If you enjoy the occasional cocktail, have no fear! We’re not telling you that you need to cut it out completely. Studies have shown that the occasional drink has little to no effect on belly fat. You run into issues, however, when you consume alcohol in abundance. Not only is there a direct correlation between alcohol and truncal obesity, but consuming alcohol puts you at risk of making unhealthy choices (as far as your diet is concerned). If you’re going to have a drink or two, leave the snacks in the pantry.
In high school, my body didn’t seem to go through many changes. As far as exercise goes, I stuck with track and field and figure skating. I never exercised outside of whatever practice I was going to during the week. As far as nutrition goes, I had a lot of the same habits as middle school but developed quite a few new unhealthy habits.  Once I could drive and spend late nights with friends, my nutrition was crap. I remember stopping at QT (the best gas station in existence) on the way to every shift to work and getting a drink and snack or candy. I remember meeting friends late at night at whatever fast food joint. I remember ice cream multiple days of week in the summer, snacking after school before dinner, and snacking again before bed. One positive choice I made as a high schooler was when I vowed never to eat fast food meat again (I had to read the book “Fast Food Nation” in an English class and was disgusted about the fast food meat industry and have never missed it since). As far as body image goes, again, I remember feeling overweight and embarrassed, but also being muscular because of figure skating. Again, like middle school, really solid and supportive friends surrounded me so I never felt isolated or disliked because of my weight. However, I would say in middle and high school I never felt confident in my body or loved the way I felt or looked. 
1) Out of curiosity, do you aim to keep your athletes just out of ketosis range, or is temporary ketosis a state you shoot for in order to expedite weight loss in that five-day period prior to weigh-in? (or do you consider it too lengthy/finicky a transition to even bother?) What are your thoughts on ketosis for a more sustained weight loss effort, say over months and not days?
Being hungry all the time is bad enough, but very low calorie diets can cause you to be in a terrible mood as well. Calories, especially carbs, play a major role in regulating your emotions, and being so hungry that you are angry is a real thing. Carbohydrates are linked to your self-control - which is why we cannot control our temper when we have low blood sugar, and we get hangry. 
About: Normally, we’d skip right on over a blog that doesn’t identify the author’s name, but the woman authoring “Frantic at Forty” gave us pause. Why? Because her story is one that so many can relate to — a woman about to enter midlife trying to make sense of things and lose weight. The author started the blog just before she turned 40 as a way to stay accountable while she started out to give herself the only gift she wanted — thin. She’s lost plenty of weight, and, even more importantly, found some happiness in the process. We just hope that turning 40 doesn’t mean an end to her blogging.

To drop serious lbs, you need the one-two punch of aerobic exercise plus strength training. Resistance helps build and preserve metabolism-boosting lean muscle while burning fat and is especially key when you hit a plateau. Amanda Green lost 15 pounds in two months doing hour-long cardio DVDs, but it wasn't until she started running outside and lifting weights three times a week that she was able to ditch the last 15 of her 30-pound goal.
Alcohol is broken down into sugar. Excess sugar gets stored in the body as fat. Hence, it is better to either avoid alcohol or to drink in moderation.Losing weight from specific areas, particularly your thighs, is quite an uphill task. Therefore, you should be patient and focused on what you wish to achieve. You need to give yourself enough time before you ‘flaunt’ slim and toned thighs. You have to be realistic in setting your goals after taking into consideration your body fat, genetic makeup, and current level of body fat.
When it comes to hormones, both men and women are effected by estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, in varying amounts and forms. The key difference is that hormones in men tend to remain fairly stable, with some progesterone and testosterone slowly declining with age (115,116). Whereas, women have monthly hormonal fluctuations through menstruation cycles (118). 
A handful of almonds packs a serious fat-burning punch: One International Journal Of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders study of overweight adults found that eating about a quarter-cup of almonds for 6 months led to a 62 percent greater reduction in weight and BMI, thanks to a compound that limits the fat absorbed by the body. And eating just 1.5 ounces of almonds daily led to a reduction in belly and leg fat, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed. For added effect, eat almonds before working out: The amino acid L-arginine can help you burn more fat while building muscle.
That’s because strength training helps you build muscle, which will replace body fat. In fact, strength training is one of the few activities you can do to spike the amount of calories you burn, even after you’re done with your workout. Bonus: When your metabolic rate becomes faster due to muscle growth, you’ll have a little more wiggle room in your diet if that’s something you struggle with, says Dr. Cheskin.
You aren't tracking all of your calories. Are you tracking all of your food and beverages, every day, including weekends and cheat days? Even if you are tracking most days and staying within your calorie range, you might be doing more damage than you think on off days. Small snacks and caloric beverages, including alcohol, can add up quickly if you aren't accounting for them. Aim to be more diligent and see how close you are to hitting your calorie range on average each week. 
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).  
(The main potentially-lethal drugs used by pro athletes are: Diuretics, insulin, mitochondrial OXPHOS uncouplers like DNP, EPO, amphetamines, painkillers such as vicodin, & growth hormone. Natural testosterone and, worse, DHT or over-the-counter testosterone precursors, can have unpleasant side-effects. Oral anabolic steroids stress the liver. Injectable anabolic steroids, by contrast, have never been demonstrated to be dangerous to healthy ADULT men in any study, never been implicated in a death, and may have health benefits because they are less toxic than the natural testosterone they displace. They ARE dangerous to high-school athletes as they disrupt normal growth. Simply having more muscle, however acquired, is life-shortening due to increased metabolic demands, mitochondrial oxidation, cardiovascular stress, and the down-regulation of FOXO-dependent repair pathways caused by muscle growth.)

But I've seen some women beat themselves up over a few extra pounds, even though this does little more than destroy their self-worth. Berating yourself will not help motivate you to control your weight and improve your health. So the next time those negative thoughts creep into your head, recognize them for what they are and replace them with positive ones.
Food labels can help you lose weight, if you know how to read them. Everyday Health says it's important to pay attention to serving size, calories (and calories from fat), fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Then, you can make smarter food choices like picking up a water-packed tuna rather than oil-packed, which can cut significant calories.
Well, we’re not going to encourage you to obsess about a thigh gap, but your thighs do an important job and for that reason, it’s great to have them toned and strong. When you’re told to “Lift with your legs!” your thighs bear the brunt of the effort. When you scoop up a child or climb stairs, even when you’re just walking, your thighs are hard at work.

About: Dustin spent much of his life being “slightly overweight,” never obese, but enough so that he wasn’t super comfortable in his own skin. But one day he decided to start exercising — lifting weights, crossfit and similar workouts, and slowly but surely, his body began to see the results he’d hoped. His interest in food also grew. He always liked meats, but decided to expand into baking too. These days, he’s packing his blog with clever twists on recipes — always making sure they’re nutritious and delicious — as well as fitness routines and updates on his progress. He’s just the guy if you want to take it nice and easy to lose weight.


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.
Top Quote: “If I surrender, give up the fight to do it all alone, then I’ll probably remain on the outskirts of that tribe of origin permanently. Is that a tough thing to write? You bet. But here’s the gorgeous thing about life – you can make your own tribe. You can form your own crew, you can find other lovable, crazy-about-life people that will be there to support you and lift you up.”
Kudos to you, not only for your weight loss but also for your transparency and honesty! 🙂 I too am not someone gifted with a metabolism that allows me to eat whatever! 😉 I think that weight loss can be very similar to a testimony of faith and our walk with Jesus — so very personal and very different for everyone; it truly seems ever-changing thru the different seasons of life. Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂 xoxo
Berries are packed with polyphenol antioxidants that will help burn fat—and prevent it from forming—as well as boost your workout benefits by improving blood flow to your muscles. According to a Texas Woman’s University study, mice that ate three daily servings of berries had 73 percent fewer fat cells. Pop some of the blue guys into your next smoothie and boost the fat-burning potential: blueberries are a potent source of resveratrol, an antioxidant which an International Journal of Obesity study showed could convert excess harmful white fat in mice into calorie-burning beige fat, which correlated with a 40 percent decreased risk for obesity. And when it comes to the sugar content in fruit, berries rank favorably on the list but are still a powerful way to curb cravings for sweets.
Unfortunately this reduces the debate to a very simplistic level.  Why?  Because we know that hunger, appetite, energy expenditure (i.e., metabolic rate), and even our propensity to be active are highly regulated by an increasing list of hormones and signaling molecules, not to mention our genetic inheritance (Bouchard 1994).  Moreover these various factors interact with each other – for example: exercise stimulates hunger, calorie restriction increases hunger and decreases spontaneous activity (Keys 1950), calorie restriction reduces metabolic rate, and exercise plus calorie restriction markedly reduces metabolic rate (Phinney 1988).

Whether you've got 5 or 50 pounds to lose, beginning your weight loss journey can be daunting. Instead of tackling it all at once, start by setting small goals for yourself that you know you can achieve. To lose 174 pounds, Annabelle Goetke did exactly that. "I decided to get more active, parking farther away in lots and taking the stairs whenever possible," she says. "I was tired and breathless at first, but I worked up to an hour of run-walk intervals on the treadmill six days a week."

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You could be gaining muscle mass. If you are feeling more slim and stronger, or your clothes are fitting better, but the number on the scale won't budge/is increasing, you might be putting on lean mass. This is a good thing! Muscle takes up less space than fat, helping you look lean, even at a higher weight. It is also more metabolic, helping you stay in shape more easily. You can double check this, by measuring your body fat percentage or taking physical measurements using measuring tape. Keep in mind, there are many different ways to measure the success of your diet. The scale is just one of them.
The good news is that you already own the best tool for shedding that bad-news belly fat: your bike. The key is performing a variety of workouts that build your fat-burning engine, rev your metabolism and the production of fat-burning hormones, suppress your appetite, and help you burn more fat and calories all day long. Yep, your bike can do all that. Here’s how.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios — at GH, we're nuts about nuts! People who snack on nuts may have lower abdominal fat than those who munch on carb-based treats, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, a heart-healthy (and more satisfying) pick than their grain-based counterparts.
About: Misty’s more than just a “fat girl,” as she puts it. So much more. Misty started blogging about her weight loss about four years ago after she experienced a pulmonary edema and several pulmonary embolisms following the birth of her fourth daughter — all caused by excessive fluids in her body and all nearly killing her. She also found out she has a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden, something she was born with. Since starting her original blog “I Am Not Just a Fat Girl,” Misty’s weight loss journey has had ups and downs, but ultimately she accepted her body and now blogs to inspire others who are looking to lose weight, too.

Aerobic exercise is a key component when it comes to shedding excess belly fat. Honestly, it doesn’t matter as much whether you perform steady state cardio or HIIT, what’s more important is the amount of time spent doing it. The AHA recommends completing 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio, or 75 minutes of HIIT, weekly. Aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease stress, as well. Stress raises cortisol levels which can make you hold on to belly fat. You MUST perform cardiovascular exercises to maintain heart health and slim your waist!
That’s because strength training helps you build muscle, which will replace body fat. In fact, strength training is one of the few activities you can do to spike the amount of calories you burn, even after you’re done with your workout. Bonus: When your metabolic rate becomes faster due to muscle growth, you’ll have a little more wiggle room in your diet if that’s something you struggle with, says Dr. Cheskin.
Research shows this intensity combo also makes you faster. In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that when cyclists performed six weeks of 80/20-style training, they more than doubled their power and performance gains, such as lactate threshold, compared to when they spent more time in moderate training zones.
People who get enough sleep tend to weigh less than those who don't. Additionally, researchers found that well-rested dieters lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle. "Whenever I don't sleep enough, I'm ravenous the next day," says Weil. To keep her hunger in check and help her maintain her slim figure, she tries to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
One of the top belly fat-building offenders is stress — and not just because that bad day at work can make you feel like demolishing a pint of Cherry Garcia. When your body senses you're overwhelmed, it automatically starts producing cortisol — a hormone has been proven to eff with your body chemistry and stimulate extra fat storage in your gut. Yeah, sucks. When you're feeling worked up, close your eyes and take long, deep breaths for about five minutes. You'll immediately start to feel more relaxed, which should calm those hormones down and nix that belly sabotage.
Top Quote: "I’m sharing every lesson to getting there—not as a drill sergeant and definitely not as a guru—as a friend who gets it and never wants anyone else to struggle alone. I’ve learned more in the last ten years than I ever thought possible, and I’m laying it bare here, one post a time—every lesson I’ve learned on losing weight,real advice on maintenance, thoughts on depression, how I’ve moved beyond binge eating, lifestyle bits that make me feel good inside and out, and all the healthy recipes I make regularly.”
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.
You could be gaining muscle mass. If you are feeling more slim and stronger, or your clothes are fitting better, but the number on the scale won't budge/is increasing, you might be putting on lean mass. This is a good thing! Muscle takes up less space than fat, helping you look lean, even at a higher weight. It is also more metabolic, helping you stay in shape more easily. You can double check this, by measuring your body fat percentage or taking physical measurements using measuring tape. Keep in mind, there are many different ways to measure the success of your diet. The scale is just one of them.

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.
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