“My motivation to lose weight stemmed from my worsening physical and mental health. Besides being down about my external appearance, my body was starting to rebel, and illnesses related to obesity were beginning to accrue. I shied away from social activities because I struggled with my self-confidence. I began the Take Shape For Life Program and was so happy to have found a program with structure and built-in support from the community—I never felt alone. My health coach motivated, guided and encouraged me, and made me believe that I could be successful. I am happier, more vibrant, more engaged in all aspects in life. I am more active with my family and am open to new experiences—ones that I felt were closed off to me prior. I am exercising at a more intense rate and feel like a rock star at Zumba! I am jogging. I am getting up off the sofa and running up and down stairs with no thought. I am playing sports with my kids. I am making healthier meals.”
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.
Remember that these are all perfectly understandable evolutionary design features. Higher estrogen levels during puberty drive fat gain as an energy reserve in case you get pregnant. During early pregnancy, they go into overdrive to “stock up” for the approaching challenge. Your body still hasn’t caught up to the 21st century; it still thinks its job is to keep you (a) alive, and (b) fertile in an environment of extreme food scarcity and a constant threat of famine. So storing extra fat at every opportunity makes perfect sense: back in the day, it could have meant the difference between life and death (or a healthy baby and a miscarriage).
Bottom line: While there might be a ‘metabolic advantage’ to a ketogenic diet over one containing a fair amount of carbohydrate, on average the difference is small. This does not explain why some people seem to lose weight relatively easily when carbs are restricted, which may be due to inter-individual variation. However the common observation of significant and sustained weight loss over months and years (Hallberg et al, 2018) is more likely a result of the benefits of nutritional ketosis on fuel flow, appetite, and cravings; as well as the reduced inflammation that is triggered by modest levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate. Clearly humans following a long-term ketogenic diet can eventually remain weight stable by adjusting fat intake to balance daily fat use for fuel. For those wishing to lose weight additional rather than remain weight stable, one’s goal should be to reduce dietary fat intake down to the margin of satiety (just enough, but not too much) and avoid or limit non-satiating energy sources such as alcohol.
You don’t have to be the next Usain Bolt in the making to enjoy some serious belly-slimming results from hitting the track from time to time. Even a moderate-rate jog a few times a week can blast through that belly fat; in fact, a study conducted at Duke University Medical Center found that, over the course of an eight-month study, overweight adult study subjects who jogged 12 miles a week lost the most belly fat and burned 67 percent more calories than participants who did an equivalent amount of resistance exercise, or a combination of cardio and resistance work.
Ease into running. You might get discouraged if you attempt a jog without building up that type of strength—and this could put a damper on your motivation. "I started walking, and before long, I was running," says Cipriana Cuevas, who lost 60 pounds and eventually completed a half marathon. "Getting lighter made running easier, and, in turn, more fun."
It takes a lot of guts to share a story like this, but I truly believe you will inspire so many people by doing so. You are beautiful, then and now. It is very hard to share our lives on a blog because so many people see this “picture perfect” life and think they can’t relate. To share our real life experiences, along with the beautiful rooms and decor give people a chance to truly relate that they too can have a beautiful space- and that they too can get off the couch and take their life into their hands and do what it takes to lose that 10 or 100 lbs. Like your friend said, you are an inspiration- and I am happy to follow along on your journey!
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story…I would have never guessed you had dealt with such a thing. I”m in the process of losing over 75 lbs gained due to anxiety medicine. I too just woke up and had an epiphany that the medicine had turned me into someone I was not and I had to get off of it especially before having children. It’s definitely been a struggle, but I’ve seen the commercials on tv too and do not want to chance affecting my future children in any way and I want to be a better version of myself. For me personally, exercise, eating better, and therapy have worked to reduce my anxiety and panic attacks enough to stay off medicine.
While there is research to show foods can create a minor uptick in metabolism after eating them, the effects are fairly minimal and short lived. Keep in mind that thermogenesis only represents a small portion of BMR (10%), and even with a large upswing, the effects don't stick for more than a few hours - resulting in only tiny increases in calorie burn over 24 hours.
●Personalize your portions. If you’re a woman eating with a man, customize your portions to suit your body’s needs, says Sass. That might mean more veggies and smaller servings of protein and foods with starch and fat. For example, on burrito night, skip the tortilla in favor of a bed of greens, and stick to a piece of lean protein the size of a smartphone, a small scoop of a healthful starch such as brown rice and a dollop of guacamole.
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.
Good question, Craig. 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.
I know what you mean bout struggling through weight loss/gain. My Husband is super skinny and my step-daughter is thin too and they don’t understand the issues of weight. For me, weight can come on pretty quick. I will always be one of those people that has to watch there weight, I just can’t eat anything and not gain weight. It’s a struggle. I drive my family crazy sometimes, when we go out I say no, can’t eat that, thats to fattening, no thanks I don’t need fries, ect… and than I have my Husband who says your fine, enjoy it, eat it. Than I do than I feel horribly guilty. Sometimes we have to know to let go that we are not all perfect. The main reason I started my blog was for support. If I opened up and put it out there, than I feel accountable for my actions and I wanted people to know they aren’t alone. Thanks for leaving a comment, today I was actually feeling kind of bad, but you made me feel better. Take care of yourself and please feel free to stop by anytime. – Jennifer
Your weight loss story couldn’t have come at a better time. Congrats to you sweetie! It definitely isn’t an easy journey. My husband has started juicing, after watching a documentary over the weekend. I’m not a stress eater; however I do love my red wine. My recent weight gain started after I lost my mom to Pancreatic cancer in February 2015. I can’t get motivated to do much of anything. I have always weighed under 130 lb., but now I weigh 145 lb. Ugh! I have been on anti-depression medication ever since my daughter was born in 2003. I struggled with the baby blues big time. Now, at age 51, I know how important it is to be healthy and keep muscle. Again, good job!
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.
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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!
Unfortunately, that balance can be hard to find when our ancient evolutionary responses just aren’t appropriate for the modern food environment. Especially for women who are already overweight, it’s entirely possible that the fat -> estrogen -> fat cycle can spiral out of control. Weight loss by itself approaches this problem from one angle (less fat means lower estrogen production), but specifically addressing estrogen might also be helpful.
Absolutely, and why we screen for eating disorders such as food addiction/ binge eating disorder before making any recommendations. (See first part of the article) These are distinct and complex medical/ psychological issues that need to be specifically addressed and treated very differently than what I have outlined here. I am in agreement with you.
About: If there’s anyone who feels the pain of bouncing up and down with weight loss, it’s Emily. In 2011, she started working to shed the pounds, and got down to 151 by 2012. Then she went back up again...to 181. 2013 rolls around, and enter: her blog. Emily set out to lose the weight for good. She’s already down to 148, and although she only blogs about two times a month, her quirky style definitely makes them worth reading.
Wow! I truly believe that I read this post today for a reason! I have been taking anxiety medication for the past 5 years and have gained almost 70 lbs in these 5 years. I’ve literally gone to doctor after doctor about my weight gain and no one could determine why I’ve gained so much weight. I’ve literally gone back and forth about quitting cold turkey and was so fearful about the withdrawl side effects. I feel like my weight gain is causing more anxiety than why I’m on the medicine to begin with. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story and motivating me. Thank you!!
Put some squats on your schedule and watch that unwanted weight on your legs disappear in no time. Squats help tone your thighs, butt, and even calves in a short amount of time. While squats can be a challenging lower-body workout, adding them to your routine sooner rather than later can make a major difference in the long-run; a German study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that squatting helped build knee strength, potentially protecting against future falls, without adding undue wear-and-tear on other joints.