Don’t let extra hours lounging in bed stand between you and a flatter belly. While getting enough sleep can help boost your metabolic rate, sleeping in may undo any benefit you’d enjoy from catching a few extra winks. One study reveals that late sleepers who snoozed past 10:45 in the morning ate nearly 250 more calories over the course of the day, despite eating half as many fruits and vegetables as their early bird counterparts. Even worse, they chowed down on more salty, sugary, and trans fat-laden fast food than those who woke up earlier. If you happen to head out of the house early, you’re in for an additional metabolic boost; researchers at Northwestern University have found that people exposed to just a short period of early morning sunlight had lower BMIs than their late-waking counterparts.
I still follow an 80% 20% lifestyle but I am more strict with food (mostly because I have been good in the lead up to my holiday but also because I’m trying not to use food as a reward so I’m having less cheat meals). However, these days I don’t plan my cheat meals so much, I just have them when I fancy them usually every few weeks or so dependent on my social plans. I try to opt for ‘clean’ cheat meals where possible such as homemade burgers or protein pizza, then I save my remaining calories for puddings such as pancakes, protein bars, protein cookies or homemade protein ice cream.
There are currently no legal requirements for food manufacturers to label trans fats, according to the British Dietetic Association, so you need to check ingredients lists for hydrogenated fats and hydrogenated vegetable oils. The biggest culprits? Your ‘cheat day’ favourites: cakes, biscuits, ice cream, popcorn, pies, fried food, fast food, takeaways — the list goes on.
Justine McCabe’s weight loss transformation story began in early 2015 after her husband unexpectedly and tragically committed suicide. Weighing 313 pounds at the time, his death shook her awake and made her realize she had to make a lot of changes. By taking control of her health, she chose to live. Justine documented her weight loss transformation in 365 days of selfies and continues to share her journey on her blog where she has lost 126 pounds, and counting!
Monica Olivas is a holistic health coach and certified running coach. And as the blog name implies, she loves to run and eat! Running helped her shed 20 pounds, and she’s since competed in 50 half-marathons and 30 marathons. Run Eat Repeat has giveaways for runners, tips for improving distance, and all kinds of healthy, delicious recipe ideas to fuel your next run. Visit the blog.
Watch your drinks. It's amazing how many calories are in the sodas, juices, and other drinks that you take in every day. Simply cutting out a can of soda or one sports drink can save you 150 calories or more each day. Drink water or other sugar-free drinks to quench your thirst and stay away from sugary juices and sodas. Choosing nonfat or low-fat milk is also a good idea.
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
About: Aurora is a college student full of curiosity, including a nearly insatiable appetite to learn all she can about fitness and nutrition. She fell in love with exercising early on, while playing for a softball team growing up. That fueled a passion for nutrition as well, and eventually a blog dedicated to both as a way to inspire others to live healthy and lose weight. Aurora, who works in a veterinary’s office, also has a deep love for animals (which is always a bonus in our book). And yes, she includes many photos of cute puppies in her blog.
Thanks Jen! When you get down to the last 10 – 15lbs., it’s so much harder to get it off. Sometimes I think when you can’t lose weight and your doing all the right things,it maybe because it’s your bodies way of tell you it’s at it’s happy weight. I just keep plugging away and see what happens. As a long as your exercising and eating right that all that counts because your doing something good for your body!
About: Andie’s well-known for her New York Times bestselling memoir “It Was Me All Along” where she chronicles how she lost 135 pounds 10 years ago. But it’s her blog that drew us to her for this list, especially considering that she’s managed all this time to KEEP that weight off. Andie also wrote a cookbook, “Eating in the Middle,” featuring (mostly) healthy recipes. Plus, Andie’s blog is chock full of healthy recipes too (and the occasional indulgence), lessons she learned while losing weight and how she transformed her relationship with food and her body.
If you’ve got weight to lose and you want it gone fast, try swapping out your usual proteins in favor of fish. Not only is fish lower in calories than an equivalent amount of beef or chicken, a study published in Obesity reveals study subjects who added omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish, to their diets shed more weight and had an easier time keeping it off than those who skipped them.
Work your core. When many people think of core strengthening, they think of stomach crunches. Crunches are helpful for building abdominal muscles, but contrary to popular belief, crunches won't do much to lose the layer of fat stored in your belly, and can actually cause significant damage to the spine. Instead, try a workout routine that strengthens your whole core, like yoga, or try abdominal presses and planking.
I didn’t realize just how many calories I was consuming, so tracking what I ate helped keep me aware of what I was putting in my mouth. I don’t count calories anymore, but I track macros (protein, carb, and fat grams) to keep my diet balanced and in check. Macros allows me to have my carrots and cake, too! If you’re interested in learning more or want to work together, check out my macro plan options!
So at age 20 my weight started to climb, but I didn’t notice or care because I was having fun. At about age 24, I still didn’t workout at all and just partied and enjoyed my time with my friends. I had an asthma attack, and went to the Doctors and that is when he told me, if I keep going this route I would die! (Thanks Dr. Becker) Pretty abrupt, but it’s true. I was hitting near 200lbs and heading down the road of disaster. I don’t think I ever made it to 200lbs, but I came pretty close. (That’s me with the brown hair and bag in the picture, gross huh?)
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!!
I previously had a very bad relationship with food. I could eat a pack of biscuits, large bag or block of chocolate, large bag of crisps all in one sitting just as a snack and I would often secretly eat in private (looking back, I’m not even sure why I did this). This was the biggest factor for me in my drastic weight gain throughout my teens and when I decided to lose weight I knew the binging had to stop. Even in the early stages of weight loss I had episodes of binges, often when I would be having a ‘cheat night’, for example I would have a pizza for my cheat meal sometimes with a side of fries and garlic bread, but then I would ‘need’ something sweet afterwards so would often have a bar of sharing chocolate then raid the cupboards because I thought ‘I’ve started eating now I may as well continue’. This is still something I am working on, even today, however it is a lot more under control now and I manage it with positive thinking and self belief.
That’s because strength training helps you build muscle, which will replace body fat. In fact, strength training is one of the few activities you can do to spike the amount of calories you burn, even after you’re done with your workout. Bonus: When your metabolic rate becomes faster due to muscle growth, you’ll have a little more wiggle room in your diet if that’s something you struggle with, says Dr. Cheskin.
When researchers at the University of Tennessee put a group of volunteers on one of two diets—one high in calcium and one not—and cut each group’s calorie intake by 500 calories, they found that the people getting calcium lost twice as much weight (an average of 13lbs) compared with people on the standard diet. Study author Michael Zemel, Ph.D., believes extra calcium helps the body burn more—and store less—fat.
About: No, Amanda’s blog title is not referring to those delicious chocolate treats— or dancing— or a dog after he gets in from the rain. “Shakes” is Amanda’s long-time nickname and, it just so happens, it also turned into the perfect way to describe her blog. Amanda is an outspoken advocate of having a positive body image and maintaining a common sense healthy lifestyle. She also posts her very real struggle with depression and overcoming her own demons when it comes to sense-of-self. It’s that authenticity that makes for a compelling read that will leave you wanting to check back in every single day. Plus, her top post features a visually stunning photo array of what a typical weekday looks for her.
Harvie, M. N., Pegington, M., Mattson, M. P., Frystyk, J., Dillon, B., Evans, G., … Howell, A. (2011, May). The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: A randomized trial in young overweight women. International Journal of Obesity (London), 35(5), 714–727. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017674/
"Crash diets (dramatically cutting down how much you eat) might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but they’re hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off. It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets."
Jennifer, I am a little different than you. I have always been a big girl and right now, I am near 200 pounds. I am about 5’3 and I’ve always had trouble losing weight. I’m actually very athletic. I love to play sports and I’m good at them, but I hate running. I also splurge a lot. it’s a bad habit of mine to snack when I’m bored. I’m a recent college student and eating healthy is difficult, not to mention exercise. since I live on the fourth floor, I try to take the stairs only. I’m pretty good about that. I have a slow metabolism and I have no sense of calorie counting. I’m desperate for help, but I need to concentrate on my studies. what advice can you give me?
I laid on the floor, crying, and said “so this is being an adult.” Then I belly laughed. ⠀ My feelings were all over the place, stress was present but it wasn’t unbearable, I had a lot of work, but not too much that I was drowning, Cooper was gone, but I knew he was okay and happy with his dad—I was seemingly okay, but I didn’t feel okay. ⠀ So I did what I do when I feel off, I reach into my toolbox and grab the tool that makes the most sense in that moment. First, it was calling a friend. She allowed me to cry. Knowing that I didn’t want advice, I just needed someone to receive my vulnerability without judgement. ⠀ I laid on the floor because I liked the way the pressure of my body felt on the ground. I cried, well, I sobbed. I was in pain and my body hurt. She listened, and then said something that made me laugh. Within moments I was in the depths of pain, then belly laughing. “So this is being an adult”, I said. But looking back now, it has nothing to do with being an adult, but being a human. Allowing ourselves to feel the full range of human emotions without fucking judging them. ⠀ Self care can feel like a bunch of bullshit and fantasy land ideas. So how can you filter the BS and get through your hard as hell moments? 👉🏽Don’t focus on being 100% better. Try just 1%. Because 1% is a whole hell of a lot better than nothing. By the way, this crying ordeal was last night—we all have bad days and moments and adulting is hard AF sometimes. As I was about to hang up the phone, I said “I feel 3% better”. Not 1, or 2, I felt a confident 3% better. That, was progress. ⠀ Maybe you need to draw your feelings, cry them out, dance them out, call a friend and just speak, yell, masterbate, breathe, watch a show, mediate—whatever you need to do, remind yourself that 1️⃣ you’re so human. You’re imperfect and it’s okay to have off days. 2️⃣ self care is all about trial and error. Adjust and pivot with each present moment. 3️⃣ 1% better IS better. Reframe what progress looks like to you 💓 ⠀
Let yourself be introduced to a special woman, whose goal is to be as healthy as possible. Her name is Vicki, she is 30 years old, and she lives in Ireland. What she does on her very cute blog is combine fashion with good nutrition and losing weight. She loves living in her own bubble, because there she feels like she’s at her best. In order to prevent herself from eating, she started painting her nails, which later turned out to be a part of her style. Vicki adores doing that, and in combination with her healthy dieting plan, it completes her day as well as her life. What she definitely feels like is winning in this moment, losing one pound at a time, and what she really knows is that this blog will keep her on the right track.
Instead of satisfying your sweet tooth with some refined sugar, turn to berries and enjoy a slimmer waistline in no time. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, and research from the University of Michigan reveals that rats given a berry-rich diet shaved off a significant proportion of their belly fat when compared to a control group. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are also loaded with resveratrol, an antioxidant pigment that has been linked to reductions in belly fat and a reduced risk of dementia, to boot.
Your body needs a certain amount of essential vitamins and minerals to function properly. What happens when you don’t get enough of them? What happens when you eat too little food, or when the food you eat isn’t sufficiently nutritious? Perhaps our bodies catch on and reply by increasing hunger levels. After all – if we eat more, we increase the chances of consuming enough of whatever nutrient we are lacking.