For weeks, if not months, you’ve known you have that beach vacation with your girl, your friend’s wedding (with all the single bridesmaids), that video shoot at work. But suddenly, you’re looking at a calendar and the big day is just a week away. Unless you have superhuman confidence or single-digit body fat, you’re probably concerned everyone’s eyes will be less on your personality and more on the cheeseburgers and beers hanging around from the past few weeks.
I have been on a very good diet for a while, a while as in at least the last five years. Initially I lost 10kgs but now I’m just stuck – to be lean I would still have to lose another 5kgs, I’m a little squishy. Obviously I have a cheat day, possibly once a week. I also work out 4 days a week, with the odd surfing expedition in there as well. I was on 1000 – 1200 calories a day. Can you help?
I used to have pretty slim legs, but then I started getting into fitness and would workout 5-6 times per week. After reading your blog posts, I realized that I was doing all the exercises to bulk up legs (skipping, HIIT, loads of squats and lunges, and would also do a CrossFit class when I could). This resulted in me getting pretty thick calves and thighs, which was awful for me because my mum is Chinese and so her legs are naturally very slim. I’m currently saving up to purchase your eBook (uni tuition comes first, haha), but just wanted to ask you if I could continue to do resistance training ~4 times per week? Would that increase bulkiness? I’ve also started power walking almost every day, so I can’t wait to see results. The resistance training exercises I would do would come almost exclusively from the ones you post on your blog and Instagram.
Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health, and is a great way to boost your weight-loss efforts. But if you’re getting your H2O from cheap bottled water, the bottle itself could pose a problem; Bisphenol A, commonly referred to as BPA, has been linked to obesity, and it’s still found in many cheap plastics. A 2011 Harvard study found that adults with the highest concentration of BPA in their urine had significantly larger waists and a chance of being obese than those without as much of the chemical in their systems. So if you must drink store-bought bottled water, check to see if the bottle is BPA-free. And whatever you do, don’t reuse the same bottle; constantly refilling the same plastic bottle can cause BPA to leak into the water.
I mean, people lose fat on low carb diets, low fat diets, paleo diets, vegan diets, raw food diets, diets that involve eating “clean” instead of “dirty” or not eating after a certain time at night, and countless other types of diets that involve every gimmick, fad and method you can think of except the specific task of creating a caloric deficit. But yet, they have all caused people to successfully lose fat.
Weight loss is a mathematical equation: you simply need to take in fewer calories (of whatever you prefer to eat) than you use each day. So, yes, you could still lose weight. That said, you won't be a healthy "thin" if you don't nourish your body with good, whole foods, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, fruits and veggies aid in weight loss by helping you to feel full (taking up the space in your stomach you might be tempted to devote to less healthy options).
“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
Grazing is a surprisingly good idea because it helps you avoid metabolic slowdown. "Your body will be tricked into thinking it's constantly eating, so it will never slow your metabolism down," explains Bauer. Aim for five small meals (200 to 500 calories) a day rather than three large ones. Also try not to go more than four hours without eating — if you eat breakfast at 7am, for example, have a snack at 10am, lunch at noon, another snack at 3pm and dinner at 7pm.
Until then, *assuming* your goal is fat loss, you only need whatever amount of cardio that’s needed to ensure the optimal deficit is created. So if you’re not making it happen through you’re diet (by eating less calories), you’ll need more cardio. But if you ARE making it happen through (or at least partially through) your diet, you’ll need less cardio, or even none whatsoever.
Second, weight is a weird thing that can go up or down for a dozen different reasons, many of which have nothing to do with fat or muscle being lost or gained. This is part of why I recommend weighing yourself daily and only paying attention to the weekly average (full detail here), not adjusting your calories based on what you see after 1 week (I suggest waiting 2-3 weeks before making changes to confirm that changes actually need to be made), and tracking your progress using more than just your weight on the scale (body fat percentage, measurements, pictures, mirror).
You already know that a perfect diet doesn't exist, but many of us still can't resist the urge to kick ourselves when we indulge, eat too much, or get thrown off course from restrictive diets. The problem: This only makes it more difficult, stressful, and downright impossible to lose weight. So rather than beating yourself up for eating foods you think you shouldn't, let it go. Treating yourself to about 200 calories worth of deliciousness each day — something that feels indulgent to you — can help you stay on track for the long-haul, so allow yourself to eat, breathe, and indulge. Food should be joyful, not agonizing!
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.
Who doesn’t want a flat belly, stat? Yet hours of crunches, cardio, and super strict dieting aren’t realistic—or a whole lot of fun—for many of us. Luckily, it is possible to flatten your belly and look slimmer almost immediately. “Your stomach is the one part of your body that reacts quickly to dietary changes—good and bad. If you want to look thinner fast, avoid gassy veggies, chewing gum, salt, carbonated beverages, and any foods with sugar alcohols,” says Erin Palin ski, RD and certified personal trainer. These foods will lead to water retention and bloating, she explains. If you normally eat three larger meals a day, Palin ski recommends cutting those portions in half and eating smaller meals every two to three hours.
One study from the University of Adelaide in Australia suggests you may lose more weight when you work out towards the end of your menstrual cycle, as opposed to right when a new one begins. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone tell your body to use fat as an energy source. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," study author Leanne Redman says.
If you’ve read about these 21 healthy snacks to help you lose weight, you would know that nuts are recommended to be one of the best options to snack on, by experts. Nuts are high in fat but they could prove to be extremely effective in helping you lose belly fat. A research conducted at the Reina Sofia University Hospital reveals that participants who consumed a rich diet of mono-saturated fats in the form of healthy nuts over a period of 28 days, experienced lesser weight gain as compared to their counterparts who consumed saturated fats. They also improved their insulin sensitivity in the process.
When you’re losing weight that fast, chances are you’ll gain it all back. “Most of that weight loss is water weight,” says Keri Gans, R.D.N, author of The Small Change Diet. “Water weight, or the body’s retention of water, totally fluctuates. There are many factors that could explain it, from eating a meal high in sodium to where you are in your menstrual cycle to being bloated due to gas and constipation. That makes it hard to actually count as weight loss.”
Eating healthier takes a little more time and a little more money. When you're not focused on being health conscious, you can easily satisfy your hunger by going through a drive-thru or grabbing something from the vending machine. When you are focused on your health, or a specific fitness goal like weight loss, you're better off to prepare your own food than to eat out, making it a more time-consuming process, especially if you live somewhere like a food desert.
"With all the different tips out there, it can be tricky to understand exactly which exercises work the best. HIIT is great for fat burning and will get your heart rate up, but I’d also recommend including strength (resistance) exercises too. Try lifting weights, using resistance bands or using the weight machines at the gym as these will increase your metabolism to help with weight loss, and increase your muscle strength. It’s important to mix-up your whole-body workouts so you don’t get bored."
3. Calculate your target daily calorie intake – Once you have a sense of your eating habits, you can calculate your target calorie intake to ensure you create a calorie deficit. Remember, if you don’t eat fewer calories than you burn, you will not lose weight. Our recommendation is to multiply your bodyweight by 10. If you’re a man with over 25% body fat, or a woman with over 30%, subtract 200 calories from the target calorie number. For more information, you can check out How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight? and also How To Calculate Your Calorie Burn.
78. Take A 30-Minute Walk During Lunch – Walking after a meal may help you control blood sugar levels and aid weight loss.62 Start by taking a 30-minute walk after you eat lunch. You can also do this after dinner, instead of just sitting on the couch and watching TV. The added benefit is that you’ll get outside to breathe the fresh air and get some sunshine.
In the laboratory, rodents learn to binge when deprivation alternates with tasty food — a situation familiar to many dieters. Rats develop binge eating after several weeks consisting of five days of food restriction followed by two days of free access to Oreos. Four days later, a brief stressor leads them to eat almost twice as many Oreos as animals that received the stressor but did not have their diets restricted. A small taste of Oreos can induce deprived animals to binge on regular chow, if nothing else is available. Repeated food deprivation changes dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain that govern how animals respond to rewards, which increases their motivation to seek out and eat food. This may explain why the animals binge, especially as these brain changes can last long after the diet is over.
Chronic stress may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, even altering small things – such as posture – may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight.