#2 – Count your calories, at least for the first week or two. You’d be amazed in what you think is healthy and is not. I was drinking a skinny vanilla latte and a reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake for breakfast every day, and that was over 500 calories. Not smart, not to mention I was hungry a short while after breakfast, which brings me to #3.
Okay, so dried fruit won't totally derail a day of good eating but it's far from being a harmless snack. First, because the dehydrating process sucks most of the volume from the fruit, you can eat cups of the stuff, and 600 calories later, still not feel any fuller. More troubling, though, is the fact that companies almost invariably add a ton of sugar to the fruit, making Craisins closer to candy than Mother Nature's original intention. In this case, the choice is clear: Stick to the real stuff.
Stay motivated. Often times, people lose motivation to stick with a diet or an exercise routine. Finding a reason to stay motivated beyond belly fat goals, like overcoming a genetic predisposition to excess body weight or working toward fitting into your favorite article of clothing again, can help you stay motivated to meet your fitness and lifestyle goals.
I wasn’t happy at my heaviest, but I wasn’t really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in 2004 put things in perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a “bad” photo of me. I was so depressed that I threw most of them away.
When Sarah’s son turned 5, she decided it was finally time to give up a lifetime of bad habits and replace them with not only better food choices, but a passion for running she didn’t know she had. Sarah started to pound the pavement, and found that not only did she lose 70 pounds, but she gained so much joy out of life. Now, Sarah’s mission is clear: to keep the weight off, share her passion for running (as well as her many impressive races, from 5Ks to half-marathons, even a 200-mile relay race) and bring everyone along with her as she inspires the online community to live a healthy life, and live it to the fullest.
I started listening to my body. It was really easy for me to mindlessly eat food in front of me, even if I wasn’t hungry. I noticed my body also did this thing where it would feel like I was hungry ten minutes after I finished a meal, which I would then need to tell myself I actually wasn’t hungry yet. As your body changes, you will notice that your appetite might have changed and you don’t need to eat as much before feeling full.
If you ever feel like switching things up and viewing a man’s weight loss journey rather than reading it, then Jess “TooBig” has the perfect vlog for you. Jess started his YouTube channel, TooBig.net, to hold himself accountable and document his mission to lose over 200 pounds. He’s already down 70, going from 534 pounds down to 453 and counting. His videos give him the perfect venue to put it all out there, including weekly weigh-ins, exercise routines, food choices and the day-to-day struggles he goes through.
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.
About: Kelsey’s blog is packed with easy-to-follow healthy recipes and fitness routines (and they’re not just your run-of-the-mill workouts, either). They’re formulated or endorsed from Kelsey herself — a 50 pound weight loss success story. Kelsey had been pretty fit and thin her whole life, but shortly after leaving college, countless nights of eating out and drinking led to her packing on an extra 50 pounds. Unhappy, Kelsey decided to make a change. What’s especially inspirational about her story is that she did so slowly. She made small changes, slowly started eating cleaner and eventually lost all the weight. Now, five years later, she’s still fit and sharing her story on her blog and in her books, fitness routines and recipes with readers. She even hosts weight loss challenges (with cash prizes) to really cheer people on and give them incentive to keep going.
Tina knows the meaning of weight fluctuation. She lost 100 pounds ... and then gained it all back. Now, she’s working on time number 2 of losing more than 100 pounds, and she’s well on her way. With almost 50 pounds down, Tina is sharing her love of life, food and fitness with the rest of the world - all to stay accountable and embolden others to lose weight too.
At the end of the summer (August) I weighed myself again and found out I had lost 10 pounds since January. I didn’t get down on myself when it felt like I had working so hard for little progress, but instead decided I was going to kick it hardcore into gear. It was at this point that my healthy habits were formed and I could continue in the direction of a healthy lifestyle. I could work harder in the hopes of seeing results. I realized at this point going forward it would be more of a mental battle than physical battle. The habits were formed, but I needed to continue believing in myself, staying encouraged, and thinking positive. I tried my best.
Before I really get into the content of this post, I should note that throughout my weight loss journey, I have learned a lot about nutrition, fitness, mental wellness, and body image. There are some things that I will mention that worked really well for me that might not work as well for other people. What started out as a journey to weight loss has evolved into a journey of an overall healthy and balanced lifestyle.
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.)
That darned bread basket!: Those fluffy white rolls? They're your flat-ab foe! When facing a bread basket, check its contents before digging in. If you see whole grains, go for it-in fact, feel free to enjoy 3 ounces a day. (One slice of whole-wheat bread or 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice are each 1 ounce.) Dieters who did so lost more stomach fat than those who merely cut calories and ate refined grains, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals.
When your cortisol levels are through the roof, it triggers the release of insulin, and this is where things go awry. Initially, the ‘fight-or-flight’ response shuts down your digestive system so you can deal with the “threat”, like a very hungry lion or, more realistically, heavy traffic on your way to work. Once the danger has passed, your body seeks to replenish the hundreds of calories you burned fighting to the death/swearing at rush hour traffic and makes you ravenously hungry.
Sonia is a single mom of two in her 40s. She’s also a former drinking, chain-smoking food junkie. Then she made a New Year’s resolution that stuck. She wanted to lose 50 to 60 pounds and be active at least 30 minutes a day, six days a week. She started running and hasn’t stopped since. The Healthy Foodie is full of healthy recipes that will help you on your own weight loss journey. Visit the blog.
The calorie restriction diet myth suggests you will win the fight against flab. While losing weight does come down to how many calories you consume, it’s the types of foods you eat that will determine how you feel as you lose weight and the kind of weight you will lose. If you have a poorquality diet — counting calories but eating junk food — chances are you’ll lose muscle rather than fat, and thus, suffer from slow metabolism.
Losing belly fat shouldn’t mean strict dieting or deprivation. “People often think that you have to eat certain foods or avoid certain foods [to lose weight] and in reality, it comes down to eating more of a balanced diet that is portion- and calorie-controlled,” says Zeratsky. “This allows your body to have enough energy to do what it wants to do while managing weight.”
Nuts. It’s very easy to eat until the nuts are gone, regardless of how full you are. A tip: According to science, salted nuts are harder to stop eating than unsalted nuts. Salted nuts tempt you to more overeating. Good to know. Another tip: Avoid bringing the entire bag to the couch, preferably choose a small bowl instead. I often eat all the nuts in front of me, whether I’m hungry or not.