About: When you read Ayah’s blog, it’s almost like you can hear her accent. And that’s what drew us to her blog — the idea that no matter how different cultures might be, we all struggle with the same things. As Ayah puts it, she’s a person just like anyone else, a person who’s fought to lose weight, gone up and down multiple times and these days just tries to maintain her fitness while sharing her journey (and tons of great recipes) along the way.
Additionally, many women have to face one lifestyle change before getting to another, such as overhauling eating habits before taking on exercise. For example, Michelle DeGennaro got a handle on her diet and soon after found that she was more inclined to exercise. "Feeling lighter on my feet was thrilling, and it gave me the confidence to start walking every day," she says. And as Blanca Valdez noticed, "Eating right made my energy soar, which I channeled into exercise." She has kept off 78 pounds.
Because HIIT is harder on your body than steady-state cardio, you will require adequate rest to gain the most benefits, so don't feel bad for taking a day off. A good rule of thumb is to decrease the number of days you exercise as the load gets heavier. For example, HIIT using just your body weight can be done 3-5 days a week for 20-30 minute sessions.
The winter came and several work outs happened at Truman's Rec Center. I also committed to my first half marathon in April, so the start of the new year brought many morning runs. I kept experimenting with meals and trying new ways to cook foods I loved. Some weeks were great, and others were not. I kept my head up and reminded myself the hard work was worth it. It was worth it to take care of my body, to take care of my heart, and to take care of my mind.
"When we’re lacking in sleep, our body’s hormones get thrown off balance which can impact our hunger levels the next day. We all have two hormones that affect our appetite: ghrelin and leptin. When we don’t get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes us feel hungry) rise, and our leptin levels (the hormone that makes us feel full) drop. This means that when we’re awake, we tend to eat more but feel less satisfied. Try going to bed a little earlier than usual to avoid this imbalance and remember to remove any distractions that might prevent you from nodding off."
Great article! I didn’t realize I was doing KETO, but on June 22nd this year I reduced my carbs to about 15g per day. To date I have lost 29 pounds, and feel fantastic! I eat 1/4 cup of steel cut oats for breakfast with 1/2 cup lactose and fat free milk, and one table spoon of chopped walnuts. Lunch is 2 eggs fried in a teaspoon of coconut oil with a handful of spinach thrown on. I have 2 snacks a day. One is an ounce of hard cheddar, the other one tablespoon of natural peanut butter. My evening meal is about 4 ounces of whatever meat and heaps of green veggies, sometimes sweet potato, but only once a week. I like to do miracle noodles with shrimp in a lobster bouillon with red pepper flakes for heat, and I have started batch cooking meatballs all weighed out for quick meals etc Loving it, and loving life!
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.”
The key to losing weight is eating fewer calories than you expend. That creates an energy deficit, so your body taps into other sources of fuel — namely, your fat stores — to make up the difference. You’ll be able to lose weight safely by creating an energy deficit of up to 1,000 calories a day, which will allow you to lose up to two pounds per week.
I also think its important to note that having portion control is not the same thing as being on a diet. I never considered myself to be on a "diet." I remember a few co-workers asking me what kind of diet I was on and I didn't know how to answer because I never thought of myself of dieting because I still ate all foods that I loved. It was more just eating all foods in moderation. I could still eat a good burger and sweet potato fries if I went out to dinner, drank wine on special occasions, ate dark chocolate and ice cream, etc. I never stopped eating the foods I enjoyed, I just ate them less. 
Starchy veggies (like potatoes) and processed whole grains (like whole-wheat bread) are foods I’d normally recommend eating in moderation, since they provide plenty of nutrients, fiber, and healthy carbs. However, high-carb foods aren’t your best friend when you’re looking to drop water weight. Essentially, when your body stores excess carbs, it stores them with water. So replacing carb-heavy foods with non-starchy veggies that still provide filling fiber without as much water retention is the way to go. For a week before your event, you can swap out the starchy carbs for more non-starchy vegetables to lose some water weight. (These are 10 things experts wish you knew about water weight.)
Successfully flattening your stomach is a matter of burning body fat and building muscle. The best way to burn body fat is through cardio exercises such as running, walking, elliptical training, and bicycling. With these exercises, burning stomach fat, shedding love handles, and building a six pack is completely do-able. So send your body the memo: flat abs are in style and it’s time to get yours!
High blood sugar levels coupled with high blood ketones, on the other hand, will mean that you have a pathologically low level of insulin – something non-diabetics do not suffer from. This can lead to ketoacidosis – a potentially life-threatening condition. If this happens, you’ll need to inject more insulin; if you’re at all unsure of what to do, contact a medical professional. Coveting really high blood ketones for weight control is not worth the risk for type 1 diabetics.

Erika Nicole Kendall’s ongoing weight loss journey is beautifully chronicled on her blog, Black Girls Guide To Weight Loss, or BGG2WL, for short. Her weight loss transformation began unexpectedly after signing up for a gym membership from some persuading from her mother. But after losing over 170 pounds, Kendall became a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist and writes about food, fitness, body image, and beauty on her blog.

Thank you for sharing your story and your advice! Very good advice! I don’t think you look gross above…I think you look happy. Never call yourself gross…its not a healthy thought. YOU are beautiful…your size doesn’t define you. I am soo proud of you though…taking such an interest in your health and habits and helping others, AND loosing weight and feeling better all around. What a beautiful thing!
The popular "flat belly diets"embrace much of the wisdom found in eating a Mediterranean diet, which helps everything from brain health to hearth health. The basic premise for both diets is eat foods rich in monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that may help reduce your belly fat storage. MUFA-rich foods include olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocodos, and fish. Eating yogurt regularly has also been found to be helpful in reducing belly fat.

Interesting. I’m on my first weight loss journey ever in my life, so everything is brand new to me. But I lost 30 pounds in the first 3 months when going low carb. I mean it just MELTED! However the goal is 40 pounds (10 pounds to go). This last month, weight loss has stalled. What’s interesting is that it’s stalled at precisely the weight I was previously at in my 20’s. So it’s like some sort of “metabolic memory.” I was convinced that it was a plateau — I’ve never heard of a “stable period” or anything. So I guess I’ll keep trucking and see if it picks up again. It’s very stubborn, considering I’ve doubled my workout time since the slowdown.


“I started my 78-pound weight-loss journey by tracking everything I ate with the Lose It! app. I track right after I finish because if I wait until later, I don’t always remember. Sometimes I’ll even record before I eat, so I know if I have enough calories for the day. That, paired with daily weigh-ins helps to keep me accountable.” —Kari Hammond, 42
What should you eat after working out? Exercise is beneficial for overall health. To get the most effective exercise, it is necessary to have good nutrition. There is a range of things to eat right after a workout that will help in specific fitness goals. It is also essential to eat to recover energy levels. Learn more about what to eat after a workout. Read now
It should be every woman’s goal to lose weight because they’re getting healthy, and getting healthy means changing your lifestyle and adapting to healthy means. You can’t live your life eating protein and no carbohydrates for the rest of your life, and you’re losing essential nutrients by omitting these foods. The best weight loss and the healthiest eating comes from a nice balance of EVERY food group. They all have a vital place in the well-being of our lives.
I lost my weight by only optimizing my diet. I changed what I ate dramatically and literally melted the weight off. I remember waking up on the fourth day after starting this in complete amazement by the fact that my fingers felt skinny. I’m not sure if it was the amount of salt I ate or what, but my fingers and hands have felt fat for the last year – this alone was enough to keep me going. For the sake of this overview, I will not go into any detail on supplements (as I have yet to learn much about them), and will only briefly touch on exercising. Instead, I’ll focus on optimizing diet for rapid weight loss.

If you’re eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, odds are you are getting the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to help boost weight-loss and lose weight fast. But it’s also a good idea to take vitamins that can supplement your diet; B vitamins (especially B2 and B12) can boost energy, vitamin D can regulate appetite and aid in weight loss, and magnesium can trigger lipolysis, a process where your body releases fat from where it’s stored.

Unfortunately this reduces the debate to a very simplistic level.  Why?  Because we know that hunger, appetite, energy expenditure (i.e., metabolic rate), and even our propensity to be active are highly regulated by an increasing list of hormones and signaling molecules, not to mention our genetic inheritance (Bouchard 1994).  Moreover these various factors interact with each other – for example: exercise stimulates hunger, calorie restriction increases hunger and decreases spontaneous activity (Keys 1950), calorie restriction reduces metabolic rate, and exercise plus calorie restriction markedly reduces metabolic rate (Phinney 1988).

If you’re looking for a writer to follow who’s still in the midst of their own weight loss journey (and willing to admit might always be), Amy is your girl. She blogs about the ups, downs, and challenges on her path to weight loss on Not Afraid of Stripes. She doesn’t hesitate to share her insecurities or efforts to improve her own body image. Visit the blog. 
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