Whether the body perceives a shortage of available energy is determined by the type of diet an individual follows more than the amount of calories in the diet. As you will see below, an overweight individual may have a metabolism that thinks it’s starving, simply because it cannot access the tens of thousands of calories worth of energy stored in its fat cells.
Studies have shown that just about any diet will result in weight loss, if it’s one that someone can follow.1,2 Esteemed Yale physician and nutrition expert David Katz examined over 58 popular diets and found that the most successful in terms of both weight loss and nutrition consist of “real food.” By that he means plants, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as meat (ideally, from animals that ate plants). Basically, foods closer to nature. The other key is minimizing processed foods, including sugars and flours.3
About: Michelle’s first pregnancy was one of the best times of her life, but it was also a time when she gained weight. After her little one was born, Michelle started up her blog as a way to chronicle her weight loss and all her activities being a first-time mom. She lost nearly 60 pounds in six months, and is great if you’re looking for someone to follow who tries out new diets, fitness routines, healthy recipes and more. Oh yeah, and her crafts are amazing.
Michelle Vicari’s weight loss journey began the day she made the decision to do gastric bypass surgery. Michelle struggled with obesity her entire life—and with BMI of 54, several health issues, severe GERD, and obstructive sleep apnea, the surgery saved her life. Not only is she down 158 pounds, but she no longer needs any of the 8 medications she was on prior to surgery and only needs to visit the doctor on her annual checkups. On her blog, you can find recipes and menus for post-surgery lifestyle, health tips, product reviews, and ramblings about her life post weight loss surgery.
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About: Normally, we’d skip right on over a blog that doesn’t identify the author’s name, but the woman authoring “Frantic at Forty” gave us pause. Why? Because her story is one that so many can relate to — a woman about to enter midlife trying to make sense of things and lose weight. The author started the blog just before she turned 40 as a way to stay accountable while she started out to give herself the only gift she wanted — thin. She’s lost plenty of weight, and, even more importantly, found some happiness in the process. We just hope that turning 40 doesn’t mean an end to her blogging.
Here’s a great example: For the same number of calories that are in a handful of peanuts (about two ounces), you can eat 2½ pounds of strawberries (about five of those green boxes that strawberries come in.) Eating “big” foods like strawberries, salads, and other fruits and vegetables can prevent hunger from taking over and taking you places you don’t want to go
About: Nicole’s just a regular ‘ole girl that occasionally likes to try new fitness and, as she puts it, only gets up to work out at 5 a.m. if she’s under duress. And it’s that attitude that makes her so gosh darn appealing. She’s not the in-your-face runner, the strict “paleo-diet-only” recipe blogger. She’s just an average girl doing average things — much like the rest of us. Plus, she’s pretty darn funny and not afraid to use self-deprecating humor. Love it.
Hi Chloe – I just read about your achievement in The Independent – you’ll soon be putting the ‘diet’ industry out of business!! But you might be interested in Mindful Slimmers – healthy mindset approach that focuses on maintenance as well as weight loss. I’d like to offer you – and any of your followers – a free trial. Let me know and I’ll give you a code.
Starvation or extreme diets may result in rapid weight loss, but such quick weight loss can be unsafe and is almost impossible to maintain for most people. When food intake is severely restricted (below approximately 1,200 calories per day), the body begins to adapt to this state of poor nutrition by reducing its metabolic rate, potentially making it even more difficult to lose weight. This also happens when dieters engage in fasting or skipping meals. It is also possible to experience hunger pangs, bouts of hypoglycemia, headaches, and mood changes from overly stringent dieting. These health symptoms can result in binge eating and weight gain. Since a highly restrictive diet is almost impossible to maintain for a long time, people who attempt to starve themselves thin often start to gain weight again when they stop dieting and resume their former eating habits.
In the summer of 2009, I was stressed out with life! So after dinner, every night, no matter what I went for a short walk around the block, and within 1 month I lost 10lbs. My body must of went into shock with actually moving around. That was the push I needed. I was so excited to lose the weight that I actually started to watch what I ate. I didn’t calorie count, I started out with portion control. By November I dropped another 10lbs. I was sitting around 150lbs. That’s when I took notice of calories in food. I was shocked to find out how many calories there were in my favorite foods. I thought ordering a salad from Baja Fresh was a good idea! Nope! Having reduced fat desserts from Starbucks was ok,nope. So I started to track calories on a website, my Virtual Trainer. I was sticking to around 1200 calories a day, because that is what the magazines would tell me.
DO IT: Assume a pushup position with your hands below your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. This is the starting position. Lifting your right foot off of the floor, drive your right knee towards your chest. Tap the floor with your right foot and then return to the starting position. Alternate legs with each repetition.
Faya Nilsson is a Personal Trainer and blogger for Fitness On Toast. Her blog was an honest place to share healthy and unusual recipes with her clients, to offer nutritional tips, to communicate informative workout ideas, and to curate ‘fitness fashion’ looks. Her blog has since transformed and been tailored to include anyone interested in fitness, along with travel and inspiration for those looking to stay healthy and fit while seeing the world.
“I was tired of losing and gaining the same 30 pounds, and wanted to find a permanent solution. I started by learning about portion control. I cut out soda and sugary coffee drinks completely and paid close attention to how much I was eating. I saw some pretty instant results in doing this. Results are contagious, and every time I would see my hard work pay off on the scale or in my clothes, I would chase that feeling. I did all I could to learn about food, and I began working out. I started small and aimed at walking 20 to 30 minutes every day. I tracked my calories and planned every workout. Once I felt the results were tapering, I’d increase my workouts. I never deprived myself of something I wanted or a craving, but found ways to fit it in my calories goal for the day. This mindset was sustainable, and I didn't feel resentment like before when I thought I had to eat grilled chicken and brown rice for every meal. After losing 50 pounds on my own, I plateaued and found it harder to see results. I was on such a great track and knew I needed some help. It was at this point that I had the Obalon Balloon System placed. (It’s the first swallowable, FDA-approved balloon system for weight loss. The non-surgical treatment consists of three lightweight balloons, placed gradually over three months, occupying space in a patient’s stomach to facilitate weight loss). The balloons helped me continue on with my journey and gave me the confidence and seriousness to not stop. Through the program, I met with a nutritionist who helped me learn even more about nutrition and how to fuel my body. Over the six months of having the balloons, I lost an additional 32 pounds. I have kept off the weight by continuing to focus on my nutrition and workouts.”
Heather Gannoe-Hart is an avid runner, adventure seeker, Exercise Physiologist, and writer for her blog Relentless Forward Commotion. For Heather, running started as an attempt to shed some pregnancy weight after having her first baby—eventually, it turned into a passion that kick-started a new outlook on life. Relentless Forward Commotion is a place where she shares her passion for fitness, the outdoors, and the newest adventure she encounters, whether its trail running, mud runs, obstacle courses, cycling, or hiking. Her fitness journey will inspire you to step outside your comfort zone, try something new, and see the world in an entirely new way.
It’s impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline; more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you can’t see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D., director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
With potatoes, leave the skin on (with baked or mashed potatoes) or if you peel them, make snacks of them. For example, drizzle olive oil, rosemary, salt, and garlic on the peels and bake at 400 F (205 C) for fifteen minutes for baked Parmesan garlic peels. Keeping the skin on potatoes when cooking them helps keep more vitamins/minerals in the flesh (just don't eat any parts of skin that are green).
The fact of the matter is battling the bulge takes different strategies and approaches depending upon your genetics, your metabolism, your willpower, etc. What works for your buddy won’t necessarily be your be-all and end-all solution. To simplify things, we compiled plenty of tips to help rev your metabolism, lose your love handles, and unsheathe your abs. You’ll have to do some trial and error to deduce which ones work best for you (hey, losing weight is hard work). But if you put in the work (aka incorporate a few of these tips each week), you’ll be well on your way to a smaller waistline. Who said your glory days were in the past?
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.