If you have gained and lost weight over and over again over the past 20 to 50 years… that is a lot of practice and wiring of neural pathways.  We do continue to grow at every age and develop new neurons through neurogenesis.  Through diet, exercise, sleep you can not only lose weight, you can keep your brain healthy as well as bones and joints and immune system.  When you feel better you will enjoy life more.
But just because belly fat comes off a bit more easily doesn’t make it less dangerous. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “Belly fat is unfortunately the most dangerous location to store fat,” says Dr. Cheskin. Because belly fat—also known as visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs—is more temporary, it’s more active in terms of circulating in the bloodstream. That means it’s likely to raise the amount of fat in your blood (known as blood lipid levels) and increase your blood sugar levels, which as a result raises your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

What the expert says: ‘Paleo does promote the consumption of fresh ingredients over salty, processed meats. It also advocates a high consumption of fruit and vegetables, which is no bad thing. Research published in the journal Nature suggests that following this kind of diet can improve blood pressure, insulin resistance and cholesterol levels. That said, it is incredibly restrictive, and cutting out dairy, cereal foods and starchy carbohydrates will likely leave you low on fibre, calcium and iodine.’
About: It may be tough to tell by looking at her photo (complete with a very toned tummy), but Hannah’s no stranger to gaining weight. She packed on about 50 pounds each time she became pregnant with her two kids until she eventually went from a size 4 to a size 12-14. The pregnancies also changed her body and made her unhappy with the way she looked. Ready for change, Hannah created a fitness and food plan for herself, stuck to it and noticed she slowly but surely lost weight and started to look more and more toned. Now she’s studying to be a personal trainer, and her blog is a place she shares all her fitness tips, nutrition ideas and motivation to help others lose weight too.
To encourage ketone production, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production. And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis.
If the diet is a quick fix rather than one that promotes lasting lifestyle changes, this could pose a problem. In particular, extreme diets that promise big weight loss up front aren’t always sustainable — and you may end up overeating or even binge eating if you feel deprived. “Consider if the diet’s habits are ones you can continue throughout your lifetime, not just 21 or 30 days,” says Angie Asche, RD, a sports dietitian in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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.
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.
As a rough estimate, an average woman 31-50 years of age who leads a sedentary lifestyle needs about 1,800 calories per day to maintain a normal weight. A man of the same age requires about 2,200 calories. Participating in a moderate level of physical activity (exercising three to five days per week) requires about 200 additional calories per day. More strenuous exercise programs, such as those with cardio focus, can burn even more.
Some examples of popular diet plans and programs include the Atkins diet, The South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, cutting carbs, no-carb diets, Body for Life, ketogenic diet, high-protein diets, Dr. Andrew Weil's diet plan, and the Ornish diet. All of these diets have their proponents, and all of them have been successful for some people. Because one's appetite, eating habits, and preferences vary widely among individuals, before you decide on a diet plan, ask yourself if the plan sounds realistic to you. If the plan involves rigorous measuring of portions and calorie counting, are you up to the task? If you're forbidden to eat certain foods, will you develop cravings for them? Do you feel that you will feel comfortable adhering to the diet guidelines? Will the diet's requirements fit easily into your daily schedule? Finally, consider that once you've lost the weight, you may regain the weight if you return to your previous eating habits, so any weight-loss plan should be something you can live with for a long time. Your health care provider can recommend a consultation with a dietician or nutritionist if you would like help evaluating or developing a weight loss or healthy eating plan.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly (contact form is at the top of the site) with any questions, comments, frustrations and vulnerabilities — although I’d love for you to share your own frustrations and thoughts in the comments below. It’s scary to put yourself out on the Internet, but I promise you will be surprised by the support you receive in return — and how many people you and your story impact along the way.

As a follow-up, I just wanted to add: To those of you who have been loyal readers of Among Other Things (and corals + cognacs back in the day, RIP), thank you. Your constant inquiring about this post seemed to shatter the mental block I’ve been battling (which caused a frustrating inability to create personal, quality content for you guys over the last few months). It’s kinda been like a dry spell around here, I know.
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.
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