It’s impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline; more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you can’t see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D., director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
Think cooking healthy meals is difficult and time-consuming? Think again. Annie Allen, a postsurgical nurse in Tampa Bay, Florida, let her freezer do half the work for her—and now she's down 52 pounds and runs about 10 races a year. "Frozen vegetables are as nutritious as fresh ones, and in minutes you have half of your meal prepared," she says. These frozen meals are also surprisingly healthy if you don't have time to mix and match one of your own.
I’ve learned a ton about health and fitness – specifically weight loss and motivation – over the past several months. So much so that I’ve recently become a personal trainer so that I could help others reach their health and fitness goals as well. I’m super excited about this new found passion and can’t wait to start helping more people. If you have any questions about this program or any other exercise program please don’t hesitate to ask – I’m here to help.
Portion size matters and it’s easy to fall into the habit of overeating and underestimating protein portions. An extra egg for breakfast, an additional ounce of nuts as a snack, or perhaps one more ounce of cheese on your salad–it all adds up. Too much dietary protein can drive down ketone production (Marliss 1978) when consumed in excess of our body’s needs. Read more about this in our deep dive on protein.
About: Helen’s a sweet and simple kind of girl. She’s a runner in mid-life whose goal is to live healthy while mixing in a bit of adventure too. But what really makes her blog special is the number of delicious, healthy recipes she has developed along the way. They’re easy to follow and loaded with pics. And although Helen does sometimes take long breaks between posts, when she does do an update, they're among the most well-read on her blog.
Switching from carbs to ketones does not happen overnight – it takes weeks of consistently restricting carbs for this process of keto-adaptation to fully occur. But once this process is complete, the body can burn fat at over twice the rate compared to when carbs were a major component of the diet (Phinney 1983, Volek 2016). And this remains true even when comparing highly trained athletes, where we have shown that high-level endurance training in the context of a high carbohydrate diet cannot come close to matching keto-adaptation in giving the body permission to burn fat.
A little garlic in your meals could mean a lot less weight around your middle. The results of a Korean study found that mice given a high-fat diet supplemented with garlic lost significantly more weight and abdominal fat than those who just ate fatty foods. Even better, they also improved their liver health, making it easier to stay healthy and burn off that excess fat in the long term. For more flavorful ways to make your food more enjoyable, turn to the 20 Spicy Recipes That Fire Up Your Metabolism and watch those pounds melt away.
Eat polyunsaturated fats. While saturated fat leads to the body's retention of visceral fat, causing abdominal girth and excessive weight gain, studies have shown that a diet high in polyunsaturated fat helps promote the production of muscle mass instead of body fat. Polyunsaturated fats can also help reduce cholesterol levels in the body, lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease. Sources of polyunsaturated fats include:
Nutrisystem is so accessible, you can even grab it at your local Walmart. There are a few different plans to choose from, but each of them has you eating 4 to 5 times a day — and every meal and snack is high-protein, high-fiber, and contains zero trans fat, MSG, or artificial preservatives. Those who use this diet are said to lose an average of 1 to 2 pounds per week.
About: Meg’s blog is a primary example of the two sides of online blogging: the challenges of knowing what to share (and how much of it to share), mixed with the benefits (the inspiration and encouragement bloggers get from their readers). Meg used to blog in private, but eventually morphed into a public blogger, where she shares not just her progress losing weight, but also recipes she’s tried, fitness that worked (and didn’t work) for her, stories, rants and so much more. Plus, her cat is really cute.
The fact of the matter is battling the bulge takes different strategies and approaches depending upon your genetics, your metabolism, your willpower, etc. What works for your buddy won’t necessarily be your be-all and end-all solution. To simplify things, we compiled plenty of tips to help rev your metabolism, lose your love handles, and unsheathe your abs. You’ll have to do some trial and error to deduce which ones work best for you (hey, losing weight is hard work). But if you put in the work (aka incorporate a few of these tips each week), you’ll be well on your way to a smaller waistline. Who said your glory days were in the past?
Too little sleep or too much sleep can throw your stress and regulatory hormones out of whack, and may lead to weight gain. A single night of sleep deprivation can increase levels of ghrelin (a hormone that promotes hunger), making you more likely to overeat the next day. Reduced sleep may also lead to fatigue during the day (duh) and less physical activity, which may be another reason why people who regularly don't get enough sleep tend to gain weight.
"Anytime you’re stressed, you probably go for food," Dr. Seltzer says. (Have we met?!) That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, stokes your appetite for sugary, fatty foods. No wonder it’s associated with higher body weight, according to a 2007 Obesity study that quantified chronic stress exposure by looking at cortisol concentrations in more than 2,000 adults’ hair.
Hi! I have to say 600 calories is terrible! You are going to starve your body. On average without exercise, your body burns at least 1400 calories, if you are eating only 600 calories you are not fueling your body with proper nutrition. When this happens your body goes into starvation mode and you end up gaining weight to, worse yet, end up sickly. Don’t do that to yourself, please! When I added more calories into my diet, I gradually added more, like a 200 a week. I gave myself an extra snack. I don’t recall if I gained weight at the beginning, but I do know I lost weight when I ate more. Don’t be afraid to eat!! What I would do if I were you is add more protein into your diet, like eggs, greek yogurt, lean chicken. You also need a little fat like avocado, olive oil or peanut butter. I personally found the hardest thing about dieting is not being able to stick to it. I dieted for 2 years lost weight, but then life happened. I eat healthy but what I started back when I was dieting I was eating low calorie, now I eat what normal people eat and I gained some weight back. But I realized what I was doing to my body back then, I wasn’t able to do that for the rest of my life. My advice is to eat healthy, eat what is in your calorie range and exercise for 30 minutes a day, even if it is just a walk. Doing this is a set-up for permanent weight lose and you will be healthy. I learned over the years that a healthy body on the inside, shows on the outside and even if you gain a little weight you are better off.
Late night snacking is certainly not conducive to weight loss. So it is advisable to finish your dinner by 8 p.m. You can indulge in a cup of tea or frozen yoghurt if you need something sweet after dinner. But late night munching should be avoided as much as possible as whatever you eat gets stored in the body as fat. Brush your teeth after dinner to ensure that you do not indulge in snacking between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Carbohydrates are considered to be the body's main source of energy and are quickly utilized by the brain and muscles. Carbs come in two forms: simple & complex. Processed and refined sugars are simple carbs, which are digested and absorbed quickly. Complex carbs pack in more nutrients and are digested more slowly, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
I really needed this. Been on the keto woe for 4 weeks and haven’t really lost. I am feeling good and I haven’t had a hot flash since week 2!! I was having them at least once an hour! So, totally worth it even without the weight loss. Plus, I’ve had several people tell me that I’m looking really good. Only 4 pounds lost, and clothes are fitting the same, but will keto on and hope that I see a change in the scale. I have about 60 pounds to lose to get to a good weight for me. I’ve been keeping my carbs low, but haven’t really focused on macros, but will start fine-tuning them. Just wanted to get used to the very low carb woe before worrying about fine-tuning. Again, thank you so much for the encouraging article!
Eating too little can be extremely dangerous for your body. According to Medical News Today, having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of under 18.5 can lead to malnutrition, osteoporosis, developmental problems, a weakened immune system, anemia, and chronic fatigue. Healthline reports that the average woman needs about 2000 calories per day to maintain her weight and about 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week, though you should consult with your healthcare provider to see what's best for you.
Teenage or adolescence is a crucial phase of our life. It is at this age that several hormonal changes take place within our body. It is also the growth phase and hence, special attention is required for the overall fitness of the body and mind. Unfortunately, lack of physical activity and consuming excessive junk food has pushed numerous teenagers into the obesity whirlpool. Being overweight affects their self-confidence and they often take to skipping meals or following fad diets to the point of starvation to attain their desired weight. But the results are usually not as good as expected and many teenagers end up with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, which deprives their bodies of vital nutrients.
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.
As noted above, our bike racer study (Phinney 1983) involved 9 lean men locked up while eating a precisely controlled ketogenic diet for 4 weeks. In addition to daily weights, three methods were used to determine changes in body composition. As a group, these subjects lost 1 kg of body weight in the first week of the ketogenic diet, all of which was attributable to reduced muscle glycogen stores (which were directly measured). After that, their weights were stable for the next 3 weeks. Unfortunately in this study we did not have the opportunity to measure metabolic rate, but based on our body composition data, anything over a 3% increase in energy expenditure associated with the ketogenic diet would have shown up as non-water associated weight loss (by implication, a loss of body fat). Clearly these 9 men did not demonstrate an obvious increase in body fat loss in the first 4 weeks of keto-adaptation.
Among the potential fat-burning substances, green tea may be among the better options. A review article published in Obesity Reviews in 2011 noted that although there isn't enough evidence to recommend most fat-burning supplements, green tea and caffeine have been shown to increase fat-burning. You may want to make green tea your beverage of choice. Not only is it calorie-free, but it also appears to enhance the belly fat loss brought on by exercise, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009. The combination of antioxidant substances called catechins and caffeine in the green tea may cause increased energy expenditure and fat-burning, according to a review article published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2011.
Hi Jennifer! I just spent about an hour looking over your blog and I love it. I especially love your weight loss story. It’s very motivational and informative. I just opened a Yogurtland in Brentwood a few days ago. Our grand opening is July 8th and I would love it if you came. Yes there are a ton of toppings that are not the best health choice, but we also have a lot of fresh fruit and other toppings that make frozen yogurt a good dessert choice for those that are trying to keep it healthy but also have a sweet tooth. Let me know if you would like to come on the 8th and please feel free to bring friends or family! Hope to meet you soon!
About: Elizabeth’s list of credentials for writing the kind of blog that helps you stay healthy is a long one — she graduated with dual degrees in food & nutrition and mass communication & journalism, and has now dedicated herself to developing healthy recipes and tips for achieving a wholesome, balanced lifestyle. She also shares her own musings — and her stunning photography — to add a personal touch that connects with readers in a meaningful way.
Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate how honest you are! I read a lot of stories and the answer is something like “I cut out soda and started walking” and they don’t talk about the really hard work, food choices, portion control, maintenance, etc. I’m also a person who can’t just eat anything & over the course of my marriage have gained a lot of weight – there’s something about weirdly trying to “keep up” with my much taller/larger husband who has a completely different metabolism! We are about to move & I finally feel really motivated to make changes in my lifestyle. I also appreciate that you are honest about your skin removal – so many people aren’t!!
While you may be tempted to eat as few calories as possible to lose weight more quickly, as mentioned above, it’s important that you don’t cut more than 1,000 calories from your daily diet or eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day — even if that means your energy deficit is smaller than 1,000 calories. Eat too little and you’ll slow down your metabolism and put yourself on track to regain the weight — often with a few extra pounds.
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 am mid 40s and already going through perimenopause phase sinc last year. Seems like I gained suddenly body fat even exercise with HIIT, cardio and weight lifting. I eat clean, no sugar, no flour and processed food. I assume it is to do with my hormone change. I have light period and shorter now these days. Still experiencing mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating and weight gain, hungry for sweets and salty before period. I try to find any articles about carb cycling for women who go through perimenopause phase but can’t find them.
There is at least one area where women have the edge, weight-wise. When men deposit fat, it most often goes to their middles, while women's excess weight tends to settle below the belt and in the middle. And it turns out that the "pear-shaped" body has a health advantage over the "apple": Those who carry extra fat mostly around their middles are at higher risk of developing heart disease than those who are bottom-heavy.
I came across your article at just the right time! I’ve been keto-ing for about a month now and only down four lbs. Was ready to give up and go back to my beloved cake, bread, and pasta. I have no doubt my body needs a lot of healing, and I hope that’s what I’m doing for it now. I’ll keep on going with my keto lifestyle because of your post. Thanks for this insight.
Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, one of my favorites, because it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving! Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal- the spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process.
I do want to tell you that I think it is great that you are on a weight loss journey and that you joined Sparks People. I have been with them for 5 years and I love it! It keeps me motivated! Your doing a great job and it is wonderful that you are eating clean and healthy, just remember that in life there are some not so great for you foods, but you should never deprive yourself. Everything in moderation, just be conscience of what your putting in your body!
Track your portions to identify total carbohydrates. A serving of nuts (1 ounce) with 5 grams of carbs quickly adds up to 10 grams if you consume a second serving. Many people count carbs when they begin a low carb lifestyle, but they eventually stop counting. If you were losing weight consistently when you were more closely tracking, a reset period of going back to counting can make a big difference.
Skipping meals is actually counter-productive when it comes to losing weight. In fact, you should eat frequent small portions every 3 to 4 hours in a day. You should try and consume at least five meals a day. Eating several small portions will also keep your blood sugar level steady. Most people have this misconception that skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories. But the fact is, when you skip breakfast, you experience hunger pangs and end up binging during lunch. Certain studies have also observed that people who eat breakfast tend to have lower BMIs.
Thank you so much, Cindy! You should absolutely document your journey! It makes such a big difference to have people to cheer you on and especially for you to have those pictures to look back on your journey. You can do it, one small change at a time. If you decide to document your journey on a blog or social media, please share it with me. I’d love to cheer you on!
If you're specifically looking to target your belly, we have some bad news: you can't spot-target fat loss. That means you can do crunches or planks all day long, but you won't specifically burn belly fat. Instead, you can lose body fat overall, including from your belly. And by avoiding certain belly-bloating foods and with some strategic exercise, you will inevitably see results in your belly.
What to eat to lose weight is a sticky subject because there are so many diets on the market right now. You must use a diet that helps you eat the best food, and you need a diet that is tailored to your body. Someone who plans to lose weight must have a diet that fits into their exercise routine, and they must be willing to eat things that they might not have eaten before.
Jen Mellor is a full-time mom and blogger for the inspiring weight loss blog, Just Average Jen. Jen has lost over 140 pounds through healthy eating and shares with us her tips for weight loss, healthy, vegetarian-friendly recipes, and the trials and tribulations of her life and journey to keeping the weight off, all while staying happy and healthy. Her weight loss journey is not only inspiring but has shown us that she is, in fact, anything but average!