“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.”

In addition to hormones that flood the body during the menstrual cycle, some essential hormones such as cortisol and melatonin also play a significant role in packing on the pounds around the belly. When you’re stressed — be it as a result of life circumstances or even a low-calorie diet or a strenuous workout routine — your body is thrown into a state of stress too and ups the release of cortisol. If the stress is prolonged, it can actually prevent your metabolism from working correctly and make it harder for your body to burn fat. Sometimes overtraining and undereating may actually work against your efforts to lose belly fat, as cortisol can cause fat to be deposited in the adipose tissue around the belly area.

Fleury, N., Geldenhuys, S., & Gorman, S. (2016, October 11). Sun exposure and its effects on human health: Mechanisms through which sun exposure could reduce the risk of developing obesity and cardiometabolic dysfunction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(10), 999. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/10/999/htm
Lisa began Workout Mommy in 2007. Back then, she was a busy mom of two who found out that continuing her pre-motherhood commitment to health and fitness wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be. Now a single mother of four, she admits it’s even hard to find the time to commit to fitness. She writes her blog to inspire others to make that time, and holds herself accountable for finding it as well. Visit the blog.
That’s a good question. It’s somewhat tricky to answer this question concretely, because every BODY is different. However, often times it helps to consider a few things: how do you feel (physically); where are ‘medical numbers’ (cholesterol, blood sugars, blood pressure, etc.); and to what extent are you engaging in health-related behaviors such as eating in balance, moving the body regularly, and managing stress. Generally speaking, when those factors are present, a person is within their present-day healthy weight range. Conversely, when a person doesn’t feel good, their medical numbers aren’t in good ranges, and they aren’t consistently engaging in health related behaviors, weight may also be effected, though not necessarily for everyone. I hope that’s a helpful start.
Wow, Penny. You sure have had more than your fair share of struggles! I am so impressed at how you have continued to persevere and do whatever you could to succeed, despite all of the setbacks. YOU are the inspiring one! You found a way to exercise that didn’t cause you pain, you are making the healthiest choices you can in your circumstances. I am so glad you shared your story with me!
I like this article and my heart goes out to everyone struggling with obesity. I think the comments demonstrate that no one method works for everyone. Because of both mental and physical genetic variation we must find the way that works for us. Clearly physical activity and essential nutrients are play a huge role in health and weight loss. How you accomplish these goals can be done in may ways. Thanks for sharing this info.
About: Bailey is a grad student studying to get her degree to become a registered dietitian. As she goes, she’s working to establish herself as a go-to source for people online to learn how to create SMART goals, learn about food traps, get fitness tips and more – and it’s totally working. Bailey intermixes her professional posts with a bit of her own musings, making for a very personalized experience that combines getting to know the author with getting to know yourself, and how to achieve your goals.

Her name is Jennifer and she is an amazing blogger, a mother of a girl, and a keeper of two dogs. She works in a medical device office and in the spare time she loves cooking and of course, being with her family. But what she absolutely loves the most, and is proud of it, that with the help of exercise and a great meal plan, she lost a bunch of pounds. The blogging is her way of helping her keep the pounds off, all the while giving her readers something interesting to try – new recipes, all the time! Naming her blog peanut butter and peppers seemed like the right thing for her to do, because she loves both of these things, and can literally put them on anything! So, if you are interested in her struggle with weight loss, or how she got into calorie counting, how she’s trying to get out of it, her every day fun recipes and little victories, it is all here – and it will provide you with the motivation you need!
This is a perfect example of how whatever you set your mind onto, it can be done. This woman, Diane, the creator of this blog, became successful for her determination and unbelievable results! About 18 years ago, she decided to end her struggle with her weight issues, and succeeded in losing 150 pounds within two years and turning her world upside down for the better. After a while she was a little bit scared that she would gain back the pounds she lost, but after four pregnancies within a period of seven years, her body proved to her that a permanent transformation had been done. This woman is a true inspiration of how dieting should be done, and would gladly help you embark upon your own journey as well. No matter what obstacles, joy or tragedy happens to you, if you keep your body safe, it will keep you healthy. Check her blog out, it is one of the most amazing ones yet!
Want to lose that belly fat? In your dreams! Seriously, though: a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to get rid of that extra fat around your waist for good. Among the 60,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study, those who snoozed for fewer than five hours a night were at the greatest risk of becoming obese and gaining 30 or more pounds over the course of the 16-year study period when compared to those who slept for seven or more hours.
Sable of Squat Like a Lady is a self-described full-time student and part-time powerlifter, but she hasn't always been buff and tough. After suffering from anorexia as a teen, Sable gained 80 pounds. On her journey back to a healthy weight, she fell in love with heavy weight lifting. Now, her focus is no longer about losing weight—check out her post Don't Call Me Skinny! —but on gaining strength.
How many times have you thought something like this – “I ate because my sister had a diagnosis and I was so freaked out. I ate because my grandchild had the flu and was up all night.  My job is so stressful, I will never get out from under all the work.  I went out after that stressful meeting and ate what I wanted to relieve the stress.” These are what I call stress thoughts.
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. 
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