Want to lose that belly fat? In your dreams! Seriously, though: a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to get rid of that extra fat around your waist for good. Among the 60,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study, those who snoozed for fewer than five hours a night were at the greatest risk of becoming obese and gaining 30 or more pounds over the course of the 16-year study period when compared to those who slept for seven or more hours.
The old adage is “eat less, exercise more,” and this is still true, to some extent. But human beings are psychologically and sociologically complex creatures, and that adage is a lot harder to follow than it sounds. For average adults who do not have contributing medical or psychological issues, a nutritious plant-based diet low in processed foods and carbohydrates, consistent self-monitoring of intake and progress, forgiving oneself when expected lapses occur, all combined with regular physical activity, can result in weight loss for life.
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.
"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."
The key to losing weight is eating fewer calories than you expend. That creates an energy deficit, so your body taps into other sources of fuel — namely, your fat stores — to make up the difference. You’ll be able to lose weight safely by creating an energy deficit of up to 1,000 calories a day, which will allow you to lose up to two pounds per week.
Drink water before meals and all day long. Water is calorie free and will help fill your stomach and keep you hydrated. In fact, hunger can often be a sign of early dehydration, since your body is using up glycogen stores more quickly, and drinking water could help calm your appetite if this is the case (33). Water also plays multiple roles in the body including supporting digestion, nutrient absorption, and aiding in bodily functions.
“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
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Since insulin sensitivity is at its lowest in the final two weeks of the cycle, and carb intake is also at its lowest, exercise should be more anaerobic (this means hard and fast, really getting your heart pumping). It should be focused more on high-intensity interval training, with short bursts of high intensity work, either from brief sprint exercises or from weight lifting. This is an excellent way to sharpen insulin sensitivity while simultaneously burning fat, increasing muscle mass, and spending calories. It also helps the body stay healthy and as stress-free as possible during this time in which the body is gearing up to menstruate and the least capable of handling stress.
Whether white or sweet, potatoes are a nutrient-dense food that makes a good addition to any weight loss diet. They are low in calories but contain significant amounts of potassium, which can help beat bloat and counterbalance sodium. Potatoes also contain moderate amounts of protein and filling-fibre, hence, they can be beneficial for weight loss - as long as they’re not fried or served the french-fry way. Read - 5-day Potato Diet for weight loss: 6 simple tips to lose belly fat with the Potato Hack
“I was inspired to lose weight because I had gained a little every year in my thirties and forties, especially after having children. I lost the weight using the natural pregnancy hormone HCG and eating only green veggies, white fleshed fish and seafood, and drinking a gallon of water a day. I was always very active, and held certified personal training certificates for years. I keep the fat off now by hiking, yoga, walking, lifting weights and waitressing in the evenings. I eat clean and green 80 percent of the time and allow treats—notice I don't call them cheats—20 percent of the time. I still drink lots of water, meditate and smile at myself daily! My best tips are to slowly increase water consumption to a gallon of water a day and add lemon or cucumbers. That way you can tell if you are truly hungry or just socially and emotionally hungry.”
Doctors recommend aiming to lose ½ to 2 pounds per week, but you'll often lose weight faster in the first few weeks after changing your diet and exercise. If you're wondering why so many diet plans promise faster results, it's because they're trying to sell you something! Extreme programs can lead to health problems, so don't try them without a doctor's supervision.
Those trans fats on your menu are hiding out in plain sight and sabotaging your lean belly plans every time you eat them. If a food product says it contains partially hydrogenated oils, you’re eating trans fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity with every bite. In fact, research conducted at Wake Forest University reveals that monkeys whose diets contained eight percent trans fat upped their body fat by 7.2 percent over a six-year study, while those who ate monounsaturated fat gained just a fraction of that amount. Instead of letting harmful trans fat take up space on your menu, fill up with the 20 Healthy Fats to Make You Thin.
About: If the title of the blog alone doesn’t get you (it sure did for us), Neale’s hilarity soon will. When he started losing weight, Neale weighed in at 425 pounds. Now, he’s down 190 pounds — and he did it with no pill, shakes, short cuts or surgery. As Neale puts it, he’s had many people ask him the secret to his success — hence, the blog. Oh, and did we mention he’s a professional ventriloquist? So cool.
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.
It's not just what you eat that can make you pack on pounds—it's also how much. Before dropping 102 pounds, DeGennaro did not have a grip on proper serving sizes. "Sitting down to dinner with my husband and three kids, I'd scarf down mounds of pasta and endless rolls," she says. "Adjusting to smaller portions was tricky at first; I'd round out meals with extra veggies to keep from getting hungry."
About: Two years ago, January hit rock bottom. She came to the realization that she was a food addict. A few days (and a whole lot of cookie dough) later, January joined Overeaters Anonymous and turned to God to overcome her gluttony and addiction, blogging about it to hold herself accountable. Today, January’s a champion for God and using faith to shed unwanted pounds.
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.
As to your criticism of my remark, “made me cry”, this was not a criticism of the article but a Criticism of the MEDICAL SCHOOLS which overlook teaching the next generation of Medicos about NUTRITION and all matters connected with nutrition – but especially INSULIN, which is in some ways similar to Vitamin C, in that without the latter there would be NO LIFE, as we know it, on planet Earth. Without INSULIN the would be no Mammalian life, and we humans are just another mammal.
Why are you eating? Are you truly hungry or is it just that time of day? Or perhaps, there is just food around that looks good. Take a moment to think about what is driving you to eat at this particular moment and take note of any behavior that is not helping you move towards you goals. There is nothing wrong with eating when you're not hungry, or eating for pleasure, but make sure you are aware of why you are doing it and do your best to make it a positive experience free of guilt and any negative emotions.
“I started my 78-pound weight-loss journey by tracking everything I ate with the Lose It! app. I track right after I finish because if I wait until later, I don’t always remember. Sometimes I’ll even record before I eat, so I know if I have enough calories for the day. That, paired with daily weigh-ins helps to keep me accountable.” —Kari Hammond, 42
"One of the hardest parts of losing weight is maintaining the lifestyle changes you’ve made. It’s difficult to stay motivated all the time, especially if you’ve slipped up along the way. But don’t let this affect your end goal. If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, ask a friend to join you for your workout and then afterwards cook something healthy for dinner together."
However, movement is still important. Large studies from around the world have associated sedentary behavior with a variety of poor health outcomes, including increased mortality (14,15,16,17,18). And prolonged sitting has also been associated with an increased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (19,20). If you physically aren't able to work out, low impact activity like walking, swimming, or light house work can still be of great benefit to your calorie burn and overall health.
Of course, you want to get to the bottom of why you’re not feeling so hot. One study found that practicing relaxation techniques helped obese women who were emotional eaters lose weight over the course of three months, along with helping them reduce depression and anxiety. (7) Engaging in other activities that can help you relax are a better option than emotional eating.
Once your body runs out of glycogen stores, it is forced to break down protein and fat for energy, pending how much oxygen is available. And it typically takes about 12 hours for this to occur. In theory one would assume working out fasted in the morning - after more than 12 hours without intake - would promote more fat burning. But the science does not support this (112,113). In addition, working out fasted may effect your energy and strength, making your workout a little less intense than if you have fueled prior. These factors could effect your ability to build lean mass and perform.
About: One of the things you’ll notice first when you open up Lori’s blog is that she’s a very visual person — a style that reflects in her posts, which are chock full of photos sharing her fitness, food, travel and more. Lori started blogging about three years ago when she decided to lose 115 pounds. Now, she’s 105 pounds down and went from tipping the scales to doing a triathlon. Quite impressive, especially considering Lori has been overweight all her life. Follow her if you want to read about someone who’s the epitome of success, someone who continues to eat right, stay fit and maintain a huge weight loss.
The effects of a high protein diet are dependent on overall calorie intake and results may be stronger with short-term studies compared to those looking at long-term effects. In one meta-analysis of trials comparing the long-term effects of low-fat diets with either high or low protein content, there were no significant differences in weight loss (45), whereas another meta-analysis of trials evaluating short-term effects suggested modest reductions in weight and body fat, compared to a standard protein diet (46).
This snack-busting tip comes from Tricia Minnick, who lost a whopping 128 pounds by cutting soda and processed carbs from her diet, filling half her plate with veggies at every meal, and brushing her teeth after eating. "It'll help stop night snacking," she says. "Fresh breath makes you less tempted to eat more." Wise up on other ways to stop mindless snacking with these tips.
I am so obsessed with food but every time I look in the mirror it makes me feel so disappointed on myself. I did want lose weight but can’t help to eat and eat more food, I already use all kinds of method on diet like keto, vegetarian, vegan etc. but it won’t work because of my eagerness to eat foods. So, I began to research what can help me on losing my weight and to lose appetite and I saw this blimburnseeds.com/news/marijuana/news/media-tv/imprisoned-in-ecuador-for-carry-cannabis-seeds-and-paraphernalia-part-1/. A report from The American Journal of Medicine explains that regular marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and smaller waist circumference. Cbd and thc are also new to me and I don’t even smoke. Alternatively, they’ve also found new ways to infuse cannabis on food and beverages. If this is true I can’t find any solid conclusive evidence that speaks to its efficacy. Any personal experience or testimonial would be highly appreciated. Thanks
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Josie Maurer is a mother of four and blogger for Yum Yucky. Yum Yucky is a place where Josie helps her audience achieve healthy-living goals with a sensible, stress-free approach that won’t leave you starved for your favorite foods. She has lost over 40 pounds throughout her weight loss journey and she shares motivation, workouts, healthy recipes, and natural health tips.
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?
Thank you so much, Lauren! Staying healthy is SO hard when you’re trying to prioritize and balance out the rest of life’s demands, but it thrills me to hear that your boyfriend likes my quinoa recipes! I got really lucky when I was testing out ways to eat quinoa. It’s one of the few health foods my husband will eat! Good luck to you and your boyfriend – keep me updated! 🙂
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.
Perform cardio on most days of the week to achieve weight loss. Using a machine for a few minutes every now and then will not do much in the way of thigh reduction. You must be willing to exercise long enough and often enough to promote weight loss. The Centers for Disease Control recommends at least 30 minutes a day of moderately-intense aerobic exercise. Meet these guidelines for the best results.
Beth has struggled with her weight for nearly her entire life. Overweight since puberty and then obese throughout high school and college, Beth tipped the scales at 250 pounds. In early 2009, she resolved to take better care of herself, which included quitting smoking and running for exercise. Initially, Beth didn't drop weight as quickly as she would’ve liked, so she took a look at her eating habits. She joined Weight Watchers where she learned how food should be measured and weighed, and how much she should eat in a day.
Fast forward several years later, I had another baby (Winter) and came out of that pregnancy about 40-50 lbs over my end goal weight. I had always had this dream to finally hit the big “100” in weight loss. By 2013 I had begun to take some classes at the gym and count calories a little more but I in NO WAY did anything extreme. And I honestly believe that is the key to weight loss and to keeping it off. It was NO quick journey to that final number but by July 2013, I hit 120 lbs and had officially lost 100 lbs…
About: Mindy doesn’t just blog about weight loss, it’s actually her job to help people lose weight. She’s a busy, Washington, D.C.-based one-on-one weight loss coach, and (luckily for us), spends some of her spare time blogging about it too. Her blog is great in that it clearly comes from an experienced professional, but it’s also fun to read and features Mindy’s quirky personal touch, just what the doctor ordered for people as they work to drop those extra pounds.
As I posted above, HS wrestlers (also, many other grappling sport athletes) aren’t given the full 24 hours to recover from depletion. Some sports have mat-side weigh-ins. Others are just given a few hours after weigh-in to replenish. For these sports, athletes are best served focusing on year-round nutrition strategies, ones that help them stay at a weight very close to the weight they’d like to compete at. This way you don’t need to cut weight at all with such a quick turnaround.
Jenny is cutting 408 calories per day and will lose a little less than one pound per week from diet alone. ( 2,200 TDEE - 1,792 calories for weight loss = 408 calories cut per day). Although she is taking a more aggressive approach to calorie cutting than Joe, she is starting at a lower weight and TDEE which can slow down her rate of weight loss in comparison. She decides to add 45 minutes of hard exercise daily, with a calorie burn of 600 calories each time. Her added workout routine would increase her overall calorie burn to 1,000 calories per day, which would equal two pounds of weight lost per week. At this rate, Jenny can expect to reach her goal weight and lose 20 pounds in about 3 months - just in time for the wedding!
About: Yes, it’s true Julie is not exactly a “new” blogger (she’s been doing it since 2011). But when you look at her blog, it’s easy to see why we added her here — she’s got the same caliber as the big guns, and deserves even more recognition than she’s already had. Julie decided some time back that she was going to make better decisions when it came to her health, but progress with weight loss, as she puts it, has been “S-L-O-W.” Determined and just happier with the way she feels, Julie carried on until she reached her goal weight. Today, she hovers between 150 and 170 pounds, blogging about what she eats, what inspires her and how she hopes to inspire others, too.
Brittany! Just catching up on your blog. What a beautiful post! Loved every word sweet friend. I couldn’t be more proud of you for sharing all of that. You are absolutely stunning, but what really shines is your honesty and kind heart. This was so inspiring and motivating for me because I need to loose a few pounds this summer and I get frustrated so easily! I’m a stress eater too. Can’t wait to hear some of your healthy meal/snack ideas! I hate to say I told you so about sharing this post.. but I told you so. 😉
However, if you’re already on medication and think it could be hampering weight loss efforts, speak with your doctor about your options. It may be possible to transition to a more natural option, like a natural form of birth control, coming up with a plan to transition off medication or simply trying an alternative that’s not known to cause weight gain.
Truthfully, as Nate says in the Bigger Smaller Bigger book, training style is less important than nutrition for gaining muscle mass. There are dozens of ways to train to stimulate muscle mass, all of them effective. As long as you activate as many motor units as possible, use a proper progression (doing more/doing better each time), and recove adequately, the rest is just personal preference. Once that’s all taken care of, it’s about food amounts and types. All of which we detail in BSB, if you want to revisit it.
In this study, women were put in one of two groups. Group 1 ate a “normal” diet with 15% of calories from protein. Group 2 ate a high-protein (30%) diet, with a special emphasis on low-glycemic-index foods. Both groups lost weight, but the Group 2 also had impressive hormonal improvements, specifically a decrease in androgens (male sex hormones) and markers of inflammation, and an improvement in insulin sensitivity. It’s complicated because there were two interventions at once (the protein and the glycemic index), but this seems to suggest that getting enough protein is important for hormonal healing.
"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."
Research shows your body also unleashes human growth hormone, which helps you burn fat and maintain muscle, after just 10 to 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise. High-intensity exercise also appears to help curb your appetite and trigger hormones that regulate feelings of hunger and fullness better than lower-intensity exercise, so you’re less likely to overeat.
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.
Yes. We just told you to go hard to burn off unwanted belly fat—but like we mentioned, don’t overdo it. Going hard all the time stresses your body and leaves you chronically inflamed, which can backfire by contributing to belly-fat storage. Cap the intensity to a couple times a week and take the rest of your weekly rides at a controlled, comfortable pace.
In just over a week, we’ll be counting down till midnight and ringing in 2019. The start of the New Year motivates millions of Americans to lose weight, but why wait until the ball drops to get started? In this Holiday Weight Loss Survival Guide, we discuss how getting active can get you through New Year’s celebrations and help you with your resolutions.
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.
Fleury, N., Geldenhuys, S., & Gorman, S. (2016, October 11). Sun exposure and its effects on human health: Mechanisms through which sun exposure could reduce the risk of developing obesity and cardiometabolic dysfunction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(10), 999. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/10/999/htm
Wow, sharing your journey has encouraged me. I have been overweight since middle school (junior high was what they called it in my day). I have been on many diets, while some worked, some didn’t. I know that I need to get my weight off to improve my health (diabetes) and just to look and feel better. I appreciate your thoughts on losing weight and I am very thankful that you include God in your journey. Thank you for your help in getting me on track. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Hope your day is blessed.
Use the weight-training equipment correctly to achieve favorable results. Move through a full range of motion, never use momentum and keep your body in good alignment with all your exercises. For example, for lunges, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in. Step forward with your right foot and lower yourself by bending both knees. Stop when your right thigh is parallel to the floor and left knee is an inch above the floor. Step back to the starting position, repeat with your left leg and continue to alternate legs.
Drink water. Contrary to another popular misconception there is no specific amount of water you should ingest. Everyone has different needs based on genetics, activity level, the environment they live in etc. The key is to drink water until your pee looks like lemonade. If it looks like apple juice keep drinking. The reason this helps flatten your tummy is two fold: hydration can boost fat metabolism by up to 3% and drinking water flushes out excess bloat and water weight you might be holding on to.
I chose a well-rounded, nutritious diet plan consisting of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats (and also very low in carbohydrates). It was a popular commercial diet, which I modified to suit my preferences (most of the diets out there are fairly similar). I never bought any of their prepared foods, and used their menu only as a guide, substituting what I liked or had in the pantry where necessary.
Alcohol can also affect your blood sugar control and how you metabolize your macros. When you drink heavily, you prioritize metabolizing the alcohol toxins in the drink over anything else you’ve consumed, which could cause you to store more body fat (71). To help control your calories and stay on track with your diet, consider decreasing your alcohol intake all together or only opt for low calorie cocktails in moderation.
From January through May, it looked very similar to previous months and years. With my little spurts of doing okay and thinking about my choices more, I maybe lost a few pounds in the semester, but nothing that made me look or feel different. It was when I graduated college in May of 2016 that I recommitted to a healthy lifestyle, specifically nutrition and fitness. I was all in.
What should you eat after working out? Exercise is beneficial for overall health. To get the most effective exercise, it is necessary to have good nutrition. There is a range of things to eat right after a workout that will help in specific fitness goals. It is also essential to eat to recover energy levels. Learn more about what to eat after a workout. Read now
I don’t quite know how to put this, but my jaw was dropped throughout the entirety of this post. Your life story outside of having a husband is nearly identical to mine!! I was a cute kid, and then I was overweight throughout my childhood, I attempted dieting in the same way (mine was carrots though, not bell pepper strips), I played volleyball and then tennis, I lost weight in college, I hated running with a passion and then started running. I’m now 23, still quite overweight and attempting to lose it. I was kind of in a rut, upset because I have gained almost all the weight that I’ve lost back. But you have given me so much hope. Thank you so so much for posting your story. I’m still a little in shock at how similar our lives are. Thanks again.
I dont mean any disrespect and this article is tremendous, but, I dont understand why you suggest that you will do your best to answer questions, etc. but no one does? I do realize it would be a lot of work to do so but isnt that the whole point here? I could really use a response and I imagine most other questions here are of time sensitivity. Either way, thank you for the great info!
Becky Duffett is a contributing nutrition editor for Fitbit and a lifestyle writer with a passion for eating well. A former Williams-Sonoma cookbook editor and graduate of San Francisco Cooking School, she’s edited dozens of cookbooks and countless recipes. City living has turned her into a spin addict—but she’d still rather be riding a horse. She lives in the cutest neighborhood in San Francisco, spending weekends at the farmers’ market, trying to read at the bakery, and roasting big dinners for friends.
When bulking up is not your goal, strive for endurance exercises that tone. Thighs are a peculiar body part. They are one of the only body parts that can be too big due too much fat or too much muscle. Seems like a lose/lose, doesn’t it? Any thigh thinning routine should include a healthy mix of cardio and lower body resistance moves. Ideally, you want to focus on exercises that burn body fat and don’t add bulk.