I wasn’t happy at my heaviest, but I wasn’t really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in 2004 put things in perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a “bad” photo of me. I was so depressed that I threw most of them away.
I'm not telling you that it's easy, but it really is pretty simple. In an age where people don't even have to go outside to grill a steak, it's tempting to spend a few dollars on a quick fix. Human anatomy hasn't changed much throughout history, however. If you adopt your grandparents' work ethic and apply it to your every day life, you will achieve your greatest results.
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.
Perform cardio on most days of the week to achieve weight loss. Using a machine for a few minutes every now and then will not do much in the way of thigh reduction. You must be willing to exercise long enough and often enough to promote weight loss. The Centers for Disease Control recommends at least 30 minutes a day of moderately-intense aerobic exercise. Meet these guidelines for the best results.

Walking puts all of the abdominal muscles to work. Make sure you swing your arms and contract your midsection while you walk, and maintain a brisk pace. Once you get your body accustomed to a daily walk, you'll hate to go a day without it. Walk for at least thirty minutes each time to achieve the aerobic effect, and be sure to drink plenty of water.
I learned (and am still learning) to GIVE MYSELF GRACE. This is something I will probably work on my entire life. It’s humbling to know that even when I work so hard, I will fall short and miss the mark because I am human. With that in mind, I must forgive myself and love myself. It's important to keep my head up and remind myself that the tiny baby steps lead to progress.

Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.
But this estimate is somewhat flawed and based on small studies. The truth is, gaining any mass would cause metabolism to increase because it takes more energy to fuel and move a larger object. And muscle only contributes a very small percentage to your TDEE, 20%, compared to heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and liver that account for roughly 60%, even though it accounts for almost half of your total mass (99).
The calories you get from foods and beverages mainly come from macronutrients or “macros”. These macros include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates and protein provide roughly four calories per gram - meaning a food or beverage item with 10g of protein will provide 40 calories from protein. Fat is the most calorically dense macro and provides nine calories per gram, so a food or beverage containing 10g of fat will provide 90 calories from fat - more than twice the amount of energy as protein and carbohydrates.
Anyway, back on track: If your goal was to describe 5 of the healthiest weight loss strategies for women in the short term, maybe you could have adjusted the title to mention these are not meant for long-term use? It’s difficult to see the Dukan Diet listed as an option for the HEALTHIEST weight loss for women when you also state that it’s only designed for short term use or it can be detrimental.

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If it’s working for you I wouldn’t worry. I think health problems with low carb are slightly less of a concern in later years simply because there aren’t any hormones around to mess up. 🙂 I would simply be very cognizant of potential changes or symptoms – and if you start to notice weight gain, thyroid symptoms, etc while IF/carb cycling then it might mean it’s time to simply lighten up the IF and add in a few more carbs. you don’t need to eat HIGH carb but some relaxation of your guidelines, or playing with them a little bit, could be called for eventually (or now if you so choose) 🙂
The effects of a high protein diet are dependent on overall calorie intake and results may be stronger with short-term studies compared to those looking at long-term effects. In one meta-analysis of trials comparing the long-term effects of low-fat diets with either high or low protein content, there were no significant differences in weight loss (45), whereas another meta-analysis of trials evaluating short-term effects suggested modest reductions in weight and body fat, compared to a standard protein diet (46). 
I just started this. I use Lily Valley’s Aloe Vera gel juice. I use my bullet to blend all ingredients, then I strain it with a strainer. I take a gallon pitch an make half a gallon with the strained content like you would iced tea, then I add 3 pieces of sliced ginger at the bottom for taste. Every night instead of blending more I just reheat the mixture like hot tea and drink it. I get sleepy very fast with the warm content in my belly. This is used to keep away inflammation and water weight. Those two factors are extra weight by themselves. By asking to leave out an ingredient, you are messing the mixture partnership up and it will not be as effective. You can in the mornings before eating, cut one slice of lemon and a thin slice of ginger over hot water, let it seep and drink it. Make sure you lower you salty food content as well. No women pregnant or breastfeeding should drink this concoction. Parsley is known for its uterus softening and drying up milk glands. I hope this helps and remember all of this can be Googled if you have more questions. ?
Fast forward to the present. In terms of weight loss, I have kept off those 50 pounds, but it took me over a year to find a comfortable weight. More important, I am not as focused on losing weight but on building lean muscle and getting toned. My energy levels, positivity, confidence, and purpose are more important than size and weight. In terms of nutrition, I prioritize eating wholesome foods and nourishing meals; and I am learning more about the ratios and best foods to fuel my body for my lifestyle. For exercise, I still consider myself a runner though and through, but I have struggled with some injuries. I tend to go super hard at the things I love, so I have gone in and out of working my body too hard. That being said, I have been mixing up my workouts with running (I have a destination half marathon planned for March!) and more lifting (thank you to Lindsay for all of the lifting plans!) and yoga (Yoga with Adriene is amazing.) I have also had an epiphany on self-care, but that’s for a different post. I am working towards real-deal peace and happiness. I’m getting fit, healthy, happy, indulge when I want, have confidence in what I’m doing and the choices I make daily, know my way around a kitchen, and listen to my body.
Josie Maurer is a mother of four and blogger for Yum Yucky. Yum Yucky is a place where Josie helps her audience achieve healthy-living goals with a sensible, stress-free approach that won’t leave you starved for your favorite foods. She has lost over 40 pounds throughout her weight loss journey and she shares motivation, workouts, healthy recipes, and natural health tips.
I started my journey just about 1 year ago to the day and have lost 42 lbs. The hard part will be keeping it off. I used the same ideas as the author and will tell you they work. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself if you slip up. Log your food and by all means do your exercise. My wife and I walk approximately 2 miles a day in addition to the normal walking we do around the house.
Hi Abby! I think it’s wonderful that you want to get and stay healthy! Good for you! I wish I had some miracle advice and I do want to clarify that I’m not a doctor so this advice is purely coming from my own experience, but I’m probably just going to be repeating what everybody else already says! Eat healthy. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Try to limit the junk food, but also don’t make it off-limits for yourself, because that may just make you want to eat it more! Stay active. Try to find things you like doing, so that you enjoy and look forward to exercise, whether that’s a sport or running or yoga or going on long walks. And do things to work on your self-confidence. A lot of people believe that you gain confidence after you reach your goal of losing weight, but I found that it was when I started having a better self-esteem that I lost the most weight! Good luck, Abby! Keep me updated!
I found your blog through one of your SparkPeople comments. For the past few weeks, I’ve been limiting my caloric intake and eating about 900 calories a day, like you had done in the past. I’m also really limiting my carbs and exercising for an hour a day. But then I read your bio and I see that you eat wonderful things like pancakes for breakfast, so now I’m inspired to allow myself to eat good foods! You have a great story and delicious looking recipes, thanks for sharing!
Adiponectin is released by fatty tissue and is involved in the breakdown of fat for energy. Some studies indicate women and leaner individuals may have higher levels of adiponectin (102). Which is a good thing since high amounts have been associated with increased insulin sensitivity, promoting more efficient carbohydrate use and increased fat burning capabilities. 

Oh, I am a young 76, 5’6” tall and this morning, weighed in at 135.6. my goal is 130. I know it will be a challenge as I am not that overweight. I am enrolled in FFL 7-week course and am really doing my best to follow the program. I have haven’t been to the gym for 3 months due to foot problems. Hopefully, an MRI on Friday will reveal the problem and I can resume my gym time. Sorry for this epistly, but wanted to explain all to you in hopes that you can share some home exercises for my stomach area.

Although fad diets and crash diets like the 3 Day Military Diet can be tempting, these diets are not your solution for how to lose thigh fat. In fact, these are exactly the type of diets that you want to avoid. Crash diets tend to be highly unsustainable and put your body into starvation mode. When you are in starvation mode, your body actually holds on to the fat because it perceives the threat of low calorie intake. Remember when we talked about the cavepeople? It is important to find the balance between losing thigh fat and not putting yourself into starvation.


Sorry, I should have read those articles on carbohydrate in full first before I got on my soap box. They’re inaccurate too. In 2015 the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), advisors to the UK government, did a meta-analysis of all the best research and found none of the effects on health, i.e. heart disease, cancer and diabetes, reported by small scale studies and the likes of Robert Lustig. Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sacn-carbohydrates-and-health-report
Your welcome! You should really follow what Sparks tells you how much to eat, for me its about 1500 – 1700 calories a day. Thats what helped me to lose weight, I wouldn’t of been able to do it without Sparks. Not eating hinders your weight lose efforts. It’s amazing that eating helps you lose weight. Shocking I know! If you don’t eat, your body goes into starvation mode and instead of burning calories it holds onto them. Enjoy food! I do as you can see. I eat healthy 80% of the time and eat not so healthy 20% of the time. If I eat bad, it’s a small portion, so I don’t go crazy not getting the foods I love, other wise this won’t work for me. This is my lifestyle now and I stopped counting calories, and I am still maintaining. I just need to exercise more, since I started this blog, I’ll admit I’ve slacked, but I do keep my weekly weigh ins. I’m glad you stopped by my site. You made me realize that I need to get back on track, because it’s easy to fall back into old habits!! Keep in contact! If you need any support, you can count on me!!
What a great article. Are you sure you weren’t writing about me? (LOL) But your 12 tips are fantastic. One of the biggest challenges I found was not starting a weight loss program, but sticking with it! Oh just this once I can have that donut or slice of cake, etc. One piece isn’t going to hurt right? Your article was not only very, very, helpful and informative, but also inspiring. Thank you for pointing out that you CAN achieve your goals! Thanks for a really great post, I enjoyed reading it!
About: Jackie’s a makeup artist by trade, but has been struggling with her weight since she was 17. As she puts it, she’s tried almost every diet out there, but nothing seems to work for good. But when she started her blog in June 2015, she decided to start, and stick with, losing weight for good. Readers have been with her every step of the way as she shares recipes and meals, beauty tips and honest, down-pat product reviews.
Researchers have debated the role of dairy foods in weight management. Diets with at least three daily servings of [low-fat] dairy products speed weight loss and body fat loss in obese people compared to a diet with little dairy, according to Michael Zemel, PhD, of the University of Tennessee, who has published his results of the value of dairy in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and other journals.
"The key offender in the squat pattern," explained Dan. "Squats are good, I do them myself, but for most women who are already functionally quad dominant with weak firing glutes, tight hip flexors and tilted pelvises (which 75% of our new female clients have – regardless of age or profession), squats will just exacerbate the issues and bulk up legs more."
Foods rich in the amino acid leucine can help build the lean muscle mass that’s needed to trim excess fat from your frame, according to Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD. It literally jumpstarts the process of developing muscle mass—and red meats are one of the best sources around. Go grass-fed to get the added benefits of omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acids—these two fatty acids help to decrease the inflammation in your body that causes fat storage.
Take a walk through the supermarket, and you’ll be assaulted with aisle after aisle of low-fat and no-fat foods, “healthy” chips and cookies and juices and sodas galore. You likely already know that if you want to lose weight, cutting out processed foods and sweets is the first and most obvious step. But those healthy-sounding options can be just as bad, too.
I am 55 and have been in menopause for 5-6 years, I also had my thyroid removed at 31, So I have a lot of trouble keeping weight off, never mind losing some. I am taking thyroid hormone as well as estrogen and progesterone. What is the best way for me to carb cycle? I feel like you are saying that I should be careful about going to low carb when carb cycling. So keto would be out then, I guess?
While it’s often assumed that bread is off-limits when you’re trying to lose belly fat, the right bread may actually expedite the process. Switching to sprouted bread can help out carb-lovers eager to get their fix without going up a belt size, thanks to the inulin content of sprouted grains. The results of a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism reveal that found that pre-diabetic study subjects whose diets were supplemented with inulin shaved off more belly fat and total weight than those whose meal plans didn’t pack this healthy prebiotic fiber.
Eating too little can be extremely dangerous for your body. According to Medical News Today, having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of under 18.5 can lead to malnutrition, osteoporosis, developmental problems, a weakened immune system, anemia, and chronic fatigue. Healthline reports that the average woman needs about 2000 calories per day to maintain her weight and about 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week, though you should consult with your healthcare provider to see what's best for you.
Very informative. I’m just now starting out on my weight loss journey, and have started a weight loss blog of my own. My entire family are overweight and it is a struggle dealing with them as I try to change my habits. Even harder because being around them in an environment where eating bad is easy to get away with makes me fall back. I am finding each time I go back home I end up binging.
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.

Losing belly fat shouldn’t mean strict dieting or deprivation. “People often think that you have to eat certain foods or avoid certain foods [to lose weight] and in reality, it comes down to eating more of a balanced diet that is portion- and calorie-controlled,” says Zeratsky. “This allows your body to have enough energy to do what it wants to do while managing weight.”
Although fad diets and crash diets like the 3 Day Military Diet can be tempting, these diets are not your solution for how to lose thigh fat. In fact, these are exactly the type of diets that you want to avoid. Crash diets tend to be highly unsustainable and put your body into starvation mode. When you are in starvation mode, your body actually holds on to the fat because it perceives the threat of low calorie intake. Remember when we talked about the cavepeople? It is important to find the balance between losing thigh fat and not putting yourself into starvation.
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