If you thought losing weight would mean giving up all your indulgences, look no further than dark chocolate. Louisiana State University researchers found that gut microbes in our stomach ferment chocolate and boost our body’s production of gut-healthy polyphenolic compounds, including butyrate, a fatty acid that encourages the body to burn fat as fuel and turns off genes linked to inflammation. (Add fruit to the chocolate to boost fermentation and the release of the compounds.) Make sure you go with chocolate that has a cacao content of 70 percent or above—these have the highest concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols.
Meal prepping was super helpful to me. Packing lunches and making dinners that lasted more than one night were great strategies for my meals. I usually used Sunday as my day to prepare lunches for the week, and my dinners on Sunday and Wednesday. There are so many amazing meal ideas on Pinterest, and you can experiment with all of the meals you life. My Recipes for Success blog post lists a lot of my favorite food bloggers where I get several recipes. Overall, more mindfulness about when and what I was going to eat set me up to make positive choices.
Track your portions to identify total carbohydrates. A serving of nuts (1 ounce) with 5 grams of carbs quickly adds up to 10 grams if you consume a second serving. Many people count carbs when they begin a low carb lifestyle, but they eventually stop counting. If you were losing weight consistently when you were more closely tracking, a reset period of going back to counting can make a big difference.
Luckily, most foods these days are void of these pesky fats, however you can still find them in margarine, spreads, and some processed foods. Trans Fats have been linked to chronic diseases, including obesity. A 6-year study was performed on a group of monkeys to prove the effects that trans fats can have on abdominal obesity. All of the monkeys were fed the same amount of calories per day, however, half of them consumed trans fats while the others were given monounsaturated (good) fats. At the end of the study, the monkeys that consumed trans fats had a whopping 33% increase in abdominal fat.
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
Satisfying your sweet tooth doesn't require a refined sugar-packed snack. The key is retraining your taste buds to recognize naturally sweet foods, like fruit. "To curb my hankering for treats, I eat mangoes," says Tamyala Ezell, who lost 105 pounds by making over her eating habits and working out three times a week. "They have a natural sweetness that does the trick. Plus, they're low in calories and high in fiber." Another example? "I top berries, nectarines, and cherries with homemade whipped cream, nuts, and dark chocolate," says Goetke.
Could I ask a question (or two?!)? I’m just starting to design a blog that’s around weight loss and fitness (it is specific and not as vague as I’ve made it sound!). When I see even genuine blogs you always see the person when they’ve reached physical perfection (which is great) but what do you do if you’re blogging at the beginning of that journey? I don’t know what image to put on my home page at this point – I kinda am more happy the starting point being on a My Journey page but I’m a bit lost as to what to put on the home page or having running through the blog as a consistent image (until I reach my goals)? What do you think? Also, is there a best format/way to construct the chronological record of your journey – what’s the best blog-site architecture for this type of routinely updated journey??
Alright, so by now you’ve changed your diet, ramped up your workouts, and are ready to tone your slimmer thighs. Here’s a quick anatomy lesson to explain why certain exercises are more effective at toning your thigh muscles than others: Your thigh muscles run diagonally, not vertically like your quadriceps. When you want to work muscles that run diagonally, you have to perform exercises that incorporate different angles, moving in different directions.
There are hundreds of healthy living apps that can help you lose weight. Find one that aligns with your goal, whether it's to get stronger, get faster, get off the couch, or eat healthy. Cyr found that using MyFitnessPal helped her get a better grip on what she was eating every day. "Once I started logging my meals, I realized I was scarfing 1,700 calories a day," she says. 
Instead of turning to a chemical-filled protein bar post-workout, try adding some citrus to your routine and you’ll be well on your way to leaner, more toned legs in no time. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that animal test subjects whose diets were supplemented with polyphenols found in citrus fruit burned significantly more fat than those given a placebo. Considering the fact that citrus fruits are also loaded with inflammation-fighting vitamin C, you have the perfect after-exercise snack.
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