It’s important to never skip meals, as this slows metabolism and causes the body to store more fat. Eat foods with lots of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc. Also, get plenty of Vitamins B and C. Take Essential Fatty Acid supplements, or eat foods rich in omega 3 and omega 6. Eating these foods and getting some exercise will help to burn belly fat and increase metabolism.
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.)
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.
Portion size matters and it’s easy to fall into the habit of overeating and underestimating protein portions. An extra egg for breakfast, an additional ounce of nuts as a snack, or perhaps one more ounce of cheese on your salad–it all adds up. Too much dietary protein can drive down ketone production (Marliss 1978) when consumed in excess of our body’s needs. Read more about this in our deep dive on protein.
I am so proud of you!!! This is a really inspirational story. Losing the weight *is* possible. I went through a lot of weight issues (both on the too low and too high end) in high school and my first year of college. I feel like I’ve finally got to a decent place, but I really need to watch what I eat more and exercise!! My walks to and from class (20 min each way) are good but definitely not enough. I have a few JM movies I should pull out though..after reading what you said about her metabolism one it reminded me of how hard they are.
Include some fat in your diet to get the nutritional benefits, but be mindful of how much fat you are adding to your meals. If cooking or dressing your own meals, keep oil and butter portions to 1 Tbsp or less per person, and don’t overdo it on high fat toppings and ingredients like cream, cheese, nuts, nut butters and seeds. If eating out, opt for grilled, baked or steamed options over fried, breaded, and heavy sauces.
Also, while your menstrual cycle may not affect weight gain or loss, losing or gaining weight can affect your menstrual cycle. Women who lose too much weight or lose weight too quickly may stop having a period, or have irregular periods. Women who have obesity may also have irregular periods. A regular period is a sign of good health. Reaching a healthy weight can help women who have irregular periods to have cycles that are more regular. Learn more in our Menstrual Cycle section.
“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.”
Hi Karen! I haven’t dealt with chronic pain and fatigue myself, so my experience is pretty limited in that area. I would encourage you to move however you can without overdoing it. There is a woman who is going through this herself who talk about that here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWiu-u3Liww) and there are all kinds of gentle workouts available. There is a bed workout here (http://www.domorebemore.net/getfit/bed-workout-easy-workout-chronic-pain-fatigue/) and more workout suggestions here (https://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/best-workouts-chronic-pain-and-fibromyalgia). I hope that helps!
Beth has struggled with her weight for nearly her entire life. Overweight since puberty and then obese throughout high school and college, Beth tipped the scales at 250 pounds. In early 2009, she resolved to take better care of herself, which included quitting smoking and running for exercise. Initially, Beth didn't drop weight as quickly as she would’ve liked, so she took a look at her eating habits. She joined Weight Watchers where she learned how food should be measured and weighed, and how much she should eat in a day.
About: Christine’s blog is something really special — and not just because she put herself out there while she works to lose weight, but because she’s overcome a lot to get where she is today. A brain stem surgery survivor, Christine’s blog started in 2012 as a way to stay motivated on her path to an emotional recovery. Recently, it’s morphed into a weight loss blog where Christine is focused on losing weight all naturally and making it a lifestyle change. As she puts it, “I am changing my life for the better, forever – not just my body.”
"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."
I learned (and am still learning) to GIVE MYSELF GRACE. This is something I will probably work on my entire life. It’s humbling to know that even when I work so hard, I will fall short and miss the mark because I am human. With that in mind, I must forgive myself and love myself. It's important to keep my head up and remind myself that the tiny baby steps lead to progress.
While it would be nice to choose where you lose fat, it isn't possible to spot-reduce and just get rid of your belly fat, and there isn't enough evidence to support the use of fat-burning supplements for this purpose. The best way to get rid of any extra belly fat is to eat less and exercise more. Some fat-burning supplements can have adverse effects, so check with your doctor before using any of these supplements to make sure it would be safe for you.
The winter came and several work outs happened at Truman's Rec Center. I also committed to my first half marathon in April, so the start of the new year brought many morning runs. I kept experimenting with meals and trying new ways to cook foods I loved. Some weeks were great, and others were not. I kept my head up and reminded myself the hard work was worth it. It was worth it to take care of my body, to take care of my heart, and to take care of my mind.
So here’s where I have to say that I AM NOT a dieting or fitness professional. Even having to write that is humorous. I am absolutely NEITHER of those. And that is one huge reason that I was so reluctant to share my story. Yet as my sweet friends told me over our trip last month, my blog is to inspire and to them, my weight loss story could be inspiring. So once again, I am not a professional so please DO NOT take anything I say as advise. This is just my story and if it motivates one single person to change their lifestyle, I would be absolutely thrilled to have shared these glorious images 😉
Although I am not tiny or super duper in shape, I feel that I am finally at a comfortable and healthy weight that I can maintain while being busy and always on the go. My routine over the last year has been to try and eat fairly healthy during the week and then cheat a little on the weekends. If I splurge at one meal, I try and drink a healthy shake or a plate of veggies at the next to “make up for” the last meal. As I said before this is NOT health advice, just how I maintain my weight without counting every calorie. I am not one of those people with a crazy metabolism who can eat whatever they want so I have to be conscious about it all the time. Boo to any of you who are that way. I am forever jealous. One thing that has really helped me to start losing some again recently has been an alkaline diet. I honestly FEEL so much better too!
About: It may be tough to tell by looking at her photo (complete with a very toned tummy), but Hannah’s no stranger to gaining weight. She packed on about 50 pounds each time she became pregnant with her two kids until she eventually went from a size 4 to a size 12-14. The pregnancies also changed her body and made her unhappy with the way she looked. Ready for change, Hannah created a fitness and food plan for herself, stuck to it and noticed she slowly but surely lost weight and started to look more and more toned. Now she’s studying to be a personal trainer, and her blog is a place she shares all her fitness tips, nutrition ideas and motivation to help others lose weight too.
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What you put on your plate is important, but healthy eating is also about being mindful of how much you consume. For example, your husband has pancakes with butter and syrup for breakfast, your son grabs a doughnut, and you opt for a cup of oatmeal with a handful of walnuts, a sliced banana, and a large glass of organic blueberry juice. You may win on nutrients, but when it comes to calories, you're dead last: That healthy-sounding meal adds up to almost 700 calories, more than a third of your allotment for the day.
Cutting weight under the watchful eye of an experienced coach is pretty normal for teenage grapplers/fighters. But take heed: trying to do this on your own without a coach can be extremely dangerous. Also, here’s something important to note: cutting weight gets easier each time you do it. So your first few cuts, you’re lucky to get 8-12 pounds. After years of cutting, that number goes way up. What we’ve posted here is a modest cut. I know some athletes who can do 35 pounds in a week!
We’re almost up to speed, but still rewind a little bit back to the early years of college. In the fall of 2012 I started school at Truman State University in good old Kirksville, Missouri. If you’re in college or have been to college, you know that it’s the time to form independence and truly make decisions, on your own, for how you wish to live your life. For a lot of people this means starting over, turning over a new leaf, making new habits, developing a new lifestyle, etc. Honestly college is crazy and weird and I don’t want to ramble on it too much because this post is focused more on the fitness/nutrition journey I’ve experienced (though I now realize its all connected.)
I’ve been at this for a while and thanks to some excellent, well-reasoned sources (like Virta and its contributors, among others) I’ve learned a lot about my appetite/satiety, emotional triggers, carb tolerance, food intolerances, etc. and I just wanted to say that this was a great, well presented article. No matter where one is on their journey, we can all benefit from reminders and strategy reassessments. Thank you, it’s much appreciated!
I am having reconstructive surgery on my ankle in two days (5/16/13) and since I will be on my posterior for the few weeks after – at least no exercising – I’m looking for advise on dropping 20-30 lbs over the never 40 days so rehab will go better…stats – 5’9 204 – formerly athletic build now couch build – 47 yrs old – I have been a “Ferrisee” (better than Ferrasite) since listening to 4HWW and then 4HB – but need refocused guidance – from one and all – If this is the wrong string please let me know that as well.
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.