Americans are getting less sleep than ever these days and it’s taking a toll on our health—most visibly on our waistlines. Losing just 30 minutes of sleep per night can make you gain weight, according to a study done by the Endocrine Society. Worse, that weight is more likely to go straight to your tummy. Instead, the researchers found, the best sleep cycle is one that follows your natural circadian rhythms, which means sleeping and waking around the same time as the sun. Here are the 7 ways to banish belly bloat in your sleep.
While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to researchers at Yale, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.
Don’t rely on the scales – our weight fluctuates daily therefore the scales can read heavier but it’s unlikely that you would have gained weight. Use other methods such as before photos to use in 4, 6 or 8 weeks time to see the changes that the scale won’t show. Additionally, a pair of jeans is also a good way to measure weight loss – try to listen to your body and the way you feel rather than relying on what the scales are showing
About: Ruzele’s had weight issues her whole life, but it wasn’t until after her mother passed away in 2011 that the pounds really started to pile on. She ballooned up to 335 pounds and had a rock-bottom moment that led her to where she is today: 50 pounds lighter and on a mission to lose 130 more. Ruzele’s blog posts are short and sweet, but always delightful and full of musings, emotions, progress reports and the occasional vlog (which work oh-so-perfectly). Ruzele’s one to follow if you’re looking for someone who’s accountable and gets to the point, but still leaves you rooting her on day-in and day-out.
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The divide continues to grow between those who swear by the “calories in vs. calories out” method and those who tout that body composition changes will come by following a nutrient-dense whole-food diet. When counseling clients, starting out many of them have these types of pre-conceived beliefs on how they should be losing weight or making changes to their body composition overall. Acknowledging calories continue to be a hot topic of conversation, we’ll dive into the science of calories, the complexity of them and when they really matter.
This heart-healthy Mediterranean staple is enjoyable as a healthy salad dressing or cooking oil and it can stabilize blood sugar levels and give you that full feeling, so you don’t resort to any unnecessary snacking. Vitamin E from olive oil will also enhance the health of your hair and the suppleness of your skin. Just make sure to choose cold pressed oils, as heat treating oils can turn them from healthy to damaged and toxic.

"I started Weight Watchers in June 2015, and by December 2015 I had lost 30 pounds by following the plan and counting points. I was walking every day after work and taking short walks during my breaks at work. Then my dad passed away in February 2016, and my weight loss came to a stop. I had gained about five pounds back and was almost ready to quit. But in August 2016 I decided to get back on track. When I started tracking my meals again, the weight just started falling off. Weight Watchers is amazing because it's not a diet! They show you how to live a healthy lifestyle by encouraging you to eat high protein and low sugars, saturated fats and carbs. They also encourage you to make more time for yourself. Be healthy and happy from the inside out!”
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.
Sugary treats, while obviously delicious, aren’t very good for our bodies—and that includes our tummies. Not only do the added calories add inches to our waistlines, but sugar overload leads to insulin resistance, which tells the body to store extra fat around the waist. But that’s long-term stuff. Sugar also bloats your tummy in the short-term by feeding the bad bacteria in your gut, leading to extra gas. When it comes to flattening your belly, nixing sugar is one of the best things you can do including these 42 other easy tips to lose weight fast!
What the expert says: ‘There is a large amount of evidence to suggest that following the MD reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease,’ says registered Dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokesperson Kirsty Barrett. ‘Significantly, a meta-analysis of randomised-control trials in 2011 found that the MD was effective for weight loss, though results were better when the diet was combined with energy restriction and physical activity. It has also been found to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) more than low fat and low carb diets.’
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.
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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