Most people are drawn to workout and nutrition apps like 8fit because they’ve decided it’s time to take action and change their lifestyle habits – they’re ready to start working out and eating healthier foods to achieve better physical shape. Often, the goal is how to get a flat stomach, as that part of the body tends to be one of the first to show signs of unwanted weight-gain due to sedentary living or sub-optimal food choices. Before we expand on how to lose belly fat, it’s important to know that there’s more to that belly bulge than meets the eye.
About: If the title of the blog alone doesn’t get you (it sure did for us), Neale’s hilarity soon will. When he started losing weight, Neale weighed in at 425 pounds. Now, he’s down 190 pounds — and he did it with no pill, shakes, short cuts or surgery. As Neale puts it, he’s had many people ask him the secret to his success — hence, the blog. Oh, and did we mention he’s a professional ventriloquist? So cool.
I chose a well-rounded, nutritious diet plan consisting of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats (and also very low in carbohydrates). It was a popular commercial diet, which I modified to suit my preferences (most of the diets out there are fairly similar). I never bought any of their prepared foods, and used their menu only as a guide, substituting what I liked or had in the pantry where necessary.
What the diet advocate says: 'The key components of a Mediterranean diet are lots of vegetables, olive oil, oily fish and nuts, with no calorie restrictions. Combine that with cutting down on sugar, which was traditionally a rarity in the region, and you’ve got the base of the Mediterranean diet right. And if you get the base right you can eat a little of whatever else you like,' says Consultant Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra.
Pros: Technically a subtype of low-carb diet, the keto diet is unique: By depriving your body of carbohydrates, you not only force your body to become fat-adapted, but also, if you keep protein low as well, elevate your levels of ketone bodies, which is basically a sign your body is running on fat. The keto diet puts you in a unique metabolic state called ketosis wherein your brain burns ketones instead of glucose—and, in doing so, supposedly leads to clearer thinking. Physically, eating such a high amount of fat significantly increases your body’s ability to burn body fat, according to the study analysis. Research also shows keto athletes have a higher VO2 max, and are able to lose fat without losing strength or power.
Ashlee’s already lost 30 pounds, and she’s blogging about her mission to lose 40 more. As a new mom, Ashlee has to balance changing diapers, late-night wake-ups, running a household and much more with doing what she can to get her own weight where she wants it to be. Ashlee’s blog covers a wide range of topics for any enthusiast to enjoy, including parenthood and recipes, as well as fun photos and experiences with her handsome little boy Mason - and, of course, her weight loss progress and journey.
When researchers in Brazil studied 13,000 people over a three-year period, they found that men with the highest levels of inflammatory agents in their body were also the most likely to gain weight. And periodontal disease, which is caused by poor oral health care, is one of the most common sources of inflammation. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and making regular trips to the dentist are the best ways to prevent the disease. Hate flossing? Studies show that a dose of Listerine may be just as effective at reducing levels of inflammatory bacteria within the mouth.
The most difficult part of being obese is that no matter how hard you are willing to try, your body will not allow you to do all the physical tasks that are on your mind. In these situations, what you have to do first is put yourself on a very strict and healthy diet, in order to help your body remove all the fat that is excess, and second (and this is the more difficult one) be patient. With yourself, with the people around you, and most importantly, with your body. This is what Alan is trying to do. He has truly embarked on a mission to improve his overall looks and health and regain his happiness. What he basically decided after being overweight for the most part of his life is that he has had enough and that something must be done in order for this to change. So he started working on himself. He is not holding anything back, to the contrary, he shares every struggle and thought an overweight person can have during the battle of losing weight, so this is why it may be an interesting blog for you to check out. It really shows the true side of the weight loss process.
Obviously, it’s still possible to lose weight on any diet – just eat fewer calories than you burn, right? The problem with this simplistic advice is that it ignores the elephant in the room: Hunger. Most people don’t like to “just eat less”, i.e. being hungry forever. That’s dieting for masochists. Sooner or later, a normal person will give up and eat, hence the prevalence of “yo-yo dieting”.
This incredible woman, Mary Mack, started on her own journey about nine years ago, when she lost about 45 pounds. This is when she decided that a change was in order, s she started training and just a couple of years later, she became a certified trainer. What she truly does is she enables other people to make some lifestyle changes, including fitness, nutrition and well-being, because she does it from the heart. She also loves cooking, gardening, and spending quality time with her husband and her son. But what is so interesting about this blogger is that she openly admits having a problem. The biggest obstacle that she had to overcome so far was definitely herself. The struggle of embracing her sobriety, losing weight and eating clean, as well as building herself up from the bottom is all documented on this blog. A true inspiration.
About: Helen’s a sweet and simple kind of girl. She’s a runner in mid-life whose goal is to live healthy while mixing in a bit of adventure too. But what really makes her blog special is the number of delicious, healthy recipes she has developed along the way. They’re easy to follow and loaded with pics. And although Helen does sometimes take long breaks between posts, when she does do an update, they're among the most well-read on her blog.
The secret to a slimmer stomach in no time? A whole lot of fiber in your diet. Although many people are loath to add carbs to their diet when they’re trying to lose weight, adding the right, fiber-rich ones can have inches off your belly in a hurry. In fact, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that every 10-gram daily increase in soluble fiber was associated with a 3.7 percent decrease in dangerous visceral fat over five years. Those who were active got even leaner, shaving off twice that much fat in the same amount of time. To start ditching that extra belly fat today, add the 30 Best Foods For Fiber to your menu!
You don’t have to go low-carb to ditch those extra pounds around your waist in a short period of time. In fact, opting for more whole grains might just get you there faster. Researchers at Tufts University have linked eating three or more daily servings of whole grains to as much as a 10 percent reduction in visceral body fat, the kind that ups your risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Suzi is the blogger you’d definitely like to follow! Remember her motto, because it will do you a lot of good. Healthy is never about being perfect. She is a self employed fitness instructor, absolutely loves her family, zumba, tea, cupcakes, books, cats and yoga. What she truly believes in is that there is absolutely no one meal plan that will work for everybody. Also, there is not just one type of exercise which can fit for all, so this is why she is open for variations. What is her basic belief is that all people are different and they respond in a very different manner to exercise, as well as different types of foods. So, this is why she allows herself a cupcake or two between all of her healthy meals and fun recipes. The main goal of her blog is to encourage people to listen to their bodies and go with their gut when it comes to foods and workout.
Basically, the effect of exercise on our weight is vastly overrated. That’s why it’s only number 15 on this list. There are other things you need to take care of first. It’s not a good idea to eat bad food, drink sugar water (so-called “sports drinks”) or be on medications which force you to exercise for hours daily just to compensate. Metaphorically that’s like digging a hole, into which you put your ladder, on which you stand and paint the basement-level windows of your house.
Nuts have a very high satiety power—meaning they make you feel fuller after eating than many other foods. And even though they’re high in calories, those calories appear to be processed differently in the body. University of Michigan researchers found that men who added 500 calories’ worth of peanuts a day to their diet gained no excess weight at all.
I played tennis from my freshman through junior year of high school and, again, really enjoyed the sport, but abhorred the running. Our coach was a middle-aged guy who could run circles around me. The entire team would have finished their laps around the field, while I was still stumbling along next to the (also middle-aged) assistant coach, who I’m quite sure they sent in as an attempt to get me to run faster.
If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, then you probably had at least one or two gym class experiences where you felt awkward, out-of-place - perhaps even bullied. Kandi did, dreading gym class and any other activity. Her weight made her feel awful her entire life - depressed, lonely and sad. Kandi was moderately successful at losing weight through dieting, but was never able to keep it off. Until she started her blog that is. And decided to make a lifestyle change that would have long-lasting effects. Kandi started eating healthier food, smaller portions and even jumped on the treadmill - and it paid off with an 85-pound weight loss. She went from being terrified of the gym and anything athletic to running a 5K and, more recently, a half-marathon! She continues to share her training and healthy eating every day to stay on-track and motivate others.
"With all the different tips out there, it can be tricky to understand exactly which exercises work the best. HIIT is great for fat burning and will get your heart rate up, but I’d also recommend including strength (resistance) exercises too. Try lifting weights, using resistance bands or using the weight machines at the gym as these will increase your metabolism to help with weight loss, and increase your muscle strength. It’s important to mix-up your whole-body workouts so you don’t get bored."
As my middle 30’s were here, I ate better, more home cooked meals, but again didn’t do any exercise. I was tracking calories, but I wasn’t eating enough. I didn’t know how many calories I needed in a day, I just thought I wasn’t suppose to eat. At work the other day, I was cleaning my desk drawer out and came across papers that had my calorie intake for the day on it and it said I was eating 800, 900 and 1000 calories on a high day! I was shocked, well no wonder I wasn’t losing any weight, I wasn’t eating enough. You can’t go from eating way over 2000 calories a day to practically nothing. But back then I didn’t care, I did that for a few months and gave up. The scale didn’t move, so I figured again, this is the weight my body is comfortable with. (image of my calorie count from January 2009)
“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.”
I was doing so well, getting into a routine again and eating well, and then HURRICANE MICHAEL. I had to eat fast food (no fresh fruit and vegs) for almost a month. I just got my Instant Pot, and was able to buy fresh veggies and fruit again…I didn’t realize how much I’d miss them!! I’ve always loved fresh fruit and veggies (except avocados, mushrooms, cauliflower and strawberries and blueberries). But, I also love potatoes, rice, bread, chips – anything salty.
When I was growing up in Brooklyn, NY the B71 trolley bus line maneuvered a turn onto Sackett from Smith Street. Often the two trolley poles and ropes which connected the bus to its’ power source above would disengage on the turn and the bus driver would have to get out and put the poles back on the track. It seemed like a genuine pain in the butt, yet it was part of the driver’s day. He didn’t make it mean he did anything wrong or curse the wires, he just got out of the bus and fixed put it back on track and got on his way. (In those days all the drivers were men!)
Salt, in moderation, is a good thing—the mineral is necessary for a healthy heart and brain. But too much salt and you’ll retain water, bloating up like a water balloon. Cutting salt is one of the primary ways to drop extra water weight (one reason you may see a big weight loss when starting a new diet!). Move the salt shaker off your table so you’ll get out of the habit of routinely salting all your food. Then if you taste your food and still really want salt you can still stand up and get some. For more weight loss benefits, add these fat-burning foods to your plate to help you lose weight.
Before you start the meal plan, make a pot of the Veggie Soup. Make 2 servings of Overnight Oats, so they can soak in the fridge. It’s also super helpful to prep your veggie snacks—make 4 bags filled with baby carrots and sugar snap peas, and 3 bags filled with broccoli and cauliflower, for alternate days. And if you really want to get ahead, you could also grill the chicken breasts and cook the quinoa and brown rice in advance.
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If you’re looking for a writer to follow who’s still in the midst of their own weight loss journey (and willing to admit might always be), Amy is your girl. She blogs about the ups, downs, and challenges on her path to weight loss on Not Afraid of Stripes. She doesn’t hesitate to share her insecurities or efforts to improve her own body image. Visit the blog.