Considering that only 1 in 10 Americans meet their produce requirements, it’s pretty safe to say you need to eat more veggies. And no matter what food philosophy you subscribe to, veggies are a big part of the program. Vegetables have a lot going for them: They fill you up for very few calories, and they flood your body with the nutrients it needs to fight diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Most low-carb diets advocate replacing carbs with protein and fat, which could have some negative long-term effects on your health. If you do try a low-carb diet, you can reduce your risks and limit your intake of saturated and trans fats by choosing lean meats, fish and vegetarian sources of protein, low-fat dairy products, and eating plenty of leafy green and non-starchy vegetables.
Do you even lift, bro? If you’re serious about getting rid of that belly fat fast, resistance training might just be the key. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that adding weight training to adult male test subjects’ workouts significantly reduced their risk of abdominal obesity over a multi-year study period, although doing the same amount of cardio had no such effect. Research from the University of Maryland even found that just 16 weeks of weight training boosted study participants’ metabolic rates by a whopping 7.7 percent, making it easier to ditch those extra inches around your middle.
Suspect you have a sluggish metabolism? You might have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, which afflicts about 25 percent of American women — many of whom don't know they have the condition, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. "The thyroid gland controls your body's metabolism, so one of the first signs that it may be off is an inability to lose weight," explains Pamela Peeke, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Fight Fat After Forty. Your doctor can determine if you're suffering from hypothyroidism by running a blood test. If you do have an underactive thyroid, you'll be treated with a synthetic thyroid supplement, which you will need to take for the rest of your life (it will return your metabolism to normal, so it should be easier to drop unwanted pounds).
“There are many foods that aid weight loss, but one that I often recommend to my clients and eat myself is grapefruit. Researchers at Scripps Clinic in San Diego found that when obese people ate half a grapefruit before each meal, they dropped an average of 3.5 pounds over 12 weeks. Apparently, the tangy fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. Plus, since it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less. However, if you are on certain medications you should not have grapefruit or grapefruit juice, so check the label on all your prescriptions, or ask your pharmacist or doctor. — Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, author of Eat Right When Time is Tight.
50. Write Down Your Cravings – By writing down your food cravings, you can determine what’s going on in your life that makes you crave certain foods. Are you stressed? Angry? Write down your thoughts whenever you have cravings for a certain type of food or drink. What are you doing? Who are you with? What time is it? This can also help you identify and avoid the trigger foods that cause you to binge. For more tips, see How To Stop Food Cravings.
If you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal (lots of pasta, rice, bread, or French fries, for example), your body releases insulin to help with the influx of all this glucose into your blood. As well as regulating blood sugar levels, insulin does two things: It prevents your fat cells from releasing fat for the body to burn as fuel (because its priority is to burn off the glucose) and it creates more fat cells for storing everything that your body can’t burn off. The result is that you gain weight and your body now requires more fuel to burn, so you eat more. Since insulin only burns carbohydrates, you crave carbs and so begins a vicious cycle of consuming carbs and gaining weight. To lose weight, the reasoning goes, you need to break this cycle by reducing carbs.
A body of research out of Pennsylvania State University finds that eating water-rich foods such as zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers during meals reduces your overall calorie consumption. Other water-rich foods include soups and salads. You won’t get the same benefits by just drinking your water, though. Because the body processes hunger and thirst through different mechanisms, it simply doesn’t register a sense of fullness with water (or soda, tea, coffee, or juice).
Spending more time in the kitchen can help you shed belly fat, as long as you’re cooking with the right foods, according to one 2017 study. After analyzing data from more than 11,000 men and women, UK researchers found that people who ate more than five homemade meals per week were 28 percent less likely to have a high body mass index, and 24 percent less likely to carry too much body fat than those whole only downed three meals at home.
"It’s important to remember that not all calories are created equal when it comes to providing your body with the nutritional foundation for weight loss," Cederquist says. The calories you are eating should come from macronutrients like lean protein, healthy fat, and whole grains. If you're cutting the number of calories, but only eating processed, sugary foods, your body won't be getting the fuel it needs to run efficiently. "I find that for most people, starting with an analysis of their protein intake is the best place to start when cutting or replacing calories." Eating lean protein is essential to preserve lean muscle mass as you lose weight, and to keep your metabolism chugging along. Other healthy nutrients like fats and whole grains will help keep you satiated and decrease the chance you'll feel starving and be tempted to binge on empty calories (read: sugar).
But what we’re interested in is the opposite of this… a caloric deficit. This is what happens when we consume LESS than our maintenance level amount. What happens then is that our bodies are forced to find some other source of energy to burn instead. And guess what that source most often is? Yup… your own stored body fat! And this is the one and only cause of fat loss.
58. Opt For Oil & Vinegar Dressing – When you order salads, choose oil & vinegar over creamy dressings. Better yet, get it on the side so you can dress your salad as much or as little as you want. Additionally, choose only a few toppings for your salad instead of every topping. Toppings, like nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cheese, olives, etc are fine, just not in large amounts all together.
I preach the same stuff on nutrition and weight training. Thanks for keeping it real. I am currently dieting at 2000 calories per day. Full body three times a week is slamming me hard. I do about 12 exercises per workout. What would be the best split to start with. I am still getting stronger every workout like crazy. I am not a beginner. My sleep is starting to suffer. I feel over trained. My workouts typically take about 1.5 hours per workout three times a week.
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. During medical school he and his classmates co-founded and co-led medfit, which is a health and wellness organization that provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. As a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter he has broken multiple state and national records. He has over a decade of personal training experience of clients at all levels and finds the profession so rewarding because of his ability to help others achieve their fitness goals. He serves as a contributing writer for Vixen Daily.
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.
20. Take The Stairs Every Time You Have A Choice – If you have a choice, challenge yourself to take the stairs instead of an escalator or an elevator. This gets your heart rate up and works your muscles more than idly standing on an escalator or in an elevator. Taking the stairs daily can increase your cardiovascular conditioning and decrease your waist size, weight, body fat percentage, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.25
39. Choose Lean Proteins – Chicken, fish, and turkey are excellent high-protein, lower-fat options. These options also have fewer calories, so you can eat bigger portions while still keeping your calories low. Lean protein keeps you feeling fuller longer and helps control your blood sugar, which means fewer cravings for sugary, high-fat foods.41 This doesn’t mean you have to avoid red meat – just be sure to order leaner cuts. For more ideas on good sources of protein, check out our list of Complete vs Incomplete Protein Sources.
But it's important to remember that "fat" doesn't mean "unhealthy." Yes, women have larger fat stores, but it's part of their physiology, meaning it's not extra weight. So if a woman has 11 percent more body fat than a man, it doesn't mean she's 11 percent "fatter." A perfectly fit woman will still hold six to 11 percent more body fat than a perfectly fit man.
Carb crazy? Consider this: Refined carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and rice, create a surge in insulin that in turn drives down your resting metabolic rate, explains Aronne. "It's important to keep carbohydrates in your diet, but really focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which have less of an effect on insulin levels," he explains. And when buying whole-grain breads and cereals, make sure the first ingredient listed is whole wheat, whole oat or cracked wheat.
First, be careful of fad diets that promise 10-15 pounds of weight loss in a month. Such claims are often false. Further, liquid diets and cleanses often are unsafe, because they do not give you the nutrients you need, and most have serious side effects. And finally, fad diets are generally unreliable-- you may indeed lose a lot of "water weight" but the chances are you will soon gain it back again. Most dietitians will tell you that you should aim for losing a pound a week, which means 4-5 pounds in a month. This may not sound like much, but it gives your body a chance to adjust and get accustomed to a new regimen of eating less. There are no magic pills, contrary to ads you may have seen. Some diet products you can find in a pharmacy (like Alli ) do indeed help you to lose weight more quickly, but as I said, they may have serious side effects. You are better off choosing a weight-loss program like Weight Watchers and using a combination of eating less, avoiding junk food, getting exercise, and working with a dietitian to find the right kind of nutritious, low-calorie meals. Slowly and steadily, you will lose the weight and keep it off.
Also known as branch chain amino acids. BCAAs are three amino acids known as Leucine, Valine and Iso-Leucine. They help prevent muscle breakdown and can be bought as yummy flavoured powders to use in place as sports drinks. Drink them during your workout instead of water as they will help you tone up as you lose that belly and may even help in the formation of abdominal muscle.
Set yourself up to lose excess belly fat by setting realistic goals. You won't be able to lose fat exclusively from your belly -- it will come from all over your body, including your midsection -- or shed 20 pounds in just a week. You can, however, lose 1 to 2 pounds of fat to start slimming your midsection, using sustainable methods that'll allow for larger weight loss over longer periods of time.
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.”
Consider getting some professional weight-loss help. Start by talking with your doctor or your dietitian about developing a weight-loss program that works for you. This can be especially important if you are more than 20% over a healthy weight for your height. It may also be helpful if your BMI is around 30 or more. Depending on your weight-loss goals and health concerns, you may want to ask your healthcare team whether a commercial program might be helpful. One such program is Weight Watchers.