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There are many different ways to fast.

Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular eating pattern which involves not eating or sharply restricting your food intake for certain periods of time.

This fasting method has been linked to a range of potential health benefits, including short-term increases in human growth hormone (HGH) and changes to gene expression (1, 2, 3, 4).

Such effects are linked to longevity and a lower risk of disease. Thus, people who fast regularly often hope to lose weight or live a healthier, longer life.

However, fasting can be dangerous if not done properly.

Here are 10 tips to help you fast safely.

There is no single way to fast, meaning that the duration of your fast is up to you.

Popular regimens include:

Most of these regimens advise short fast periods of 824 hours. However, some people choose to undertake much longer fasts of 48 and even up to 72 hours.

Longer fast periods increase your risk of problems associated with fasting. This includes dehydration, irritability, mood changes, fainting, hunger, a lack of energy and being unable to focus (5, 6, 7).

The best way to avoid these side effects is to stick to shorter fasting periods of up to 24 hours especially when youre just starting out.

If you want to increase your fasting period to more than 72 hours, you should seek medical supervision.

In general, fasting involves the removal of some or all food and drink for a period of time.

Although you can remove food altogether on fast days, some fasting patterns like the 5:2 diet allow you to consume up to around 25% of your calorie requirements in a day (8).

If you want to try fasting, restricting your calories so that you still eat small amounts on your fast days may be a safer option than doing a full-blown fast.

This approach may help reduce some of the risks associated with fasting, such as feeling faint, hungry and unfocused.

It may also make fasting more sustainable since you likely wont feel as hungry (9).

Mild dehydration can result in fatigue, dry mouth, thirst and headaches so its vital to drink enough fluid on a fast (10).

Most health authorities recommend the 8x8 rule eight 8-ounce glasses (just under 2 liters in total) of fluid every day to stay hydrated (11).

However, the actual amount of fluid you need although likely in this range is quite individual.

Because you get around 2030% of the fluid your body needs from food, its quite easy to get dehydrated while on a fast (12).

During a fast, many people aim to drink 8.513 cups (23 liters) of water over the course of the day. However, your thirst should tell you when you need to drink more, so listen to your body (13).

Avoiding eating on fast days can be difficult, especially if you are feeling bored and hungry.

One way to avoid unintentionally breaking your fast is to keep busy.

Activities that may distract you from hunger but don't use up too much energy include walking and meditating.

However, any activity thats calming and not too strenuous would keep your mind engaged. You could take a bath, read a book or listen to a podcast.

It can be tempting after a period of restriction to celebrate by eating a huge meal.

However, breaking your fast with a feast could leave you feeling bloated and tired.

Additionally, if you want to lose weight, feasting may harm your long-term goals by slowing down or halting your weight loss.

Because your overall calorie quota impacts your weight, consuming excessive calories after a fast will reduce your calorie deficit.

The best way to break a fast is to continue eating normally and get back into your regular eating routine.

During a fast, you may feel a little tired, hungry and irritable but you should never feel unwell.

To keep yourself safe, especially if you are new to fasting, consider limiting your fast periods to 24 hours or fewer and keeping a snack on hand in case you start to feel faint or ill.

If you do become ill or are concerned about your health, make sure you stop fasting straight away.

Some signs that you should stop your fast and seek medical help include tiredness or weakness that prevents you from carrying out daily tasks, as well as unexpected feelings of sickness and discomfort (6).

Many people start fasting as a way to try to lose weight.

However, being in a calorie deficit can cause you to lose muscle in addition to fat (14).

One way to minimize your muscle loss while fasting is to ensure you are eating enough protein on the days you eat (14, 15).

Additionally, if you are eating small amounts on fast days, including some protein could offer other benefits, including managing your hunger.

Some studies suggest that consuming around 30% of a meals calories from protein can significantly reduce your appetite (16).

Therefore, eating some protein on fast days could help offset some of fastings side effects.

Most people who fast are trying to improve their health.

Even though fasting involves abstaining from food, its still important to maintain a healthy lifestyle on days when you are not fasting.

Healthy diets based on whole foods are linked to a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses (17, 18, 19).

You can make sure your diet remains healthy by choosing whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits and legumes when you eat.

If you fast regularly, you may miss out on essential nutrients.

This is because regularly eating fewer calories makes it harder to meet your nutritional needs.

In fact, people following weight loss diets are more likely to be deficient in a number of essential nutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin B12 (20).

As such, those who fast regularly should consider taking a multivitamin for peace of mind and to help prevent deficiencies.

That said, its always best to get your nutrients from whole foods (21).

Some people find that they are able to maintain their regular exercise regimen while fasting (5).

However, if youre new to fasting, its best to keep any exercise to a low intensity especially at first so you can see how you manage.

Low-intensity exercises could include walking, mild yoga, gentle stretching and housework.

Most importantly, listen to your body and rest if you struggle to exercise while fasting.

Although fasting for short periods is generally considered safe, the following populations shouldnt attempt to fast without consulting a medical professional:

Fasting is the practice of abstaining from food and beverages for extended periods. Depending on how its done, it may boost your health.

People may choose to fast for dietary, political or religious purposes. One popular method is intermittent fasting, in which you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.

To stay healthy while fasting, its best to keep fast periods short, avoid intensive exercise and stay hydrated.

Eating enough protein and keeping a balanced diet when youre not fasting can also maintain overall health and ensure successful fasts.

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How to Fast Safely: 10 Helpful Tips

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Mar 27th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

Intermittent fasting, as a specific protocol, is pretty new on the dieting scene, but there's a good chance you've heard of at least someone that's used it successfully.

Even though there are probably more than a hundred different ways to diet, maybe even a thousand, intermittent fasting is a bit different since it includes long periods of fasting or going without food.

While this makes fasting unique, it also means it's not the right idea for everyone.

If you're interested in trying this diet, I'll go over a few pros and cons that you should consider before jumping in.

Everyone wants more self control around fresh made baked goodness.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Webster Rison

I know it's ironic, but fasting consistently can help you better deal with hunger.

How often do you feel that you're close to the brink of death when you haven't eaten in a few hours? If you're like most people that eat three meals a day plus snacks in between, missing one of those opportunities can lead to a feeling that end times are near.

When you fast regularly, you're teaching your mind and body to handle an extended time without food.

While it might suck for the first few days, fasting can change how your hunger hormones function and teach you that it's okay if you happen to miss a meal or two.

Those hormones are a constant scapegoat for people who struggle to lose weight.

Think of it like an invisible flak vest. You can use it to make things harder or let it sabotage your performance. Your choice.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Garret Smith

Honestly, intermittent fasting isn't a great idea if you train hard or have a high level of aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

Eating food ensures that the energy you have for muscle contraction is plentiful. When you fast for hours on end, your body turns towards stored fat and sugar in your liver to help you survive. But that's not the best option if you need to train hard or perform for a long time.

Sure, fasting might not affect everyone the same, but if you usually eat around training, you'll almost certainly see a dip in performance at first.

Unless you take a long time to adjust to how fasting affects performance (this is a similar protocol to what you would need to do on a keto diet.), you might want to opt for a different protocol if high performance is important to you.

When you squeeze the trigger you better be sure you're gonna hit what you're aiming at. IF can help build your mental toughness, so you don't miss even in the fog of war (simulated or real).

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Anthony Bryant

In the same light, using fasting strategically can help you develop the mental fortitude necessary to really push yourself when you're fatigued and don't have food available.

Just as you use weights, sprints, and long ruck marches get mentally and physically hard, jumping into challenging workouts when fasted can help you develop the mental toughness to push through when the going gets tough.

Here's how to use your workouts to do some serious mental toughness training.

No food is a stressor. If you already have a lot of other sources of stress, like you would at a selective school like OCS, maybe don't add another.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. George Nudo

Again, food not only provides energy for performance but also the fuel your body needs to repair and grow. If you're training hard and fasting every day, you could be missing out on recovery and growth.

You've probably heard of "bulking phases" where you're not only training hard but also eating more than usual. When people bulk, they're eating more food because those calories help support the growth and repair of muscles.

When you fast, eating enough calories becomes a bit difficult because you're spending so much time not eating.

On this diet, you're not only burning through calories for a large portion of the day, but you're making it more challenging to make up for those calories you're burning, like amino acids in the protein you eat.

Since you have less time to eat, you'll be fuller from each meal. As a result, it might be challenging to eat the same amount of calories as you would with a full day of eating opportunities.

Most importantly, if you train hard, need to recover and want to develop muscle, strength, and power, you're better off trying a different diet.

Send it back... or don't. Just make a choice and stick to it.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Webster Rison

Don't diet at all. Dieting is temporary.

You want a solution that will last you a lifetime. Try using strategies like Green-light and Red-light rules that I lay out in The Ultimate Composure Nutrition Guide, it's 100% free in my free resources vault.

Or give these a shot!

I highly discourage you from engaging in any diet that makes it harder to live your life. The point of eating food is to make you thrive, not just survive.

If you must, try this detailed protocol on how to cut weight for an upcoming weigh-in.

Maybe you prefer to fast as a part of your lifestyle. I often don't eat until noon, that's technically fasting. General McChrystal is a practitioner of the one meal a day protocol. Just ensure it's something you can do consistently.

If it's painful you won't want to do it indefinitely and that's the crux here. If you are struggling and need to talk to someone about losing fat, or your mind, contact me. I'll give you 30 minutes of my time with no expectation of anything in return. I've seen enough people cause some serious damage to their bodies and minds with dieting. Don't join that club, it's avoidable.

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Is intermittent fasting the right choice? - We Are The Mighty

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Mar 27th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

Celebrities like Terry Crews have popularized intermittent fastingnot eating for lengths at a timeas a weight loss tool.

The practice doesn't guarantee you'll drop pounds, but it can help you consume fewer calorieswhich aides in weight loss.

As a refresher, there are different ways to fast, but people generally follow three common schedules: alternate-day fasting, whole-day fasting, or time-restricted fasting. Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital, recommends starting with time-restricted fasting. The 16:8 format, meaning you only eat for eight hours in a day, is popular for this method.

It's always frustrating when the scale is stuck on the same numberdespite your best efforts. If you've been fasting and haven't seen results, it's a good time to analyze your strategy.

Here are some common reasons that explain why you're not losing weight from intermittent fasting.

You want to start a food journal before embarking on any kind of diet, says Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital.

"It is helpful to monitor your intake to at least understand what your baseline is," Boehmer tells Men's Health.

Track everything you eat in a given week using, Lose It!, or MyFitnessPal.

Then, determine how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. This can be done using a formula or the body weight planner by the National Institute of Health.

From there, it's just a matter of comparing your actual intake to what you need. It goes without saying that you won't lose weightregardless of fastingif you consume too many calories.

If you're not losing weightdespite staying within your calorie needsthen it's time to look at serving sizes. It's common to miscalculate how much you're actually eating, which leads to consuming more calories than you think. This is particularly true with calorie-dense foods such as cheese.

For example, a one-ounce serving of full fat cheese equals about four dice. Use a food scaleor eyeball portions with this tutorialto more accurately calculate food intake.

If you've hit a weight loss plateau after losing a few pounds, Boehmer says you may be eating too few calories.

That's because our bodies adjust to whatever we throw at them, she says.

"If on average youre only taking in 1200 calories, which is something none of us should be doing on a regular basis, your body is going to learn to function on 1200 calories."

Reduce calories slowly and aim for more moderate weight loss, says Boehmer. She advises cutting enough calories to lose about a pound a week.

"When we talk about losing weight, the goal is always to lose as much weight eating thee most that you can so you dont create that metabolic inhibitor," she says.

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Here's Why You're Not Losing Weight From Intermittent Fasting -

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Mar 27th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

As a high school athlete, I let myself believe that eating junk food was OK. I would eat anything and everything from whole boxes of pizza to platters of Chinese food. And as the pounds crept up on me, starting in my sophomore year, I just kept saying to myself, I need to be this big to play football. I knew I was gaining weight, and everyone around me noticed too, but I would lie and say I only put on a couple pounds.

I would try to lose weight by cutting out certain foods and it worked... sometimes. I would lose 20 pounds, then gain it right back with a couple additional pounds. I continued this cycle throughout high school and into college. It wasnt until I finally decided to step on a scale, after not weighing myself for a year, that I realized I gained the sophomore 60 instead of the freshman 15: I went from 225 to 285.

In January, 2019, the second semester of my sophomore year, I reached my heaviest weight: 291. But it wasnt just the weight, I couldnt run for more than a minute without gasping for air. I was miserable. I stopped looking in mirrors because all I would see is the weight. I felt judged by everyone.

Even after feeling all those terrible things, I continued to eat an unhealthy diet. It was like I was addicted to junk food. But I didnt want to feel the way I felt anymore. I wanted to look in the mirror again and be happy. So, I knew I had to make a change, but I didn't know how.

So I turned to my older brother who was already a gym-goer. He asked if I would try this no-sugar diet with him to see if we both could drop a couple pounds. (I needed it more though!). I agreed to cut out high-calorie drinks and processed food for one month.

I started to see results and was motivated to do more. I researched how to cut body fat, and it turned out this is done in the kitchen. When I learned this, my whole diet changed drastically. I ate only chicken or beef, rice, and veggies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and drank over a gallon of water a day.

In order to keep up with my new diet, I had to start buying foods in bulk. I prepped meals for the following week, which sounds like a lot at first, but you get used to it. I stopped eating out as much because its hard to find the right foods in most restaurants. Luckily, there are so many ways to prepare chicken with rice and veggies. If youre on a budget like me, know that a rotisserie chicken can go a long way.

I never had a problem going to the gym, but when I got there, I wouldnt do any real exercises. My friends and I would just compete on who could bench press the most.

I joined my brothers gym and we started going six days a week, working two muscle groups a day. (For example, chest and triceps, back and biceps, and legs and shoulders.) Sundays were for recovery (light stretching and cardio). I picked a reasonable time during the day that worked around my schedule. This way I could gradually add going to the gym to my daily routine, and when it becomes a routine it tends to stick. The process was grueling but after the first month I began to see significant results, which motivated me to do more.

Within three months, I dropped 30 pounds. Then, I had to slow down for a bit because I was dropping weight too fast, and in order to play on the defensive line at my college I had to be over a certain weight. I lost a total amount of 53 pounds over the course of a year, bringing me to 238. I am more than satisfied with not only how I look, but how I feel. Ive never felt this good and I dont plan on stopping anytime soon.

I learned through football that consistency and hard work will always guarantee a chance of you succeeding in whatever you want to do in life. Youre promised nothing in this world but in order to achieve your goals you must work hard. My advice to anyone getting started is dont be afraid to fail and dont ever quit. Dont listen to outside noises, either. Stay dedicated and stay focused and I guarantee you will see great results.

Learning to Meal Prep Helped Me Drop 53 Pounds and Get Ripped - Men's Health

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Mar 27th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

Staying quarantined at home means you're typically less active and potentially pay little attention to what you're eating. Although that can be harmless over a reduced period of time, it's not sustainable over several weeks. Because we care about your health and wellbeing, we've put together a list of apps that can help you maintain a healthy diet and even provide meal recommendations.

We often don't realize the number of calories we're eating versus how many we need to sustain our weight. Thankfully, this app helps you get the right amount in by calculating the number of calories you need based on your weight and goals. This is particularly helpful considering most of us are stuck at home without moving.You do have you to record everything you're eating, but there's a vast database that makes it easy to find the right items. You can also scan barcodes to automatically add food to your diary, making the overall process a lot faster.

Lose It is an alternative that's quite similar to MyFitnessPal but offers a more intuitive interface, in my opinion. It doesn't sync with as many apps, but has a more visual interface and is easier to use. Most importantly, it lets you take a picture of your food to automatically recognize what you're eating, which takes away the painstaking logging process. The app also comes with added features such as built-in recipes and workout guides, as well as insights on your eating patterns.

If counting macros is essential to you, Runtastic Balance makes this easier, as it displays them directly in your diary, without having to access a specific page. The interface is also quite intuitive, and there's a bunch of free plans you can pick from based on your goals. If you use other Runtastic apps, you'll be able to sync your activity automatically, but it's a bit disappointing there's no option to connect to more services.

Tracking your diet can be a complicated task if you don't know what you're supposed to eat. Thankfully, Lifesum provides complete meal plans and healthy recipes to help you create a balanced diet. It also offers a built-in calorie tracker with a sleek UI and lets you view macros and calories at a glance. Unfortunately, you'll need a paid subscription to sync with third-party services, which can be a roadblock for some.

We've been quarantined with my partner for about ten days, and every morning we're wondering what to eat for lunch and dinner. Mealime makes the overall process a breeze by offering recipes that match your goals, but also your taste. Thanks to an advanced search engine, you can filter results based on calories, allergies, ingredients, and much more. Once you've decided what you want to cook, the app automatically creates a categorized grocery list, which makes it so much easier to get what you need from the store. There's even a paid subscription that brings advanced features such as detailed nutritional information, meal plan tracking, and exclusive recipes.

Freeletics is popular for its bodyweight training app, and has more recently released a nutrition one to help you reach your goals, whether it's losing weight, maintaining your current one, or gaining mass. It comes with built-in recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you can use them as inspiration if you're struggling to find ideas. Freeletics Nutrition also learns to adapt to your dietary requirements, and is a great option for vegetarians, vegans, or pescatarians. Some people may not appreciate the fact that Freeletics Nutrition's philosophy is not to count calorie, but that's also a good way of forgetting about numbers and focusing on results and pleasure instead. Lastly, you can also get a customized nutritional coach with a paid subscription, which can be handy if you have more specific goals.

If you'd like an app to help you start an intermittent fasting program, BodyFast is worth considering. It's relevant for both beginners and experienced fasters alike and can create a weekly personal plan for you. It features a built-in fasting tracker and timer, as well as a weight and body measurement log to follow your progress. You can also take the experience further by signing up for coach, which can help you get customized recommendations.

If you're more into ketogenic diets, you should give Senza a try. It helps you with keto-specific tracking, as well as macros, and can also handle intermittent fasting. It comes with built-in guides for beginners, keto-specific recipes, and restaurant menus, and can provide daily recommendations for you. It also has advanced features like potassium, sodium, magnesium, glucose, and ketone intakes. Lastly, instead of getting a virtual coach, you can even speak with live nutritionists for advanced support.

Yuka is slightly different than the rest of apps, as it's built to help you understand the impact of various products on your health. You can scanfood & personal care products to understand their ingredients and whether they're good for you thanks to a simple color code. If you happen to scan a product that could be harmful for you, Yuka will recommend a item product that's better for your health. Although it's not necessarily at helping you lose or maintain weight, it's a great way to better understand what's going into your body, and it can be a fun game to play while quarantined.

Noom is more complete than a simple calorie tracker. It offers a uniquepsychology-based approach to identify why you're eating and helps you build a plan to become more healthy. It's probably well-adapted to the current situation, in which most of us are just a few feet away from the kitchen, and therefore temptation. Like most apps, there's also a built-in weight and food tracker, so you'll also be able to keep on eye on your progress. If you're allowed to go out or are lucky enough to have a yard, there's also a built-in pedometer to automatically log your steps.

We need to stay home as much as possible and limit our grocery shopping. Some of these apps are great for preparing nice recipes based on what you already have at home, while others can help you identify the ingredients you need, to avoid returning to the store too often. It's also important to stay active, even if it means exercising at home. Make sure you also check out our selection of apps that can help you work out at home to start preparing your summer body, even if you're confined at home.

Best apps to track what youre eating and maintain (or lose) weight while quarantined - Android Police

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Mar 26th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

Light-weight shoes

Summer is here and so is the desire to have that summer beach body. All you need is a plan and of course few tools that will keep you on the right track. We have shortlisted five essentials that will help you have that enviable summer body without much of a hassle.

Lightweight shoes:

If you are chasing a fitness goal then running is a must. Early mornings are usually the most soothing time to hit the road and a light-weight running shoes like Skechers Go run 7, is what you need to get that toned legs summer body goal.

Hydration Factor:

When it comes to fitness there is one most important rule and that is to keep yourself hydrated. What can be better than plain water? A detox water, if you look up, detox water has proven to help in weight loss much faster, a lot of nutritionist and celebrities keep mentioning detox water in their diet. Your digestive system is dependent on your water drinking habits, this summer promise yourself to stay hydrated with Quencha built in tea strainer, which will help you add detox to water whenever you feel like ditching plain water.

Swimming Costume:

Beat the heat and stay fit by swimming. Swimming helps you lose weight faster by keeping your hips, back and abdominal all engaged. A cool Speedo swimming costume will add a dash of style to your swimming sessions.


Achieve your goal smartly with Fitbit. It is very important to have a workout journal as it helps you track down your physical activity, checks your body composition and helps you chase your monthly target for effective and faster weight loss.


Weight always adds extra power to weight loss journey and that is why people usually tend to join gym. Dumbbells are great when it comes to curbing extra fats from your body, but for that you dont need to spend extra for your gym subscription, rather buy a pair of dumbbells and use it at home during summers to avoid blazing sun. Also it can be an add-on benefit for you as you can do it whenever you want, early morning or late night. These Reebok dumbbells are not only stylish but also affordable.

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These five tools will help your fitness goals this summer - Indulgexpress

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Mar 26th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

Dominic Hernandez has been struggling with his weight ever since he was a child and despite having parents who loved him dearly, life just happened to push him towards food addiction. Dominic revealed it all started when his parents started fighting and it got worse when they divorced.

After the divorce, Dominic was abandoned by his father which led him to stay with his mother, it was a period where he was abused by some of his relatives who were a little older than him. When that finally stopped, Dominic thought that his life would be changing for the better but when he was 25, he found out that his mother had diabetes.

When he was 34, his mom passed away and he and his brother, James, decided to continue staying in the house. Unfortunately, since they did not have any money to pay the rent, the house was sold and they were left to stay in their van. Dominic revealed he has some of the relatives staying in the same city but they took every little money that they would have got from their grandmother's fund, leaving them penniless.

Dominic revealed that being homeless is scary because one never knows if they will be alive the next day or not. He revealed that there is a lot of uncertainty attached to it as there are many other homeless people and addicts that walk around at night. To add to this, they also had to steer clear of the cops who might ask them to move.

Despite having very limited money, Dominic revealed that food is one thing that he does not compromise on. He revealed that often he would choose food over taking a hotel to shower. He further revealed that he gets support from the government and sometimes, James takes up small jobs to work.

The show also showcased the brother driving down to McDonald's and ordering some food. Fans were surprised at how much food the two ordered and estimated the amount it would have been. These made many wonder if the brothers were really homeless or if they were just faking it.

"They ordered the entire menu (approximately $50) x 3 meals per day, but homeless. He said they get a good amount of extra money/assistance, but spends it on food. As someone who works with the homeless, many dont get ANY extra assistance but wish they could. If my peeps got that kind of money they wouldnt be on the street- TRUST. Im annoyed. These guys are choosing to be homeless. Period," one viewer wrote.

Another added, "Now hold on...hes homeless but ordering the whole menu at McDonalds? Stop the madness." Some even wondered "If they made up this story of being homeless just to get on the show."

Another echoed similar thoughts and wrote, "James & Dominic homeless but ordering tons of fast food. I work ten hours a day & cant even afford fast food." While many found it hard to believe that Dominic and his brother were homeless, the only thing on Dominic's mind is to lose weight as he prepares to go meet Dr Younan Nowzaradan.

'My 600-lb Life' airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm ET on TLC.

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'My 600-lb Life': Dominic says he is 'homeless' but huge fast-food bill makes it hard for fans to trust him - MEAWW

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Mar 26th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

Imagine each time a person goes home in the evening, they eat a snack. When they first eat the snack, a mental link is formed between the context (getting home) and their response to that context (eating a snack). Every time they subsequently snack in response to getting home, this link strengthens, to the point that getting home prompts them to eat a snack automatically. This is how a habit forms.

New research has found weight-loss interventions that are founded on habit-change, (forming new habits or breaking old habits) may be effective at helping people lose weight and keep it off.

We recruited 75 volunteers from the community (aged 18-75) with excess weight or obesity and randomised them into three groups. One program promoted breaking old habits, one promoted forming new habits, and one group was a control (no intervention).

The habit-breaking group was sent a text message with a different task to perform every day. These tasks were focused on breaking usual routines and included things such as drive a different way to work today, listen to a new genre of music or write a short story.

The habit-forming group was asked to follow a program that focused on forming habits centred on healthy lifestyle changes. The group was encouraged to incorporate 10 healthy tips into their daily routine, so they became second-nature.

Unlike usual weight-loss programs, these interventions did not prescribe specific diet plans or exercise regimes, they simply aimed to change small daily habits.

After 12 weeks, the habit-forming and habit-breaking participants had lost an average of 3.1kg. More importantly, after 12 months of no intervention and no contact, they had lost a further 2.1kg on average.

Some 67 per cent of participants reduced their total body weight by more than 5 per cent, decreasing their overall risk for developing type two diabetes and heart disease. As well as losing weight, most participants also increased their fruit and vegetable intake and improved their mental health.

Habit-based interventions have the potential to change how we think about weight management and, importantly, how we behave.

The habits in the habit-forming group, developed by Weight Concern (a UK charity) were:

Gina Cleo, Research Fellow, Bond University. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

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10 habits of people who lose weight and keep it off - The Australian Financial Review

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Mar 23rd, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast

My name is Nance Mendoza (@prettydarnketo). I am 49 years old. I live in Glenpool, Oklahoma, and Im a stay-at-home mom. When my near 400-pound weight started giving me serious health problems, I committed to my weight-loss journey, went low-carb and keto, and lost over 150 pounds.

I struggled with food for as long as I can remember. I remember sneaking food to soothe myself during stressful situations when I was young, although I was an average-size kid.

Weight didn't become an issue for me until my first pregnancy. I was 135 pounds at my first prenatal appointment and I gained 100 pounds over the course of the pregnancy. In the following years, I continued to gain weight, and I got pregnant again.

My marriage failed soon after that, and I coped with becoming a single parent by bingeing and eating secretively to cope. Food was the balm that soothed like no other, no matter how desperately I wanted to lose weight.

I eventually remarried, and my husband was also overweight. We both liked to eat, so it seemed to be a match made in heaven.

I had high blood pressure and was on two medications. In 2004, I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. You would think that diagnosis alone would be enough for me to make a change to lessen the load on my joints, but I had such a hard time fighting the mental battle of weight loss. I desperately wanted to lose the weight, but knowing I needed to lose over 100 pounds seemed like such an impossible task. At my heaviest, I weighed 378 pounds.

On February 17, 2017, I got a text from my husband that said, "I have diabetes." He had his yearly work physical and the results had come that day. Hearing that from him was the catalyst to my weight-loss journey.

As I started doing more research, I started to learn more and more about the keto diet and eventually shifted to more of a keto approach. Now I've basically combined the two. I keep net carbs under 25 grams per day, and I focus on protein and use fat to satiate.

I also started tracking my food. Having the visual data and seeing what I'm actually consuming helps me make the right choices. I don't love doing it, but it helps me so much. I do full menu planning, too. Menu planning helps keep me on track so I know exactly what I'm going to be eating and gives me something to be excited about. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to look for new recipes and try new things so meals don't become mundane.

I drink lots of water. I didn't realize before how important it was to get adequate water to both stay hydrated and help control my appetite. Sometimes I confuse thirst for hunger, and now when I'm feeling snacky, I try drinking water first. A lot of the time, I'm just thirsty.

Breakfast: I normally fast and just have coffee with cream, collagen, and zero-calorie sweetener. But on the days I do want breakfast, I have low-carb waffles with peanut butter and sugar-free syrup.

Lunch: Bunless burger with mayo and veggies, tuna salad, or deli meat and cheese in a lettuce wrap or low-carb tortilla.

Snacks: Cheese, nuts, iced coffee, or a protein bar.

Dinner: I try to recreate meals the we would have eaten pre-keto. It's important to make meals my daughter will eat so we can eat as a family. I make things like meatloaf, chicken parmesan (no breading), chili (no beans), spaghetti (with shirataki noodles), buffalo wings, and crustless pizza. I like to make sure we have a meat and a veggie if possible.

Dessert: My favorite dessert currently is Greek yogurt sweetened with lemon sugar-free syrup. I like to add pecans or strawberries. Low-carb ice cream is also a favorite.

Walking is the easiest thing for me to do, and I really enjoy it. I also have dogs, so we get out and walk almost two miles several times a week. I went from being hardly able to because of the fact that I weighed almost 400 pounds to being able to walk all over England and Scotland a few months ago on a trip overseas. It was such an amazing feeling!

I'm still not at my "goal" weight, but I'd say I'm pretty close. It might sound clich, but if I can do this, anyone can. At 378 pounds, I was happily married with beautiful children, but I was so miserable with my physical appearance. I started this journey because of my husband's health (he's lost 140 pounds right along with me and improved his health situation, including his diabetes)but of course I knew I desperately needed it for myself.

Slowly, it became more about me. I started to see I could actually do this. I could take this one day, one week, one month at a time and be successful. Each victory was proof to myself that I was worth taking control of my health.

In turn, this journey has made me a better wife, mother, and daughter. I'm happier, and my health and disease are in much better control. I've gone from two blood pressure medications to taking half of one. I'm wearing clothes I've never been able to wear, traveling to places I never thought I'd be able to go to. I've decided to make this a way of life, not just a diet. Living is so much more important to meand Im actually living and enjoying life in this new body I've worked so hard to have.

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'By Combining Keto And A Low-Carb Diet, I Was Able To Lower My Blood PressureAnd Lose 155 Lbs.' - Women's Health

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Mar 23rd, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast


So I will just jump right in. I am pretty weight conscious (yes, I know this is a mistake).

I recently came back from assisting with the bushfires and I was only doing cardio, and I had put on a kilo or two.

I was upset, and immediately jumped into smashing myself at the gym with the body attack program by Les Mils.

I generally train 6 days a week and watch my calories pretty intensely.

Anyway, I have found that I am just feeling bloated or heavy around my stomach and my legs. Even though I have been training a lot with the body attack and monitoring my calories and drinking lots of water, I am holding onto the weight. Im frustrated and unsure what to do, is it possible to retain fluid from resistance training? Is there something I am missing here?

Looking for some advice. - RJ

I cant count how many times I found myself in this same position. I finally got up the motivation to start working out, dragged my entire self to the gym, spent 30 precious minutes of my time using the treadmill or stationary bike and nervously doing a few moves on the weight machines, only to return to the body-weight scale at home later that night or after a few days of this routine only to discover I had actually gained a few pounds. What was the point of all this, if it didnt even do anything, and by do anything I mean make me smaller and more attractive?

According to every piece of content Id ever seen about exercise and dieting, it was fair, and even reasonable, to expect FAST results. If there were so many programs out there that promised losing lots of pounds inside of a week, surely doing my best to go to the gym and work up a sweat working even harder than those fat-blasting workouts seemed to ask of me should have done even more to help me lose weight. When this not only didnt help but seemed to make things actively worse, I inevitably would throw the whole idea in the trash and move on without exercise, since it seemed to not do anything.

The thing is that I was mistaken about what exercise is for or at least, I was focused on the wrong things and expecting too much. Like many people, I felt incredible pressure to lose weight and be skinny, despite that I was already a healthy weight; if I really need to lose body fat in the interest of my health, a doctor would have told me, and Id never gotten that advice.

Being hyper-focused on weight loss led to me really hating myself, and I developed an antagonistic, destructive relationship with my body; whereas focusing on the benefits of exercise, like getting stronger and feeling more capable and having more energy, allowed me to build a constructive relationship, eat more food, and sleep better.

I know this is not as simple as simply focus on different things for anyone. But we should question weight loss as a culturally valuable pursuit, and try to learn to see our body ideals as toxic and that all of this is part of a shitty rat race to distract us from actually taking care of ourselves and seeing the worlds problems clearly (yes, I have, in fact, read The Beauty Myth).

But even if I had, there are a handful of principles that apply here outside of that that might help you understand whats going on.

A lot of the hype around exercise focuses on calories burned. You see it in MyFitnessPal, in exercise apps, and on cardio machines at the gym. This leads us to see the process as simple math: if a pound is 3500 calories, and the elliptical at the gym says I burn 600 calories in 45 minutes of working out, I should be able to lose a pound in about four days, lose ten pounds in about five weeks, and lose forty pounds in five months.

Unfortunately, the accuracy of those numbers can vary wildly, particularly for cardio machines. For instance, running on a flat treadmill is not the same as running on the ground at the same speed, but the machines calorie counter might make you believe its the same. We also cant simply burn more calories the more we work out. But more importantly, losing body fat requires an overall caloric deficit, meaning what we eat is part of the equation too.

Its not uncommon for a new exercise routine to stimulate peoples appetites and cause them to move less outside of exercise, and even cause weight gain. This extremely does not mean be severe with yourself about food as well as exercise in order to get the results youre looking for. It does mean you probably need some time to adapt to your new habit, and even if losing body fat were the ultimate goal (which, again, is not a decision anyone should undertake on their own because they yearn to look like Karlie Kloss), based on most peoples results, it will be ultimately discouraging to try and double-track starting to form the habit of working out and losing weight.

Obviously exercise can and does cause peoples bodies to change changes just in body composition, or the amount of body fat versus lean muscle mass, without any weight actually lost can make a huge difference in one's appearance. But for me, this happened on a scale of months and years, and only with periods where I was eating substantially more than I ever had in order to help me rebuild muscle Id lost through years of aggressive dieting. But Im also far happier now, some 25 pounds heavier than I was at my smallest. In the darkest time of my disordered eating, I wouldnt have believed that was even possible.

You mention youve been watching your calories, but thats not always a magic bullet, either.

It may surprise many to learn that various junk publications or products pushing diets or programs that promise you will lose ten pounds in five days! do not reflect healthy weight loss, let alone a healthy lifestyle. The book Renaissance Woman, from the nutrition and athletic coaching company Renaissance Periodization, has useful information here along with an example:

Current data suggests that the most productive middle ground for a caloric deficit is one that results in losses of somewhere between 0.5% and 1.0% of bodyweight per week. This means that for a woman that weighs 150lbs, a very good start for a weekly weight loss goal is somewhere between 0.75lbs and 1.5lbs. It doesnt sound like much, but a 12 week diet at this rate (even with a middle value of around 1lb per week) will lead to a bodyweight of around 138lbs.

You will notice, this is a much slower weight than many diet products market in their ads or testimonials. Everyone wants fast results, but fast does not mean healthy or sustainable. There are also a number of negative health effects that go along with trying to lose weight too quickly for too long, including losing muscle mass and screwing up your metabolism and hormones such that your body goes into starvation mode and tries to retain its energy (which is how people dieting for a very long time, even ones who are overweight, can continue to eat a very meager amount of calories and not lose more weight, or even gain weight).

If you actually need to lose weight, there is a right way to do it that a doctor or dietitian can help you with that should never involve starving yourself. While caloric deficits across exercise and food are what produces body fat loss, that never means the more exercise and the less food eaten, the more body fat loss happens.

Exercise, and particularly lifting heavy weights like I love to do and wish more people would do, builds muscles by tearing them up so bodies rebuild them stronger than before with the fuel we give them (food, water, rest). In the short term, muscles respond by holding onto more glycogen (muscle fuel), which also helps them hold more water, in anticipation of the next time you work out. This is a good and biologically necessary thing. But it does mean that, as with the above, it might be several weeks before you adapt.

For this reason, scales are a particularly misleading indicator of progress early on, and its better to try and stay focused on how you feel, and how youre actually doing in the gym (lifting heavier weights? Running faster and farther? But mainly, lifting heavier weights?). When I first started weight training, I found that trying to focus on that constructive cycle of eating and resting so my workouts went well allowed my focus on my appearance to start to fade into the background.

This is a more minor point, but water retention and bloating are real and normal side effects of the hormones that go along with menstruating, and can make several pounds of difference across a month. Renaissance Woman and many other resources that counsel athletes on body fat loss in the interest of health and capability advocate for using body weight as one of many data points progress pictures, for instance, which can be triggering for some, can be another useful data point and help show changes where scales dont. Another data point is how you feel overall!

But any given days body weight can be affected by how much water you drank that day, how much salt or carbs you ate, and even how much stress youre under. For this reason, its better to consider body weight again as a data point across weeks and months, per Renaissance Woman, not day to day, if thats a problem youre facing.

As a more detailed guide for managing body composition and building muscle, I found Renaissance Woman an extremely useful guide if youre interested in learning more of the ins and outs here from a source that is focused on health and function, not aesthetics; I cant recommend it enough, but also cant recommend enough consulting a doctor or dietitian about your concerns, because they know all this as well as far more than I do; all I can do here is provide some scientific reassurance as a fellow woman that all of this is tough and tricky, and reassure you that you deserve far more support and far less personal shame and guilt than you seem you be putting on yourself.

I also want to reassure you that youre much more than, and there is way more to life than, your body weight. Its a complex thing, not the best measurement of health, and the more we all dispassionately think of it as a data point, the better for literally everyone. You fucking fought the bush fires!! Absolute climate change hero! You deserve to feel proud of what your body can do. Like anything, its not an easy journey for any of us, but I hope you can find a way to that feeling.

Disclaimer: Casey Johnston is not a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, personal trainer, physiotherapist, psychotherapist, doctor, or lawyer; she is simply someone who done a lot of, and read a lot about, lifting weights.

You can read past Ask A Swole Woman columns at The Hairpin and at SELF and follow A Swole Woman on Instagram. Got a question for her? .

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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'I'm Working Out But Not Losing Weight; What's Wrong?' - VICE UK

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Mar 19th, 2020 | Filed under How to Lose Weight Fast
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