About: Contrary to the title, Helen’s blog is anything but “another weight loss blog.” Helen’s been on a journey to lose weight since June 2013. She’s had many ups and downs along the way — which is one of the best things you’ll notice about her posts: that she never gives up and she is extremely positive no matter how difficult things get. If you’re looking to find real encouragement from someone who knows, look no further.


1) Out of curiosity, do you aim to keep your athletes just out of ketosis range, or is temporary ketosis a state you shoot for in order to expedite weight loss in that five-day period prior to weigh-in? (or do you consider it too lengthy/finicky a transition to even bother?) What are your thoughts on ketosis for a more sustained weight loss effort, say over months and not days?
I also think its important to note that having portion control is not the same thing as being on a diet. I never considered myself to be on a "diet." I remember a few co-workers asking me what kind of diet I was on and I didn't know how to answer because I never thought of myself of dieting because I still ate all foods that I loved. It was more just eating all foods in moderation. I could still eat a good burger and sweet potato fries if I went out to dinner, drank wine on special occasions, ate dark chocolate and ice cream, etc. I never stopped eating the foods I enjoyed, I just ate them less. 
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.
"I started Weight Watchers in June 2015, and by December 2015 I had lost 30 pounds by following the plan and counting points. I was walking every day after work and taking short walks during my breaks at work. Then my dad passed away in February 2016, and my weight loss came to a stop. I had gained about five pounds back and was almost ready to quit. But in August 2016 I decided to get back on track. When I started tracking my meals again, the weight just started falling off. Weight Watchers is amazing because it's not a diet! They show you how to live a healthy lifestyle by encouraging you to eat high protein and low sugars, saturated fats and carbs. They also encourage you to make more time for yourself. Be healthy and happy from the inside out!”
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. 
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). 

When it comes to hormones, both men and women are effected by estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, in varying amounts and forms. The key difference is that hormones in men tend to remain fairly stable, with some progesterone and testosterone slowly declining with age (115,116). Whereas, women have monthly hormonal fluctuations through menstruation cycles (118). 
Not only does strength training tone your body and help to prevent injuries, but it also increases your metabolism for days after the fact, meaning you'll burn more calories even after the workout is finished. To supplement her cardio training, Goetke started lifting weights. "It totally transformed my body," she says. The extra calorie burn will help the pounds melt right off of you.
“Once you decide on the method that you’re going use to lose weight, put the blinders on every well-meaning friend or family member who thinks it’s not a good idea. For me, it was raw juicing. Along with a healthy diet, it helped me lose 48 pounds and keep it off for over a year.” —Jennifer Devlin Waller, 48, founder and CEO of Celtic Complexion Luxury Artisan Skincare
If you need inspiration, look no further! Sean is a fabulous weight-loss blogger who has lost 200 pounds! His blog follows his journey toward "improved health and fitness, one sport, goal, and day at a time." Sean's goal is to lose 225 pounds through eating healthy foods and exercise. I love his approach to weight loss. Sean writes: "It’s taken me years to put this weight on so I guess I’ve always just known it was going to take time and motivation to get it off. I also wasn’t looking for a quick fix…instead I wanted to find a permanent and intelligent way to live and be healthy while still enjoying life along the way."
It's also important to consider the dangerous health effects of not eating in certain populations, like those with insulin dependent diabetes. If you are taking insulin and not eating, your body does not have glucose available to utilize and you could become hypoglycemic. If you are considering intermittent fasting as a way to control calories, always speak with your doctor beforehand. 
Mind blowing, I know, but it really is that simple. The amount of food you eat directly affects your weight. Though we don't recommend it, you can even lose weight eating junk food, as long as you maintain a calorie control. If you don't believe me, take it from a professor who wanted to prove this theory by losing weight on a soda, cookie and chip diet. (1). Or this guy who lost 27 pounds eating Twinkies. 
Stand with legs wide and toes pointed slightly outward. Then, slowly sit into the squat until your knees are over your ankles. Hold for 30 seconds, then press back up. Repeat—the key is to do this exercise slowly and controlled. Lagree recommends doing three sets of 15 reps with short rests in between. Here are 10 ways to burn more calories with squats.
I laid on the floor, crying, and said “so this is being an adult.” Then I belly laughed. ⠀ My feelings were all over the place, stress was present but it wasn’t unbearable, I had a lot of work, but not too much that I was drowning, Cooper was gone, but I knew he was okay and happy with his dad—I was seemingly okay, but I didn’t feel okay. ⠀ So I did what I do when I feel off, I reach into my toolbox and grab the tool that makes the most sense in that moment. First, it was calling a friend. She allowed me to cry. Knowing that I didn’t want advice, I just needed someone to receive my vulnerability without judgement. ⠀ I laid on the floor because I liked the way the pressure of my body felt on the ground. I cried, well, I sobbed. I was in pain and my body hurt. She listened, and then said something that made me laugh. Within moments I was in the depths of pain, then belly laughing. “So this is being an adult”, I said. But looking back now, it has nothing to do with being an adult, but being a human. Allowing ourselves to feel the full range of human emotions without fucking judging them. ⠀ Self care can feel like a bunch of bullshit and fantasy land ideas. So how can you filter the BS and get through your hard as hell moments? 👉🏽Don’t focus on being 100% better. Try just 1%. Because 1% is a whole hell of a lot better than nothing. By the way, this crying ordeal was last night—we all have bad days and moments and adulting is hard AF sometimes. As I was about to hang up the phone, I said “I feel 3% better”. Not 1, or 2, I felt a confident 3% better. That, was progress. ⠀ Maybe you need to draw your feelings, cry them out, dance them out, call a friend and just speak, yell, masterbate, breathe, watch a show, mediate—whatever you need to do, remind yourself that 1️⃣ you’re so human. You’re imperfect and it’s okay to have off days. 2️⃣ self care is all about trial and error. Adjust and pivot with each present moment. 3️⃣ 1% better IS better. Reframe what progress looks like to you 💓 ⠀

Biz is a healthy recipe developer and creator of the blog, My Bizzy Kitchen. For years, she struggled to maintain a healthy weight after working a desk job for close to ten years. When the time came to get serious about her health, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and has since been learning to navigate her weight loss while being an insulin dependent diabetic. She shares her weight loss journey and her healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as a healthy dose of humor, on her blog.
“I lost weight by hula hooping while my son played at playgrounds. It took me about seven months. I used a weighted hula hoop about 30 minutes a day, at least four days a week. Hula hooping is a full body workout, and my son loved watching the hoop go round and round, especially when he was younger. Once I started hula hooping, I started feeling better about myself and made better food choices. I'd pack my lunch—salads with turkey or chicken—with fruits and vegetables instead of heading out for fast food every day. One of the biggest changes was to always have an easy-to-carry fruit on hand in my purse for what I call a ‘hunger emergency.' If a meeting ran long or if I got stuck at the office after hours and found myself really hungry, I'd have an apple or banana instead of hitting up the vending machine for a candy bar. Always being prepared with a healthy snack and never letting myself get desperately hungry has really helped. This has prevented me from stopping at the drive-thru on my way home from work. I've also made sure to also always have a water bottle in my purse. I used to drink soda and fruit juice all day, not realizing how easy it is to drink my daily allotment of calories. I've since purchased a wearable fitness tracker and made sure to find ways to hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day, such as walking my son in his stroller to local parks and libraries instead of driving, and parking as far away as possible from where I was going.”

The calorie restriction diet myth suggests you will win the fight against flab. While losing weight does come down to how many calories you consume, it’s the types of foods you eat that will determine how you feel as you lose weight and the kind of weight you will lose. If you have a poorquality diet — counting calories but eating junk food — chances are you’ll lose muscle rather than fat, and thus, suffer from slow metabolism.
While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to researchers at Yale, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.
Remember that in order to keep the pounds off and maintain your happy weight, you need to develop a healthy lifestyle. That means forming a routine and keeping up the habits so you can hang on to them for life. "I forced myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. four to five times a week to run," says Erin Bowman who has kept off 69 pounds. "My first few were horrible. But I stuck with it, eventually trading my run-walk intervals for steady 45-minute jogs," she says.
3) In our recent blog post on NK and appetite, we point to newly published studies showing how low-grade inflammation can change the brain’s response to signals from hormones like insulin and leptin. In our on-going study with Dr. Hallberg at IUH, we have reported large and consistent reductions in two inflammation biomarkers (CRP and WBC count) at baseline and 1 year in the ketogenic diet group, which adds another level of complexity to the metabolic responses to various levels of dietary carbohydrate intake.
About: Caitlin’s approach to healthy living is three-pronged: mind, spirit and body. She believes that finding true health means finding balance in all three, and her mission with her blog is to take people along the way as she figures that out. She’s a self-taught yogi with a passion for natural, balanced food and fitness — all things she shares exponentially in her blog to help others figure it out too.
Too much variety in your diet can mess with your satiety cues and make you overeat, so add some (tasty) monotony to your routine. One easy way: Eat the same healthy breakfast and/or lunch each day during the week, and savor new tastes on the weekend. The best thing about that plan, says 69-pound-loser (er, winner?) Melanie Kitchen: "I didn't have to keep coming up with new recipes!"

“Every morning I drink a cup of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and a dash of cayenne pepper,” says Michelle Keough. This helps her start her day off on a healthy note while getting her hydrated after a long night. This trick, combined with eating meals built around protein and veggies, helped her lose 20 pounds and keep it off.
The slang term thunder thighs is used to describe excess weight on the top of the legs. This bodily feature not only causes feelings of self-consciousness but also is unhealthy. Joining a gym is a good strategy to reduce your thigh size, provided you know what approach to take. Being that you cannot spot reduce, overall weight loss needs to be your primary goal.
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.
The results: estrogen isn’t an angel or a demon; it’s a hormone that should ideally be within a healthy range, and too much or too little can be dangerous. So far, some studies suggest that a high-fiber, lower-carb diet might be useful in treating estrogen overload, but the best advice for anyone with PCOS or another serious problem will come from a real endocrinologist.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or just manage your weight, the amount of food you eat is the most important thing to consider. It may seem like a no brainer, but many of us get this part wrong. It’s easy to get caught up in the overwhelming amount of diet advice and quick-fix solutions on the internet, but weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated.
Ross Enamait is a boxing coach and trainer. He has a passion for high-performance conditioning, strength, and athletic development. His philosophy is that successful training requires figuring out what works for the individual. On Ross Training, he provides the research and real-world advice his experiences have backed up, but never a “my way or the highway” approach. Visit the blog.
Coming back to this question of ketones and weight loss, when someone with some extra body fat begins a ketogenic lifestyle, perhaps it is the increased ability to burn these stores, coupled with the reduction in appetite and cravings, that facilitates initial weight loss.  In this scenario, keto-adaptation facilitates weight loss, but only as long as the reduced hunger and cravings allow one to comfortably eat fewer calories per day than one burns.
For example, you might not realize just how much you eat when you go out to happy hour with friends. But if you take the split second to take a step back and make yourself aware of that fact, you’re more able to make a healthy decision. “The awareness and then planning and coming up with strategies for what else I can be doing—that might give me the same benefit of eating those comfort foods that make me feel better,” says Gagliardi.
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!
My wife is always desperate to control her weight. She has tried healthy diets similar to what you have listed above, and she has tried all the crash diets and diet pills and diet fads you can think of. She is still struggling, and she is only 25. Currently she has been told that part of her problem might be digestive issues (along the lines of Irritable Bowel Syndrome) PLUS the fact that she has needed to get 2 cortizone steroid shots in the past 2 years, which is said to encourage weight retention, PLUS AGAIN using an IUD contraceptive that messes with her natural hormone balance. The poor girl needs MORE than just a normal diet-routine and a little extra exercise. Do you have any safe advice for those, like my wife, with unusual and extra-ordinary conditions?
Research points to eating more fiber to help shed pounds (47). Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not absorbed and used for energy, so eating more high fiber foods can actually help decrease your total carb count. And your inability to absorb most sources of fiber is also why it is so beneficial for keeping your digestive system on track - more fiber tends to keep things moving along. Fiber also helps draw water into your gut which can help you feel fuller longer and promote better blood sugar control.

Although fad diets and crash diets like the 3 Day Military Diet can be tempting, these diets are not your solution for how to lose thigh fat. In fact, these are exactly the type of diets that you want to avoid. Crash diets tend to be highly unsustainable and put your body into starvation mode. When you are in starvation mode, your body actually holds on to the fat because it perceives the threat of low calorie intake. Remember when we talked about the cavepeople? It is important to find the balance between losing thigh fat and not putting yourself into starvation.
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