Toning your abs when trying to lose belly fat is crucial as well. To make a traditional plank routine more challenging, add in side planks. Roll onto your left forearm and stack your right foot on top of your left. Hold this position for 60 seconds, then switch sides. Having only two points of contact rather than four works your core harder and challenges your obliques as well.
Hi Karen! I love Sparkpeople! I have been using there tracking tools for 4 years now and love it! It really helps you keep on track. I get ya about weight! I know I can’t eat like I used to too! It’s hard, but well worth the effort! Thank you for your kind words and don’t worry you lose those last ten pounds! I’m working on 10 pounds myself! Just think positive, be true to yourself and know you can do it!!!
To be able to lose weight successfully, you need to make exercising a part of your daily routine. Physical activity is important for the fitness of both body and mind. You can lift weights, swim or run on a treadmill. You can perform simple exercises like squats, dips and crunches at home. Even dancing is a great exercise that works on all your body muscles. Ensure to exercise at least 3 to 4 days in a week rather than being a couch potato.
The first couple of weeks of wanting to make a change were in a very busy season of life. The first two weeks of January were filled with healthy food and exercise, but as soon as classes started, the business really kicked in. There were weekly ministry activities, ultimate frisbee practice, classes, research projects, trying to hang out with friends before everyone moved across the country after graduation, etc. The busier my schedule was, the less important healthy eating and exercise became. It was only a few weeks and I fell of the bandwagon and was back to my old habits and feeling frustrated. I would tell myself “I’ll eat better tomorrow” or “I’ll work out tomorrow night” and then had such difficulty following through. I pushed it off and pushed it off.  I had some short streaks of eating well, but my lack of self-control would lead me to easily giving up. I made excuses for my unhealthy lifestyle like “I’ve always been overweight” or “I’ve never consistently worked out” because there were overweight people that loved themselves well too.
While you can get tests to evaluate the cortisol level in your blood, only you can determine your own innate level of stress. Take some time to evaluate if you are living in a constant (or close to constant) state of stress. You might also notice increased anxiety levels, mood swings, trouble sleeping, fatigue (including feeling tired but unable to wind down) and high blood pressure.
I used the ketogenic diet for several years about 4 years ago. I had various reasons. I have epilepsy, I craved food all the time..even when I was eating “healthy” and the weight wouldn’t budge. I didn’t know as much as I did now and the initial stages were horrible, then boom! Mental clarity and energy kicked in. I became more active and weight loss was no longer an issue. I knew I felt better but didn’t realize just how profound it was until 8 months later. It was Thanksgiving and I still prepared foods my family likes..my pecan pie is greatly anticipated, lol. I decided that..heck..it was my birthday too and I was going to have a slice of that pie! Almost immediately afterwards I felt bad. I tried to read the newspaper and literally could not make out many words and what I did read wasn’t very comprehensive. I later crashed, slept, and waited for the sugar to get burned. That memory has always stuck with me. After a few years, I had health complications due to seizures because of a generic version of my meds wasn’t being absorbed and I had many injuries. 3 surgeries..cervical spinal fusion from 2 blown discs, a rotator cuff repair, and because the more seizures you have, the more you’re apt to have, I had a VNS implant. Needless to say, probably when I needed the diet the most, I started to slip. I relied heavily on the help of others. I still kept eating wheat or sugar to a minimum but my macros were out of whack. I was actually eating too much protein. I suffered bowel issues chronically. :/ Here I am now..I’ve healed a great deal. I didn’t seem to loose a lot of muscle mass but the adipose definitely had put me out of wearing my jeans, I was depressed and unmotivated. About 3 months ago, I found my willpower and stepped back into the gym. I work with a trainer who had designed a macro layout for me to try. It was high protein, modest carbs..and lower even in fat. I didn’t feel terrible on the diet but I knew it wasn’t the best for me. I weightlift and was throwing in a little cardio. I was at 150g protein, 85g carbs, 45g fat. I didn’t have the energy to do the cardio. I suffered very slow muscle recovery after lifting. Every month we check progress but very little was made. In 3 months I had only lost 2lbs but gained .5lbs of muscle but I knew I needed to reassess the plan. I had also started to have carb noticeable cravings which escalated over time. I was feeling worse over time rather than invigorated by exercise. I crashed and said enough! This week I took off from the gym to rework my diet and regimen. I have gone back to the ketogenic way of life. I learned how to minimize the keto flu..electrolytes! And hydration. I’m on day 3. My energy is returning and mental clarity is better. I’ve decided to reduce my workout load..which was fairly intense. I’ve paid attention to ensure my fat intake is higher..I’m still hovering between 30-50 grams of carbs but will tweak it out. I use digestive enzyme supplements, b-vitamins, vitamin c, CQ 10, and electrolytes..to name a few. My medications can deplete certain nutrients,my adrenals are possibly taxed and I am trying to support energy levels. I’m staying active but in a more gentle way until the ground is more level. I think getting back into keto adaptation will be a bit easier as my body has done this before and we have muscle memory. I have a general idea of where I performed best physically with certain carb grams..around 50-60 with intense exercise is fine and I make good progress with plenty of energy. For now, I’m jump starting fat burning though so I’m trying to go even lower. It’s a bit tedious micromanaging macros and calories. I tend to not eat enough and my protein will override. I have no clue how much fat and protein I should generally consume as calories from fat are dense I’ve calculated I will need less fat grams than protein but that doesn’t sound right. Thanks for reading and any tips on those macros are welcome!
The best way to get rid of belly fat is a combination of strength training and cardio. The cardio will help burn fat from all over your body, including your belly, while the strength training will help you build more muscle, which burns more calories at rest than fat does. For weight loss, aim to fit in at least 300 minutes of cardio per week and at least two strength-training sessions.
Thank you so much for this article on carb cycling & weight loss for women! I found it tremendously helpful for personal reasons but also because I work with so many women (as a personal trainer) who encounter significant frustration when it comes to weight loss, health & hormonal status (the interplay among them). Your article seems to speak to mostly women of reproductive age or to women who are still menstruating. I also work with many women age 50+ and wondered what recommendations, if any, might you have to offer regarding carbs/carb cycling for peri-/menopausal/post-menopausal women? Thank you so much, Stefani – the info & wisdom you share on your blog & via your podcast (which I love!) are invaluable to me. I also totally dig your book and recommend it to other women all the time! I so appreciate the work you’re doing!
Focus on cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight. Studies show that cardiovascular exercise like walking, jogging, and running is highly effective at any degree of intensity.[24] That's because cardio/aerobic exercise works the muscles in your arms, legs, and hips, and increases blood flow to all sets of muscles.[25] Effective cardio exercises include:[26]
In a 2012 study in the journal Obesity, subjects who increased their soluble fiber intake by 10 grams a day—the equivalent of two small apples, one cup of green peas, and one half-cup of pinto beans—reduced visceral fat by 3.7 percent after five years. Even more, participants who also engaged in moderate physical activity (exercising vigorously two to four times a week) experienced a 7.4 decrease in visceral fat over the same period of time.

Only 11% of Americans correctly estimate their ideal daily calorie requirements, according to one survey. The rest of us tend to overestimate, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Let's say you assume that consuming 2,000 calories per day will allow you to reach your target weight, but it really takes 1,800: Those extra 200 are enough to keep an additional 20 pounds on your frame. 
Skimp on fluids, and your body will release an antidiuretic hormone that leads to water retention that could affect the scale, Dr. Setlzer says. While this sneaky effect is one reason why the scale is a poor measure of body mass loss, you can outsmart it by drinking more—particularly if you fill your glass with water or non-calorie alternatives like unsweetened coffee and tea.
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.

Well done Jennifer. Inspirational. I also know from personal experience how hard it is to lose weight. It takes discipline to push through no matter what you’re feeling. For me it was getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning (Mon – Fri) to exercise but when I saw some photos of me while my wife and I were on holiday, that was all the motivation , that I need.. very fantastic
Face it, if you want to lose weight over the long haul, your best bet is to make sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes like the nine simple ones this woman made to shed 45 pounds and keep them off. But sometimes life comes at you fast and you need a fast solution. One smart lifestyle change is to eat plenty of veggies—especially for someone looking to lose weight. Vegetables are nutrient-packed and provide plenty of filling fiber with hardly any calories. Plus, non-starchy veggies have a high water content, so they hydrate you while filling you up—the perfect combination for weight loss.
Hi Adam, im a 23 year old mother of a 10 month old daughter.. I am still breast feeding, so I wasnt sure if I should cut all my carbs out. I lost 20 pounds while pregnant but gained 40 after… I want to be more fit, or skinny, or healthier to be able to run around with my daughter bevore she starts to walk. As well as having a higher self esteem about me will hopefully make my daughger look up to me, and when she is older know that she is beautiful no matter what. Its harder for me to stick to a certain schedule. Since when she eats I do the dishes, or when shes sleeping if she sleeps I try to get a quick shower in, or eat what ever is the quickest. And since I am in an apartment I cant make too much noise or else I will wake her up please help… I am willing to do anything for my daughter. If you could email that would be greatly appreciated.
Out-of-whack hormones have all kinds of uncomfortable side effects and belly bloat is one of them. There’s a reason that bloating is one of the primary complaints women have during menopause! While you can’t turn back the clock and reclaim the hormone profile of your 20’s, you can make sure you’re within the normal range—something your doctor can check for you. In the meantime, eating right and exercising are natural ways to balance your hormones.

For some, as little as one or two drinks can impact weight loss. Beyond just its contribution of calories, alcohol interferes with the digestion and utilization of other nutrients, including fat. If you’re hitting a weight plateau and drink alcohol, evaluate your alcohol intake. Consider the type and the volume of alcohol you’re consuming. The carbohydrates and calories can add up quickly, and not to mention, we sometimes tend to reach for food when drinking – whether hungry or not!
And as people get older they tend to become less active, which means you burn fewer calories all day long. Plus, you naturally lose muscle mass due to hormonal changes, which further drops your daily calorie-burn rate. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so a body with less lean tissue has a lower metabolism and is prone to weight gain.
Furthermore, when we studied 9 lean healthy young men and fed them first a ‘balanced diet’ for a week locked in a metabolic ward and then the exact same calories as a ketogenic diet for 4 weeks, they did not lose any body fat (only about 2 pounds of water) despite being consistently and strongly in nutritional ketosis. (Phinney 1983)  And finally, the 10 low carb runners from our FASTER Study had been following a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle for at least 6 months (average blood ketones of 0.6 mmol/L); but while thin, none of them were continuing to lose significant weight (Volek 2016).
Over the summer I weighed in at 123 at 5’6, now I think I’ve gained about 10 or so pounds. I’m trying everything to get the weight off but I to give into my cravings when they appear, and my husband certainly doesn’t make it easy when I get home from work and he’s prepared dinner as he gets home before me (full of guy foods and carbs) We also have a 1yr old so between work and being a new mom I give in once in awhile especially if my son decides to share his sandwiches with me. I do pilates for about 30min 5days a week and love to walk because I found that helped to drop my baby weight last yr but it’s too cold for that now. What would you suggest?
About: Jessica started blogging in 2012, but it really slowed down in 2014 and 2015. Now, she’s back at it, with a blog about all things weight loss, fitness, healthy recipes and healthy living, sure. But it’s also much, much more than that. Jessica is the kind of woman you can relate to, who will inspire you (without even meaning to) and who gets that being a mom is tough — and that it’s even tougher to fit in exercise and healthy eating. But she also shows you that it absolutely can be done. And that’s what makes her so special.
You did a good job of evaluating the programs and explaining how they were chosen, but I think the government guidelines are just wrong. Having half of our calories come from carbs doesn’t seem right to me. The only diets I’ve had any luck with are low-carb. In fact, if I consume more than about 130g of carbs per day, my blood sugar goes into the pre-diabetes range.
Take a walk through the supermarket, and you’ll be assaulted with aisle after aisle of low-fat and no-fat foods, “healthy” chips and cookies and juices and sodas galore. You likely already know that if you want to lose weight, cutting out processed foods and sweets is the first and most obvious step. But those healthy-sounding options can be just as bad, too.

Your parents weren’t kidding about how important veggies are for a healthy body. What they probably didn’t tell you, however, was that snacking on veggies is also one of the easiest ways to shed unwanted belly fat, too. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, opting for non-starchy veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumber, as snacks helped overweight kids shed 17 percent of their visceral fat while improving their insulin sensitivity over a five-year period. Think snacking on veggies will leave you hungry? The 20 Most Filling Fruits and Veggies will have your belly satisfied in no time.

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!

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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