Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium to your diet could be the key to getting that flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
One review found that people who sleep between 3.5 and 5.5 hours a night consume nearly 385 more calories the next day when compared to those who sleep between 7 and 10 hours. (6) Sleep is critical for our bodies to repair and function properly. When you consistently don’t get enough sleep, not only are you more likely to gain weight, but you’re also at a higher risk for chronic diseases, anxiety, irritability and more.
Soon after the ski trip, I left my desk job to pursue graduate school and took a part-time job working at the front desk of an upscale health club. One of the perks was a free membership, which was the motivation I needed to take control of my weight. I started exercising at the health club most mornings, taking Body Pump and spinning classes on a regular basis. Finding workout buddies helped too. I made some new friends who were avid runners and I began training for and participating in road races with them.
About Blog The SkinnyJane Weight Loss Challenges and their weight loss products were created for women by a women's weight loss professional who has 15 years experience helping women lose weight and is owner/manager of a women's only weight loss facility. SkinnyJane includes the details and materials of the weight loss plan that has been carefully developed over 15 years of helping women lose weight.
Cut out ‘fat-bombs’ and bulletproof coffee. These are okay to consume for satiety, but if your goal is weight loss, too much fat will prevent your body from using its own fat stores for energy (refer to point above for more information). Just one bulletproof coffee may contribute nearly 50 grams of fat and almost 500 calories to your day. Imagine what a few cups of coffee, or several fat bombs, might do to your weight loss.
About: Hannah resides in London and she’s positively adorable, clever and fun to follow as she blogs her way to resisting temptation and staying fit and healthy. Hannah’s also been there, done that. Two years ago she lost 50 pounds through a complete lifestyle overhaul. Now, she’s in maintenance mode, but one of the things that’s unique about Hannah is that she still loves to eat out and socialize, and she knows how to do it in a way that doesn’t result in weight gain. And yes, she shares that in her posts.
Jessica Osborne, fitness trainer and former Radio City Rockette works with clients to help them sculpt the long, lean legs of a dancer. But she says that it is impossible to spot reduce or lose weight from one area such as the thighs. Instead, she recommends "cardio-amped" workouts that burn calories for fat loss all over the body. She also includes strength training to shape the quadriceps (front of the thigh) and hamstrings (back of the thigh).
With blood sugar spikes contributing to obesity and health problems, it’s no surprise that you need to cut the sugar to get thinner thighs. According to the American Heart Association, the average American eats 20 teaspoons of sugar per day. With one teaspoon of sugar being 16 empty calories, it’s easy to see how fast this can add up. Instead, make sure you eliminate added sugar and sweeteners like corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.
In January of 2010, I was home from work, and I was flipping through the On Demand channels and I saw a circuit training workout “Boost Your Metabolism” from Jillian Micheals.  I hadn’t a clue who she was, but I did the workout and I thought I was going to die!  I couldn’t walk for 3 days and I was sore as hell.  That’s when I knew I was out of shape and needed to up my exercise, because walking wasn’t enough anymore.  At that time I also started my Getting in Shape 2010 group on Facebook.  I needed a place to share healthy living, get support because I wasn’t getting that at home and to learn from others.
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!
“The secret to dropping the baby weight while working full-time was eating real food—no shakes or supplements, preparing meals in advance, and going slow. I balanced all of my meals to have a mix of protein, fat and carbs. As for meal prep, that was critical! After my kids went to bed, I would roast some veggies and meat in the oven with olive oil and seasoning like garlic, rosemary, oregano and bake for 425 degrees at 25 minutes. Then I would prep egg muffins, flourless banana muffins or snacks like roasted chickpeas. The whole prep would take from 30 to 60 minutes. I did this meal prep every two to three days instead of all day on Sunday. That allowed for greater variety and fresher ingredients, plus I could grab and go during the crazy busy morning rush for my meals the next day at work. Also, I incorporated both HIIT and strength training to get the most bang for my 5:30 a.m. workouts on weekdays, using my home equipment of dumbbells, resistance bands, a core ball and kettlebell. You don't need to sacrifice time with your family or from your career to lose weight. I'm proof of that.”

Like I said, all of this revamped progress started in August and the weight loss was slow. Slow like an average of 1 pound a week. Some weeks I would lose 1 or 2 pounds and other weeks I would lose nothing. For a while, I didn't notice any physical changes and if it wasn't for the fact that I was standing on a scale looking at a different number, I wouldn't have any guessed my body was changing. The biggest change for me during this time was not what my body looked like, but what it felt like. I noticed the food I ate (in combination with my work outs) left me with more energy. I felt less sluggish and more ready to take on the day. Completed workouts and nutritious choices filled me with confidence and empowerment.
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.
“I learned how to cook from scratch and experiment with flavors. The biggest change my husband Mark and I made was planning our meals for the week on Sundays. We also rely on food optimizing—using vegetables to bulk up our meals but still keep them low-calorie. It helped me lose 52 pounds and 8 dress sizes, while Mark lost 110 pounds.” —Amanda Gibbon, 46
But just because belly fat comes off a bit more easily doesn’t make it less dangerous. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “Belly fat is unfortunately the most dangerous location to store fat,” says Dr. Cheskin. Because belly fat—also known as visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs—is more temporary, it’s more active in terms of circulating in the bloodstream. That means it’s likely to raise the amount of fat in your blood (known as blood lipid levels) and increase your blood sugar levels, which as a result raises your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“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.”
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!

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. 
There's a pretty dizzying amount of research backing up this regime as a solid option to enhance your health, lower cholesterol, and encourage healthy, lasting weight loss. DASH (the acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has you loading up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (surprise!) and removing foods high in saturated fat from your diet. Research also shows that this diet may even ward off the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Well, we’re not going to encourage you to obsess about a thigh gap, but your thighs do an important job and for that reason, it’s great to have them toned and strong. When you’re told to “Lift with your legs!” your thighs bear the brunt of the effort. When you scoop up a child or climb stairs, even when you’re just walking, your thighs are hard at work.

When Addison was not even one year old, I saw this commercial one day. I still remember it like it was yesterday. She was taking a nap and it came on the television. It was about this anxiety medicine that had begun to be linked to so many birth defects. It was a commercial for a law firm asking you to call this number if you had taken the medicine and gave birth to a child with a defect. I was in shock. It was the medicine that I had literally gotten off of two months before Addison was conceived. I cried and cried at the thought of what could’ve happened to Addie had I not “woken up” that day in January 2007.
Such an inspirational story, Jennifer! The ones in the comments section too. I see that there are so many people are still struggling in dealing with weight management. So I have something for you guys. It’s red tea. Red tea reduces stress, aids in weight management because it burns fat passively, cleanses the body, and control cravings so you’ll get rid of the unnecessary calories. If you’re interested, I recommend this one: https://bit.ly/2I1DF0N 🙂

Shelley started her blog on the same day she decided to start what she believes will be her final diet. That day, she weighed 256 pounds—two years later she lost over 110 pounds and was her lowest weight in over 20 years, 146 pounds! Shelley uses her blog as a way to remember all of her successes, failures, plateaus and everything else in between. She’s found tremendous support through the blogging community throughout her weight loss journey and continues to share it all on her blog.
The female body is naturally slightly less insulin sensitive when progesterone levels are higher in the luteal phase (after ovulation, in the last two weeks of the cycle). This means it does not tolerate carbohydrate as well in these weeks. Women who are diabetic know this well. I’ve read many studies and heard from many women I know that their insulin injections have to increase in the second half of their cycle because their blood sugar levels are inordinately high.

Insulin is released when there is excess glucose or sugar present in the blood, typically after consuming a meal containing carbohydrates. Insulin works to help store glucose in muscles and fat cells for reserved fuel stores that can be used as energy when food is not being eaten, as well as maintain normal blood sugarlevels for immediate energy/bodily functions. Fat is only stored when there is a calorie excess. Having a higher lean mass and controlling blood sugar efficiently will also help ensure more of the food you eat is utilized for energy and not stored as fat. 
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. 

When Addison was not even one year old, I saw this commercial one day. I still remember it like it was yesterday. She was taking a nap and it came on the television. It was about this anxiety medicine that had begun to be linked to so many birth defects. It was a commercial for a law firm asking you to call this number if you had taken the medicine and gave birth to a child with a defect. I was in shock. It was the medicine that I had literally gotten off of two months before Addison was conceived. I cried and cried at the thought of what could’ve happened to Addie had I not “woken up” that day in January 2007.


About: Kristen is a country girl living in Oklahoma who recently started blogging about figuring out the whole “healthy living” thing with her husband and two dogs. Kristen loves life and is full of positivity, which is exactly why she started blogging about making healthier choices — so that she can continue to live life to the fullest. Her blog features posts of encouragement and practical tips, as well as her own personal ups and downs with making choices that create the total wellness package.
About: Going through a divorce can do nasty things to a person — it can cause weight gain, low self-esteem, job changes, you name it. It certainly was a downward spiral for Emma, who went through the ringer before meeting (and getting engaged) to her current fiancé — but along the way she learned how to find the joy in life and learn to love herself. Emma decided to start a blog as a way to bring her newfound positivity to others. Her outlook on healthy living and eating, fitness and weight loss is charged with positivity. She’s a glass-half-full kind of person, and reading her blog can make you one too.
About: A brand new blogger, Nikki’s trying to achieve wellness and healthy living, but what she’s really best at is getting product freebies and reviewing them so you know what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to weight loss, fitness, beauty, you name it. Nikki’s blog is loaded to the tee with useful product reviews, but she’s also not shy about sharing her own personal journey towards wellness either. Practical and emotional. We love it.
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. 
This is a medical clinic providing weight loss surgeries. But their blog also has a lot of helpful information about losing weight and maintaining that weight loss without surgery. You can find posts about the types of conditions that contribute to weight gain, posts about personal weight loss journeys, and yes, tips and advice for those who might be considering surgery. Visit the blog.

Having a healthy option at your fingertips when you’re starving can make all the difference between sticking to your goals and giving in to temptation. “I keep little containers of hummus and carrots, pickles, nuts and dried apricots, salsa and rice crackers, and other healthy combos in the front of my fridge and pantry so they are literally the first thing I see when I open the door,” says Lita Moreno. “I don’t even give myself a choice to cheat.” This one little change has helped her drop almost 80 pounds.
Ultimately, Paleo is a good diet for hormonal imbalance without any fancy protocols or special tweaks. Paleo is naturally high in protein and fiber, and low to moderate in carbohydrates: just what the evidence suggests is beneficial. If hormonal issues are still stalling weight loss even after you’ve been on Paleo for a while, it’s a sign that something more serious is going wrong – and probably time to go see a doctor about it.
It's a great accomplishment to lose half your body weight, as Shauna of The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl did, but the real beauty is in how she's mostly kept it off for a decade. After regaining 50 pounds, she confronted her emotional issues around eating and now says, "my philosophy boils down to: Do the healthy thing more often than you don't do the healthy thing. It's not about numbers and scales, it's eating well and being kind to myself. Persistence, not perfection. Getting back up when I fall over. Over and over again!"
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). 

I think another great thing about having a blog and being a part of the community of health blogs is how open people are with weight loss/gain. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and never had a lot of people to talk to because people around me weren’t going through it or felt ashamed to admit guilt over gaining a few pounds or that they secretly knew all the over exercise was actually a bad thing. It can be very isolating and reading other people’s journeys is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story!
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.
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