“Muscle building” is not exclusive to bodybuilders or beach bums; it’s the base requirement for human function. And building muscle means more than just “growing muscles big” by lifting weights and eating egg whites all day. In fact it’s separate. It’s for all of us no matter our gender, race, ethnicity, athletic ability, flexibility, Netflix-ability…muscle moves life! The heart is a muscle. We do not function without muscle movement, whether ours or someone else’s. And muscles need conditioning. They’re not self-sustaining or “neutral” responders to activity or inactivity. They’re living things, like plants in a garden. When cared for the garden produces food, and when neglected it not only doesn’t produce, it’s overtaken by weeds (fat).
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.)

Another win for your morning cup of joe: Caffeinated coffee keeps things moving through the digestive tract. Since staying regular is key to a tighter-looking tummy, drinking about 8 to 16 ounces of java at the same time every day can help you stay on schedule. Remember: Sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, so skip fancy flavorings and synthetic sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, which can cause bloating.
#3 – Eat breakfast!  As Mom always said it’s the most important meal of the day and it is.  Your body needs fuel to speed up your metabolism and to get you going.  I like to eat yogurt with fruit and granola, or oatmeal with Greek Yogurt, and sometimes eggs and pancakes.  I like to eat about 300 calories for breakfast.  Having full hearty meals, with protein, a pinch of fat and carbs will keep me filled for 3 or 4 hours.

Gina Harney started The Fitnessista after she’d already lost 40 pounds. At the time, she was in maintenance mode in Georgia where, as she explains it, “healthy options were pretty scarce.” The blog was her way of chronicling how she sought out those healthy choices and often created them for herself. Today, Gina works as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and weight loss specialist. She loves sharing tips with her readers as they embark on their own journeys toward health. Visit the blog.
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".
Every time you complete 10 reps on the rowing machine, lift the handles straight up over your head—without bending your elbows—for two consecutive repetitions before returning to normal rowing form. This works your shoulders and back harder, as well as your legs, since they have to produce more power to give you the momentum to perform the move, says McGarr.
About: Elizabeth’s list of credentials for writing the kind of blog that helps you stay healthy is a long one — she graduated with dual degrees in food & nutrition and mass communication & journalism, and has now dedicated herself to developing healthy recipes and tips for achieving a wholesome, balanced lifestyle. She also shares her own musings — and her stunning photography — to add a personal touch that connects with readers in a meaningful way.
Keep busy. Cutting calories can have you constantly thinking about food. And the fear of temptation can make you want to cut yourself off from social engagements. But studies suggest keeping your mind active, especially while dieting, can strengthen your willpower (89). And stress can affect your mental capacity to hold strong (90). Try to enjoy your days as much as possible and find activities that allow you to be creative, think strategically, or release stress.
Choose the turkey sandwich over pizza and you think you're set, but again, looks can be deceiving. A turkey sandwich that comes on focaccia with cheese and mayo can deliver 970 calories. Two slices of pepperoni pan pizza total 520 calories. Put your sandwich in a spinach wrap instead of regular bread? It's the same difference, says Tara Gidus, RD, a former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "My clients think they get more nutrients and save on calories with 'healthy bread,' but often that's not the case."
Take my unedited photos below for example. After having my son, it took me a while to get back into the groove of things. My diet was ok and my workouts were not very consistent. Needless to say, but the time my fitness shoot came around, I was anything BUT ready for it physically. After seeing the unedits, I decided to kick my ass into shape and by the next shoot (right photo), I had leaned up and gained muscle-while slimming down. You can see the tone moreso in my legs and that the cellulite and fat had decreased as well.
I think we can all relate to this feeling, because, let’s face it—losing weight is hard AF. It takes a lot more than just a spurt of motivation and a trip to the produce section at the grocery store to really see lasting results. And thankfully for us, the internet has helped us all obtain the information we need to lose weight by the simple click of a button.
And some emotional eaters, in an effort to feel better, are prone to reach for foods that will ignite the reward center of the brain, which tend to be the sugary, fatty, salty, hyper-palatable foods that can lead to weight gain, says Pamela Peeke, author of the “The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction.”

When you're at your heaviest, it can be intimidating to step into a gym and begin running or lifting among the spandex-clad. Working out in your own space is also simply easier to schedule—you can lift weights while the baby naps or first thing in the morning without dragging yourself out the door. "I bought an exercise bike so I can work out whenever I want," says Sarah DeArmond, who lost 100 pounds.
Unfortunately, despite the expertise of these highly regarded scientists, they systematically mis-calculated the energy needs of the study subjects.  As a result, instead of everyone getting an accurately-dosed energy balancing diet, they were under-fed by about 300 Calories per day.  Because all of the subjects got the high carb diet for the first month and the ketogenic diet for the second month, the natural effect of restricting energy intake by 10% would have been a small but significant reduction in resting energy expenditure that would have occurred progressively over the 2-month study duration.  In other words, by significantly underfeeding the study subjects and always administering the ketogenic diet in the second month, the deck was stacked against the ketogenic diet.  Taking this into account, the 2-4% rise in daily energy expenditure in the second month would probably have been double this amount had the study been properly designed.  Whatever the true effect, these numbers are fairly small as noted above; but this is a study in which the odds were tipped in favor of the status quo through clever experimental design, and in which the conclusions were not justified by the data.  

About: Jess doesn’t blog as often as she used to, but every once in awhile she’ll pop in to share her latest life experiences, and, when she does, it’s sure to touch you deeply. Jess started blogging in 2013 to document her training for her first marathon, but quickly found that running ran in her veins. She uses it as a way to cope with life’s hardships and adventures — and takes her readers along a relatable journey as she does.


Nice Article. I do however have a couple questions. 1. You say each gram of carbs pulls in 2.7 grams of water, I was always taught that protein takes the most water to digest. 2. Do have the figure for how much water each gram of water ulls into the body or is needed for digestion? 3. And iif you can give those numbers for consumption, it would be great!

Research suggests that people with stronger legs are less likely to fall as they age, potentially reducing their risk of fracture and immobility, so there’s no time like the present to start shedding that extra body fat, toning those muscles, and building a strong foundation for a healthy future. Incorporate the 10 ways to lose thigh and leg fat into your routine now and you’ll be feeling stronger and more confident in no time.
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