Some diet plans, such as the MIND diet and the DASH diet, are meant to focus on certain areas of health — and weight loss may be a bonus. Others are created with weight loss as a primary goal. “It is important to remember that we are all very unique individuals,” says Kyle. “We all have different states of health and different lifestyles, which could affect what diet plan is best for us. That means that you should not be considering what is working for your friends or family members — and instead should pay attention to what works for you individually.”
Another factor that may be hindering you from achieving a flat stomach may be your menstrual cycle. Most women experience bloating as they as menstruation approaches and can put on up to 2-6 pounds in water weight. Even the most slender and toned among us will look a little puffy and bloated a few days to a week before their period starts. Once the menstrual cycle begins, you will probably notice your “belly” shrinking as well.
Created in 2003 by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, this low-carb diet features three phases. The first phase is the most restrictive, limiting carbs such as potatoes and rice. Each subsequent phase becomes more lenient, and the diet emphasizes lean protein, unsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbs such as nonstarchy vegetables. South Beach promotes lasting lifestyle changes, according to the Mayo Clinic. (21)
Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds alot like my journey with weight. You are a brave young woman. We had the quinoa pizza bites and they were delicious. I have celiac disease and love coming across great gluten free recipes. My brother stopped by and tried one and he even liked it. That is a great compliment as he thinks every thing I make is “freaky hippy food”
This magical thinking is colored by the fact that many people are suffering around the state, country and world.  It is colored by the fact that earlier today, I felt anxious –crappy - sad. My practice of feeling my emotions invites me to look to my body and ask what is it exactly I am feeling and where. It feels like a vague sensation that takes root in the center of my chest and upper stomach. It is a moving, undulating sensation.  My eyes feel pressure and teary.  

Shelly of the World According to Eggface is remarkable for her 158-lb weight loss, which took her from morbidly obese to healthy and happy. But she's even more inspirational for being so open about something a lot of weight-loss bloggers tiptoe around: her gastric bypass surgery. Check out her A Day in My Pouch post to see what it's like eating after this type of weight-loss surgery.


In August of 2010, one of my members of Getting in Shape 2010 group recommended I joined Sparks People.  I thought what the heck, since my virtual trainer was giving me issues.  Well I set up my profile, entered how much exercise I do a week, and what my goal was and guess what?  It calculated how many calories I needed to lose 1.5 lbs a week.  Don’t forget I was eating only 1200 calories a day.  Sparks told me I needed to eat 1550 at the low end and 1700 on the high end.  I was so happy, I could eat!!!!  It was like a new world opened up for me.
Burning body and belly fat with cardio exercises is half the battle. Next is strengthening abdominal muscles so you have something to show once the fat is shed. In a recent study, ab exercises were ranked from best to worst. The bicycle exercise ranked as #1 because it requires abdominal stabilization, body rotation, and more abdominal muscle activity.
“A lot of people think the foundation of a paleo diet is high-fat meat, but I suggest that it’s vegetables,” says Hultin. The concept is to eat only foods — including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables — that would have been available to our Paleolithic ancestors. This means grains, dairy, legumes, added sugar, and salt are all no-no’s.
Don't blame yourself if you aren't perfect. If you once fail at your attempt to curtail your overeating, it doesn't mean you are a failure at weight control and that you should just give up. Accept that you made a poor choice, but don't let that poor choice influence the rest of your meal plan. The same holds true with exercise. Skipping a few workouts doesn't mean you can't get back on track. Weight control does not involve making perfect choices all the time; rather it's about attempting to make good health choices more often than poor ones.
Very informative. I’m just now starting out on my weight loss journey, and have started a weight loss blog of my own. My entire family are overweight and it is a struggle dealing with them as I try to change my habits. Even harder because being around them in an environment where eating bad is easy to get away with makes me fall back. I am finding each time I go back home I end up binging.
To answer the question that started this section, weight is lost when the body is able to release fat from the fat cells, and when there is a need to burn it as fuel. If the fat is trapped in the fat cells because of the diet one follows, weight may be lost, but it won’t necessarily be fat. Instead, muscle will be broken down to supply glucose. On the other hand, by focusing the diet on non-starchy (low-carbohydrate) vegetables, protein and fat, and basing carbohydrate consumption on activity levels, fat is free to leave the cell and can be burned to supply energy needs.
A calorie, as we often see it on a nutrition label, is actually a kilocalorie. To make it simple for consumers, it became a Calorie with a capital C, and since then has been used so often without the capital C that we just use calorie. The true Calorie, or kilocalorie, is a measure of the energy required to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. Originally, the calorie value of a food was determined by burning it, but today an assumption is made based on the protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol content of a food. These values are rounded according to the following table:
If you're specifically looking to target your belly, we have some bad news: you can't spot-target fat loss. That means you can do crunches or planks all day long, but you won't specifically burn belly fat. Instead, you can lose body fat overall, including from your belly. And by avoiding certain belly-bloating foods and with some strategic exercise, you will inevitably see results in your belly.

Josie Maurer is a mother of four and blogger for Yum Yucky. Yum Yucky is a place where Josie helps her audience achieve healthy-living goals with a sensible, stress-free approach that won’t leave you starved for your favorite foods. She has lost over 40 pounds throughout her weight loss journey and she shares motivation, workouts, healthy recipes, and natural health tips.
Arteries (are-te-rease): The blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart for delivery to every part of your body. Arteries look like thin tubes or hoses. The walls are made of a tough outer layer, a middle layer of muscle and a smooth inner wall that helps blood flow easily. The muscle layer expands and contracts to help blood move.
Inspired by melting potatoes, we gave the same treatment to sweet potatoes. The results? Roasted potatoes that are creamy on the inside but perfectly crisp on the outside. Adding miso to the butter mixture adds great umami flavor and helps the potatoes caramelize while baking. Don't skip lining the baking sheet or the miso-butter might burn on the pan and cause the sweet potatoes to stick.
About: The thing that’s most appealing about Alexis’ blog is its tagline: “One girl’s adventure in moderation.” It’s a testament to Alexis’s general approach to life — she knows she won’t succeed unless she balances weight loss and being healthy with living life to its fullest. Alexis’ writing style is quirky and fun. It touches serious subjects, but with a light style that will have you feeling inspired and amused by the end of each post.

“Most people who have been lean their whole lives have a much better understanding of proper portion size than people who are overweight,” says Deborah Riebe, Ph.D., a professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island. “If they go out to eat, they’re much more likely to ask for a doggie bag right away or to leave food on their plate rather than cleaning it up.”
I’ve been so inspired by you, and reading this I might FINALLY be able to nip my calorie counting obsession in the bud. I’ve been counting my calories for every meal since about April of this year, and i have become, like you explained, obsessed. And i know it’s a problem, and i shouldn’t focus on that, but everytime i eat i just think of how many calories it is, and what I’ll have left over for my next meals. Reading your story really inspired me and starting today i’m going to start trying to NOT COUNT. I deleted the counting app off of my phone, and im giving it a go!
Don’t let extra hours lounging in bed stand between you and a flatter belly. While getting enough sleep can help boost your metabolic rate, sleeping in may undo any benefit you’d enjoy from catching a few extra winks. One study reveals that late sleepers who snoozed past 10:45 in the morning ate nearly 250 more calories over the course of the day, despite eating half as many fruits and vegetables as their early bird counterparts. Even worse, they chowed down on more salty, sugary, and trans fat-laden fast food than those who woke up earlier. If you happen to head out of the house early, you’re in for an additional metabolic boost; researchers at Northwestern University have found that people exposed to just a short period of early morning sunlight had lower BMIs than their late-waking counterparts.
Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning Sparkpeople! Last week, I came across your website after visiting Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn and reading a woman’s recipe about pumpkin pie oatmeal. She listed your Crockpot pumpkin oatmeal recipe as a recommended recipe. I’ve been having a hard time taking off ten pounds–I’m in my forties and I can’t eat like I used to! I joined Sparkpeople a week ago and have been really liking it. I don’t feel so isolated, and the tracking tools are really great (and it’s free, too!). Thanks for introducing me to Sparkpeople, Jennifer!
Jennifer, you have given absolutely wonderful advice here. You get it! The only thing I would tell you is that while milk chocolate is not good for you, dark chocolate is (65% cacao or higher). The principles you outline are basically what I’ve been following, so I know what you say is accurate. The other thing I’ve learned is that one can have alcoholic beverages in moderation and still lose weight. I am certain that if you stick with the principles you’ve outlined, you will keep your weight off. Congratulations on a job well done!
“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 want to say congratulations to you!!! It’s hard getting up at 5am to workout and you do it! That is fantastic!! Love that you changed your lifestyle, as you know I did the same thing. I feel so much better about myself and I imagine you do too! Thank you again for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s comments like yours that keeps me staying healthy!!
Her name is Josie, and she is an amazing woman! She is the creator of this interesting blog, considering it as a place where she shares all her passions for fitness, natural health, healthy living and happiness. One of her main goals is to make people feel empowered and informed by what they see and read on her blog. She is 44 years old and is a proud wife and mother to four children. Even though she talks about her greedy side a lot when it comes to food, she has had an amazing weight loss journey. But, she could never resist a slice of pizza, cake, pie, fresh hot rolls and other foods which the healthy people find offensive. Thankfully, she balances all of that with plenty of healthy meals and snacks and of course, taking the time for herself to work out five days within a week. Explaining how nevertheless, she is still a human and can make a mistake of taking an extra slice of cake or two, this blog is to document it all and show everyone that you can still succeed, all you need is determination.
The plan promotes long-lasting, sustainable changes, and undoubtedly a bounty of research backs this up. In fact, one December 2013 study in the American Journal of Medicine shows that people following Weight Watchers were close to nine times more likely to lose 10 percent of their body weight, compared to people following a self-help diet plan. (20)

The final possible culprit behind stubborn weight issues may be the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain. The most common cause of elevated cortisol is chronic stress and lack of sleep (see tip #10), or cortisone medication (tip #9). It’s a good idea to try your best to do something about this.
Tina Haupert is a Boston-based Lifestyle Influencer and the creative mind behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake, a healthy living blog that serves to help everyday people achieve more balance through fitness, nutrition, and general best practices to improve one’s holistic personal wellness. Tina’s weight loss journey began in 2004 when she decided to get serious about her health and her body image. Two years and 23 pounds later, she reached her weight loss goal all while developing healthy lifestyle habits that she’s been able to maintain to this day.
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