, no, now I'm taking pills!' None of them are manageable long-term—and they wreak havoc with your metabolism! Because you're either starving yourself or you're cutting out a major food group. Then you go back into weight-gain mode, but it's even worse, because your body has adjusted to all that crazy fad crap."
The vast selection of food choices available in med diet makes it a perfect choice for women. Med diet gives more emphasis to fruits and vegetables, olive oil, legumes, fish, whole grains and less emphasis to red meat, processed food and other fatty and non- natural products. Since our goal is weight loss we should take into account that to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than what you need. The Mediterranean diet does a good job in this aspect as well since the average calories in each meal are around 1500 (of course this depends on the foods selected but as a rule of thumb the average is around this number) . The recommended daily intake for women between 20-25 years is 2000 calories, for women between 26-50 years is 1800 calories and for women over 50 is 1600 calories. So, a daily intake of around 1500 calories will create a calorie deficit that will gradually lead to weight loss in a natural way.
Aloe vera juice is considered really efficient weight loss remedy as it contains natural anti-oxidants that help to delay the growth of free radicals in the body and even to reduce inflammatory processes going on in the body. It stimulates the metabolic rate which in turn helps for the consumption of more energy. This process stabilizes and reduces the body mass index (BMI)
And then there is the controversial NuSi study* (Hall, 2016). This involved 17 individuals confined for 2 months in a metabolic ward and fed two different diets containing identical energy contents but differing in carbohydrate contents – one ‘balanced’ and one ketogenic. After 4 weeks of adaptation to each diet, the subjects had their metabolic rates monitored by two different methods: one using isotope analysis over the last 10 days and the other with continuous indirect calorimetry in a chamber for 24-hrs. The average chamber energy expenditure over 24-hrs was 75 kcal/day greater during the ketogenic diet. Given that the average subject in this study was consuming about 3000 kcal/day, that translates to about a 2% difference. Using the different isotopic method to assess average metabolic rate over the last 10 days of each 4-week study period, the calculated increase in daily energy expenditure on the ketogenic diet was closer to 150 kcal (i.e., 4%).
However, if you’re already on medication and think it could be hampering weight loss efforts, speak with your doctor about your options. It may be possible to transition to a more natural option, like a natural form of birth control, coming up with a plan to transition off medication or simply trying an alternative that’s not known to cause weight gain.
5. Start with one small change. "I realized that a lot of sugar and calories that I consumed came from drinks, so I challenged myself to drink only water—no sugary drinks!—for 30 days. After just one successful week, I decided to add another challenge: to cut back on the carbs I was eating. When I did eat bread, I switched to wheat bread and when I wanted rice, I used brown rice."
I know you’ve heard this all before, I’m sure, but seriously my friend THANK YOU for this post it was amazing and made me feel Like 1. I’m not alone in this world of stress and eating and anxiety and 2. It’s a journey and I can do it !! Thank you! Ps I would love to know some of your tips and tricks in how you manage stress and anxiety, maybe another post
"With all the different tips out there, it can be tricky to understand exactly which exercises work the best. HIIT is great for fat burning and will get your heart rate up, but I’d also recommend including strength (resistance) exercises too. Try lifting weights, using resistance bands or using the weight machines at the gym as these will increase your metabolism to help with weight loss, and increase your muscle strength. It’s important to mix-up your whole-body workouts so you don’t get bored."
The South Beach Diet was developed by clinical cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston and puts some signature spin on a classic low-glycemic index diet. Developed for patients with heart health in mind, the diet seeks to eliminate spikes in blood sugar levels by removing most carbohydrates from your diet (refined flours, pasta, etc.). Once the body has eliminated spikes in blood sugar, complex carbohydrates are slowly reintroduced into your diet and you stay in this phase until you reach your target weight. By the end of the diet, you’re allowed to eat all foods in moderation—even sweets! Though this third phase of the diet recommends some precautions, they aren’t very intrusive on your everyday life.
Do not try to lose weight too rapidly. Crash diets and diet pills that promise weight loss are usually bad for you and actually don't help keep the weight off in the long run. Resist the urge to take the "easy" way out and instead stick with a healthier lifestyle. This way you lose the weight and improve your health, helping you keep the weight off in a way that won't harm you in the long run.
Wow, Penny. You sure have had more than your fair share of struggles! I am so impressed at how you have continued to persevere and do whatever you could to succeed, despite all of the setbacks. YOU are the inspiring one! You found a way to exercise that didn’t cause you pain, you are making the healthiest choices you can in your circumstances. I am so glad you shared your story with me!
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.
The funny thing to me is that what was described in the article was not at all foreign to me and I was thinking “what’s new” when I was reading it, but if you’ve never done it before, it’s really really unpleasant. We’d always fly in the night before the weigh ins and the day of, I’d often wake up at 5am and cut for 12 hours straight. The hardest part is to have the discipline to not check your weight too frequently because it gets extremely hard to get your sweat going when you’re dehydrated, especially in the absence of a sauna. My mom also noticed that I’d go running in a foot of fresh snow at 3am when I’d have an early flight and at that point she decided she didn’t have to worry about my determination.
Take my unedited photos below for example. After having my son, it took me a while to get back into the groove of things. My diet was ok and my workouts were not very consistent. Needless to say, but the time my fitness shoot came around, I was anything BUT ready for it physically. After seeing the unedits, I decided to kick my ass into shape and by the next shoot (right photo), I had leaned up and gained muscle-while slimming down. You can see the tone moreso in my legs and that the cellulite and fat had decreased as well.
Women usually need fewer calories than men, especially as they age. That's because women naturally have less muscle, more body fat, and are usually smaller than men. On average, adult women need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day. As you age, you need to take in fewer calories to maintain the same weight. You can also keep your weight healthy by increasing how much physical activity you get.
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.
Perhaps you might be consuming too much fat because you’re trying to raise your ketones, but pump the brakes! In addition to potentially contributing too many calories, sources of fat like coconut oil (including concentrated supplements) contain medium chain triglycerides (MCT). These cannot be stored in body fat, meaning that whatever is consumed has to be promptly burned for energy. So you’re adding these sources on top of your dietary fat consumption for satiety, this type of fat takes priority. Often times people fall into the trap of adding supplements of coconut oil or straight up MCT oil and it ends up adding extra calories. Yes, it may raise your ketones a bit, but the overall cost may impact your weight loss.
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.
A scoop of guacamole is one of the most effective fat-burning, hunger-squashing snacks known to man. Not only are avocados rich in vitamin B6—which directly counteracts the belly-fat-building stress hormone, cortisol—they’re also full of monounsaturated fat. This healthy fat may actually prevent body fat distribution around the belly by down-regulating the expression of certain fat genes, according to research in the journal Diabetes Care. These same satiating fats may also be the reason behind another study that found people who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward.
About: Hannah resides in London and she’s positively adorable, clever and fun to follow as she blogs her way to resisting temptation and staying fit and healthy. Hannah’s also been there, done that. Two years ago she lost 50 pounds through a complete lifestyle overhaul. Now, she’s in maintenance mode, but one of the things that’s unique about Hannah is that she still loves to eat out and socialize, and she knows how to do it in a way that doesn’t result in weight gain. And yes, she shares that in her posts.
About: Loretta’s certainly no stranger to blogging — she been sharing her weight loss journey since 2009. But the thing that caught our eye most about Loretta’s blog is that unlike most long-time healthy living/weight loss bloggers, her website’s not chock full of product reviews and recommendations, links to goods, etc. It’s very authentic, as is Loretta. Loretta started at 460 pounds. Now, she hovers around 199. And she does it “one good choice at a time.” Her style of writing is engaging and real — the kind of blog that you read and finish thinking, I really know this woman in a deep way. Bravo.
Any weight loss that occurs because of these programs is almost always connected to a dramatic reduction in calories, not magical properties of the program itself. However, sudden and dramatic dietary changes can cause losses in muscle mass and general fatigue, as well as more serious complications such as disrupted gut bacteria, deficiencies in vital micronutrients, and even organ damage.
We tend to accumulate a lot of fat when we overwork our body or mind. Proper rest is highly recommended for women who want to lose thigh fat or weight in general. Less than 7 hours of sleep can make you gain weight (3). Also, if you have been exercising, your body needs to burn fat and build muscles. Muscle building takes place when you sleep and not when you are working out. So, ladies, get a good night sleep.
Seriously. It's packed with zinc, which experts say is pretty much your belly's best friend. Zinc increases your body's levels of circulating leptin, which is a hormone that regulates your energy expenditures, fat storages, and appetite … so pretty much everything that impacts having that extra bit of fluff overtop your abs. You'll obviously need to opt for the lower-in-sugar kinds and indulge in moderation, but it should help chip away at that pooch. Now that we can dig.
Skinny Emmie is a new blog for me, but I got sucked in right away and read a ton of posts! Skinny Emmie is a twentysomething weight-loss blogger who lives in Kentucky. This happily married marketing professional is on a 255-pound weight-loss journey, after being morbidly obese a large portion of her life. Becoming “Skinny Emmie” isn’t about being thin—it’s about being happy, healthy, and confident. Emmie explains: "The Skinny Emmie behind this blog is the person who always thought, 'If I were skinny, I could do X,' or, 'If I were skinny, people would like me.'”
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!!
At rest and low intensity training, when there aren't an influx of calories from food, the body prefers to use mostly fat stores for energy. And your body is almost always using some fat for energy, and you are also always store some for energy. Which is why "burning fat" and losing fat are not quite the same thing. Oxidizing fat for energy doesn't always mean you are losing fat. Fat loss, just like weight loss is more dependent on calorie control than hormones and fuel utilization.
One of the reasons your metabolism isn’t burning away fat as efficiently as you’d like? Look to your magnesium levels. This essential micronutrient is required for the body to produce and store energy, and also helps boost lipolysis (a process by which your body releases fat from its stores to use as energy)—yet 75 percent of Americans do not get their RDA of this important metabolism-boosting mineral. Just a half cup of pumpkin seeds provides nearly 100 percent of your daily magnesium needs.
Whether you’re falling victim to chub rub, hate hearing the thunderous round of applause your legs give you when you run in shorts, or just don’t like going to battle with your jeans day after day, there are plenty of good reasons to make slimming down your lower half a top priority. They say thick thighs save lives, but strong, toned ones may be the key to a longer, more active life.