Cassey Ho, award-winning fitness instructor and Pilates teacher, is the creator behind Blogilates. It’s now the No. 1 fitness channel on YouTube. Her blog is an extension of that channel, where Cassey’s aim is to motivate and inspire readers. She does this by sharing monthly workout calendars and posts about clean eating and getting fit in a way that’s actually enjoyable. Visit the blog.
This question is on so many minds: how can I lose belly fat...and fast? While there's no magic formula of food and exercise to reduce belly fat with the snap of your fingers, there are nutrition choices, exercises and lifestyle changes that can help. Here's your guide to understanding exactly what belly fat is and how you might be able to reduce it over time.

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.

You don’t need to bust out the measuring cups to properly portion out your food: A serving size of meat is roughly the size of a deck of cards or the size of the palm of your hand. Your entire fist should be the size of a serving of veggies (although the more, the better!). A serving of fat, such as butter or coconut oil, should be the size of your thumb. Your carb serving should be no bigger than what can fit in your cupped hand. For other ways to eyeball your proper serving sizes, check out what portion sizes actually look like.


Hi. I weigh 220 and am 5’8’’. I’m obviously overweight but I’m not in terrible shape, I play sports twice a week and try to run one or two times a week also. I have a 5K coming up in 2 weeks and I plan to do an event on June 1 where I need to be 210 pounds. I don’t want to stop at 210, I want to be back under 200 again. I don’t think I eat terrible, I eat granola in the morning and lunch during the week and try not to go nuts at nighttime. My vice is beer on the weekends, I am not an alcoholic but I can easily put back a six-pack if I wanted to on a Friday or Saturday night when hanging out with friends. Other than the beer, I only drink water, green tea, and coffee – no sodas or sugary drinks.
This wasn’t a huge issue for me. I haven’t drank much milk since junior high, and although I do enjoy cheese on almost everything it was easy enough to give up. Luckily, I could still use butter to cook with, and if you are like the many people that love cream in their coffee – this is okay as well as long as it’s heavy cream and not milk. Cheese is a big part of my cheat days as I explain below.
Monica Olivas is a holistic health coach, certified running coach, and writer for the blog Run Eat Repeat. She has been a passionate runner for almost 10 years and has completed over 50 half marathons and 30 full marathons. Running has helped her lose 20 pounds and uses her blog as a way to share healthy recipes, running tips, and motivation to help you do the same!

Remember that these are all perfectly understandable evolutionary design features. Higher estrogen levels during puberty drive fat gain as an energy reserve in case you get pregnant. During early pregnancy, they go into overdrive to “stock up” for the approaching challenge. Your body still hasn’t caught up to the 21st century; it still thinks its job is to keep you (a) alive, and (b) fertile in an environment of extreme food scarcity and a constant threat of famine. So storing extra fat at every opportunity makes perfect sense: back in the day, it could have meant the difference between life and death (or a healthy baby and a miscarriage).
It sounds like you are in healthy weight range. I think that you probably look great. The thin obsession is not always the healthy way. If someone doesn’t think that you look good at 122 pounds, then they have the problem. If you don’t think that that weight is small enough, then perhaps you may need to consult a counselor. All I am saying it that weight is not overweight for hardly anyone unless they are 4 foot 8 or under.

About: Inspiring. That’s the first word that comes to mind when describing Gabby’s blog. Gabby used to tip the scales at 262 pounds and started a blog to chronicle her journey. Today, she weighs in at 140 pounds...in other words, half of her old self. But just because she dropped the pounds doesn’t mean she stopped being there for her readers. Thousands of articles and a whole lot of experience later, Gabby continues to share her weight loss wisdom and tons of healthy recipes with fans in an easy-to-follow — and often hilarious — way.
Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and de-puff by counter-balancing salt. Stick to brown rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, millet, farro, sorghum, and amaranth for the biggest benefits.

ANYWAY, as far as the beginning of college goes, I thought a lot about nutrition and fitness and really wanted them to be incorporated into my life. For exercise, I joined the women’s ultimate frisbee team.  I honestly joined because the team was a built in community of really amazing people who were great friends but even better accountability partners that kept me coming to practice and pushing myself while I was there. We had practice for 2 hours about 3 times a week, and I never exercised outside of those times. On the topic of nutrition, I never thought I ate that bad. However, college dining halls can wreck your body. Unlimited buffets with more unhealthy than healthy options was not in my favor. Of course I ate salads, chicken/fish, and veggies on a regular basis, but I also ate my fair share of french fries, frozen yogurt, cookies, and whatever desserts were available. So many weekly activities and meetings had free food, and late night study snacks were a regular occurrence.
Some women have trouble losing weight because of a hormonal problem. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, pumps out hormones that control body metabolism. If the gland's output isn't high enough, a condition known as hypothyroidism, the pounds can pile on - and stay on. If you think thyroid trouble might underlie your weight-loss difficulties, a doctor can test your hormone levels via a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, effective treatment is available.
Several months in, I finally found the energy to start moving. I call it moving because it was hardly intense exercise. Addison was an extremely difficult baby from 0-15 months and I got very little sleep for as long as I can remember. She literally cried all night and all day. It was all I could do to get out the door and make myself move. But I did. I walked the 1.2 mile super hilly loop around our neighborhood pushing Addie in a stroller at least 4 days a week. I eventually graduated to two and then three continuous loops around the neighborhood but that was about the extent of my workout routine. Although it was super difficult at times, I stuck to this routine of eating good and walking the hood (hehe that rhymes) and in approximately eight months I had lost close to 80lbs.
If all you have is two weeks to lose weight, you’re going to have to be very strict with this rule. Luckily you can still drink any water-based drink such as coffee and tea, so it’s not all bad. I usually have a huge glass of ice cold water plus one or two large cups of coffee in the morning to kick start my day. I often use cinnamon to flavour my coffee – it’s a great tip for those of you that really enjoyed adding milk.
Some of you are probably scratching your heads thinking “why is exercise at the bottom?” well it’s because it is not nearly as important as what you put in your mouth! Exercise is great for burning off a few calories (emphasis on a few), for toning up your body and overall health, but no matter how hard you work out, if you don’t have the diet aspect down you won’t be losing the weight as fast as you want… or at all. But it is still an important part of how to lose weight fast, and here’s why:

Gina Harney started The Fitnessista after she’d already lost 40 pounds. At the time, she was in maintenance mode in Georgia where, as she explains it, “healthy options were pretty scarce.” The blog was her way of chronicling how she sought out those healthy choices and often created them for herself. Today, Gina works as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and weight loss specialist. She loves sharing tips with her readers as they embark on their own journeys toward health. Visit the blog.
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