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 scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.
"When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I've shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I'm on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year." —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
People hear turkey and automatically think lean and healthy, but depending on the type of ground turkey and toppings used, one of these poultry patties can be every bit as fatty and caloric as a beef burger. Sirloin, on the other hand, is one of the leanest cuts of meat available, which makes for an incredibly satisfying, protein-enriched meal that will keep you feeling fuller, longer.
“If there’s one thing that comes up over and over with the thousands of patients enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry, it’s weighing yourself every day on a scale,” says Rena Wing, Ph.D., founder of the registry, which tracks more than 4,500 men and women who have lost an average of 20lbs or more and kept it off for at least six years. “Don’t obsess over the number,” she says, “but at least keep track of the general range of what you weigh so you can catch small changes as they occur and take corrective measures immediately.”
Always the chubby kid in school, Shelly’s weight struggles followed her well into adulthood. At age 35, she struggled with many obesity-related health issues, including high blood pressure and sleep apnea. After her father died of heart failure and sleep apnea and she heard about 9/11 victims who had to walk down 86 plus flights of stairs, Shelly decided it was time to make a change. She opted for weight loss surgery, started eating healthy and exercising daily. The result? A 158-pound weight loss. Shelly uses her blog as a platform to share her daily triumphs and struggles as she works to maintain her weight, share products she uses to stay healthy and eat right.
In July of 2010, Mary tipped the scales at 345 pounds. She’d had enough, and decided that it was time to embark on the road to health and happiness by losing 210 pounds. Before getting pregnant, Mary was well on her way, weighing in at 188 pounds just two years later. Along the way, she’s been given numerous awards for her creative and unique style of writing, as well as her amazing weight loss accomplishments. 

About: The primary purpose of Amanda’s website may not be to share fitness tips (she’s a virtual personal trainer), but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some amazing ideas on how to exercise in her blog. Amanda’s proven methods are the perfect balance of active training and rewarding results. Here, you’ll find fitness tips, training plans, healthy recipes and tons of health & nutritional information.
About: Annamarie’s weight loss story is nothing to sneeze at. She lost a staggering 180 pounds, and she did it all naturally, by eating right and exercising. These days, Annamarie’s in two modes: maintain her healthy weight and lifestyle...and share her personal tips and victories along the way. She’s the kind of blog you’ll want to follow if you want to tap into the day-by-day challenges (and empowerment) of a young woman who made it happen...and wants you to as well.

Alice Williams created Honestly Fitness with the intention of giving an honest opinion, backed up by factual evidence, about anything and everything concerning fitness, health, and everything in between. Her passion for sharing the reality of the health and fitness world makes her one of our most inspirational blogs. She discusses important and controversial topics, healthy recipes, and provides honest reviews and feedback of all the latest trends in fitness.


Instead of subjecting yourself to another endless workout, crank up the intensity and you’ll see results faster than you ever thought possible. The results of a study conducted at McMaster University in Ontario reveal that adult male study subjects who exercised intensely for a single minute had equivalent respiratory and metabolic changes to those who worked out at a slower pace for close to an hour, so if you want to burn through that belly fat, say so long to slow and steady.
Having support is very important with weight loss. If everyone can get on board, it will be easier to achieve your goals. Talk to your family (or friends, roommates, etc) before starting your diet and let them know your plan. Explain why you are making this decision and ways they can help you succeed. Even if they do not change with you, that's okay! Go forward with your plan! They may decide to join you once they see you succeed with weight loss.
We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low-carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again.
The internal and external obliques, which I like to call "nature's girdle," are located at the sides of the rectus abdominis. They are the muscles you use when you bend sideways at the spine or twist at the waist. They also contract to compress the abdomen, so you should work them just as hard as you work the rectus abdominis. Adding a twist to crunches works, as well as dumbbell side bends, but be careful not to use any jerky motions, especially if you've had back problems.
Eat polyunsaturated fats. While saturated fat leads to the body's retention of visceral fat, causing abdominal girth and excessive weight gain, studies have shown that a diet high in polyunsaturated fat helps promote the production of muscle mass instead of body fat.[7] Polyunsaturated fats can also help reduce cholesterol levels in the body, lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease.[8] Sources of polyunsaturated fats include:[9]
1 Reference for 5%: Blackburn G. (1995). Effect of degree of weight loss on health benefits. Obesity Research 3: 211S-216S. Reference for 10%: NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf Cdc-pdf[PDF-1.25MB]External
"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."
Another benefit to writing this blog is the opportunity to bring in an extra income. Actually, blogging can bring in A LOT of extra income.  In August 2014 I quit my full-time cushy state job to pursue my new career as a FULL – TIME PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER. Read all about that here. It takes a ton of work but it can be done. Dreams do come true if you are willing to work hard for them!
14 ways to lose weight without diet or exercise Strict diets can be challenging to follow, and people may not always have the time or ability to exercise. However, a variety of simple lifestyle changes can help people lose weight and improve their health. These include taking probiotics, getting enough sleep, and thoroughly chewing food. Learn more here. Read now
A 2018 study among more than 600 adults who were tracked for a year concluded that while there are different paths to weight loss, the advice to limit added sugars and refined grains, add more veggies to your plate, and eat more whole foods — in other words, focusing on the quality of your diet — is the way to go. People who followed this advice lost weight without worrying about calories.
Way back in 1979, award winning Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer, conducted a seminal research study that revealed measurable changes in the physiology of an elder population who put themselves in a living situation that reflected 1959, 20 years earlier.  The key to the study was to have the participants think of themselves as they were 20 years earlier.  They were instructed to immerse themselves into the past and to return as completely as possible in their minds to those earlier times.  It living quarters were set up as if it was 1959. 
When Annabel started blogging 3 years ago, she did it to chronicle her weight loss. But as the pounds came off and her life started to change, so too did Annabel’s blog. Annabel’s journey became about much more than losing weight. For her, weight loss was not about melting pounds off and being thin. She realized that just because people were thin by no means meant they were happy. Rather than focusing on weight loss and obesity, Annabel decided to focus on health overall. She lost 150 pounds, and her method of inspiring others is truly unique: rather than encouraging them to focus on weight loss, she advocates for focusing on the health you gain.
About: Alicia is no stranger to blogging. She’s had a few in the last decade, including “Girls Just Wanna Be Healthy,” where she shared her struggles and triumphs as she sought to drop from 190 to 159. But she just recently launched her new blog, where Alicia has morphed from someone who spent her entire life being embarrassed and ashamed of her body into a confident young woman ready to share herself — and maybe help a few others along the way.
I’m in favor of any program that promotes whole foods over hyper-processed fare, and this is one thing the popular diet plans can agree on. Overly processed foods have been linked to weight gain, perhaps because many unhealthy packaged foods (think: potato chips, ice cream, frozen pizza, cookies and the like) lack the fiber found in many whole foods, including vegetables. Fiber helps fill us up, and research suggests that by simply adding more fiber to your menu, you can lose weight nearly as well as a more complicated approach. Consistently choosing whole foods is one way to do this.

Burning body and belly fat with cardio exercises is half the battle. Next is strengthening abdominal muscles so you have something to show once the fat is shed. In a recent study, ab exercises were ranked from best to worst. The bicycle exercise ranked as #1 because it requires abdominal stabilization, body rotation, and more abdominal muscle activity.

Her name is Carla and she has been a professional blogger since 2001. In order to make a better access to those who do not have a one on one training lessons, she has launched this site. For that, she has been recognized by plenty of publications from various magazines, journals and sites. She is the unapologetic version of herself, and it is a hell of a version! She has after that, been been included in all sorts of motivational videos, as well as those she herself had made, was voted to become Austin’s Fittest Mom in the year of 2011, and is considered to be one of the most influential women in the world of wellness and fitness. With this page, she is expanding her brand and trying something new, that would benefit those who are seeking an assistance. This woman is inviting you to join her as she copes with life, health, fitness and trying to live each day on her own terms only.
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.
Shelly of the World According to Eggface is remarkable for her 158-lb weight loss, which took her from morbidly obese to healthy and happy. But she's even more inspirational for being so open about something a lot of weight-loss bloggers tiptoe around: her gastric bypass surgery. Check out her A Day in My Pouch post to see what it's like eating after this type of weight-loss surgery.
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.
This is a blog that has been created in the year 2011 by Dannii in order to share some healthy recipes with everyone that are not restrictive or boring, so that you should not restrict yourself from what you love to eat, but still get the proper nutrients from it. Because healthy food is all about balance, this is proved with the 100 pounds weight loss from the creator of this blog, Dannii, and this is why you can find a lot of healthy recipes here. It is a place where it’s all about the excitement of a healthy meal, enjoying a slice of cake, seeking activities that you love doing even if you don’t feel like working out, promoting a healthy and positive body image, how to cook great with high quality products and of course, focusing on all things that make us happy in life, such as family, friends, home, travelling and so on.
Hi Abby! I think it’s wonderful that you want to get and stay healthy! Good for you! I wish I had some miracle advice and I do want to clarify that I’m not a doctor so this advice is purely coming from my own experience, but I’m probably just going to be repeating what everybody else already says! Eat healthy. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Try to limit the junk food, but also don’t make it off-limits for yourself, because that may just make you want to eat it more! Stay active. Try to find things you like doing, so that you enjoy and look forward to exercise, whether that’s a sport or running or yoga or going on long walks. And do things to work on your self-confidence. A lot of people believe that you gain confidence after you reach your goal of losing weight, but I found that it was when I started having a better self-esteem that I lost the most weight! Good luck, Abby! Keep me updated!
Carrots ‘n’ Cake is written by a food and fitness blogger who also happens to be a mom. The blog provides meal plans, advice for those looking to get fit while dealing with chronic illnesses, and relatable posts about maintaining health while balancing motherhood. You can also find some great recipes, like these blender chocolate chip cookies. Visit the blog.
To start off, aim to do ab work 3 or 4 times a week on non-consecutive days with at least 24 hours of rest in between sessions, says Gagliardi. During those sessions, you can start with simpler moves like crunches, bicycle crunches, and planks. Even though you may only be directly targeting your abs 3 or 4 times a week, you should still be activating your core (aka, tightening your ab muscles) in every workout you do, says Gagliardi.

Do you ever feel as though your family and friends are the food and health police as soon as you start a healthier lifestyle?  Do you find it to be uncomfortable when dining with friends and family and do you feel like they are watching every move you make when you are making your food selections?  Sometimes you just want to eat what their eating and not feel so deprived as well as feel like everyone is judging you.
3. Be realistic about which habits need to go. "When I was heavy, I'd eat French fries every single day, plus carbs at almost every meal—like a sandwich for lunch or bread with pasta for dinner. A diet so heavy in fried food and carbs just isn't conducive to weight loss. To lose the weight, I went from three large meals a day to six small meals, mostly made of fresh vegetable salads with lean meats and nuts. And no more bread!"
Josie’s blog is anything but average. It’s downright laugh-out-loud funny. She uses it as the perfect platform to share all her fun workouts, recipes, tips for success and goofy product reviews with her thousands of followers - all in a comical way you won’t find anywhere else. Check out her YouTube channel too, where she posts hilarious vlogs of her workouts and product reviews.
Vanessa is definitely someone to admire. Despite suffering from Long QT Syndrome, a heart condition involving an irregular heartbeat that can lead to fainting spells and even sudden death, Vanessa still puts quite a lot of effort into her health. Her condition makes exercise difficult, but that doesn’t stop her from sharing about all the things she does to change her life. She even has a “101 things in 1001 days,” list that chronicles her attempt to complete 101 self-bettering tasks (including many towards getting fit) in 1001 days.
I first met Roni in 2009 at the POM Harvest Blogger Tour. She's one of the "big" bloggers in the health blog community; I was really nervous to meet her in person. All my fears were put to rest the second I met Roni. She was warm, friendly, and fully committed to living the healthy and active lifestyle that she blogs about every day on Roni’s Weigh.
Could I ask a question (or two?!)? I’m just starting to design a blog that’s around weight loss and fitness (it is specific and not as vague as I’ve made it sound!). When I see even genuine blogs you always see the person when they’ve reached physical perfection (which is great) but what do you do if you’re blogging at the beginning of that journey? I don’t know what image to put on my home page at this point – I kinda am more happy the starting point being on a My Journey page but I’m a bit lost as to what to put on the home page or having running through the blog as a consistent image (until I reach my goals)? What do you think? Also, is there a best format/way to construct the chronological record of your journey – what’s the best blog-site architecture for this type of routinely updated journey??
Now, while there aren't foods that literally target burning belly fat, there ARE foods that can drive the production of certain hormones that can trigger our body to store more fat on our tummy. The two most infamous are cortisol and insulin. So, making sure to keep your processed sugar, refined flour, sodium content, and alcohol consumption low can go a long way toward helping you burn off the muffin top.

Cortisone as an oral drug is another common culprit (e.g. Prednisolone). Cortisone often causes weight gain in the long run, especially at higher doses (e.g. more than 5 mg Prednisolone per day). Unfortunately, cortisone is often an essential medication for those who are prescribed it, but the dose should be adjusted frequently so you don’t take more than you need. Asthma inhalers and other local cortisone treatments, like creams or nose sprays, hardly affect weight.
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