– My biggest “trouble spot” is the SPARE TIRE/BELLY I have acquired around my waist & upper “back fat.” I used to be incredibly disciplined about doing core exercises when I was (much) younger, as daily physical therapy for my scoliosis – But, I have allowed everything else to take priority (like kids, family, job, other “duties”). I feel selfish and guilty spending time just working out – helping myself. Any suggestions on (quick) CORE exercises/weight management?


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.
Add a cup of low-fat milk, a part-skim mozzarella stick, or a half cup of low-sodium cottage cheese to breakfast, and you may have a belly-busting win. While lots of research links calcium with lower body weights, results from a 2014 study suggest that calcium-containing foods may reduce waist circumference in those genetically predisposed to carrying weight in their midsection.
"It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet. But be realistic – you won’t see the affect overnight. Your brain’s wiring plays a huge part in resisting changes in lifestyle, and it takes time to establish new habits – up to 12 weeks. Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change."
“I lost 85 pounds between the ages of 39 1/2 and 41, and have kept it off for more than a decade. Part of how I did it was by saying ‘no’ to what I call No-Longer-Nourishing Commitments. I was working too many hours, which left me with little time or energy for working out or making healthy food. By saying no to some projects, I was able to devote more attention to preparing better food and moving my body. It also gave me more nourishing time with friends and family, which made junk food become less of a go-to comfort.” —Deb Thompson, 53, certified Integral Master Coach

About: One of the things you’ll notice first when you open up Lori’s blog is that she’s a very visual person — a style that reflects in her posts, which are chock full of photos sharing her fitness, food, travel and more. Lori started blogging about three years ago when she decided to lose 115 pounds. Now, she’s 105 pounds down and went from tipping the scales to doing a triathlon. Quite impressive, especially considering Lori has been overweight all her life. Follow her if you want to read about someone who’s the epitome of success, someone who continues to eat right, stay fit and maintain a huge weight loss. 

Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health, and is a great way to boost your weight-loss efforts. But if you’re getting your H2O from cheap bottled water, the bottle itself could pose a problem; Bisphenol A, commonly referred to as BPA, has been linked to obesity, and it’s still found in many cheap plastics. A 2011 Harvard study found that adults with the highest concentration of BPA in their urine had significantly larger waists and a chance of being obese than those without as much of the chemical in their systems. So if you must drink store-bought bottled water, check to see if the bottle is BPA-free. And whatever you do, don’t reuse the same bottle; constantly refilling the same plastic bottle can cause BPA to leak into the water.
Bites of things ‘here and there.’ Sure, you’re no longer eating cereal for breakfast or pasta as a side dish (WIN!), but do you occasionally have just a little taste of the dessert at a dinner party or order the breaded chicken and ‘try’ to scrape it all off? Do these occurrences happen often enough that it could be contributing to a weight loss plateau?
I think the most important changes though is the removal of the “white carbohydrates” and the sugary drinks. These and other highly processed and pre-packaged foods that have become our western culture staple is really what’s contributed to obesity and so many other health issues. Just getting that out of your diet and replacing it with natural, low-GI, high-fiber foods will melt the fat off quicker than you can imagine.
When Johns Hopkins researchers compared the effects on the heart of losing weight through a low-carbohydrate diet versus a low-fat diet for six months—each containing the same amount of calories—those on a low-carb diet lost an average of 10 pounds more than those on a low-fat diet—28.9 pounds versus 18.7 pounds. An extra benefit of the low-carb diet is that it produced a higher quality of weight loss, Stewart says. With weight loss, fat is reduced, but there is also often a loss of lean tissue (muscle), which is not desirable. On both diets, there was a loss of about 2 to 3 pounds of good lean tissue along with the fat, which means that the fat loss percentage was much higher on the low-carb diet.

Even if you do meet your goal, it's nearly impossible to keep off the weight over the long term: "The amount of restriction required [to maintain that number] will make you so hungry that you’ll eat everything in sight—it’s survival instinct," Dr. Seltzer says. And since calorie restriction gradually slows your metabolism, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you binge on, he adds. That could mean gaining more pounds than you lost in the first place.
I didn’t use a plan. I started with baby steps. I walked around the block everyday after dinner, and from there I started on portion control and then eating healthier. Right now, I try to work out 5 days a week with light walking on the weekends. It’s a lifestyle change. I have been able to pretty much stay the same weight after I lost weight. Eating is the key factor. What you see me post is what I eat. I try to have a variety of meals that are healthy and never boring. Check out my tip page, those are the rules I follow. Hey you lost 43lbs, meaning you can do it again. Really go slow, and start out with small steps. One month of walking around the block, then start measuring what you eat, then eat healthier. I don’t believe in giving up the foods I love I just eat smaller portions of it or have it as a treat once a week. For me bread is my favorite thing, so I have a hearty fat sandwich for dinner one night during the week, thats my treat! I wish you the best of luck, you know you can do it!!! I believe in you!!

It’s rare for me to be able to contribute something relevant here, but I actually have been losing weight for the last year or so and I do have something closely related to a blog about it. The thing is, It’s been extremely inactive because I have no idea what to write about. The process of weight loss can be hard for a lot of people, but it’s not complex in any way. I guess my blog can be an example of how to not really do it? Any tips?

About: Brian’s struggles with weight are some we can all relate to — the need to get healthy, fit, you name it. But what makes his blog particularly interesting is that his studio apartment doesn’t have a kitchen. That forces Brian to get creative, and all he has to work with is a mini-refrigerator and a Big Boss Rapid Oven. His blog is a way to stay accountable and share recipes that are about as creative as you can get.
Red wine can actually be good for your health, thanks to the antioxidant resveratrol, which studies have shown is good for your health and could help you lose weight. But any more than one glass, and you’re opening yourself up to extra sugar, empty calories, and a boozy buzz, which may inhibit your ability to make healthy food choices. If you’re out to happy hour, stop at one glass and opt for club soda (which is calorie free) or water with lemon instead.
I think another great thing about having a blog and being a part of the community of health blogs is how open people are with weight loss/gain. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and never had a lot of people to talk to because people around me weren’t going through it or felt ashamed to admit guilt over gaining a few pounds or that they secretly knew all the over exercise was actually a bad thing. It can be very isolating and reading other people’s journeys is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story!
A 2014 Harvard study found that men who did twenty minutes of daily weight training had less of an increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities, and other studies have shown similar levels of success when guys hit the gym to cut down on fat. The implication: Guys can cut belly fat most efficiently with weight training.
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and it’s a great way to build muscle without spending hours in the gym. The idea is to go all out for a short period of time, followed by a slower pace that allows you to recover. Think of jogging or sprinting all out for 30 seconds, followed by a minute or two of rest, then repeat. Short bursts of high-intensity exercises keep your heart rate up while adding lean muscle. More muscle mass equals calories burned on a daily basis. Also, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is.
The available evidence shows that moderate carb restriction is effective in treating any female hormonal problems that might be driving weight gain. In this study of women with PCOS, for example, 30% of calories from carbs worked better than 55% of calories. On the other hand, an extremely low-carb diet is not necessarily the answer either: especially for women, extreme carb restriction can cause problems of its own, including hormonal dysfunction, amenorrhea (loss of normal periods), and infertility. Sweet potatoes are not the enemy! You can eat 1-2 starchy tubers (potatoes or sweet potatoes) every day and still be well under 30% of calories from carbs.

134 pounds down during several major life upheavals may be what Erika of the Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss is known for, but what she is loved for is her sense of humor, tell-it-like-it-is style, and tenacity. Whether you're looking for exercise ideas or healthy recipes, she's there for you. She also covers more difficult subjects like sexual violence, body image, and racism. Her post What a Victim-Blaming World Looks Like to a Victim will really make you think.


Nicole Morrissey is a registered dietitian who works specifically with diabetes and weight management. What sets her apart from many other dietitians is that she’s struggled with her own weight since a young age. She was 14 when she went to her first Weight Watchers meeting, and the years that followed brought many ups and downs. Today, she accepts that she “may forever be a work in progress,” so she focuses on balance. That means healthy, good-for-her foods, and doing the active things she loves, like running and hockey. Visit the blog.
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