“It’s far more difficult to eat a healthier diet and fit in exercise if you don’t plan ahead. Plan out your meals for the week ahead and go grocery shopping over the weekend to ensure you have the ingredients you need on hand. If you can, do some meal prep in your down time—cut fresh veggies, marinate your protein, cook up a batch of whole grains in advance. When you’re prepared you’re far less likely to order takeout. — Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, culinary-nutrition consultant and founder of Nutritioulicious
In other words? “Drinking makes you more likely to eat sh*t,” Dr. Seltzer says, referring to drunk foods. At the same time, he stops short of asking patients to quit alcohol cold-turkey to lose weight. Plus, research suggests you don’t have to, as long as your intake is moderate—i.e., less than about a drink a day. “If you drink a glass of wine every night and notice you eat more afterward, eat less early to account for this,” he says. “Or, if you’re drinking four glasses of wine a week, drink three instead so you’ll won’t feel such a big difference.”
Some experts argue that instead of dieting leading to long-term weight gain, the relationship goes in the other direction: People who are genetically prone to gain weight are more likely to diet. To test this idea, in a 2012 study, researchers followed over 4,000 twins aged 16 to 25. Dieters were more likely to gain weight than their non-dieting identical twins, suggesting that dieting does indeed increase weight gain even after accounting for genetic background. The difference in weight gain was even larger between fraternal twins, so dieters may also have a higher genetic tendency to gain. The study found that a single diet increased the odds of becoming overweight by a factor of two in men and three in women. Women who had gone on two or more diets during the study were five times as likely to become overweight.
Avoiding salt doesn’t mean your food has to be bland. Experiment with using different herbs and spices. Try adding fresh cilantro and cumin to grilled fish, lemon and rosemary to chicken, or ginger and Chinese five spice to tempeh or beef. Pick up some spice blends from your local market to help add more spice to your life… just read the ingredients and make sure there’s no salt added.
Often, even small changes in your diet can help you lose weight. For instance, just replacing an unhealthy snack every day with fruits and vegetables, or eliminating an evening snack, can result in weight loss, said Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietitian and an op-ed contributor to Live Science. "If people make minor changes that they can live with, it's more likely that they can lose the weight and keep it off," Tallmadge said. [ 4 Calorie-Cutting Tips That Won't Leave You Hungry]
You don’t have to be the next Usain Bolt in the making to enjoy some serious belly-slimming results from hitting the track from time to time. Even a moderate-rate jog a few times a week can blast through that belly fat; in fact, a study conducted at Duke University Medical Center found that, over the course of an eight-month study, overweight adult study subjects who jogged 12 miles a week lost the most belly fat and burned 67 percent more calories than participants who did an equivalent amount of resistance exercise, or a combination of cardio and resistance work.

3. Twist: One foot placed slightly in front of the other with body facing the corner. This should resemble the movement of wringing a towel while taking knees further “inward” and opening body in the opposite direction. Start with knees bent and straighten with the twist by lifting the hip and leading it to the opposite corner.10 reps each side, then 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10)
34. Purge Your Cupboards – Throw out all of the processed, sugar-filled junk food so you aren’t tempted by it, especially these 7 most addictive unhealthy foods. If it’s not convenient, you’re much less likely to eat it. Instead, keep fruits and vegetables visible and readily available.37 This small change is associated with increased fruit and vegetable consumption, which could make all the difference in your weight loss efforts.38
Basically, every single person has a unique calorie maintenance level. This is the amount of calories that your body requires each day to burn for energy to perform all of the tasks it needs to perform. From intense exercise like cardio and weight training, to simple daily tasks like brushing your teeth and getting dressed, to the various physiological functions needed to keep you alive (like digesting and breathing).
In a new study, Stanford University researchers put more than 600 overweight adults on either a healthy low-fat or low-carb diet. It turns out, participants had similar levels of weight loss success on each plan. Researchers looked for clues (such as insulin levels and gene patterns) to see if there are any factors that might make someone more successful on either diet, but after combing through the data, they were not able to make any connections. Since it may take years before scientists discover individual traits that could lead to more success on one plan compared to another, for now, we can learn a lot — and lose a lot! — by recognizing the dieting advice that all experts agree on.
A new German study found that when you drink 17 ounces of water (about two glasses) within a certain time frame, your metabolic rate shoots up by about 30 percent. Using these results, they estimate that by increasing your current water intake by 1.5 liters a day, a person would burn an extra 17,400 calories a year, resulting in about a five-pound weight loss.
Plus, it’s way more likely that you’re losing lean muscle mass over fat. “Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it takes the body more calories at rest to maintain muscle,” explains Feller. “When a person loses weight quickly, the body begins to break down that muscle.” And since you don’t want to drop your muscle mass, it’s clearly not the smart way to go. (After All, Just Look at These Women Who Prove Being Strong Is Dead Sexy.)
“When you’re anxious, your body feels like it’s under a tremendous amount of stress all the time. This is why anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. Two of the most proven cures for anxiety are exercise and spending time in nature. Combine both with an outdoor run or bike ride and race away from the anxiousness. Making this habit part of your lifestyle can help you stay lean for life.” — David Zinczenko, author of the  Zero Belly Cookbook
Talk about a catch-22: Doing something healthy, like eating a low-cal meal, can make you less likely to exercise and more likely to gorge yourself with food later on. This is because of a phenomenon scientists call licensing, which happens when we feel that we've earned the right to be self-indulgent. Most people have a tendency to want to balance things out, says Kathleen Vohs, PhD, an associate professor of marketing at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. So when we do one thing that's good for our health, which often requires exerting plenty of discipline and self-control, we like to follow it up with something that lets us indulge ourselves.
Some great breakfast foods include any one or two of the following: oatmeal 125ml or half a cup, eggs (2), 1 slice of wholegrain bread with a thin spread of nut butter 15 ml or 1 tbsp), low-fat cottage cheese (125 ml or half a cup) with fruit, plus any serving of fruit and a glass of reduced fat milk, soy milk or almond milk, tea or coffee without sugar. Some wholegrain breakfast cereals with milk would also be fine but read the label. You want to see higher protein than fat or sugar.
But the combination of the fact that I hate actually doing cardio (and hardly ever do anymore despite closing in on single digit body fat levels as we speak), rarely ever recommend it by default for fat loss or muscle growth, and think it’s by far the most overrated component of improving body composition in general… I’ve been finding it hard to actually start writing about it.

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.
Fathi, Y., Faghih, S., Zibaeenezhad, M. J., & Tabatabaei, S. H. (2016, February). Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition, 55(1), 295–304. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-015-0846-9
Green tea isn't known only for its cancer-fighting benefits: It may help boost your metabolism, too. People who took green-tea extract three times a day saw their metabolic rate increase by about 4 percent, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Translation: You could burn an extra 60 calories a day, which equals about six pounds a year!) It may be because green tea contains catechins, which increase levels of the metabolism-speeding brain chemical norepinephrine, says Joy Bauer, a New York City nutritionist and author of Cooking with Joy.
Also, men tend to lose weight where they need it most (read: belly), so it's often more immediately noticeable when overweight men start trimming down than when women do, as ladies' fat stores are typically more spread out, which is partly why they tend to lose weight at a slower pace than guys. Even basic, regular exercise -- ideally 30 to 60 minutes a day -- tends to reduce abdominal obesity, even if guys don’t technically lose weight.
Sitting around can make you flabby. No surprise there, but despite what you may think, the culprit is not just a lack of exercise. In fact, the physical act of sitting or lying down may actually speed up your body's production of fat. When we lounge on a sofa or in a chair, we exert forces on our cells that cause them to become stretched out and to generate flab, researchers say. Glued to your desk every day for eight hours or more? You need to take action, says Richard Atkinson, MD, a clinical professor of pathology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Get up and walk around for five minutes at least once an hour. Take a stroll around the office. Go talk to a coworker rather than sending her an e-mail. Pace back and forth while talking on the phone. "Just standing — even if you're not moving — uses significantly more muscles than sitting down," Dr. Atkinson says. At home, when you're watching TV, get up and jog in place or do jumping jacks during commercials. These short bursts of exercise can help you burn 148 calories an hour and keep your cells slim, not flabby.
“I would focus on proteins from lean and minimally processed sources, two weekly servings of fish, carbohydrates from starchy vegetables, fruits, and legumes, and fats from plant-based sources,” says Feller. You’ll also want to stay seriously hydrated, as “water may help fill you up,” says Gans. Studies show that drinking just two glasses of water before a meal can help you consume less calories, and drinking throughout the day can keep you from misinterpreting thirst cues as hunger pangs.
Bird-dog is an excellent exercise to stabilize the lower back (spine) during extremity movement. It works on abs, back, hips and butt. Begin with a hands and knees position (downward dog) with your fingers pointing forward. Make sure that your hands are under your shoulders and knees are under your hips. Slowly stretch your opposite leg and arm almost parallel to the floor. Hold your balance for a few seconds without arching or sagging your back. Return to the initial position slowly and repeat the same alternating sides.

“Whether you have ten pounds to lose or 100, the first thing you should do is create an environment for success. That requires removing all temptation from your kitchen. “Collect all of the processed, sugary and fatty foods from your house, and bring them to a local food bank for donation. Then restock your kitchen with healthy groceries—real, natural, whole foods—like fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds and lean proteins like turkey, chicken, fish and eggs.” — Chris Powell, the trainer who has helped hundreds of overweight people lose up to half their body weight on ABC’s reality series  Extreme Weight Loss
One of the easiest ways to burn some extra calories is to get up from your chair at work; standing burns 50 more calories per hour than sitting, according to a British study. If you are lucky enough to have a standing desk, make sure you utilize it. If not, you can easily make your own by stacking books or boxes on your desk and standing up to work. At the very least, make sure you’re taking a break every hour to stand up and stretch, and possibly go for a walk around the office. Every bit of movement counts!
56. Eat Dinner Out Only 2x Per Week – Limit restaurant meals to 2x per week. Restaurant meals typically contain a lot more fat and calories than the meals you would cook at home, and one study found that eating at restaurants could be as bad for your waistline as eating fast food. Limiting the number of times you eat out per week can help you better control your calorie intake, making it easier for you to lose weight.53
Plus, it’s way more likely that you’re losing lean muscle mass over fat. “Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it takes the body more calories at rest to maintain muscle,” explains Feller. “When a person loses weight quickly, the body begins to break down that muscle.” And since you don’t want to drop your muscle mass, it’s clearly not the smart way to go. (After All, Just Look at These Women Who Prove Being Strong Is Dead Sexy.)

That's why one of the most widely used gauges of whether a person needs to shed pounds is body mass index (BMI) — an indicator of body fatness developed by Belgian statistician Adolphe Quetelet in 1832 that's based on the ratio of height to weight. For example, a person who is 5 feet 7 inches (1.7 meters) and weighs 172 lbs. (78 kg) would have a BMI of 27. [BMI Calculator: What's My BMI]


One of the best plank variations involves crawling. This exercise routine helps you tone your abs, back, and shoulders. Crawls are designed to use the upper and lower body in unison. To do a plank crawl you need to get in a pushup position, then lowering yourself down into the plank position by balancing on your forearms, elbows and toes. Now balance on one arm the come back to your initial push-up position, repeat the process by alternating the arm. You have to maintain a straight body during the exercise routine. Plank is commonly practiced in Pilates and yoga. You can decrease the difficulty level by lowering your knees to the floor.
Stress wreaks havoc on every part of your body, and can lead to breakouts, joint pain, headaches, and yes, even excess belly fat. That’s because when you’re stressed, your body pumps out extra cortisol, that not-so-great hormone you keep hearing about. Studies show that cortisol not only spikes your appetite, but may also redistribute body fat to your belly area, according to a review published in the journal Obesity.
60. Order Steamed, Not Sauteed – “Steamed” means that a food was cooked using the steam from boiling water, and it’s a cooking method that preserves more of the beneficial vitamins and nutrients than many other cooking methods.54 “Sauteeing” refers to cooking foods in some fat over high heat. Many restaurants use loads of fat like butter and other calorie-dense cooking oils for sauteed dishes. So steam your veggies to get the most nutritional bang from your broccoli with minimal calories.

Coolsculpting is a nonsurgical way of getting rid of fats in the midsection areas. Some people try to get rid of belly fat through diet to no avail. Cool sculpting involves applying cold on areas like the belly so that the fat cells can freeze. Once they freeze, they die, and your body absorbs the body cells with time. While this treatment can cause some discomfort in the midsection, it helps to reshape your body by getting rid of belly fat.

Dairy products, especially in lactose intolerant people, cause uncomfortable gas conditions and bloating. This happens because they have difficulty digesting ‘lactose’, the sugar found in dairy. We suggest that you have yogurt and stick to smaller portions of milk and its products. It will also be great for your shape if you eat milk products along with other foods.
17. Workout First Thing In The Morning – Get your workout done first thing in the morning and you won’t have to worry about squeezing it in later in the day. Set your alarm to wake up 30-60 minutes earlier so you can either do an at-home workout or hit the gym before heading to the office. This is also a great way to wake up, increase your energy, and improve your work performance for the rest of the day.

And what fat loss comes down to is simply a caloric deficit. Which means either burning more calories, eating less calories, or a combination of the two. And when you get down to it, it’s just a whole lot easier for most people to eat (for example) 500 less calories per day than it will be for them to try to burn those same 500 calories every single day. That’s why diet alone gets the job done just fine, and diet and exercise combined gets the job done too. But exercise alone? That’s the least effective of the group by far.


This coordinated brain response is a major reason that dieters find weight loss so hard to achieve and maintain. For example, men with severe obesity have only one chance in 1,290 of reaching the normal weight range within a year; severely obese women have one chance in 677. A vast majority of those who beat the odds are likely to end up gaining the weight back over the next five years. In private, even the diet industry agrees that weight loss is rarely sustained. A report for members of the industry stated: “In 2002, 231 million Europeans attempted some form of diet. Of these only 1 percent will achieve permanent weight loss.”
My question: even if you incorporate weight training or other resistance exercises into your exercise programming, won’t your weight loss almost inevitably involve a percent loss of lean body mass as well as fat? In my experience, if I lose weight strictly by dieting and don’t exercise at all, based on % body fat measurements, about 50% of my weight loss is fat and about 50% is LBM. If I add 45-60 minutes of exercise 4-5 times per week, about 2/3’s moderate-intense eliptical and 1/3 weights/resistance exercise, I can change that ratio from 1:1 to maybe 3:1 (i.e. 75% of the weight loss seems to be fat.) Under ideal conditions, is it possible to completely eliminate muscle loss when losing weight? My interest in this fraction is that it affects the estimate of what my final weight should be to obtain a given % body fat.
Real talk: It could take weeks or months to see the metabolic effects of exercise on the scale, and even then, building muscle, which is denser than body fat, could lead to weight gain. “Do what you like because it’s good for you,” Dr. Seltzer says, noting the way exercise is awesome for your heart, mental health, and more—and that not all measure of progress can be seen on the scale.
I need to drop a lot of weight and after reading your article felt that I could ditch the stupid crap I have on my bookshelf. Unfortunately, I have a tremendous burden of laziness these days and was wondering if you have any witty, blunt or military-like motivation you can share with me. I need to move my fat a–, but have lost all desire to take this seriously.

Ketchup has very little nutritional value as compared to the fruit from which it is derived. But if you’re looking for an alternative for ketchup, salsa is just the sauce to help you lose weight fast and retain the tangy taste. A study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan suggests that since salsa is made from fresh tomatoes which contain lycopene, it doesn’t just help reduce fat overall but also specifically around the belly. If you like your salsa spicy, it’s even better because the capsicum in hot peppers like jalapenos and chipotle will help you boost metabolism and in turn reduce weight.

First of all, just want to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise to me and many other people who benefit tremendously from it. I’ve been working out following your recommended routine in your book since a year ago, and switched to follow your suggested fat loss diet/workout routine 9 weeks ago. All I can say is although I did have self-doubt or frustration for very short periods during the process, I trust and stick with your routine and am amazed with the progress I’ve made. Thank you!


Mason, A. E., Epel, E. S., Aschbacher, K., Lustig, R. H., Acree, M., Kristeller, J., … Daubenmier, J. (2016, May 1). Reduced reward-driven eating accounts for the impact of a mindfulness-based diet and exercise intervention on weight loss: Data from the SHINE randomized controlled trial. Appetite , 100, 86–93. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4799744/
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