Justine McCabe’s weight loss transformation story began in early 2015 after her husband unexpectedly and tragically committed suicide. Weighing 313 pounds at the time, his death shook her awake and made her realize she had to make a lot of changes. By taking control of her health, she chose to live. Justine documented her weight loss transformation in 365 days of selfies and continues to share her journey on her blog where she has lost 126 pounds, and counting!
“If there’s one thing that comes up over and over with the thousands of patients enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry, it’s weighing yourself every day on a scale,” says Rena Wing, Ph.D., founder of the registry, which tracks more than 4,500 men and women who have lost an average of 20lbs or more and kept it off for at least six years. “Don’t obsess over the number,” she says, “but at least keep track of the general range of what you weigh so you can catch small changes as they occur and take corrective measures immediately.”
For some, as little as one or two drinks can impact weight loss. Beyond just its contribution of calories, alcohol interferes with the digestion and utilization of other nutrients, including fat. If you’re hitting a weight plateau and drink alcohol, evaluate your alcohol intake. Consider the type and the volume of alcohol you’re consuming. The carbohydrates and calories can add up quickly, and not to mention, we sometimes tend to reach for food when drinking – whether hungry or not!
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.
Clean eating and lifestyle approaches, like Whole 30, the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet, are also a way to eliminate calories by cutting out processed foods and convenience options. When you are eating more home cooked meals and choosing fresh foods to snack on, you are removing a lot of quick energy sources from your day - like vending machine options, fast foods and restaurant take-out. And if you're not overeating, this can help you drop pounds. 
You know that your cardio sessions are crucial when it comes to burning the layer of fat sitting on top of your abdominal muscles. But it's still important to work those abs even as you're trying to shed fat, says New York City-based personal trainer Adam Sanford, founder of Adam Sanford Fitness. His favorite move to do that? Holding plank on a BOSU ball. "It's more challenging than a normal plank where your hands are on the floor, because the BOSU tests your balance," says Sanford. "When your body tries to find control as your balance is challenged, your abs, obliques, and deep transverse abdominal muscles are activated." Strengthening these core muscles also helps increase your metabolism, ultimately helping you to burn more calories and fat.
About: Inspiring. That’s the first word that comes to mind when describing Gabby’s blog. Gabby used to tip the scales at 262 pounds and started a blog to chronicle her journey. Today, she weighs in at 140 pounds...in other words, half of her old self. But just because she dropped the pounds doesn’t mean she stopped being there for her readers. Thousands of articles and a whole lot of experience later, Gabby continues to share her weight loss wisdom and tons of healthy recipes with fans in an easy-to-follow — and often hilarious — way.
We’re almost up to speed, but still rewind a little bit back to the early years of college. In the fall of 2012 I started school at Truman State University in good old Kirksville, Missouri. If you’re in college or have been to college, you know that it’s the time to form independence and truly make decisions, on your own, for how you wish to live your life. For a lot of people this means starting over, turning over a new leaf, making new habits, developing a new lifestyle, etc. Honestly college is crazy and weird and I don’t want to ramble on it too much because this post is focused more on the fitness/nutrition journey I’ve experienced (though I now realize its all connected.)
But the information that researchers are unearthing about the differences in the way that men and women lose weight inspires hope that the next generation of weight-loss advice will be more tailored and effective than the generic tips that have gotten Americans no closer to sliding into their dream jeans. (More than a quarter of Americans are obese, according to a May Gallup poll, a number that has been ticking upward for years). Although experts have long insisted that losing weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume, they now say that it’s much more complicated than that.
Little treats keep you from feeling deprived, so every day, allow yourself a bit of something you love (aim for 150 calories each). This kind of moderation is the difference between a "diet" and a lifestyle you can stick with forever. For salon owner Caitlin Gallagher, who lost 125 pounds, that meant replacing her nightly bowl of ice cream with a square of chocolate; social worker Brittany Hicks, who lost 100 pounds, started baking mini versions of her favorite pies.
The Mediterranean diet is a balanced diet and it is in accordance with the dietary guidelines. In fact most of the guidelines suggested are based on Mediterranean diet principles and the majority of the recommended foods are taken from the Mediterranean diet food pyramid. The endorsed distribution of fat, protein and carbohydrates for a healthy diet is:

Generally, you might work out every day, follow a strict and severe diet and still not lose your weight. The basic question in this case is how this is possible. The answer to this question can come in various forms. The first one is that you might be a comfort eater. Comfort eaters are the ones who keep on eating to overcome any sort of sadness or loneliness or in short to cope up with life. Hypnosisis an effective tool for permanent weigh loss.
Absolutely! Doctors are supposed to consider, screen for, and treat any underlying issues that could be causing weight gain or difficulty losing weight. As above, “Once we screen for (and treat) any contributing medical problems that could be causing weight gain (low thyroid function, polycystic ovarian syndrome, prediabetes, among others), or psychological issues (bulimia, binge-eating disorder, depression, anxiety), I encourage a diet-and-lifestyle approach for many reasons, among them my own personal experience.”

Cutting the most amount of calories possible from your diet may seem like the fastest and most effective way to lose weight, but cutting too many calories can often do more harm than good. Because your body requires calories for survival, very low calorie diets can put your body into a state of adaptive thermogenesis, commonly referred to as "starvation mode".
According to an article on Live Strong, a study published in 2009 in Bioscience, Biotechnology & Biochemistry showed that drinking a daily dose of apple cider vinegar led to a lower waist circumference, abdominal fat mass , and body weight [2]. Apple cider vinegar also contains a compound, which is called acetic acid. This acid may stimulate the ability to burn stomach fat of your body and inhibit the fat storage. You may mix apple cider vinegar with ginger or honey to get the best results in burning fat in your body.

I think another great thing about having a blog and being a part of the community of health blogs is how open people are with weight loss/gain. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and never had a lot of people to talk to because people around me weren’t going through it or felt ashamed to admit guilt over gaining a few pounds or that they secretly knew all the over exercise was actually a bad thing. It can be very isolating and reading other people’s journeys is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story!


Thanks for the question here…when we say each gram of carbs holds on to 2.7g of water, that’s a little different than your protein question. Essentially what we’re saying is that for every gram of carbohydrate stored in the muscle, for example, 2.7 grams of water are literally bound up in that carbohydrate molecule. Likewise, when each gram of carb is depleted from the body, 2.7 grams of water are lost. So it’s simply a body weight issue. Lose 200 grams of carbohydrate from the body through exercise and a low carb diet, and close to 600 grams of water disappear too. Combined, that’s almost 2 pounds of weight lost. Cool, huh?
Cut out ‘fat-bombs’ and bulletproof coffee. These are okay to consume for satiety, but if your goal is weight loss, too much fat will prevent your body from using its own fat stores for energy (refer to point above for more information). Just one bulletproof coffee may contribute nearly 50 grams of fat and almost 500 calories to your day. Imagine what a few cups of coffee, or several fat bombs, might do to your weight loss.
A common misconception amongst many female fitness enthusiasts is that steady-state cardio in the "fat burning zone" is ideal for weight loss. Spending two hours on the treadmill may seem like it'll get you bikini-worthy bod—more minutes, more calories, right? However, while steady-state cardio has many benefits, it isn't the most effective way to reduce body fat.[1]
Eat more protein. Protein is required by the body to repair damaged cells and plays a vital role in growth and development.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] Good sources of protein include:[6]
#11 – Most importantly, set a goal and try to achieve it!  Don’t give up, even if you mess up for a day or two.  Just get back on that horse and keep going.  Along that note, you need to reward yourself!  If you reach a mini goal, then treat yourself to a pair of jeans, or something you desire.  I bought clothes at every 5lbs loss.  A little crazy, but it worked and I felt great!!
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.

Cassey Ho, award-winning fitness instructor and Pilates teacher, is the creator behind Blogilates. It’s now the No. 1 fitness channel on YouTube. Her blog is an extension of that channel, where Cassey’s aim is to motivate and inspire readers. She does this by sharing monthly workout calendars and posts about clean eating and getting fit in a way that’s actually enjoyable. Visit the blog.
Hi Steve, I know you wrote this way back in 2008 so I don't even know if you check this blog anymore for comments, but I wanted to see if you still do your "beef jerky diet" and if so, I wanted to recommend you try Trader Joe's Buffalo Jerky. I personally find beef jerky to be a bit dry and tough but this buffalo jerky is moist and also is both hot and sweet at the same time. It's so delicious and is even leaner than beef jerky, "weighing in" at just 210 calories for the whole 3.5 ounce packet. I have the opposite problem of most folks: I am an underweight ectomorph female and so I eat the jerky to Add some extra protein and good calories to my diet. Anyway, I enjoyed your post and just wanted to say Hi and recommend the buffalo jerky. It's so Good!

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) 🙂
"It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet. But be realistic – you won’t see the affect overnight. Your brain’s wiring plays a huge part in resisting changes in lifestyle, and it takes time to establish new habits – up to 12 weeks. Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change."
Estrogen and progesterone have significant impacts on carbohydrate metabolism. At different parts in the menstrual cycle, carbohydrates are processed either much more efficiently or with much more fat storage. This is the secret to female carbohydrate cycling. Instead of sticking to a simple regimen provided by a personal trainer or some internet forum, the best thing you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your carb cycling is sync it up with your menstrual cycle.
Muscle is more dense than fat, which can make you look leaner overall. Once you reach your desired weight, you may not feel as fit and toned as you would if you lost more fat and maintained your lean mass throughout the process. In order to decrease your body fat and get toned, you would have to gain muscle mass, essentially gain weight back, and try to lean out by burning fat. It is pretty counter-intuitive to lose weight from losing muscle weight just to try and gain back more muscle weight in the end. 
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate from plant-based foods like bran flakes and strawberries that absorbs water and helps us eliminate waste as it travels through the digestive system. According to a review published in Journal of American College of Nutrition, fiber may increase satiety to keep you fuller longer and dietary fiber intake is associated with lower body weight. Mayo Clinic recommends that women should aim for at least 21 to 25 g of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 g a day.
It is true that muscle is more metabolic than fat, but exactly how much more? One study suggests that the metabolic rate of muscle is about 4.5 to 7.0 calories a pound per day (97, 98). Compared to fat that supposedly burns only 1 to 3 calories a pound per day. This would mean an extra 5 pounds of muscle would equal an increase of 22 to 35 calories per day - which sounds small but could add up quickly over time.
On all fours, place hands under your shoulders, knees under your hips and your weight evenly balanced, Then, lift your left leg up and straight back, toes pointed at the back wall. Kick your left leg up while keeping it straight and toes pointed. Slowly return the leg to start position. Lagree recommends repeating 10 times, resting, and then switching sides.
“My goal was to look like the women I admired in the fitness magazines. After attending a local fitness competition with a friend, I was able to find a trainer who educated me on the importance of eating healthier and exercising and how the two together were the key to obtaining an amazing physique. I changed my diet dramatically. I ate five small meals a day and began doing cardio five to six days a week, and the transformation was astonishing. I wanted to compete at the same local fitness competition I visited before beginning my journey, and I placed third in the Open Bikini going against women that were half my age! Competing was not only an amazing experience, but a huge confidence booster. I have gone on to accomplish so many amazing things in four-and-a-half years, including placing in competitions, being on the cover of a fitness magazine and becoming a contributing writer for several fitness magazines. This has shown me that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to and that age truly is just a number! Today I feel and look better than I did at 25.”
Tracy Morris is Fitbit’s Nutritionist. With a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from South Africa, she’s also an Australian Accredited Practising Dietitian, and an international member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US. Over the past 15 years, Tracy's lived in five different countries, inspiring people around the globe to be healthy. Currently, she happily lives in Northern California where she writes, practices Pilates, runs after her three kids, and sips pinot noir with her husband.
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.
Losing weight in general can affect your hunger, fullness hormones causing you to feel more hungry. And exercising can increase this even further. While going a little hungry can be helpful for weight reduction, being extremely hungry can be downright painful. If you can get past the constant hunger pains, you may also find that crash dieting is making you obsessed with food. Your body is so hungry that food becomes all you think about (22). 
I’ve always been one of those “all or nothing” kind of people. That combined with zero will power led to me taking every single item out of our pantry and refrigerator and giving it ALL away. I remember having boxes and boxes of food in our butler’s pantry. Following his “ingredient guidelines”, I loaded our house with only food in line with his program. I didn’t need to lose like ten pounds. I needed to lose one hundred. It wasn’t going to be one of those “let’s ease into this” kind of diet. I needed a complete overhaul.
In summary, being in nutritional ketosis will accelerate the rate at which the body burns fat, and this is a fundamental key to the short- and long-term benefits of a ketogenic diet. If the extra fat that is burned is compensated by an increase in dietary fat, then no body fat loss will occur (but there still will be other benefits).  However, most people carrying excess fat tissue who achieve nutritional ketosis by eating natural low-carbohydrate foods initially feel more satiated, allowing them to eat less fat than they burn, which results in net fat loss. But eventually, even when one is in sustained nutritional ketosis, our natural instincts prompt us to increase fat intake to meet our daily energy needs resulting in a stable weight and body composition.
Thank you so much for this article on carb cycling & weight loss for women! I found it tremendously helpful for personal reasons but also because I work with so many women (as a personal trainer) who encounter significant frustration when it comes to weight loss, health & hormonal status (the interplay among them). Your article seems to speak to mostly women of reproductive age or to women who are still menstruating. I also work with many women age 50+ and wondered what recommendations, if any, might you have to offer regarding carbs/carb cycling for peri-/menopausal/post-menopausal women? Thank you so much, Stefani – the info & wisdom you share on your blog & via your podcast (which I love!) are invaluable to me. I also totally dig your book and recommend it to other women all the time! I so appreciate the work you’re doing!

These are fantastic tips, and now that I’m in my thirties, and have just recently started exercising again, I am finding it’s harder to lose weight than I thought. I think the whole “not eating enough” aspect is my problem! I am definitely going to give it a try! Good for you for taking the steps to make healthy changes in your life, and cheers to continued success!


That said, targeting your belly fat with crunches will not work. “Spot reduction isn’t a viable approach to losing belly fat," explains fitness trainer and nutrition expert Corey Phelps, creator of the Cultivate by Corey app. "But there are some great core-focused exercises that will torch fat all over the body resulting in a strong more chiseled core.”
ANYWAY, as far as the beginning of college goes, I thought a lot about nutrition and fitness and really wanted them to be incorporated into my life. For exercise, I joined the women’s ultimate frisbee team.  I honestly joined because the team was a built in community of really amazing people who were great friends but even better accountability partners that kept me coming to practice and pushing myself while I was there. We had practice for 2 hours about 3 times a week, and I never exercised outside of those times. On the topic of nutrition, I never thought I ate that bad. However, college dining halls can wreck your body. Unlimited buffets with more unhealthy than healthy options was not in my favor. Of course I ate salads, chicken/fish, and veggies on a regular basis, but I also ate my fair share of french fries, frozen yogurt, cookies, and whatever desserts were available. So many weekly activities and meetings had free food, and late night study snacks were a regular occurrence.

I started listening to my body. It was really easy for me to mindlessly eat food in front of me, even if I wasn’t hungry. I noticed my body also did this thing where it would feel like I was hungry ten minutes after I finished a meal, which I would then need to tell myself I actually wasn’t hungry yet. As your body changes, you will notice that your appetite might have changed and you don’t need to eat as much before feeling full.

Sable of Squat Like a Lady is a self-described full-time student and part-time powerlifter, but she hasn't always been buff and tough. After suffering from anorexia as a teen, Sable gained 80 pounds. On her journey back to a healthy weight, she fell in love with heavy weight lifting. Now, her focus is no longer about losing weight—check out her post Don't Call Me Skinny! —but on gaining strength.
Sugar can wreak havoc on any healthy eating plan. It is a quick source of calories and energy and provides very little nutrition and health benefits. A diet high in sugar has been linked to weight gain, diabetes and many other chronic diseases. And some research backs up the theory that sugar is addictive, making cravings for high calorie sweets difficult to control (50,51).
About: It’s difficult enough trying to get yourself on track to living healthy, but add in a family, and it can seem like the odds of success are astronomical. Enter Katie. As the mother of six, she has a lot of experience and a laundry list of tips and tricks busy moms and families can work together to achieve wellness. She sticks to real food, natural remedies and natural living in an effort to combat all the chemicals and pollution that could potentially hurt your family — and she does a darn good job of it.
About: Annamarie’s weight loss story is nothing to sneeze at. She lost a staggering 180 pounds, and she did it all naturally, by eating right and exercising. These days, Annamarie’s in two modes: maintain her healthy weight and lifestyle...and share her personal tips and victories along the way. She’s the kind of blog you’ll want to follow if you want to tap into the day-by-day challenges (and empowerment) of a young woman who made it happen...and wants you to as well.

“I served in the U.S. army for 11 years as a computer hardware/software specialist before I was medically discharged due to thyroid cancer in 2005. Initially, I was misdiagnosed with asthma and was pumped with heavy doses of prednisone steroids, which sent me from a size 4 to a size 20 in one year. Both my endocrinologist and family doctor said not to expect to get back into my size 4s ever again. However, I wanted to join the Wounded Warrior’s cycling team to support disabled veterans, so I had to get back to cycling over 100 miles. I teamed up with a personal trainer, Justin Roberts, at Retro Fitness in Florham Park, NJ, in December 2015. When he saw how determined I was, he told me about competing in the 90-Day Challenge. During my training, I learned the importance of choosing quality exercise over quantity. Especially with my schedule of work, home, school and the gym, I had to get the most out of the limited time I had to work out. I typically do 30 minutes of weights three times a week with cardio in between and one rest day.”
Tracy Morris is Fitbit’s Nutritionist. With a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from South Africa, she’s also an Australian Accredited Practising Dietitian, and an international member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US. Over the past 15 years, Tracy's lived in five different countries, inspiring people around the globe to be healthy. Currently, she happily lives in Northern California where she writes, practices Pilates, runs after her three kids, and sips pinot noir with her husband.
Within the athlete world, carbohydrates are more embraced. Macro timing and balance has been a popular tool for optimizing performance and results and this approach can be applied to the average eater. Understanding how carbs work and adjusting your intake of high quality options to support your daily needs through carb cycling may be an alternative approach to just eliminating carbs all together.
‘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.
Thanks so much for sharing your story! I saw your Instagram post opening up this post for questions. My question is about your arms. How was the skin under your arm after losing the weight? Did you do any exercises to target that area? Your arms look great & it is giving me hope that if I can get some more weight off mine will continue to improve. Would love to know any secrets there!
Sable of Squat Like a Lady is a self-described full-time student and part-time powerlifter, but she hasn't always been buff and tough. After suffering from anorexia as a teen, Sable gained 80 pounds. On her journey back to a healthy weight, she fell in love with heavy weight lifting. Now, her focus is no longer about losing weight—check out her post Don't Call Me Skinny! —but on gaining strength.

Which one of these statements resembles your thigh desires? Do you have a mixture of a few? Depending on which of these is your main goal, you will be able to target the correct nutrition and fitness plan for the legs you want. That being said, however, keep in mind that there are many factors that affect the look of your legs, so make sure you are being realistic about the legs you want and the obstacles you may face. Here are some other factors to consider when formulating your thigh fat fitness plan:
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