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.
By rule of thumb, you can assume that fats that come from plant sources, like nuts, seeds, olives and avocados, are typically more beneficial to your health (58). Plant based fats are high in unsaturated oils thought to promote heart health. In addition, plants naturally contain phytochemicals, compounds that work to protect the plants from harm and have similar protective benefits for humans when they consume them. Depending on how plant based oils are produced, different processing techniques can help retain more of these phytochemicals. However, you can also get heart healthy fats from animal sources if you look for quality meat, dairy and seafood options.
Leafy Greens – Help you feel satisfied longer, boost your metabolism and turn off your hunger receptors. You will eat less and lose more belly fat just by increasing your leafy greens! They’re low in calories and high in fiber, making them the perfect weight loss food. Not a fan? Try one of our yummy green smoothies. Examples include spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, arugula, chard, and mustard greens.
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.
I didn’t realize just how many calories I was consuming, so tracking what I ate helped keep me aware of what I was putting in my mouth. I don’t count calories anymore, but I track macros (protein, carb, and fat grams) to keep my diet balanced and in check. Macros allows me to have my carrots and cake, too! If you’re interested in learning more or want to work together, check out my macro plan options!
“Starting slow and working your way up is better than overdoing it and giving up,” says Gagliardi. “I like the idea of attaching the new behavior of taking a walk to an existing behavior.” An easy way to approach it: Commit to going for a quick 10-minute walk after dinner, and slowly increase the time as you become more comfortable with daily movement.
Add resistance training. A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that combining cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise with resistance training is more effective than cardiovascular training alone in getting rid of abdominal fat. You can do resistance training with free weights, exercise machines or resistance bands and it may also be useful to train from unstable positions due to increased muscle activity.
Carrots ‘n’ Cake is written by a food and fitness blogger who also happens to be a mom. The blog provides meal plans, advice for those looking to get fit while dealing with chronic illnesses, and relatable posts about maintaining health while balancing motherhood. You can also find some great recipes, like these blender chocolate chip cookies. Visit the blog.
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.
Ketosis works for weight loss in the short term, but that’s not why it’s so amazing. Short term weight loss is easy (I’ve lost at least 200 pounds of short term weight…because it always roared back on with a vengeance so I could lose it again!) When you look at keeping your weight off forever, ketosis provides a level of appetite suppression that is actually liberating. Ketosis helps you literally stop thinking about food all the time.
It’s not about the fancy tricks or fast fixes. It’s not about losing 20 pounds in two weeks. It’s about the slow, day-by-day actions that turn into sustainable habits. It’s about learning how to develop sustainability and consistency. With nutrition, instead of thinking of foods in terms of yes/no lists and strict rules, it’s more about eating wholesome foods, cooking nourishing meals, and developing sustainable habits. I love cooking, exercising, and learning about living a balanced lifestyle. I am prioritizing lasting wellness.
Can a food-loving chef lose weight? Tony of The Anti-Jared said yes, to the tune of more than 200 pounds. When he started coughing up blood and having other severe health problems in 2008, the chronic yo-yo dieter decided that he was finally losing the weight for good. And he's made good on that promise to himself. But his primary motivation for the weight loss and for keeping it off was so he and his wife could have another baby. Unfortunately the baby did not survive, but the poignant lessons he learned&mdas;and wrote about in his post The Butterfly—go far beyond losing weight for a loved one.
And while the weight room can be intimidating for women, pumping iron is key to getting a toned and fit physique. Don’t worry, lifting heavy weights won’t make you bulky — you just don’t have the testosterone to build the size of a man. Lifting will improve your posture, make your arms, core and lower body more shapely and boost your metabolism by building muscle. Resistance training also helps you hold onto muscle that you naturally lose as you age.
If you’re looking for a writer to follow who’s still in the midst of their own weight loss journey (and willing to admit might always be), Amy is your girl. She blogs about the ups, downs, and challenges on her path to weight loss on Not Afraid of Stripes. She doesn’t hesitate to share her insecurities or efforts to improve her own body image. Visit the blog.
I came up with the name "The Lose Weight Diet" sort of as a joke. It's so damn literal. Weight loss diet plans like The "Atkins" Diet and The "Zone" Diet and The "South Beach" Diet make me laugh. Who cares about some Dr. Atkins guy or some zone or some beach? Cut through all of the useless marketing junk. Your goal is to lose weight, plain and simple. Thus... The "Lose Weight" Diet was born. Slightly funny and very literal. It's the anti-fad.
Play a sport. Joining a recreational or competitive league, or merely playing with friends, can make a huge difference in burning calories. We're more motivated to participate in sports for social and competitive reasons. This means we're much more likely to play for the entire game and burn more calories than we are to give up when the workout becomes hard.
About: Lindsey’s real. That’s it. Her blog, her writing style, her topics...they’re from a real person who shares her real experiences in a way that’s anything but dull. Lindsey’s posts are always chock full of photos to tell the story better, and range from fitness, to eating, to life lessons and more. Lindsey started her blog as a way to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle while remaining full and happy, but it has over the years morphed into a funny mashup of recipes, reviews, travel, pets and healthy living. (Be sure to check out her “best of” section — which includes titles of posts like “The Time I Almost Got Arrested.” You can figure it out from there).
‘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.
Since cutting 3,500 calories in a day or two is not realistic or even possible for most people, it is best to spread out your calorie deficit throughout the week. You can cut 3,500 calories by decreasing your calorie intake each day, or increasing the amount of calories you burn through physical activity. In other words, in order to lose one pound per week you will need to cut 500 calories per day from either food, exercise or both combined. And for two pounds lost per week, you would need to cut 1,000 calories a day.
While many professionals tout light bouts of resistance training for women, the truth is that light weight will only allow the body to adapt to so much. While it may seem counterintuitive, using heavier weights can have a more favorable outcome for weight loss. Not only does heavy resistance training create a greater calorie expenditure for up to 24 hours post-workout, but it can also help you add muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories at rest!
Some studies suggest that decreasing your intake of heavily processed may be more beneficial for weight management. With one study reporting your body may even burn twice as many calories digesting less processed foods (63). And growing research continues to suggest that eating a diet consisting of mostly whole foods is associated with more weight loss (64,65).
Tamsyn Smith is a triathlete, running coach, fitness instructor, and author of the weight loss journey blog, Fat Girl To Ironman. Tamsyn is currently 60% of the way to reaching her 5-year personal challenge of, you guessed it, running in an Ironman distance triathlon! She began her fitness journey as an overweight couch potato and has since lost over 35 pounds and maintains a healthy and active lifestyle. Tamsyn documents her training on her blog and continues to train for her ultimate goal, Ironman success!
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.
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!
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But before we do, we need to acknowledge that these questions have sparked an intense debate among serious scientists and the lay public over the last 15 years, and in the process sparking the expenditure of tens or millions of dollars on research in which both sides of the debate strove to prove the other side wrong. While we will discuss some of this research, much of it involving short-term studies done under artificially controlled conditions, we will also try to anchor this discussion with a perspective drawn from research utilizing well-formulated ketogenic diets for meaningful durations in the real world.
"Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly."
But while walking can definitely help burn belly fat, it's not quite that simple, Steven Goelzer, a certified personal trainer and metabolic specialist at Life Time Athletic in Laguna Nigel, CA, told POPSUGAR. "Burning fat depends way more on hormones than the type of workout you're doing," Goelzer said. "Low-intensity exercise (like walking) should burn a high percentage of fat, but the volume of training needed does not necessarily fit well in most people's schedules," he added, noting that a person's metabolism also helps determine how much walking they'd need to do to start to burn fat.
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As women age, weight creeps up too, with the average women gaining about one pound per year in their 40s and 50s, resulting in an added 10 to 15 pounds. The drop in estrogen levels during this time of perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) contributes to weight gain and can change the way you distribute fat. You may gain weight in your belly more readily than you did in younger years.
Good fats vs. bad fats: Omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats are good for your system and will actually help you lower your cholesterol. Nuts, olive oil, seed oil, and fish all contain these ‘good fats.’ Trans and saturated fats are the things that will make your thighs (or other body parts) larger. These include most processed food, candy, cakes, etc.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AKA the top nutrition authority in America) released a revised paper this year saying that both vegetarian and vegan diets are best for people's health as well as the environment. If you're not ready to make a complete shift to meatless and cheese-less, consider "part-time" vegan and vegetarian plans, where you eat mostly plant-based at breakfast and lunch or on weekdays, and then eat fish, meat, dairy, and eggs only during designated times.
Numerous studies have supported this, such as a 2007 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, which concluded that aerobic exercise like brisk walking is essential for visceral fat reduction, and a past study published in Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine found that women who walked less than 7,500 steps a day had more belly fat than those who met or exceeded that goal.
When you eat foods that are low- or no-fat, other ingredients are added in so that the food tastes like its full-fat counterpart. Those extra ingredients don’t add in the nutrients that have been stripped away, however, so you end up craving more because, despite the fact that you just ate, your body is still lacking in the vital nutrients it needs. You end up eating more calories than you would have if you’d just eaten the full-fat product.
“I used Dr. Fred Pescatore’s The A-List Diet, which includes kicking things off with a detox, then low-carb eating combined with protein boosting, where you supplement with extra amino acids. It worked like a charm and was easy to stick to, so now it’s really just become my natural way of eating. The protein boosting really works to kill any cravings and helps me maintain energy—it makes it easy when I need something quick between the kids’ activities in the evenings and on weekends. And it has definitely helped keep me toned, considering I only work out about three days a week.”
If you have been weight stable for a period of time and you feel energetic and strong, maybe it’s time to revise your goals or at least your timeline. For now, focus on the rediscovered metabolically healthy you, feeling well and functioning well. You’ll be amazed at what can happen when you stop letting weight, especially a specific weight, be the marker of your success.
27. Use tech and other tools to your advantage. "I started out just by cutting little things like soda out one by one so I wouldn't burn myself out mentally and give up. I then discovered counting calories on MyFitnessPal, which was [a huge help] for me in my weight loss. A few years in, I lost my way a little bit and found Renaissance Periodization diet templates, which helped me rebuild a healthy relationship with food."
You did a good job of evaluating the programs and explaining how they were chosen, but I think the government guidelines are just wrong. Having half of our calories come from carbs doesn’t seem right to me. The only diets I’ve had any luck with are low-carb. In fact, if I consume more than about 130g of carbs per day, my blood sugar goes into the pre-diabetes range.
About: Rachael’s got a unique combination of expertise. She’s an avid fitness lover, a health fanatic and a registered nurse. She also has to combat strange work hours to keep up her active lifestyle and exercise regimen, which is exactly why we picked her. When you’re among those who are trying to lose weight but have a hectic schedule, Rachael’s the blogger to turn to for advice. She knows how to fight obstacles like sleep deprivation, food cravings, boredom hunger and (of course) being “too busy” to get healthy.
You're gaining water weight. Have you been eating a lot of sodium, increasing your strength training, or perhaps it is that time of the month? Water retention could be one reason why you are gaining weight. Training hard can cause your muscles to swell, partially due to water uptake - this is a normal part of recovery and also a sign you are getting stronger! Eating a high salt diet and hormonal changes can also cause you to hold on to more water. But have no fear, this type of weight gain is different than fat and it's not permanent. To help shed some water weight, consider eating more protein and less carbohydrates and sugar, decreasing your sodium intake and increasing your potassium intake, and staying well hydrated with water.
Use the meal as a reward for a week’s worth of hard work, or the completion of a project you’ve been dreading. “It’s OK for people to blow one meal a week without feeling guilty,” says James W. Anderson, M.D., director of the Metabolic Research Group at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “If you follow a healthy diet 95% of the time, you can relax and enjoy yourself the other 5% of the time without gaining weight.”
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.
Plan ahead. Studies suggest that having a pre-planned strategy could help double your chance of success (91). Think about how you will deal with temptations before they are in front of you. If you know there is a food related event coming up, make sure there are options on hand that fit your diet - check the menu in advance, pack a healthy option, or eat beforehand. Or if you are planning on indulging, still consider what you are going to have and set limits for yourself in advance.
"I use low-fat Greek yogurt in place of mayo in recipes, and it tastes great," says Krystal Sanders, who went from 185 pounds to 110 by coming up with healthy versions of her favorite restaurant foods. "It can also be used as a sour cream substitute." The possibilities are endless when it comes to this tasty staple, but you can start with these dessert recipes.
While it may seem like moderate intensity, commonly referred to as your "fat burning zone", is the optimal level of intensity for fat burn, total calorie burn skyrockets at high intensity and you may actually end up burning more fat overall. Some research even suggests short duration workouts at high intensity can burn as many calories as a much longer moderate training (7,8,9,10). Part of this is due to the after burn effects from increased metabolism that continues well after high intensity training.
‘Do it for a couple of minutes in bed and you’ll actually be able to wind down and fall asleep more easily. But it’s a skill, so it requires a commitment to practice it, as with anything. Think of it a bit like dating – the first time you do it it’s terrible, it’s uncomfortable, nobody knows what they’re doing, but the more dates you go on the better it gets.
I’ve lost 27 pounds in 6 months. I have plateaued at this weight for nearly 2 months. I have hypothyroidism. I take levothyroxine and provostatin for cholesterol. I eat chicken, fish and fresh vegetables. I limit red meat. I eat no dairy except cream in my coffee. I use mayo and butter sparingly. I have lost an inch off my waist since I have plateaued so I’m looking for alternatives to help weight loss progress. Thanks in advance.
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.
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.
About: Alycia’s been following blogs for years, but to her, the biggest problem is that many of them don’t start until after the author loses weight and finds success. Alycia’s got a different way of doing things — she is blogging to show her real-time approach for shedding her unwanted pounds, exercising and eating right. She’s putting it all out there and hoping that she can succeed, plus inspire a few people along the way.
An article published in Consumer Reports in 2006 recommends avoiding the fat-burning supplements 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, and citrus aurantium, also called bitter orange, as these both have potentially serious side effects. Bitter orange can cause increased heart rate, anxiety and chest pain, and 5-HTP can cause inflammation and pain in the joints and muscles and severe gastrointestinal issues. Another article, published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2011, notes that an herbal fat-burning supplement containing usnic acid, guggul tree and green tea extracts was linked to a case of liver failure.
“I was tired of losing and gaining the same 30 pounds, and wanted to find a permanent solution. I started by learning about portion control. I cut out soda and sugary coffee drinks completely and paid close attention to how much I was eating. I saw some pretty instant results in doing this. Results are contagious, and every time I would see my hard work pay off on the scale or in my clothes, I would chase that feeling. I did all I could to learn about food, and I began working out. I started small and aimed at walking 20 to 30 minutes every day. I tracked my calories and planned every workout. Once I felt the results were tapering, I’d increase my workouts. I never deprived myself of something I wanted or a craving, but found ways to fit it in my calories goal for the day. This mindset was sustainable, and I didn't feel resentment like before when I thought I had to eat grilled chicken and brown rice for every meal. After losing 50 pounds on my own, I plateaued and found it harder to see results. I was on such a great track and knew I needed some help. It was at this point that I had the Obalon Balloon System placed. (It’s the first swallowable, FDA-approved balloon system for weight loss. The non-surgical treatment consists of three lightweight balloons, placed gradually over three months, occupying space in a patient’s stomach to facilitate weight loss). The balloons helped me continue on with my journey and gave me the confidence and seriousness to not stop. Through the program, I met with a nutritionist who helped me learn even more about nutrition and how to fuel my body. Over the six months of having the balloons, I lost an additional 32 pounds. I have kept off the weight by continuing to focus on my nutrition and workouts.”
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.