About: Courtney’s been overweight since second grade, and it’s taught her many valuable lessons (lessons she shares on her blog with nearly every update). Between 2010 and 2011, Courtney dropped an impressive 75 pounds, but then gained much of it back after giving birth to her son. Courtney’s been up and down in her weight loss journey, but with the start of her blog, she’s going to keep it off for good this time as she learns to be happy, healthy and finds financial freedom — taking us all along with her.
Another win for your morning cup of joe: Caffeinated coffee keeps things moving through the digestive tract. Since staying regular is key to a tighter-looking tummy, drinking about 8 to 16 ounces of java at the same time every day can help you stay on schedule. Remember: Sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, so skip fancy flavorings and synthetic sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, which can cause bloating.
“I served in the U.S. army for 11 years as a computer hardware/software specialist before I was medically discharged due to thyroid cancer in 2005. Initially, I was misdiagnosed with asthma and was pumped with heavy doses of prednisone steroids, which sent me from a size 4 to a size 20 in one year. Both my endocrinologist and family doctor said not to expect to get back into my size 4s ever again. However, I wanted to join the Wounded Warrior’s cycling team to support disabled veterans, so I had to get back to cycling over 100 miles. I teamed up with a personal trainer, Justin Roberts, at Retro Fitness in Florham Park, NJ, in December 2015. When he saw how determined I was, he told me about competing in the 90-Day Challenge. During my training, I learned the importance of choosing quality exercise over quantity. Especially with my schedule of work, home, school and the gym, I had to get the most out of the limited time I had to work out. I typically do 30 minutes of weights three times a week with cardio in between and one rest day.”
That’s because it theoretically causes a mild ketosis (yep, the basis of the keto diet), which is a fat-burning state that should make you feel less hungry. The key in being successful with a low-carb diet (especially if you’re used to a more high-carb lifestyle) is to compensate for those lost carbs with protein-rich foods, says Dr. Cheskin. That way, your volume of food stays the same, but you’re doing it healthfully rather than in a way that exacerbates your weight gain.
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The average person has tens of thousands of stored fat calories. When the body is able to access them, metabolic rate is less likely to fall, even if they’re eating a lesser number of calories. When they eat an excessive number of calories, but still don’t eat enough carbohydrates to raise insulin, they may not lose weight, but they’ll have a more difficult time gaining weight. Without insulin, the body doesn’t get a signal to “store” calories. Instead, the body may respond to extra calorie intake by raising metabolic rate further, or by wasting the extra calories through heat.
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.
Sorry, I should have read those articles on carbohydrate in full first before I got on my soap box. They’re inaccurate too. In 2015 the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), advisors to the UK government, did a meta-analysis of all the best research and found none of the effects on health, i.e. heart disease, cancer and diabetes, reported by small scale studies and the likes of Robert Lustig. Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sacn-carbohydrates-and-health-report
Pros: The most consistently beneficial of all diets here, study after study shows that upping your protein intake can help significantly reduce body fat and build lean muscle. For example: Guys who ran sprint intervals, did resistance training, and ate a diet of 2.4g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day (roughly 1g per lb of bodyweight) gained 1.2kg of lean muscle and lost almost 5kg of fat in just four weeks, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you cut calories but eat high protein, the macro can help prevent your metabolism from plummeting and help keep hunger at bay, since protein is so satiating. The study analysis also confirmed that eating a ton of protein stuff doesn’t cause you to gain weight or harm any internal systems, despite myths.
About: Christie literally just got going (her first post was in March). But she didn’t waste any time putting it all out there. Her goal is to lose more than 100 pounds and beat a lifelong struggle with depression and anxiety. Her openness caught our attention immediately, and we can’t wait to follow along with her as she takes each and every step.
“My motivation to lose weight stemmed from my worsening physical and mental health. Besides being down about my external appearance, my body was starting to rebel, and illnesses related to obesity were beginning to accrue. I shied away from social activities because I struggled with my self-confidence. I began the Take Shape For Life Program and was so happy to have found a program with structure and built-in support from the community—I never felt alone. My health coach motivated, guided and encouraged me, and made me believe that I could be successful. I am happier, more vibrant, more engaged in all aspects in life. I am more active with my family and am open to new experiences—ones that I felt were closed off to me prior. I am exercising at a more intense rate and feel like a rock star at Zumba! I am jogging. I am getting up off the sofa and running up and down stairs with no thought. I am playing sports with my kids. I am making healthier meals.”
About: Jenn’s story is one we can all relate to. She’s struggled with her weight all her life, and has spent many times going up and down with winning over her food addiction — and succumbing to it. Her posts represent the deepest emotions we battle when it comes to food, and it’s her willingness to open up that really touches readers. She’s been blogging for a long time, and her constant battle is one that more people definitely should follow.
“When I started Atkins 20, the weight started flying off and it was motivation just to keep going. I also avoided the scale for the first five weeks, which is probably the smartest thing I ever did! I did Atkins 20 for eight months, and I focused on being in ketosis (burning fat for fuel). Eventually, I added in exercise—cycling classes and light weights—to tone up. Now I just try to watch what I eat and I work out five days a week to maintain my weight.”
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.
Most random item you'll find in my purse: a resistance band loop. 🤓#fitnessnerd I love that they're so easy to tote around, especially when you're training a client and want to take their workout to the next level. I also add them for a little *spice* in my barre classes. 🔥 🌶 Some of my fave loop exercises: Hip raises (in the pic above. Try it with one leg to make it more exciting) Low squat walks Clamshells Side leg raises Donkey kicks Hip extensions and banded burpees (<-- try it, you'll love it) 🙌🏻 Any favorite loop exercises? What's the most random thing you have in your purse or gym bag right now? 📸: @capturedbycolson
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.
Sometimes, to whip your body into shape, you have to get a little nutty. While nuts are high in fat, it’s that very fat that makes them such powerful weapons in the war against a ballooning belly. In fact, research from Reina Sofia University Hospital reveals that study participants who consumed a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, like those in nuts, over a 28-day period gained less belly fat than their saturated fat-consuming counterparts while improving their insulin sensitivity.
Becky Duffett is a contributing nutrition editor for Fitbit and a lifestyle writer with a passion for eating well. A former Williams-Sonoma cookbook editor and graduate of San Francisco Cooking School, she’s edited dozens of cookbooks and countless recipes. City living has turned her into a spin addict—but she’d still rather be riding a horse. She lives in the cutest neighborhood in San Francisco, spending weekends at the farmers’ market, trying to read at the bakery, and roasting big dinners for friends.
About: If ever there were a husband-wife duo who had the chops to back up what they’re selling, it’s Hilda and Randy. And the good news? They’re not really “selling” you anything. They’re two people who care about their faith and want to use their own experiences getting healthy using a low-carb diet to help guide others to wholesome wellness, too. Randy lost more than 70 pounds and overcame Type II diabetes and hypertension, and Hilda is a survivor of the Guillan Barre Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Now, both of them are pastors who blog delicious, healthy recipes, plus insightful, impactful truths about finding health and wholesome lives. Pretty powerful stuff.
At first glance roller derby girl, Punk Rope instructor, and personal trainer Mary of Fit This, Girl! doesn't look like she's ever had to worry about her weight. But six years ago she was 30 pounds heavier and stuck in a corporate 8-5 job. Weight Watchers helped her ditch the extra pounds, and she's since left cube-land to pursue her fitness passion by helping others find theirs. Check out her before-and-after story that arcs from age 3 to present.
What the diet advocate says: The food baby of the US reality couple Heather and Terry Dubrow (she stars in the Real Housewives of Orange County; he’s a plastic surgeon starring in a show called Botched). ‘As opposed to the keto diet that aims to get you to a ketogenic state of using fat as fuel, which isn’t healthy or sustainable in my opinion, interval eating helps you go into a fat-burning state that leads to increased energy and cell renewal - a process called autophagy, the toxin-eating phase,’ says Terry.
We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low-carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again.
Or skip your favorite early-morning show—whatever it takes to grab a few more minutes of sleep each day. When researchers at the University of Chicago studied men who were sleep-deprived, they found that after just a few days, their bodies had a much harder time processing glucose in the blood—a problem common in overweight diabetics. When the individuals returned to a more normal seven to eight hours of sleep a night, however, their metabolisms returned to normal.
When researchers at the University of Tennessee put a group of volunteers on one of two diets—one high in calcium and one not—and cut each group’s calorie intake by 500 calories, they found that the people getting calcium lost twice as much weight (an average of 13lbs) compared with people on the standard diet. Study author Michael Zemel, Ph.D., believes extra calcium helps the body burn more—and store less—fat.
“I used Dr. Fred Pescatore’s The A-List Diet, which includes kicking things off with a detox, then low-carb eating combined with protein boosting, where you supplement with extra amino acids. It worked like a charm and was easy to stick to, so now it’s really just become my natural way of eating. The protein boosting really works to kill any cravings and helps me maintain energy—it makes it easy when I need something quick between the kids’ activities in the evenings and on weekends. And it has definitely helped keep me toned, considering I only work out about three days a week.”
This author and weight loss blogger will definitely make you stop with whatever you are doing and start reading her blog. Her name is Audrey, and she made the name of this blog so amusing, that you simply cannot skip it. Believe it or not, she had been struggling with obesity for a very long period of time, until one day, she had had enough of it. So, she started with baby steps. First, a healthier breakfast, followed by healthy prepared meals throughout the day, enjoyed a lot of water and fresh products instead of processed foods, and the pounds simply started to slip off of her body. She was amazed of the way her body reacted when she changed her dieting plan, and she liked it a lot. After a year, she was 150 pounds lighter and had never felt better in her entire life! People kept asking her how she managed to do it, and if you are one of those who are eager to know the answer, feel free to visit her page and find out!
Biz is a healthy recipe developer and creator of the blog, My Bizzy Kitchen. For years, she struggled to maintain a healthy weight after working a desk job for close to ten years. When the time came to get serious about her health, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and has since been learning to navigate her weight loss while being an insulin dependent diabetic. She shares her weight loss journey and her healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as a healthy dose of humor, on her blog.