Stay motivated. Often times, people lose motivation to stick with a diet or an exercise routine. Finding a reason to stay motivated beyond belly fat goals, like overcoming a genetic predisposition to excess body weight or working toward fitting into your favorite article of clothing again, can help you stay motivated to meet your fitness and lifestyle goals.[40]
Congrats on your transformation! You should feel very proud of yourself to have come so far and to have gotten to the point where you can listen to your stomach. Surprisingly, that simple communication with our body is something that so many of us have trained ourselves to not pay any attention to. After suffering with an eating disorder for about 15 years, I got to the point where I didn’t even know what it felt like to be hungry anymore! I had to really work to “hear” that signal. And you’re right, counting calories can be an obsession that can take over your life and your thoughts, so I think it’s awesome that you have cut back from that and are just listening to your wants and needs and not freaking out over a piece of cake.
An article published in Consumer Reports in 2006 recommends avoiding the fat-burning supplements 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, and citrus aurantium, also called bitter orange, as these both have potentially serious side effects. Bitter orange can cause increased heart rate, anxiety and chest pain, and 5-HTP can cause inflammation and pain in the joints and muscles and severe gastrointestinal issues. Another article, published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2011, notes that an herbal fat-burning supplement containing usnic acid, guggul tree and green tea extracts was linked to a case of liver failure.
Brittany! Just catching up on your blog. What a beautiful post! Loved every word sweet friend. I couldn’t be more proud of you for sharing all of that. You are absolutely stunning, but what really shines is your honesty and kind heart. This was so inspiring and motivating for me because I need to loose a few pounds this summer and I get frustrated so easily! I’m a stress eater too. Can’t wait to hear some of your healthy meal/snack ideas! I hate to say I told you so about sharing this post.. but I told you so. 😉
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!
There don't appear to be lot of safety concerns with green tea or caffeine as long as they're used in moderation, but they can cause some side effects, such as nervousness and irregular heartbeat, with an intake of more than 400 milligrams per day of caffeine. Stick to brewed green tea, because the green tea extract can cause abdominal discomfort and potential liver damage.
I’ve been at this for a while and thanks to some excellent, well-reasoned sources (like Virta and its contributors, among others) I’ve learned a lot about my appetite/satiety, emotional triggers, carb tolerance, food intolerances, etc. and I just wanted to say that this was a great, well presented article. No matter where one is on their journey, we can all benefit from reminders and strategy reassessments. Thank you, it’s much appreciated!

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.
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.
Thank you for your response. I do agree the Mediterranean diet & Dash are healthy & sound, but I also think it’s important for people to change their habits, vs. “going on a diet” — whether you eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, with a small amount of healthy fat, plenty of protein and good, whole grains, OR you eat McDonald’s value meals four times a day, they are both considered someone’s “diet.”
Fighting constantly with your S.O.? It’s time to address your issues head-on. "Research has shown that cortisol, the hormone that's released during stressful activity, is linked to fat storage,” says Gina Guddet, couples counselor and co-author of Love Metabolism. “And poor communication between couples is the most common type of stress that you tend to experience."
About: If the title of the blog alone doesn’t get you (it sure did for us), Neale’s hilarity soon will. When he started losing weight, Neale weighed in at 425 pounds. Now, he’s down 190 pounds — and he did it with no pill, shakes, short cuts or surgery. As Neale puts it, he’s had many people ask him the secret to his success — hence, the blog. Oh, and did we mention he’s a professional ventriloquist? So cool.
If you're mostly sedentary (and let's face it—with 9-to-5 desk jobs being the norm, it's hard to avoid), you'll start to see noticeable results with just a slight increase in your activity level. Break up the hours in front of the computer by using your lunch break to move around. "I started walking for 45 minutes during my lunch break," says Melissa Leon, who ultimately dropped 53 pounds. "The area was super hilly, but feeling the burn in my butt and quads as I powered up those hills let me know I was making progress."
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About: Loretta’s certainly no stranger to blogging — she been sharing her weight loss journey since 2009. But the thing that caught our eye most about Loretta’s blog is that unlike most long-time healthy living/weight loss bloggers, her website’s not chock full of product reviews and recommendations, links to goods, etc. It’s very authentic, as is Loretta. Loretta started at 460 pounds. Now, she hovers around 199. And she does it “one good choice at a time.” Her style of writing is engaging and real — the kind of blog that you read and finish thinking, I really know this woman in a deep way. Bravo.
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!
There are hundreds of healthy living apps that can help you lose weight. Find one that aligns with your goal, whether it's to get stronger, get faster, get off the couch, or eat healthy. Cyr found that using MyFitnessPal helped her get a better grip on what she was eating every day. "Once I started logging my meals, I realized I was scarfing 1,700 calories a day," she says. 

No, we’re not telling you that you need a tummy tuck (although that would flatten your belly, we suppose). Rather, there are several common health conditions that can make your belly bulge and until you fix the anatomical issues underneath, nothing else can flatten it out. For instance, many women have a diastisis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles, after pregnancy. In about 25 percent of these women, the muscles never quite come back together, leading to a permanent protrusion. Similarly, a hernia (congenital or from an injury) can also cause your belly to stick out. Both conditions can be resolved surgically.
Processed, packaged foods are often loaded with more salt, sugar, and refined carbs than you’d put in the foods you cook for yourself. When you’re looking to drop weight fast, avoid foods that come in packages and stick to whole, unprocessed foods. (Here are the four most harmful ingredients in processed food.) Build your plates with non-starchy veggies, unprocessed whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and season with spices, not salt.

Excellent question! I suppose you could look at it like this: you are less insulin sensitive in the luteal phase, so in order to prevent fat gain it is “more important” to burn sugar and fat at this time – so if weight loss is your goal, and if you do good, hard anaerobic workouts, then this will sharpen your insulin sensitivity as much as possible and help keep you lean via that mechanism. If, on the other hand, weight loss is not your goal but fitness and strength are, then you may wish to do aerobic work at this time (with higher blood sugar you can accomplish greater aerobic feats), and save the anaerobic work for the rest of your cycle. Does that make sense? At least, that is what I am guessing is happening here.
Hi Kristi, thanks so much for your comment! And congratulations to you and your DH for hopping on the keto train! I agree that one of the best things about eating keto is getting rid of those sugar and carb cravings – it certainly was for me. Regarding weight loss, a couple of things to consider are: Are you eating enough? A lot of women go on the keto diet and due to a decrease in appetite plus the desire to lose weight, their daily calories are too low. This can, although it’s counter-intuitive, hinder weight loss. If your body even so much as suspects there is not enough food available, weight loss will slow down/stall. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep and you are keeping stress-levels as low as possible. The more you focus on loving and nurturing your body, the quicker it will find its balance and shed those extra pounds. Finally, are you eating dairy? Personally I’m fine with dairy, but I do know some women who managed to break through weight loss stalls by quitting dairy. Oh, and regarding exercise – in the beginning I found the best things for me while my body was healing was just some walking while listening to my favourite music, and just doing things like squats and press ups at home. Don’t worry about pushing the exercise while you are adapting to this WOE. Just move your body each day! It sounds like you are really on the right track though. Trust the process and continue nurturing yourself! All the very best, Joan.
If you're like most people, when beach time or a certain big event is approaching, you're probably desperate to lose weight quickly and get in the best shape of your life fast, right? But this approach often backfires... Discover how to lose weight quickly without regaining the weight back and compromising your health, plus a failproof solution (at the end of the page).

About: The primary purpose of Amanda’s website may not be to share fitness tips (she’s a virtual personal trainer), but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some amazing ideas on how to exercise in her blog. Amanda’s proven methods are the perfect balance of active training and rewarding results. Here, you’ll find fitness tips, training plans, healthy recipes and tons of health & nutritional information.

And now add to this the ketosis piece that makes solving this puzzle even more complex.  Is a calorie still a calorie if cutting carbohydrate to the point of inducing nutritional ketosis reduces appetite, allowing the same level of satiety with a reduced energy intake? (Boden 2005)  Does the keto-adapted individual feel the same need to reduce spontaneous physical activity while losing weight?  What might a barely measurable increase in energy expenditure in a short-term study translate to over a longer duration?  Theoretically, just a one hundred Calorie per day deficit translates to 10 pounds of body fat lost over a year.
Excessive abdominal fat, or belly fat, is a serious health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having excessive abdominal fat increases your risks for developing Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and other serious health problems. No exercise, including rowing, can specifically target your belly fat. According to celebrity personal trainer Bill Phillips, the idea that an exercise targets a specific area for fat loss, called "spot reduction," is a soundly debunked fitness myth. Fat loss comes from your body as a whole. However, as rowing workouts burn overall body fat, the fat on your belly will unavoidably be part of the fat you burn.
Starting a weight-loss journey can be tough, especially if you're giving up a lot of things you love. Shannon Hagen’s secret to staying positive while losing weight? “I never think of it as giving things up, that makes me feel deprived,” she says. “Instead I focus on adding in one small healthy change at a time, until it becomes a habit.” For instance, instead of being bummed over not having your usual bowl of ice cream before bed, try a new healthy dessert recipe to add to your file.
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!!
About: Yes, this is another one with plenty of followers, but it really is the best for one group: mom. Let’s say you are a mom. We’ll bet finding time to exercise and eat healthy seems damn near impossible, yes? Then Brooke’s blog is for you. It’s armed to the tee with quick fitness routines, easy-to-make recipes, heck, even stuff you can do with your baby. And if that’s not enough, you can also use it as a go-to resource to get the skinny on things like baby names, connecting with your loved ones and activities to do with the kiddos.
For even more impressive effects on body composition: aim for exercise forms which elicit a positive hormonal response. This means lifting really heavy things (strength training), or interval training. Such exercise increases levels of the sex hormone testosterone (primarily in men) as well as growth hormone. Not only do greater levels of these hormones increase your muscle mass, but they also decrease your visceral fat (belly fat) in the long term.
Well, I should begin on the child hood years.  As a child I was not over weight.  I was pretty active as a child, my weight didn’t go up till I hit puberty.  I guess all that candy and soda caught up with me.  However when I hit about 15, the weight came back off, I was a cheerleader in the fall, and I played softball in the spring,and did a lot of other activities in between.  Then when I hit 18 I really started to work out.  I kind of got obsessed, I was working out to Carol Alt’s VCR tapes (remember VHS tapes?) and I got into the best shape ever.  I am 5’11 and made it to 135 lbs, not too shabby.  However, I didn’t eat that much and felt horribly guilty when I did eat.  Not good!  Honestly I don’t know what happened after that, to why I stopped working out that is.  I guess that’s when I hit age 20.  The discovery of pizza, beer, bars, guys and friends.
Your weight will vary day to day—as much as several pounds—due to normal fluctuations in body water. So looking at your weight from one day to the next, or even one week to the next, does not accurately reflect weight loss. Dietary influences are just some of what can impact the number on the scale, whether a true weight change or just normal day-to-day fluctuations. Medications, hormones, exercise, and body composition changes additionally influence weight. Before further investigation, it’s important to evaluate whether what you’re experiencing is a true plateau or is the day to day fluctuations constantly fluctuating around a lower number, meaning you are losing weight, just possibly slower than you’d like.
I can completely relate to your struggles with weight. At times, I almost felt like I was reading my own story. Take out the college dorm stuff and throw in 2 jobs, one of them at a gym, and add a baby and I’d say our stories are pretty similar. My husband is deployed now, and I started running (did my first 5K 10 days ago). I’m down a solid 15 lbs in 2 months… and I haven’t even been strict with my “diet”. Keep running, girl! You can do it! 🙂

If you want to lose weight you should start by avoiding sugar and starch (like bread, pasta and potatoes). This is an old idea: For 150 years or more there have been a huge number of weight-loss diets based on eating fewer carbs. What’s new is that dozens of modern scientific studies have proven that, yes, low carb is the most effective way to lose weight.
My weight was pretty consistent throughout middle school, high school, and into college. As a middle schooler, there was so much going on in just trying to develop as a human that fitness, nutrition or creating a healthy lifestyle was never going to be a priority. I exercised by figure skating (I used to be a competitive figure skater!), track and field, and soccer (I played goalie for one year so honestly I shouldn’t even count that.) I also remember many sleepovers spent eating pizzas, candy, and soda. I specifically have one memory of me and a friend challenging each other to eat entire medium pizza from dominos by ourselves…and we both succeeded…so that’s where I was as a 7th grader. I remember feeling bigger than a lot of girls and embarrassed about my weight sometimes, but I had super great friends, kept busy with activities, and overall was supported and I think that is why my weight never got me down too much. Overall, I probably lived a generic middle school life.
I laid on the floor, crying, and said “so this is being an adult.” Then I belly laughed. ⠀ My feelings were all over the place, stress was present but it wasn’t unbearable, I had a lot of work, but not too much that I was drowning, Cooper was gone, but I knew he was okay and happy with his dad—I was seemingly okay, but I didn’t feel okay. ⠀ So I did what I do when I feel off, I reach into my toolbox and grab the tool that makes the most sense in that moment. First, it was calling a friend. She allowed me to cry. Knowing that I didn’t want advice, I just needed someone to receive my vulnerability without judgement. ⠀ I laid on the floor because I liked the way the pressure of my body felt on the ground. I cried, well, I sobbed. I was in pain and my body hurt. She listened, and then said something that made me laugh. Within moments I was in the depths of pain, then belly laughing. “So this is being an adult”, I said. But looking back now, it has nothing to do with being an adult, but being a human. Allowing ourselves to feel the full range of human emotions without fucking judging them. ⠀ Self care can feel like a bunch of bullshit and fantasy land ideas. So how can you filter the BS and get through your hard as hell moments? 👉🏽Don’t focus on being 100% better. Try just 1%. Because 1% is a whole hell of a lot better than nothing. By the way, this crying ordeal was last night—we all have bad days and moments and adulting is hard AF sometimes. As I was about to hang up the phone, I said “I feel 3% better”. Not 1, or 2, I felt a confident 3% better. That, was progress. ⠀ Maybe you need to draw your feelings, cry them out, dance them out, call a friend and just speak, yell, masterbate, breathe, watch a show, mediate—whatever you need to do, remind yourself that 1️⃣ you’re so human. You’re imperfect and it’s okay to have off days. 2️⃣ self care is all about trial and error. Adjust and pivot with each present moment. 3️⃣ 1% better IS better. Reframe what progress looks like to you 💓 ⠀
About: Jade’s 6+ years of experience blogging means, at first glance, we would have passed right over her for this list. But it’s her recent debut into weight loss and healthy living blogging that caught our eye. Jade lives in Singapore, and just looking at Jade’s photos, it’s hard to imagine her as ever being overweight. But in 2012, she was unhappy with the way she looked, a feeling she’d had her whole life. Then the thought occurred to her that she had the power to change it. A total lifestyle overhaul and 44 pounds later, and Jade’s story is a success we can all admire.
I’m not a big milk chocolate fan, and I do love dark chocolate the best. I made different kind of chocolates and things for my family. My family and I eat so different, that I try to incorporates everyone’s taste buds. 🙂 Your right, moderation of anything and you can still lose weight. That took me a long time to learn that. It’s nice to know you can eat more than carrots and celery! Thank you so much Susan for the kind words!

I played tennis from my freshman through junior year of high school and, again, really enjoyed the sport, but abhorred the running.  Our coach was a middle-aged guy who could run circles around me.  The entire team would have finished their laps around the field, while I was still stumbling along next to the (also middle-aged) assistant coach, who I’m quite sure they sent in as an attempt to get me to run faster.
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.
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