About: Sometimes, it’s okay to take a helping hand when it comes to weight loss. That’s exactly what the author of Banded Carolina Girl did. In 2012, she had lap band surgery and dropped from a size 30 to a size 12 and saw her BMI drop from 62 to 32. Two years later, she started a blog to talk about “the good, the bad and everything in between.” On her blog, you’ll find quick-hit posts offering inspiration and encouragement to not just lose weight, but also to learn how to love and accept yourself.
About: It may be tough to tell by looking at her photo (complete with a very toned tummy), but Hannah’s no stranger to gaining weight. She packed on about 50 pounds each time she became pregnant with her two kids until she eventually went from a size 4 to a size 12-14. The pregnancies also changed her body and made her unhappy with the way she looked. Ready for change, Hannah created a fitness and food plan for herself, stuck to it and noticed she slowly but surely lost weight and started to look more and more toned. Now she’s studying to be a personal trainer, and her blog is a place she shares all her fitness tips, nutrition ideas and motivation to help others lose weight too.
It can be harder to lose weight after menopause. In fact, many women gain an average of 5 pounds after menopause.5 Lower estrogen levels may play a role in weight gain after menopause. But weight gain may be caused by your metabolism slowing down as you age, less-healthful eating habits, and being less active. You also lose muscle mass as you age, so you use fewer calories.

The popular desire for the fastest weight loss possible will continue to support the continuation and emergence of "crash diets". Crash diets are typically extremely low calorie diets that require drastic measures - like eliminating multiple food groups, drinking only juice or soup for weeks, or fasting for multiple days. And depending on how long these diets persist, they have varying side effects. 
"Your body needs a healthy balance of exercise and rest. Doing too much prevents the body from shifting excess fat. Exercising without rest can impact our levels of the steroid hormone cortisol and cause an increase of stubborn fat stored in the belly. Not allowing your body to recover can increase the risk of injury too, so make sure you factor in rest days to your plan."
4. Fiber supplements. Jerky is very low in fiber, and you'll soon discover constipation. Take some kind of fiber supplement. I rely on drinking kefir, a type of drinkable yogurt that's very high in probiotics, to help regulate the digestive process. You can also take Dannon Activia which is comparable. Or, whatever you can do to add bulk, and maintain regularity.
I am not one to read blogs, but I stumbled upon yours and just read your entire story (and many of your other posts). I am nearly in tears at how inspiring you are! You have such an amazing outlook at the entire weight loss journey. I have struggled my entire life with my weight and I am so glad that you gave me a different way to look at it. It isn’t about a true end goal, but a complete lifestyle change. So from the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you! You have impacted me and my mindset in a positive way! I pray that your fitness lifestyle continues to inspire those that cross paths with you!

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!!
Well, there is plenty of research suggesting low-carb diets may be more beneficial than low fat, but there are also large, high-quality studies implying no difference between the two. The truth is, we don't know for sure. But what we can takeaway from the science is that everyone is a little different when it comes to dietary approaches and what works well for some may not work for all. We are in need of more individual approaches to dieting and more research looking at what variables we should be guided by.   
Hi Rory, as someone has mentioned, you can try healthier substitutions. But there really exist issues such as food addictions, and these may be best addressed with a psychiatrist, therapist or a specially trained nutritionist who can help you work through it. I don’t know your case, but for others, overeating or overeating certain foods is self-medication, as it can trigger similar neurochemical responses to certain drugs.

Glad you started to work out! It took me to my mid 30’s before I started to workout! Now I do it at least 5 times a week! You feel so much better about yourself and your doing something good!! I’m glad you have a family that supports your healthy eating! Sometimes it can be hard when they don’t!!! Keep up all the great work and keep educating yourself on a healthy lifestyle!
Trying to lose weight? Having trouble? Women often find it harder than men to shed excess pounds. In part that's because women's bodies have a tendency to "hold on" to a certain amount of fat. But in some cases the problem can be traced directly to certain habits and lifestyle traps - including many that can easily be remedied. Here are 10 weight-loss traps to watch out for:
Kenlie’s inspiring weight loss journey is the foundation of her blog, All The Weigh. Kenlie has lost over 100 pounds, two different times. Although this time around she’s only a few pounds shy of reaching her lowest weight as an adult (284 pounds)—she has learned that loving and accepting yourself is the most important part of the journey. Her blog is a place where she shares her thoughts, feelings, and everything that has influenced her throughout her transformation to better health.
Studies have shown that just about any diet will result in weight loss, if it’s one that someone can follow.1,2 Esteemed Yale physician and nutrition expert David Katz examined over 58 popular diets and found that the most successful in terms of both weight loss and nutrition consist of “real food.” By that he means plants, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as meat (ideally, from animals that ate plants). Basically, foods closer to nature. The other key is minimizing processed foods, including sugars and flours.3
Erika Nicole Kendall’s ongoing weight loss journey is beautifully chronicled on her blog, Black Girls Guide To Weight Loss, or BGG2WL, for short. Her weight loss transformation began unexpectedly after signing up for a gym membership from some persuading from her mother. But after losing over 170 pounds, Kendall became a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist and writes about food, fitness, body image, and beauty on her blog.
Thanks for the very informative post! I can see using this method (or one very similar to this) for bodybuilders who are preparing for a competition or a show. The good part about it for the bodybuilders is that they are not actually trying to retain their strength, only their size and aesthetic physique. Also, there is no need to rush to gain back the weight the day after the show, that can be a more gradual process (which could be healthier). This would help them look a bit more cut & defined, that is if the 3-5% bodyfat doesn’t already make them look that way…

You know that recording what you consume is a good way to keep your weight in check, but Brittany Hicks, who dropped 110 pounds in college, didn't only write down what she ate—she also wrote down why she was eating it. "I realized I'd been using food to cope with stress," she says. "Just noticing that helped me do it less." Make sure you're not making these food journal mistakes so you can reap the rewards of eating and jotting, too.
You shouldn't feel the need to discard fruit all together just because of the carb content. Fruit tends to be be high in water and fiber, both of which have beneficial effects on satiety. In addition, fruit consumption has been inversely associated with weight in a number of studies, suggesting that fruit could be included as a part of a healthy, balanced diet for weight loss (52). Some studies even suggest that each type of fruit may offer different health benefits as well as different effects on weight loss (53). Fruit also works wonders as a healthy dessert substitute. 
Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and de-puff by counter-balancing salt. Stick to brown rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, millet, farro, sorghum, and amaranth for the biggest benefits.
I am having reconstructive surgery on my ankle in two days (5/16/13) and since I will be on my posterior for the few weeks after – at least no exercising – I’m looking for advise on dropping 20-30 lbs over the never 40 days so rehab will go better…stats – 5’9 204 – formerly athletic build now couch build – 47 yrs old – I have been a “Ferrisee” (better than Ferrasite) since listening to 4HWW and then 4HB – but need refocused guidance – from one and all – If this is the wrong string please let me know that as well.
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.
Shelley started her blog on the same day she decided to start what she believes will be her final diet. That day, she weighed 256 pounds—two years later she lost over 110 pounds and was her lowest weight in over 20 years, 146 pounds! Shelley uses her blog as a way to remember all of her successes, failures, plateaus and everything else in between. She’s found tremendous support through the blogging community throughout her weight loss journey and continues to share it all on her blog.

Hydrate while cutting out excessive sweets from your liquid diet. Stick with water. Water is healthy, plentiful, cheap, and actually tastes good. Water flushes out harmful toxins, carries nutrients to cells, and provides a moist environment for bodily tissues that need it. Doctors recommend drinking 64 ounces of fluid per day, or about 1.9 liters (0.5 US gal).[3]
And now add to this the ketosis piece that makes solving this puzzle even more complex.  Is a calorie still a calorie if cutting carbohydrate to the point of inducing nutritional ketosis reduces appetite, allowing the same level of satiety with a reduced energy intake? (Boden 2005)  Does the keto-adapted individual feel the same need to reduce spontaneous physical activity while losing weight?  What might a barely measurable increase in energy expenditure in a short-term study translate to over a longer duration?  Theoretically, just a one hundred Calorie per day deficit translates to 10 pounds of body fat lost over a year.

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.

Your weight will vary day to day—as much as several pounds—due to normal fluctuations in body water. So looking at your weight from one day to the next, or even one week to the next, does not accurately reflect weight loss. Dietary influences are just some of what can impact the number on the scale, whether a true weight change or just normal day-to-day fluctuations. Medications, hormones, exercise, and body composition changes additionally influence weight. Before further investigation, it’s important to evaluate whether what you’re experiencing is a true plateau or is the day to day fluctuations constantly fluctuating around a lower number, meaning you are losing weight, just possibly slower than you’d like.
It is commonly believed that men lose weight faster than women, but just like anything, this really depends on the particular man and woman you're speaking of. There are a number of factors that can effect how quickly one would lose weight including, starting weight, percent lean mass, age, fitness level and genetics. It's not always gender that is the determining factor. 

Take a look at your fluid intake and make sure you are accounting for any additional calories your adding to your day. Many beverages can be high in added sugar and low in nutrition, which adds empty calories and could throw off your macros balance. In addition, liquid calories tend to not activate your fullness cues the same way solid food does, and you may still feel hungry afterwards (67,68). Even further, sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices ins specific are associated with an increased risk of weight gain (69). 
Make lunch at home and bring it to work. That way, you know of every single ingredient that's going into your meal. Not to mention it'll save you the cost of buying a lunch. Cleveland Clinic recommends making sure one half of your plate is filled with leafy greens, one quarter is lean meat, and the other quarter is whole grains like brown rice or barley.
Now extreme weight manipulation can go horribly, horribly wrong. Even a lot of UFC guys don’t know how to do it the smart way. Instead, they put their bodies in real harm by doing stupid things like taking a lot of diuretics, not drinking any water, skipping meals, wearing trash bags while exercising (sometimes in the sauna) and generally being idiotic.

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.


In a 2012 study in the journal Obesity, subjects who increased their soluble fiber intake by 10 grams a day—the equivalent of two small apples, one cup of green peas, and one half-cup of pinto beans—reduced visceral fat by 3.7 percent after five years. Even more, participants who also engaged in moderate physical activity (exercising vigorously two to four times a week) experienced a 7.4 decrease in visceral fat over the same period of time.
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.
About: The first thing you’ll notice when you check out Adam’s blog is that he’s funny — like really, really funny (hence the name of his blog). A self-proclaimed “boring guy” and “dork,” Adam’s blog started as a way to share his thoughts on being a traveling management consultant to a place for sharing running, humor, life and more — probably one of the most interesting changes we’ve run across. Adam’s been battling some knee problems off-and-on, but still makes it a priority to live healthy, exercise (like hiking) and share it all in his traditional good-humored, naturally-engaging way.

An aerobic exercise routine can help you lose inner-thigh fat by burning away fat calories. The CDC recommends a minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes or moderate aerobic exercise each week for adults. Brisk walking, taking the stairs and raking leaves are some examples of moderate aerobic exercise. Vigorous aerobic activities include exercises like swimming, running and jumping rope. To start losing fat, you'll likely need to exceed the minimum recommendations.
Strength Training is very important part of your workouts.  Try for 15 – 30 minutes of strength training.  Don’t be afraid of strength training.  You burn more calories all together.  You’ll tone your muscles and you get stronger.  I like that my arms are strong, that way I can carry more bags at the mall.  🙂  I like to do circuit training which is full body workouts. I only do them 3 times a week, every other day.  Never do strength training on back to back days, unless you work one muscle group at a time. Such as Monday Upper Body, Tuesday Lower Body, Wednesday Core, Thursday Upper Body, Friday Lower Body, you get the picture.
While it would be nice to choose where you lose fat, it isn't possible to spot-reduce and just get rid of your belly fat, and there isn't enough evidence to support the use of fat-burning supplements for this purpose. The best way to get rid of any extra belly fat is to eat less and exercise more. Some fat-burning supplements can have adverse effects, so check with your doctor before using any of these supplements to make sure it would be safe for you.
My advice is to not using anything from this article for sustained weight loss. Instead, I’d love to see you google “Precision Nutrition Get Shredded Diet”, which provides a rapid fat loss plan that’s based on actual fat (not water) loss. Another approach would be to google “Precision Nutrition Intermittent Fasting”, which provides another alternative.
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!
Great Article but so way OFF THE MARK to such a degree as to make me cry. Controlling weight gain can only be done by controlling, and reducing, blood levels of INSULIN – and there is no medication that can do that. But, and its a big BUT, one can reduce Insulin very precisely by eliminating sugar and carbohydrates from the diet and fasting, preferably at least 16 hours (I try for 20 hours) between meals. I am a type two diabetic of 25 years duration, and have been doing this for 3 months and not one hypoglycemic attack during this time with a weight loss of 19kgs, down to 69Kgs. To prevent hunger add a healthy, natural fat, such as butter, to your diet. Does wonders. If I understand it correctly the reduction of Insulin below a certain level allows the body access to the body’s fat stores so that it can finally burn off these fat stores.stores. Once Insulin reaches a certain blood level it PREVENTS the burning of fat stores – hence the need to FAST and reduce the Insulin. The fasting is also wonderful for Calorie restriction and it’s benefits. – Just my two cent’s worth – hope its been useful.
But just because belly fat comes off a bit more easily doesn’t make it less dangerous. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “Belly fat is unfortunately the most dangerous location to store fat,” says Dr. Cheskin. Because belly fat—also known as visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs—is more temporary, it’s more active in terms of circulating in the bloodstream. That means it’s likely to raise the amount of fat in your blood (known as blood lipid levels) and increase your blood sugar levels, which as a result raises your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Jen Mellor is a full-time mom and blogger for the inspiring weight loss blog, Just Average Jen. Jen has lost over 140 pounds through healthy eating and shares with us her tips for weight loss, healthy, vegetarian-friendly recipes, and the trials and tribulations of her life and journey to keeping the weight off, all while staying happy and healthy. Her weight loss journey is not only inspiring but has shown us that she is, in fact, anything but average!
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!
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