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.
Some of us no longer have the strong joints we had as teenagers. Jogging is out of the question and walking doesn’t cut it. The good news is elliptical trainers provide an intense, low impact cardio workout. In fact, a 145-lb. person can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer. That’s about as many calories as running burns, but without the joint wear-and-tear.
Let’s step back and think about this issue from a cultural/historical perspective. If Native American nomads (e.g., the Osage, Kiowa, Lakota, Blackfeet, Shoshone), the Inuit in the Arctic, or the Maasai in Africa ate moderate protein and virtually no carbs, they would remain in nutritional ketosis year around, and yet they manifestly did not keep losing weight until they wasted away.
“My dad is like a food-pushing wizard, he’s always pulling stuff out of his pockets or showing up with delicious food,” says Mary Mock. While the family tradition of surprise sweets was fun, when it came time to lose weight, she knew she had to put a stop to all that temptation. “At first, he seemed hurt when I kept saying no but when I explained it was for my health, he got on board. Sometimes I still have to remind him though!” she says.
Fast forward to January of my senior year of college (the beginning of 2016). One day I decided to weigh myself – I never weighed myself throughout high school and college, mostly because I was scared of disappoint but also because I didn’t have access to a scale and didn’t want to buy one. I stepped on the scale, and I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. I felt embarrassed, shameful, and defeated. I knew I needed to finally commit to making a change. I wanted to commit to healthy eating and exercise because I thought weight loss would kickstart my journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Incorporate fats like butter or olive oil for satiety. Adding fat to your protein-containing foods will provide more satiety than protein alone. If you struggle adding fats to keep your protein consumption moderate, consider if you fear adding fat. Getting over the fear of fat can take time, considering what we’ve been told for the last few decades.
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Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate from plant-based foods like bran flakes and strawberries that absorbs water and helps us eliminate waste as it travels through the digestive system. According to a review published in Journal of American College of Nutrition, fiber may increase satiety to keep you fuller longer and dietary fiber intake is associated with lower body weight. Mayo Clinic recommends that women should aim for at least 21 to 25 g of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 g a day.
People gain fat around the inner thighs as the result of a calorie excess, meaning they're consuming more calories than they're burning off through exercise routines and everyday activities. Cutting calories from your diet can help turn a calorie excess into a calorie deficit. Make a list of foods you'd like to eliminate from your diet. Some easy choices are foods that contain dietary toxins like trans fats, such as processed peanut butter, cans of frosting and some margarines, or synthetic sugars like high-fructose corn syrup.
We just got a FREE treadmill though, and my goal is to walk at least 15 minutes a day (to start, I have a heart condition) and work my way up from there. And keep eating well. I don’t have a certain weight or size I want to get down to. That is just detrimental for me. I am changing my lifestyle. I want to get fit and healthy for the rest of my life and whatever size and weight that gets me to is just fine with me!
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.
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.
About: Jenn’s story is one we can all relate to. She’s struggled with her weight all her life, and has spent many times going up and down with winning over her food addiction — and succumbing to it. Her posts represent the deepest emotions we battle when it comes to food, and it’s her willingness to open up that really touches readers. She’s been blogging for a long time, and her constant battle is one that more people definitely should follow.
Overall, great article! Especially the emphasis on self acceptance, which is often lost in weight loss plans playing on false notions “transformation” and “finding the new you,” while subliminally encouraging body-shaming along the way. I do have a question about the very last sentence of the article though. You specify that these things work “for average adults who do not have contributing medical or psychological issues,” but what about those who do have such issues?
Because we know it's (sadly) not possible to self-select an area for fat to shed with a healthy diet and exercise, the main thing we can do to target certain parts of the body is muscle-toning exercises. Thigh muscles are some of the strongest in the body, however, so you might be wondering how to go about slimming down the fat on your thighs without bulking up the muscle too much. We asked celebrity PT and founder of The Dan Roberts Group, Dan Roberts, to share his expert opinion:
I found your blog through the Nutrition Blog Network and I feel like I’m reading the story of my own life. I have recently lost 45lbs but am KILLING myself over those last 10 lbs just like you were. I literally have felt like it was hopeless and that there is no way those pounds are coming off. I am also limited to 1200 calories a day but am going to try raising my daily calorie intake to see if that helps! Your story gave me so much hope that I can beat these last 10 lbs and your weight loss tips were fantastic!
Generally speaking, men tend to be heavier than women and have a higher percent lean mass - which grants them a higher resting metabolic rate and allows them to burn more calories during exercise. More muscle mass also means they are able to store carbs more efficiently (translation: they can store more carbs for quick energy over fat compared to women, due to their muscle mass). But this does not mean men burn calories more efficiently, it just takes more calories to fuel and move a larger mass.
It is important to note that after any type of weight loss you will likely have a lower resting metabolism. This is partially due to having a lower body mass, requiring less calories to maintain. And sometimes due to adaptive thermogenesis, meaning you will need to eat less calories per day to maintain your weight compared to a similar individual at the exact same weight who has never been on a diet (28). But the effects of adaptive thermogenesis are typically short lived, and for most the difference could be as little as a 5% decrease in BMR. However, after crash dieting, your BMR could drop 10 to 15%, which could have a significant impact on your TDEE and weight maintenance efforts (29,30,31).
Lifestyle plays an even bigger role in belly fat — it's essential that you eat right and work to keep stress at bay, he explained. Of course, walking can help with both of these things, but together they're a factor in how much belly fat you're able to burn. "Too many things contribute to say just one thing will make losing belly fat easier," Goelzer said.
And maybe a new mattress, because it’s not just the amount of time you spend sleeping that keeps you lean, it’s also the quality of your sleep. Fat cells in your body produce a hormone called leptin that helps the body keep track of how much potential energy (i.e. fat) it has stored. But leptin is only produced during certain stages of sleep. Miss out on those stages because you’re not resting soundly enough, and you’ll disturb levels of the hormone, leaving your body with no real idea of its energy reserves. Consequently, you’ll end up storing calories rather than burning them.
About: Jade’s 6+ years of experience blogging means, at first glance, we would have passed right over her for this list. But it’s her recent debut into weight loss and healthy living blogging that caught our eye. Jade lives in Singapore, and just looking at Jade’s photos, it’s hard to imagine her as ever being overweight. But in 2012, she was unhappy with the way she looked, a feeling she’d had her whole life. Then the thought occurred to her that she had the power to change it. A total lifestyle overhaul and 44 pounds later, and Jade’s story is a success we can all admire.
Try this interval-training trick on the elliptical trainer: Ride for 30 seconds as fast as you can, then immediately reverse your direction and ride for 30 additional seconds just as fast in the opposite direction. Rest 60 seconds, and repeat. The force of stopping your momentum, as well as going from a dead stop to full speed twice in the same interval, will give your fat-burning efforts a massive boost, says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.
Jen Mellor is a full-time mom and blogger for the inspiring weight loss blog, Just Average Jen. Jen has lost over 140 pounds through healthy eating and shares with us her tips for weight loss, healthy, vegetarian-friendly recipes, and the trials and tribulations of her life and journey to keeping the weight off, all while staying happy and healthy. Her weight loss journey is not only inspiring but has shown us that she is, in fact, anything but average!
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.
Cut back on calories. The most important part of losing weight is not working out until you collapse — it's your diet. If you burn 500 to 750 more calories than what you eat every day, you will lose 1–2 pounds every week (any more than that is considered unsafe weight loss). There are tons of little changes you can make to cut calories from your diet, from replacing high-calorie dressings with vinaigrette and asking for all dressings/sauces served on the side, eating at the table instead of in front of the tv, skipping cheese and other fatty additions to your salads and meals, using smaller plates, leave off the whipped cream on your coffee drink, and on and on.
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Andie is a healthy recipe developer and New York Times best-selling author. She shares some of her most delectable food ideas on her blog. She’ll tell you right up front: She believes in balancing health and happiness. And it was through that balance that she lost 135 pounds — a journey that can also be found in her memoir, “It Was Me All Along.” Visit the blog.
Strength-training exercises like pushups, situps, pullups and weightlifting burn fat and tone muscle simultaneously. The CDC recommends completing at least two muscle-strengthening sessions per week. You should do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each exercise. Additionally, chores like digging and hoeing in the garden or yard qualify as strength-training exercises.
Thanks for the very informative post! I can see using this method (or one very similar to this) for bodybuilders who are preparing for a competition or a show. The good part about it for the bodybuilders is that they are not actually trying to retain their strength, only their size and aesthetic physique. Also, there is no need to rush to gain back the weight the day after the show, that can be a more gradual process (which could be healthier). This would help them look a bit more cut & defined, that is if the 3-5% bodyfat doesn’t already make them look that way…
Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and de-puff by counter-balancing salt. Stick to brown rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, millet, farro, sorghum, and amaranth for the biggest benefits.
Stick to your plan for at least 21 days. Give yourself time to be consistent and see results. Success doesn't happen overnight. In fact, new research suggests it may even take up to 66 days to form a habit (40). Allow yourself at least three weeks to stick to a goal and then reevaluate whether you need to be pushing it harder, scaling back, or keep on going. And make sure you save any cheats until after you've mastered this window.
Well, there is plenty of research suggesting low-carb diets may be more beneficial than low fat, but there are also large, high-quality studies implying no difference between the two. The truth is, we don't know for sure. But what we can takeaway from the science is that everyone is a little different when it comes to dietary approaches and what works well for some may not work for all. We are in need of more individual approaches to dieting and more research looking at what variables we should be guided by.
“I was borderline diabetic and my mother even suggested gastric bypass surgery, so I decided to try Atkins and pursue a low-carb lifestyle with the goal of coming back to school looking completely different. I reduced total net carbs and removed sugar from my diet. I also took advantage of the outdoor activities Lynchburg has to offer. In September my students didn’t even recognize me! Seeing the weight fall off, I began working out with a trainer at Planet Fitness, ran my first 5K race in Lynchburg’s Turkey Trot, and started walking with my children on the trails of Blackwater Creek. My proudest accomplishment, though, is that I inspired my daughter to start losing weight—she’s lost 50 pounds and counting.”
Stack habits to trigger healthy behavior. Tying a healthy behavior, like sit-ups, to an existing daily behavior, like waking up in the morning, will not only help you remember to perform your healthy behavior, but could also make it become a more permanent habit. This phenomenon has also been explored using emotional states, locations, timing and people, to help trigger healthy behaviors in individuals. And it works even better if you tie in a healthy reward at the end.
Since cutting 3,500 calories in a day or two is not realistic or even possible for most people, it is best to spread out your calorie deficit throughout the week. You can cut 3,500 calories by decreasing your calorie intake each day, or increasing the amount of calories you burn through physical activity. In other words, in order to lose one pound per week you will need to cut 500 calories per day from either food, exercise or both combined. And for two pounds lost per week, you would need to cut 1,000 calories a day.
Yogurt – Yogurt is an excellent fat burner because it’s full of probiotics to help stimulate the digestive system. Also, the high protein content of yogurt requires more energy to be processed, which means your body has to burn more calories to process the food. In fact, all calcium-rich dairy foods can help you lose belly fat by increasing the breakdown of fat in cells. Dairy products are far more effective than calcium supplements.
27. Use tech and other tools to your advantage. "I started out just by cutting little things like soda out one by one so I wouldn't burn myself out mentally and give up. I then discovered counting calories on MyFitnessPal, which was [a huge help] for me in my weight loss. A few years in, I lost my way a little bit and found Renaissance Periodization diet templates, which helped me rebuild a healthy relationship with food."
Annamarie Rivera’s weight loss transformation has been 10 years in the making. In early 2010, Annamarie weighed 400 pounds and wore a size 28 in pants. Today, she is over 230 pounds smaller and has an entirely new outlook on life. Her blog, Weight Loss With Annamarie, shares her incredible weight loss journey along with the joys and struggles that come along with it. Whether you’re just beginning your weight loss journey or trying to lose those last few pounds, Annamarie’s inspirational blog will help you persevere through the ups and downs.
About: Gina has the kind of success story that really touches a nerve. She started out at 298 pounds and went on to lose 168 of those pounds in 25 months. As someone who always struggled with her weight and achieved such a huge thing, she has an especially good grasp on how to help other people who have 100 or more pounds to lose achieve their goals. Her blog is a place she uses to motivate, inspire, energize and connect with others. And that’s exactly what it is.
Anyway, back on track: If your goal was to describe 5 of the healthiest weight loss strategies for women in the short term, maybe you could have adjusted the title to mention these are not meant for long-term use? It’s difficult to see the Dukan Diet listed as an option for the HEALTHIEST weight loss for women when you also state that it’s only designed for short term use or it can be detrimental.
Ah! The difference between what you are describing and what I encourage is the concept of the occasional treat. I really mean occasional treat. That can mean different things to different people, but generally should mean that MOST of the time, one is sticking to one’s healthful diet. But even if one indulges in a weeklong all-you-can-eat cruise, one should still be able to forgive oneself and move on, pick up where they left off, or progress will not occur.
In short, focus on eating a sensible diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. You also want to balance maintaining a reasonable calorie deficit to promote weight loss without starving yourself. To do this, dietitians recommend cutting out about 500 calories per day from your daily intake through diet and exercise. Doing so sets you up to lose about 1 pound per week, which is a highly sustainable rate of weight loss.