“When I started Atkins 20, the weight started flying off and it was motivation just to keep going. I also avoided the scale for the first five weeks, which is probably the smartest thing I ever did! I did Atkins 20 for eight months, and I focused on being in ketosis (burning fat for fuel). Eventually, I added in exercise—cycling classes and light weights—to tone up. Now I just try to watch what I eat and I work out five days a week to maintain my weight.”
Why does this popular plan work? For one thing, it pushes wildly healthy staples to the forefront (think: nuts, vegetables, fruit, olive oil). For another, it's simply delicious, thanks to it's focus on fresh, simply prepared dishes like grilled fish with lemon and whole wheat pita with hummus. Science agrees: One meta-review of 16 studies, found the eating M.O. helped those on it lose an average of 8.5 pounds.
Are you jealous of the celebrities with toned legs, the elusive thigh gap and no cellulite in sight? What about those girls at the gym who wear spandex shorts every day of the year? How can you get those sexy, sleek legs to flaunt? While some people are just born with great legs, there are plenty of things you can do to improve the look of your legs. With some hard work and determination, thinner thighs can be yours.

Thank you for your response. I do agree the Mediterranean diet & Dash are healthy & sound, but I also think it’s important for people to change their habits, vs. “going on a diet” — whether you eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, with a small amount of healthy fat, plenty of protein and good, whole grains, OR you eat McDonald’s value meals four times a day, they are both considered someone’s “diet.”

Cardio isn’t the only component to weight loss—you need strength training, too! The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body burns at rest. The myth that lifting weights is going to make a woman “bulk up” isn’t really true. When you strength train, you not only work your muscles, but you rev your metabolism. Muscle is a good thing! So incorporate at least two strength training sessions into your week—in addition to your cardio—for weight loss. Strength train your whole body—not just your legs—to burn fat all over. We have amazing strength training classes on Get Healthy U TV; whether you’re a newbie or have some experience with strength training, we’ve got you covered!
Well done Jennifer. Inspirational. I also know from personal experience how hard it is to lose weight. It takes discipline to push through no matter what you’re feeling. For me it was getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning (Mon – Fri) to exercise but when I saw some photos of me while my wife and I were on holiday, that was all the motivation I needed to become laser focused to change. I followed a lifestyle challenge which pretty much is what you describe above. It does seem counter intuitive to eat more doesn’t it. Of course it’s what you eat more of that you need to watch 🙂
When boredom strikes, your pantry may be one of the first places you turn. But if your pantry is filled with high-calorie, high-fat foods, over time, the scale will tip in the wrong direction. Counter these temptations by tossing the junk food and replacing it with wholesome, nutritional snack options. It’s time to give your pantry a healthy makeover by tossing the following five foods for good!

It takes more than just crunches! We start to gain weight in our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When this happens cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. That stress can even get WORSE with bad dieting; studies show that the stress caused by dieting can increase cortisol levels, making no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction. So how do you shape up? Incorporate these 6 things below and you will be on your way to a flatter belly in no time flat!
That’s because women tend to store more temporary fat in their bellies. “The fat stores are gained and lost,” says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. “By and large, belly fat comes off easier in the sense that it comes off first. That’s where a good amount of the fat is lost from.”
I know, I know. It sounds great to just be able to eat whatever you want to stack calories, but you really only want to increase your intake by 5 to 10% to promote more lean mass. Fat storage is a fairly simple process in the body, heck, we are designed to store more fat for survival purposes; whereas laying down muscle takes more time and requires more specific approaches, including adequate protein intake and strength training. Research suggests it may be possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, but this phenomenon is not well understood and success can vary drastically from one person to the next (4,5). 

Some studies point to 0.45 to 0.55 grams/pound body weight as the minimum intake (72,73,74,75,76). And when looking at weight loss in specific, some studies argue that even higher protein intake at 0.6 to 0.72 grams/pound, and meals providing at least 25 to 30g of protein, are associated with decreases in appetite and better weight management overall (77). Furthermore, studies looking at athletes who are cutting calories, suggest that intakes as high as 1 to 1.4 g/pound to minimize their loss of lean mass (78,79,80,81).
“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.”
It was (and still is) important for me to have a game plan for the day. Usually I prepared the night before for all my meals for the next day. I would pack my lunch, think about my breakfast, or talk to Alan about what we would make for dinner the next day. If I was going out for a meal, I would think about healthy choices I could make. If I was going to have to work late, I would pack a healthy snack to hold me over. I found that it was really helpful for me to set myself up for success ahead of time. 
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.
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.
Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning Sparkpeople! Last week, I came across your website after visiting Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn and reading a woman’s recipe about pumpkin pie oatmeal. She listed your Crockpot pumpkin oatmeal recipe as a recommended recipe. I’ve been having a hard time taking off ten pounds–I’m in my forties and I can’t eat like I used to! I joined Sparkpeople a week ago and have been really liking it. I don’t feel so isolated, and the tracking tools are really great (and it’s free, too!). Thanks for introducing me to Sparkpeople, Jennifer!
About: Helen’s a sweet and simple kind of girl. She’s a runner in mid-life whose goal is to live healthy while mixing in a bit of adventure too. But what really makes her blog special is the number of delicious, healthy recipes she has developed along the way. They’re easy to follow and loaded with pics. And although Helen does sometimes take long breaks between posts, when she does do an update, they're among the most well-read on her blog.
Jen Tallman never thought she would have the courage to pursue a career in fashion due to her size...until she dropped 110 pounds by reducing her caloric intake and picking up running. Now she works at Chanel. How does she resist the temptation to deviate from her newfound healthy habits when eating out with friends? She checks out the menu beforehand so she always knows her healthy options. Just make sure you know how to spot what's actually healthy—restaurants can have a knack for trying to make you think things are healthier than they are.

Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, one of my favorites, because it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving! Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal- the spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.

The nutritionist has slowly led me into a ketogenic diet and within 2 months my PSA has gone from 8 to 6.6 and the latest reading is 6.0. I have gone from 62 kilos to 58 kilos in about 2 weeks and it is fair to say that I do not feel hungry although I have one meal or at most 2 meals a day. I jog almost every day for about 60 minutes keeping my heart rate above 120. My diet bothers everyone else but not me.
You can turn to strength training after you have lost some weight from the thighs to make them well defined. Often, it happens that after losing weight, your thighs and legs lack proper shape. Resistance training is the best solution to this problem. A program of resistance training makes your thigh muscles harder, stronger, and more defined. It also prevents your thigh muscles from getting larger in size. Weights should be kept moderately light to prevent your thigh muscles from getting bigger. Those with highly responsive muscles (mesomorphs) should avoid such exercises as their thigh muscles are already well toned.
When you want to turn your diet around, don’t focus on the idea of restriction, Zeratsky says. Instead, think about the foods you can eat and how you can manage your hunger. “Eat foods that are more filling and have more water, like fruits and veggies, which will help your stomach respond to the weight to food,” she says. Plus, they’re low-cal and you still need that calorie deficit to drop belly fat.

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.

The main guiding principles of Nutrisystem are portion control, proper nutrition and daily exercise. By relying on foods with a low glycemic index (in other words, foods that release their sugars slowly and steadily, instead of rapidly and intensely), Nutrisystem meals provide a consistent amount of energy throughout the day. The prepackaged, portion-controlled meals eliminate guesswork, while their nutritional guides encourage you to incorporate fresh produce into your meals. Nutrisystem’s meals are rich in high-quality proteins to keep you feeling fuller for longer and incorporate healthy fats (like nuts) to ensure you get all the nutrients you need. Their website allows you to track your progress and set realistic goals for yourself as well as giving you a large list of ten-minute exercises to do three times a day to help you stay active to lose weight even faster.

The journal "Yale Scientific" reveals that the phenomenon of targeted weight loss, while intuitively appealing, is essentially a myth. Focusing your exercises on your thighs can help improve muscle tone, but it won't necessarily help you lose thigh fat in a hurry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fat loss occurs across the body in response to a calorie deficit. You can create a calorie deficit through aerobic exercise, strength training and a reduced caloric intake. You will need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories for each pound of fat you want to lose.
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Perform cardiovascular exercise to melt away thigh pounds. Choose a form that involves the thighs, such as running, indoor cycling, elliptical training, stair-climbing or versa climbing. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 60 to 90 minutes of exercise performed five days a week to effectively lose weight. Spend a majority of this time doing intervals -- simply bounce back and forth from a fast to slow intensity. This will burn a high amount of calories and keep your metabolism elevated once you are done.

There are endless ways to do interval training. One simple example: First, warm up for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, pick up your effort so you’re working hard (a nine on a scale of one to 10—you should be breathing hard, but not gasping) for 30 to 60 seconds. Go easy for one minute. Repeat for a total of 5 times, and the cool down for two to three minutes.


Julie is a Weight Watchers leader & ambassador, breast cancer survivor, and healthy lifestyle blogger for The Weight Of My Weight. Her blog documents her weight loss journey that begins at 212 pounds, losing 52 pounds, and all the fluctuations that happen in between. Her ultimate goal is to be healthy, maintain her weight and hopefully inspire others to do the same. She shares healthy recipes and weight loss tips to finding balance throughout your journey.
3. Be realistic about which habits need to go. "When I was heavy, I'd eat French fries every single day, plus carbs at almost every meal—like a sandwich for lunch or bread with pasta for dinner. A diet so heavy in fried food and carbs just isn't conducive to weight loss. To lose the weight, I went from three large meals a day to six small meals, mostly made of fresh vegetable salads with lean meats and nuts. And no more bread!"
So excited to say that I have started cooking healthier meals from scratch and I am eating less and less processed junk every day and my family is slowly but surely following. My husband is a junk food junky and while I love the fact that he ‘loves me just the way you are’, sometimes I wish he would say, ‘lose some weight tubby’. No, not really. That would break my heart! I just need more motivation!!

Following all these tips won’t do your thighs much good if you don’t pay attention to how much you are eating of any given food. Using portion size is a great tool for controlling calorie intake. Portion sizes of foods are often based on regular household items that are easy for you to visualize. To get a better idea about portion size, click here.
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