I acknowledge that you may want to lose weight for any number of reasons. It’s not my job to tell you what your motivation for weight loss should be. It is my job to help guide you in that journey to greater health, energy, and love. My goal is to teach women how to love themselves above all else, and then let weight loss follow gently in its path.
On top of exercise, it’s nutrition. I believe they go hand in hand. In the beginning, improving nutrition was just as hard as improving fitness, except for sometimes now I think nutrition is more challenging. Exercising was just 1 - 1.5 hours a day of busting your butt, but nutrition was the remaining 22 hours, so there were way more opportunities to fall short or not eat as well as I could. However, because I think it is important to be optimistic, I will say that there were 22 hours a day to nourish my body with good and healthy foods. It just took me a long time to figure out the best way to do that (and just to clarify, I'm still figuring it out.)
The best way to get rid of belly fat is a combination of strength training and cardio. The cardio will help burn fat from all over your body, including your belly, while the strength training will help you build more muscle, which burns more calories at rest than fat does. For weight loss, aim to fit in at least 300 minutes of cardio per week and at least two strength-training sessions.
It’s hard to keep track of how much we eat. But a lot of research shows that when we keep track of intake, we eat less. This is called self-monitoring, and why writing down what I ate and weighed helped me.4,5,6 There are so many ways to do this nowadays: from the old-school paper-and-pencil method, to apps like MyFitnessPal, or the Weight Watchers points system.7
Looking at the TEF of protein, one would assume eating a high protein diet could theoretically boost your metabolism. But keep in mind that TEF is only a small portion (10%) of your TDEE and the effects overall are likely minimal. And these TEF amounts are based on isolated macros - combined meals/foods only require roughly 10% of calories for digestion on average.
Consider if this ‘plateau’ follows a period of significant weight loss. Have you been at the same weight for less than 3 months after a period of significant loss? If the answer is yes, it may not be a true weight loss plateau and may be part of the normal weight loss process. Weight loss may pick up again shortly. This may just be your new stable weight for a period of time before weight loss continues.
Including your significant other in your workouts can help to keep you on track, even if your goals aren't necessarily the same. "My hubby and I make exercise outings 'our' time," says Twyla Grimes, who knocked off 26 pounds by combining an hour on the stairmill or treadmill with strength training. "We'll go to the gym for an hour and lift weights together. Having him there keeps me accountable."
People who get enough sleep tend to weigh less than those who don't. Additionally, researchers found that well-rested dieters lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle. "Whenever I don't sleep enough, I'm ravenous the next day," says Weil. To keep her hunger in check and help her maintain her slim figure, she tries to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Replace the negative voice in your head that's telling you to quit with a motivational saying that will inspire you to keep going even when it gets tough. "I powered through workouts telling myself, 'I can do hard things!'" says Megen Karlinsey, who kept off 150 pounds. Her mantra helped her accomplish a triathlon, which she signed up for to blast a weight loss plateau.
In terms of exercise, I kept working hard. Exercising was one of my priorities and so I fit it into my schedule every day, usually on my lunch break. I exercised 6 days of week, and the bulk of my exercise was focused on running with the occasional lifting or circuit (my amazing sister, Lindsay, a certified personal trainer, created lifting plans for me). It was important to me at this point in my journey to have a cardio-based plan and running seemed the most practical. I started running over the summer (it was a SLOW journey of gradually increasing the time and speed on the treadmill every day) so by the time it came around to fall I could actually go run on the roads and continue to improve my endurance. (Note: I am planning on writing a whole post about my relationship with running because it has grown into such an important part of my life. Running used to be extremely hard and I hated it but stuck with it because I knew it would be good for me, but now I love it and the way it makes me feel).
"After gaining 70 pounds during my pregnancy, my weight had escalated to 245 pounds. Before I knew it, Tye was almost one. I hadn’t exercised or watched what I ate the entire year and my weight hadn’t budged. I was standing in a grocery store checkout line and picked up a copy of People Magazine’s, “How They Lost 100 lbs” issue. Inside, I found the story of Dawn Bryant who was also from Minneapolis. She had hired Jason Burgoon, owner and lead trainer at Bodies by Burgoon, as her personal trainer the year before and he helped her lose 130 pounds. I thought if this gym and this man could have such a profound impact on this woman’s life and health ... then maybe he can help me too. So I made the call. I began training with Jason three days per week. I started logging my food in My Fitness Pal, drank a gallon of water every day, and ate small meals, consisting of lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats, every two to three hours. One year later, I had lost 100 pounds. It inspired me to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach and help others define what strong means to them."
Many people think that they can eat what they want if they take Lipitor. Lipitor doesn’t seem to take care of triglycerides. However, drop the junk foods, processed foods and stick with a plant based diet and you’ll see those triglyceride levels drop. So…. taking Lipitor but still eating whatever your sweet/ salty tooth desires, your triglycerides may still be high. Ouch!
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.
"I was able to lose the weight by paying closer attention to what I was eating and my activity level. I started using an app to track my meals and a step counter to help track my activity. My coworkers were supportive and would often join me for walks during breaks. Every step counts! I would still go out to lunch with them, but I would look for healthier options on the menu and track what I was eating. My boys were also supportive, and they joined me in activities after work. They loved that I started to have more energy to do things."
Little treats keep you from feeling deprived, so every day, allow yourself a bit of something you love (aim for 150 calories each). This kind of moderation is the difference between a "diet" and a lifestyle you can stick with forever. For salon owner Caitlin Gallagher, who lost 125 pounds, that meant replacing her nightly bowl of ice cream with a square of chocolate; social worker Brittany Hicks, who lost 100 pounds, started baking mini versions of her favorite pies.
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!
Other Exercises – Ab exercises will also help reduce belly fat and help you keep that tummy tone as you lose the weight. We are a huge fan of core and ab exercises here at Lose Weight by Eating, and consider them the best exercise to lose belly fat. Not only to they help you tone up fast, they also strengthen your back, fix your posture (which makes you look thinner!) and help you lose belly fat!
Wow, Penny. You sure have had more than your fair share of struggles! I am so impressed at how you have continued to persevere and do whatever you could to succeed, despite all of the setbacks. YOU are the inspiring one! You found a way to exercise that didn’t cause you pain, you are making the healthiest choices you can in your circumstances. I am so glad you shared your story with me!
Weight loss, the rate of weight loss, and patterns of weight loss tend to vary from person to person and can even vary within the same person when comparing to previous weight loss attempts. Many people experience steady weight loss for quite a while, followed by periods of weight stability, and it may not be a true weight loss plateau. Just look at the 1 year data from our clinical trial—the average patient experienced 9 months of rapid weight loss and 3 months of weight stability (Hallberg 2018), while following the same nutritional approach for the entire year. Over time, most people who sustain a low carb or ketogenic diet find a new stable weight after a period of significant weight loss.
Thanks for sharing the article Monique. Obesity and more body fat can make people weak and accustomed to several diseases. Diet is the single most important thing when losing weight along with regular exercise and sipping green tea. Love the idea about self-monitoring though. This is something many people totally ignore. Stuffing down whatever is served on the plate is an unhealthy way of eating. While losing weight people should make sure they are receiving enough nutrition.
Which one of these statements resembles your thigh desires? Do you have a mixture of a few? Depending on which of these is your main goal, you will be able to target the correct nutrition and fitness plan for the legs you want. That being said, however, keep in mind that there are many factors that affect the look of your legs, so make sure you are being realistic about the legs you want and the obstacles you may face. Here are some other factors to consider when formulating your thigh fat fitness plan: