And maybe a new mattress, because it’s not just the amount of time you spend sleeping that keeps you lean, it’s also the quality of your sleep. Fat cells in your body produce a hormone called leptin that helps the body keep track of how much potential energy (i.e. fat) it has stored. But leptin is only produced during certain stages of sleep. Miss out on those stages because you’re not resting soundly enough, and you’ll disturb levels of the hormone, leaving your body with no real idea of its energy reserves. Consequently, you’ll end up storing calories rather than burning them.
Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds alot like my journey with weight. You are a brave young woman. We had the quinoa pizza bites and they were delicious. I have celiac disease and love coming across great gluten free recipes. My brother stopped by and tried one and he even liked it. That is a great compliment as he thinks every thing I make is “freaky hippy food”

In fact, anything that is white or can be white. So no pastas, no rice, no breads, no oatmeal, no potatoes, etc. However, I still ate a ton of carbohydrates. I just ate better high-fiber carbs such as black beans, kidney beans, and lentils. The latter I didn’t really enjoy, so most of my meals were made up of beans. The picture to the left is an example of what I would eat for supper. This night I had a spread of black beans, cooked frozen veggies, and sliced ham. I basically substituted the ham for any other meat – chicken, beef, or pork mostly – and alternated between black and kidney beans. Note – if you find your food getting bland, try using mustard and pepper. For lunch, I’ll often take 1/2-1 can of tuna, 1-2 cups of frozen veggies, and a big scoop of bean, cook in the microwave, add a couple squeezes of mustard and pepper and shake.
Lisa began Workout Mommy in 2007. Back then, she was a busy mom of two who found out that continuing her pre-motherhood commitment to health and fitness wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be. Now a single mother of four, she admits it’s even hard to find the time to commit to fitness. She writes her blog to inspire others to make that time, and holds herself accountable for finding it as well. Visit the blog.
Drinking fluids does not mean you have to gorge on aerated drinks, sodas and processed juices as they load your body with calories. Water is the best liquid that not only hydrates your body but also removes toxins from your system. It is advisable to drink at least 3 liters of water in a day. Other fluids you can consume include unsweetened fruits juices diluted with water and low fat milk. Green tea is also a great option to lose weight. Fruit and vegetable juices are devoid of fiber, so eating whole fruits and vegetables is a better option.
It takes more than just crunches! We start to gain weight in our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When this happens cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. That stress can even get WORSE with bad dieting; studies show that the stress caused by dieting can increase cortisol levels, making no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction. So how do you shape up? Incorporate these 6 things below and you will be on your way to a flatter belly in no time flat!
Skip the cream and sugar in your cup of joe, and opt for it black to help you lose weight fast. Black coffee has zero calories, and it can help you burn calories faster. According to a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was 16 percent higher than that of those who drank decaf.

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.
Several low carb diets are gaining prominence these days. But they can prove to be unhealthy as they often eliminate whole food groups, thus depriving you of the nutrients from those food groups. These diets are often high in saturated unhealthy fats that can cause high cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. Some other diets eliminate dairy foods like milk, yoghurt and cheese. These food items are a good source of calcium which is vital for healthy bones and their proper growth. So think hard before you decide to get on a diet.
Sometimes, you might need an external motivator—like a race or a competition—to keep you on track. After a slow start to her slimdown, Maribel Contreras decided to sign up for a 12-week body transformation contest at her gym. She swapped out her fast-food trips for healthy homemade meals and revved up her workouts, which ultimately helped her win the competition. She now maintains a 77-pounds-lighter frame. 
Want a flatter stomach? Look in your glass—milk and soda are two major causes of tummy inflation. Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, which means that your glass of warm milk before bed may be the reason you wake up with too-tight pajamas. And when it comes to soda, both regular and diet are belly busters both from the sweeteners used and the carbonation. Try eliminating these from your diet and see if it helps flatten your tummy.
Very low levels of thyroid hormone usually indicate an autoimmune reaction to the thyroid gland itself. This means you’ll have to take thyroid hormone supplements orally, usually the stable form T4 (Levaxin), which your doctor can prescribe for you. Your body will transform this into the active T3 hormone when necessary. The supplement dose should be adjusted so that you reach normal hormone levels (TSH, T3, T4) and sufficiently alleviate symptoms – though a few people feel best when keeping TSH slightly below normal.
About: Kelsey’s blog is packed with easy-to-follow healthy recipes and fitness routines (and they’re not just your run-of-the-mill workouts, either). They’re formulated or endorsed from Kelsey herself — a 50 pound weight loss success story. Kelsey had been pretty fit and thin her whole life, but shortly after leaving college, countless nights of eating out and drinking led to her packing on an extra 50 pounds. Unhappy, Kelsey decided to make a change. What’s especially inspirational about her story is that she did so slowly. She made small changes, slowly started eating cleaner and eventually lost all the weight. Now, five years later, she’s still fit and sharing her story on her blog and in her books, fitness routines and recipes with readers. She even hosts weight loss challenges (with cash prizes) to really cheer people on and give them incentive to keep going.
Figure out how many calories you should eat each day to lose weight. Losing weight isn't all about weight. The more aware you are of the calories in the food you eat, the more easily you'll be able to eat the right amount of food and do the right amount of exercise to drop a couple of pounds. Take your food journal and look up each item individually. Keep a running tally and add up your calorie total for the day.
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.[7] Polyunsaturated fats can also help reduce cholesterol levels in the body, lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease.[8] Sources of polyunsaturated fats include:[9]
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!
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.
About: If the title alone doesn’t draw you in, we don’t know what will. Start with Mariana’s “About the Fluff” section, and by then you’re for sure hooked. Mariana is a Puerto Rican on a journey to get rid of everything that weighs her down, whether that’s extra pounds, distractions from living a healthy life, unhealthy relationships, stress, you name it. Her blog is a day-by-day, step-by-step process that blends humor with reality in a way you’re darn sure going to understand if you’ve ever struggled with weight.
I’m finding the same thing right now for my marathon training. I’ve been trying to hybrid a marathon training / weight loss program – but they don’t necessarily overlap. Don’t get me wrong – running a lot and eating well is bound to shed off some weight, but I’ll eventually move my diet and workout to align with my marathon goal over my weight loss efforts.
When you start eating keto with weight loss in mind, you kind of have to trust the process. What you are doing is feeding your body all the nutrients it needs to heal, build, release and do whatever it needs to do in order to move towards optimal health. Some women will experience this as a fairly drastic weight loss, and others will experience this as a slow 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.
3. Be realistic about which habits need to go. "When I was heavy, I'd eat French fries every single day, plus carbs at almost every meal—like a sandwich for lunch or bread with pasta for dinner. A diet so heavy in fried food and carbs just isn't conducive to weight loss. To lose the weight, I went from three large meals a day to six small meals, mostly made of fresh vegetable salads with lean meats and nuts. And no more bread!"
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.

About: Shannon’s a fit girl, but her mission in life is to get even fitter — and motivate others to join her along the way. She’s also a full-time marketing executive, but her true passion is bringing together and inspiring them to reach their goals. You’ll find her posts are full of positivity, motivation, practical tips for exercising (without killing yourself) and even fun fashion bits. If the sun was shining through a blog, it would be shining through Shannon’s.
When you drink liquid carbs, like the sugar in soda, your body doesn't register them the same way as, say, a piece of bread, according to a review of studies published in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care. That means, even though you're taking in calories, your fullness cues aren't likely to signal that you're satisfied once you finish off a can. And that can lead to consuming more overall.

I try my very hardest not to compare myself to others. Everyone is going to have a different journey. It’s hard when I can look at people that seem like they can eat whatever they want and not have to work hard to look great. I get that. But my journey is about the progress I an making and discovering my best self. I found a community to celebrate accomplishments together, which was a game changer. It is helpful, fun, and encouraging having buddies to journey with.
Furthermore, when we studied 9 lean healthy young men and fed them first a ‘balanced diet’ for a week locked in a metabolic ward and then the exact same calories as a ketogenic diet for 4 weeks, they did not lose any body fat (only about 2 pounds of water) despite being consistently and strongly in nutritional ketosis. (Phinney 1983)  And finally, the 10 low carb runners from our FASTER Study had been following a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle for at least 6 months (average blood ketones of 0.6 mmol/L); but while thin, none of them were continuing to lose significant weight (Volek 2016).
I loved reading your weight loss history. I’ve been struggling since my childhood with my weight and I still continue to struggle with it. I also used sparks people back in the day and have recently began counting my points. I’ve been able to drop 10 pounds but I’ve been stuck for the past month. It’s been a frustrating journey but I continue to stay focused. I like the tips that you have shared. I truly believe in moderation. I don’t like giving up a certain food item. Thanks again for your tips! If you have anymore please share 🙂

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.


Justine McCabe’s weight loss transformation story began in early 2015 after her husband unexpectedly and tragically committed suicide. Weighing 313 pounds at the time, his death shook her awake and made her realize she had to make a lot of changes. By taking control of her health, she chose to live. Justine documented her weight loss transformation in 365 days of selfies and continues to share her journey on her blog where she has lost 126 pounds, and counting!
1) The amount of fat your body can burn is limited to about 2 pounds per week. With this in mind, it is realistic to set a goal of losing 10 pounds of fat in 5 weeks. Or even 20 pounds in 3 months - provided you adjust your weight loss diet and workout routine for the plateau periods. But you have to make sure that you absolutely follow a smart, well-structured plan.
Close the Kitchen at Night. Establish a time when you will stop eating so you won't give in to the late-night munchies or mindless snacking while watching television. "Have a cup of tea, suck on a piece of hard candy or enjoy a small bowl of light ice cream or frozen yogurt if you want something sweet after dinner, but then brush your teeth so you will be less likely to eat or drink anything else," suggests Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, WebMD's "Recipe Doctor" and the author of Comfort Food Makeovers.
I am 40 years old, I weigh about 146 and I am 5’5″. I haven’t been down to 130 in a couple of years, but I have always felt more comfortable and more confident in my own skin at that weight. I wouldn’t mind to get down to 128, but how? My weight fluctuates all the time, literally, I feel like I can gain 2 lbs in a day…I dont know when your ebook will be out, but I would love to lose this weight once and for all and keep it off. As I have gotten older, it is definitely harder to lose weight and keep it off. mI do get exercise, about 20-30 mins 3-4 x a week. Can you help?? Any advice?? Thank you in advance!!
Fitness and nutrition were my two focus areas, and I completed some sort of action for them each day. Fitness each day looked different, but it was usually an hour of busting my butt. If you’re a list person, this is a tangible action that can be “checked off your list.” In my opinion, nutrition is not as concrete. Again, if you’re a list person, it’s a little difficult because either you write things like “eat balanced, nutritious breakfast” or “don’t eat sweets” or whatever. It also lasts all day long instead of one hour. This category leaves a lot of room for improvement.

"Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly."


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.

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!
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.

Dietary medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) and medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) cannot be stored by the body, so they need to be burned immediately upon absorption from the small bowel, as a buildup of MCFAs in the bloodstream is dangerous.  So if one’s intake of MCT/MCFA at any point in time is greater than one’s peak fat oxidation capacity, the liver has to step in and reduce the toxic excess of MCFAs to ketones, which are more readily used and far less dangerous.  While this rise in ketones induced by MCT oil consumption can trigger some of the epigenetic benefits associated with nutritional ketosis, it does not induce the accelerated ability to burn fat associated with keto-adaptation.  And this has implications for our quest to understand the relationship between ketones and weight loss.


Drinking fluids does not mean you have to gorge on aerated drinks, sodas and processed juices as they load your body with calories. Water is the best liquid that not only hydrates your body but also removes toxins from your system. It is advisable to drink at least 3 liters of water in a day. Other fluids you can consume include unsweetened fruits juices diluted with water and low fat milk. Green tea is also a great option to lose weight. Fruit and vegetable juices are devoid of fiber, so eating whole fruits and vegetables is a better option.

Yes whey: the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-protein shakes are a vital part of a weight loss plan, so don’t hold back – especially at breakfast. According to research from the University of Bath, eat 700 calories before 11am and you’ll have better blood sugar levels than those who skipped the most important meal of the day. It’s the best excuse you’ll have of sticking with a morning fry-up and avoiding a costly Starbucks lunch.


Nutritional ketosis induced by carbohydrate restriction is often associated with major weight loss, which raises some important questions. Do ketones cause weight loss? Do ketones promote a metabolic condition whereby fat melts away to a greater extent than a non-ketogenic diet of equal energy content?  Alternatively, can a person maintain or even gain weight while in nutritional ketosis?  To explore the answers to these questions, we need to venture into the complex inter-relationships between keto-adaptation, appetite, energy balance and weight loss.

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!
HIIT elicits the same health benefits as steady-state cardio, but can lead to even greater improvements in body composition, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.[1-3] And you definitely burn more calories when you do it! Additionally, the release of hormones like epinephrine increases with high-intensity exercise, which can help your body use more fat for fuel.[1]

Stress may contribute to abdominal fat, according to several studies, including a recent one at the University of California, San Francisco. "When you're stressed, hormones like cortisol stimulate your appetite, slow your metabolism down and encourage fat storage inside your abdomen," explains Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Clinic at the University of Utah. So what's a frazzled girl to do? "Find an activity that reduces stress for you, whether it's listening to soothing music or taking yoga, and do it daily," advises Talbott.
Thank you for offering a simple diet plan and sharing your results. I have been on a personal journey to lose weight and have been unsuccessful for many years. I am making a 2 week commitment to stick to the diet plan you have outlined. My biggest problem is night time eating and very low self-esteem. I am looking forward to starting this. Any suggestions for me? Thanks!
When boredom strikes, your pantry may be one of the first places you turn. But if your pantry is filled with high-calorie, high-fat foods, over time, the scale will tip in the wrong direction. Counter these temptations by tossing the junk food and replacing it with wholesome, nutritional snack options. It’s time to give your pantry a healthy makeover by tossing the following five foods for good!
Hi Abby! I think it’s wonderful that you want to get and stay healthy! Good for you! I wish I had some miracle advice and I do want to clarify that I’m not a doctor so this advice is purely coming from my own experience, but I’m probably just going to be repeating what everybody else already says! Eat healthy. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Try to limit the junk food, but also don’t make it off-limits for yourself, because that may just make you want to eat it more! Stay active. Try to find things you like doing, so that you enjoy and look forward to exercise, whether that’s a sport or running or yoga or going on long walks. And do things to work on your self-confidence. A lot of people believe that you gain confidence after you reach your goal of losing weight, but I found that it was when I started having a better self-esteem that I lost the most weight! Good luck, Abby! Keep me updated!
“If there’s one thing that comes up over and over with the thousands of patients enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry, it’s weighing yourself every day on a scale,” says Rena Wing, Ph.D., founder of the registry, which tracks more than 4,500 men and women who have lost an average of 20lbs or more and kept it off for at least six years. “Don’t obsess over the number,” she says, “but at least keep track of the general range of what you weigh so you can catch small changes as they occur and take corrective measures immediately.”
Being in optimal ketosis for a prolonged period of time (say, a month) will ensure that you experience the maximal hormonal effect from eating a low-carb diet. If this doesn’t result in noticeable weight loss, you can be certain that too many carbs are NOT part of your weight issue and not the obstacle to your weight loss. There are, in fact, other causes of obesity and being overweight. The next three tips in this series might help you.

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.
Well done Jennifer. Inspirational. I also know from personal experience how hard it is to lose weight. It takes discipline to push through no matter what you’re feeling. For me it was getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning (Mon – Fri) to exercise but when I saw some photos of me while my wife and I were on holiday, that was all the motivation , that I need.. very fantastic

Consider them “good carbs”. Their bulk takes up space in your stomach, helping you feel full and eat less. The top fiber food: beans, which contain 8g per 1/2 cup. Research shows that guys who added 12g of fiber a day to their diet lost a quarter of an inch from their love handles, without otherwise modifying their diet. Here are some of the best sources.
Some people feel better supplementing the already active T3 (sometimes prepared from pig thyroid glands), as it can give a stronger effect than the T4 hormone, but its effect is often harder to control. Swedish healthcare rarely prescribes or offers such T3 treatment, as it often lacks advantages and may pose a risk when doses are high for an extended period of time.
I am not a “medicine person” AT ALL. Still to this day, I avoid it like the plague. Yet I had been thrust, by our own doing, into this busy, crazy, stressful world so quickly that I didn’t know how to cope. And literally within months, I had gained 60lbs. And that 60 was on top of the weight I had already gained from just “playing” a little too hard. Not partying or drinking or anything, just indulging, traveling and being so busy that fast food was my best friend. By the end of 2006, I topped off around 200lbs. Yes, not the easiest thing to write on a public blog. So here’s the proof…
About: Alicia is no stranger to blogging. She’s had a few in the last decade, including “Girls Just Wanna Be Healthy,” where she shared her struggles and triumphs as she sought to drop from 190 to 159. But she just recently launched her new blog, where Alicia has morphed from someone who spent her entire life being embarrassed and ashamed of her body into a confident young woman ready to share herself — and maybe help a few others along the way.
Make lunch at home and bring it to work. That way, you know of every single ingredient that's going into your meal. Not to mention it'll save you the cost of buying a lunch. Cleveland Clinic recommends making sure one half of your plate is filled with leafy greens, one quarter is lean meat, and the other quarter is whole grains like brown rice or barley.
Personally, I find the cheat day important because it gives you something to look forward to. This diet is a huge change from most Westerners’ lifestyles. With the diet comes a lot of cravings, especially in the beginning. I would make a little note of anything that I was craving and made sure I went out and bought it Saturday morning. For example, this is what my first cheat day looked like:
Katie Foster is a mother and healthy lifestyle blogger for Running For Cookies. After struggling with being overweight her entire life, constant yo-yo dieting, and her weight reaching a high of 253 pounds, she decided to make a change for good when her weight prevented her from teaching her son how to ride a bike. Katie documents her 125-pound weight loss journey and her battle with mental health, along with healthy recipes, running advice, and motivation that helped her reach her goals and accept herself on her blog.
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