Choose the turkey sandwich over pizza and you think you're set, but again, looks can be deceiving. A turkey sandwich that comes on focaccia with cheese and mayo can deliver 970 calories. Two slices of pepperoni pan pizza total 520 calories. Put your sandwich in a spinach wrap instead of regular bread? It's the same difference, says Tara Gidus, RD, a former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "My clients think they get more nutrients and save on calories with 'healthy bread,' but often that's not the case."
For women specifically, remember that women’s bodies are designed to sustain a pregnancy, survive giving birth, and then nourish another human being through breastfeeding. While pregnancy and breastfeeding require as many as 500 extra calories per day, it’s no wonder that a woman’s body tends to store fat where it is difficult to lose. These biological activities require a huge output of energy from a woman’s body. To prepare for these enormous events, a woman’s body stores excess calories as fat around the thighs and hips.
Research suggests these magical pulses are one of the closest things we have to a fat-burning pill. For starters, beans are a great source of resistant starch, a type of slow-digesting, insoluble fiber that feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, triggering the production of the chemical butyrate, which encourages the body to burn fat as fuel and reduces fat-causing inflammation. They’re also one of the top sources of soluble fiber. A recent study by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers found that for every additional 10 grams of soluble fiber eaten per day, a study subject’s belly fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years. Black beans? One cup boasts an impressive 4.8 grams of soluble fiber.
Almost a year and a half later, in the summer of 2006, I finally reached my goal weight of 130 pounds. My weight loss didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took a pretty long time – but that was because I wasn’t “dieting.” Through trial and error and figuring out what worked best for me, I made lifestyle changes, which have stuck with me to today. For example, I almost always have oatmeal with nut butter and some fruit for breakfast. It helps set a healthy tone for my whole day, plus it keeps me full until lunchtime.
“Weighing myself every day helped me track my progress, but what helped the most was comparing myself to photos from before I lost the weight. It was like, 'Oh my goodness; I can't believe the difference from a 50-pound weight loss!' The most memorable moment was when I was out to dinner with a good friend, and he took a selfie of us. When I saw the picture, I was like, ‘Damn! I have lost weight!’ I put that picture next to one from a few months earlier and was so proud of my progress. Looking at those photos daily definitely served as motivation and helped me stick to a healthy lifestyle.” —Jennifer Carroll, 41
Gym memberships can be expensive, and some days you just can't make it into the gym. Or maybe, you might not feel comfortable in a gym quite yet. At the start of her weight loss journey, Suheily Rodriguez says he was too embarrassed to go to a gym. "So I built a home one," she says, "where I exercised an hour a day, six days a week." She credits this to her 96-pound weight loss.
"After gaining 70 pounds during my pregnancy, my weight had escalated to 245 pounds. Before I knew it, Tye was almost one. I hadn’t exercised or watched what I ate the entire year and my weight hadn’t budged. I was standing in a grocery store checkout line and picked up a copy of People Magazine’s, “How They Lost 100 lbs” issue. Inside, I found the story of Dawn Bryant who was also from Minneapolis. She had hired Jason Burgoon, owner and lead trainer at Bodies by Burgoon, as her personal trainer the year before and he helped her lose 130 pounds. I thought if this gym and this man could have such a profound impact on this woman’s life and health ... then maybe he can help me too. So I made the call. I began training with Jason three days per week. I started logging my food in My Fitness Pal, drank a gallon of water every day, and ate small meals, consisting of lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats, every two to three hours. One year later, I had lost 100 pounds. It inspired me to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach and help others define what strong means to them."
Not only did I struggle to lose weight for more than a decade then discover how to happily and heatlhfully achieve permanent weight sustainability ffor myself, but I ahve also mastered the science of it and had excellent resutls with clients on six continents. As a result of my insights and success, I have become somewhat of an internationally-celebrated expert on women’s hormones and health.
Depending on your metabolism, just one large cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning (without other foods) can raise blood ketone levels to levels that suppress appetite. At my buddy Zak’s house last year, I ate a lot of sushi with rice for dinner which ended my ketosis because I woke up with blood ketone levels of 0.1 mM, far below the appetite suppression levels in these studies. Then Zak handed me a large fresh-made Bulletproof Coffee. A half hour later, my blood ketone meter read 0.7 mM – more than enough to kick ass all day.
Good fats vs. bad fats: Omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats are good for your system and will actually help you lower your cholesterol. Nuts, olive oil, seed oil, and fish all contain these ‘good fats.’ Trans and saturated fats are the things that will make your thighs (or other body parts) larger. These include most processed food, candy, cakes, etc.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Great question, Cain. The cumulative stress of training for a competition and then cutting 10-20 pounds certainly does compromise the immune system. (So does competition itself, for a few hours after the event). Then, when you stuff hundreds of people in an arena or auditorium, all sharing their bacteria and viruses with those compromised immune systems…so getting a cold is the very common. All big athletic events are like this: marathons, tournaments, etc.
The secret to a slimmer stomach in no time? A whole lot of fiber in your diet. Although many people are loath to add carbs to their diet when they’re trying to lose weight, adding the right, fiber-rich ones can have inches off your belly in a hurry. In fact, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that every 10-gram daily increase in soluble fiber was associated with a 3.7 percent decrease in dangerous visceral fat over five years. Those who were active got even leaner, shaving off twice that much fat in the same amount of time. To start ditching that extra belly fat today, add the 30 Best Foods For Fiber to your menu!
The available evidence shows that moderate carb restriction is effective in treating any female hormonal problems that might be driving weight gain. In this study of women with PCOS, for example, 30% of calories from carbs worked better than 55% of calories. On the other hand, an extremely low-carb diet is not necessarily the answer either: especially for women, extreme carb restriction can cause problems of its own, including hormonal dysfunction, amenorrhea (loss of normal periods), and infertility. Sweet potatoes are not the enemy! You can eat 1-2 starchy tubers (potatoes or sweet potatoes) every day and still be well under 30% of calories from carbs.
One of the biggest mistakes women make when trying to figure out how to lose belly fat: too many crunches, too little cardio. No matter how toned your abs are, your belly won't look flat until you get rid of the layer of fat on top of them, says Jessica Smith, a certified personal trainer and star of fitness DVDs. For that, you need to rev your calorie burn. Interval training, in which you alternate high-intensity bursts of activity with easier bouts, has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts.
Because you're interested in weight loss. Because you want to lose weight without handing over "3 easy payments of $19.95." Because you don't enjoy being sent from page to page of a web site only to end up at a paragraph telling you to "get your credit card ready" so you can "learn all of this and MORE in my weight loss book!" Because being constantly bombarded by hundreds of gimmicky fad diets and commercial weight loss plans gives you a headache. Yeah, I figured so. I feel exactly the same way. That's why The Lose Weight Diet is free.
Before we get into how to lose thigh fat, let’s take a moment to discuss why spot-reducing fat doesn’t work. If you’ve ever wondered how to lose leg fat or how to get rid of thigh fat, listen up. Plain and simple, you can’t spot-reduce body fat because you store fat cells all over your body—where your fat cells happen to be concentrated is often a genetic predisposition. If your thighs are covered in a little extra fat, you need to lose weight all over and THEN tone that specific area. You can’t spot-reduce, but you can spot-tone. Does that make sense?
Ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate [BOHB] and acetoacetate [AcAc]) are produced by the liver when both serum insulin and liver glycogen levels are low (McGarry 1973). They can be made from fat stored in the liver, from fat released from body adipose reserves and delivered via the bloodstream; or they can be made from dietary fat entering the bloodstream after digestion and absorption as chylomicrons. In other words, once fat is in the body as adipose reserves or absorbed dietary fat, liver ketone production is a function of blood insulin and liver glycogen content. There is no special relationship between mobilization of body fat stores (i.e., weight loss) and blood ketone levels.
Boredom is a big problem. I now work for myself, and work from home. I'll work for several straight hours, and then take a couple hours off, and then work some more, then take another couple hours off, etc. In those off hours, I get bored, and my mind turns to food. So to counter this, I have to find ways to keep myself busy. Exercising, doing yard work, riding my motorcycle, playing a computer game, are all ways to keep my mind focused on other things.
*NuSI stands for ‘Nutrition Science Initiative.’ It was a not-for-profit organization that sponsored research attempting to objectively answer some basic questions about low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. In this particular study, they paid for a very meticulous study at 4 different top-notch academic sites comparing energy expenditure, first on a high carb and then a ketogenic diet in a total of 17 individuals. In order to have the best chance of changing the negative mainstream bias against nutritional ketosis, NuSI chose some of the most steadfast ‘ketone skeptics’ in academia to run this study.
That sour cherry is pretty sweet when it comes to your health. The results of a study conducted at the University of Michigan found that rats given high-fat foods along with tart cherries ditched nine percent more body fat than those in a control group over just 12 weeks. Cherries are also a good source of antioxidant pigment resveratrol, which has been linked to reductions in belly fat, dementia risk, and lower rates of macular degeneration among the elderly.
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.
About: Bailey is a grad student studying to get her degree to become a registered dietitian. As she goes, she’s working to establish herself as a go-to source for people online to learn how to create SMART goals, learn about food traps, get fitness tips and more – and it’s totally working. Bailey intermixes her professional posts with a bit of her own musings, making for a very personalized experience that combines getting to know the author with getting to know yourself, and how to achieve your goals.
There's a pretty dizzying amount of research backing up this regime as a solid option to enhance your health, lower cholesterol, and encourage healthy, lasting weight loss. DASH (the acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has you loading up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (surprise!) and removing foods high in saturated fat from your diet. Research also shows that this diet may even ward off the onset of type 2 diabetes.
"At the age of 21, while a senior at my four-year university, I found out I was pregnant and was so scared. Soon after, I also discovered I was going to be a single mother, and it was one of the toughest pills I ever had to swallow. Through the support of family and friends, I had a beautiful pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby boy named Liam in December 2013. I wanted to be the best parent I could be to him, especially since I was doing it alone, so I decided, after struggling with weight my whole life, to finally get healthy. I began by cleaning up the foods I was putting in my body and adopting an Atkins low-carb lifestyle by eating a moderate amount of healthy fats, high-fiber carbs and optimal proteins. I cut out all refined carbs such as white rice, pasta, bread and sweets. I ate lots of green, leafy veggies and fruits. I constantly gave myself a healthy variety of fun and tasty meals that never left me feeling deprived or restricted. I lost 40 pounds before I ever began working out! Once I got in the gym and began HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and strength training in addition to a healthy diet, I was able to lose the weight in just one year."
Eat more protein. Protein is required by the body to repair damaged cells and plays a vital role in growth and development. But it can also play a role in weight loss. Diets high in protein tend to make people feel fuller, and when paired with a reduction in carbohydrate intake these diets can help with weight loss. However, it's important to remember that not all sources of protein are good for you: red meat and full-fat dairy products, though high in protein, can also increase the risk of heart disease. Good sources of protein include:
If figuring out what to put into your body is too overwhelming, start with how much you're serving yourself. The easiest way to do this? Swap out your plates for smaller ones, like mother of two Jeanenne Darden did. With the help of this trick, she managed to lose an amazing 22 percent of her body weight, going from 187 pounds to 146 pounds. "I ate normally," she says. "I just ate less of everything." Pro tip: This trick is even easier with some cute portion-control dishware.
If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you're tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.
Remember that it takes a 3500-calorie deficit to lose one pound of fat. That is, you have to either burn off 3500 calories through exercise or eat 3500 calories less than you burn in a week. Break this up into daily limits. To burn 3500 calories a week, you should aim to have a 500 calorie deficit every day. For example, you can exercise to burn 250 calories and cut 250 calories from your diet.
While the old thinking was that long, steady-state cardio sessions were best for burning fat, we now know that intense, fast-paced cardio is much more effective, says Buckley. "For maximum fat-burning and body-sculpting results, you need varied, intense workouts that include short intervals which leave you totally spent," she says. Researchers hypothesize that this contributes to your body's "after-burn" effect, where you continue to burn calories long after your workout is finished. Hope Pedraza, an ACSM personal trainer and the creator of inBalance, a San Antonio-based fitness and wellness studio, suggests doing intervals that alternate between exercises that work different muscle groups. After a 10-minute warm-up, spend 30 seconds doing as many reps as possible of squats, push-ups, kettlebell swings, and single-arm rows. In fact, choose any of your favorite exercises—just make sure you alternate between exercises that work different muscle groups, which will help certain muscles recover while you work others, letting you amp up the intensity and minimize the amount of rest you need.
‘Lastly, if your nutrition is on point but you still have excess tummy fat, then you need to look at your training. There’s a real craze for high-intensity workouts and really pushing yourself at the moment, but training is a stress on the body, and if you’re not giving it the tools to manage that stress and recover from it, then it can lead things like excess belly fat.
I’ve worked with people before who hadn’t fully decided but hired me as a trainer anyway. It was very obvious because the drive, determination and any spark were gone quickly. In fact, many even lied to me about what they were eating or would hide it from me when I would enter the room! Hmmm….this is for YOU (not me!). It absolutely has to be for YOU!
Want to get leaner, more toned legs in a hurry? Dial up the intensity of your workouts and you’ll lose thigh fat in no time. In fact, research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that increasing the intensity of study subjects’ workouts improved their blood sugar levels, making it less likely for them to store excess body fat and potentially staving off cravings, too. Luckily, you’ll already be well on your way to shedding that extra weight when you incorporate the fun activities that don’t feel like exercise into your routine!