6 Effective Strategies to Cut 500 Calories Daily for Weight Loss

Dreaming of shedding those extra pounds and flaunting that summer-ready body? Well, spoiler alert: the race to lasting weight loss isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. You might be thinking, “Ugh, another weight loss cliche,” but trust me on this one. If you’re in it for the long haul, the slow and steady pace wins every time—no matter where you’re starting from.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. Weight loss isn’t some mystical equation; it’s essentially about the balance between the calories you consume and the ones you burn off. Think of it as Weight Loss Basics 101.

But the burning question (pun intended) is: how many of those pesky calories should you let go of to truly see some magic happen? Let’s find out!

The Math of Losing A Pound

Ever heard of that magical number we often hear in the world of fitness – 3,500 calories? Well, consider it the marathon finish line for bidding farewell to one whole pound of body weight.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this weight loss journey. Just as in running, where every step counts, weight loss is all about the calories you take in versus the calories you burn off. These are the ABCs of weight loss, my friend.

But here’s the million-dollar question: How do we reach that 3,500-calorie finish line? Let’s unravel this calorie game together.

 

The Art of Shedding Pounds

Here’s the truth. Cutting 500 calories daily from your diet isn’t that hard. It’s actually about pacing yourself, making small adjustments that allow you to stay on course without hitting the dreaded wall.

And here’s the exciting part: trimming those 500 calories isn’t as daunting as it may sound. It doesn’t mean waving goodbye to all your favorite foods or subjecting yourself to an extreme diet that feels like a punishing uphill climb.

It’s about adopting gradual changes, just like improving your running form over time. These changes won’t leave you feeling deprived or craving empty calories.

Staying in the Race

Consistency is key, whether in running or weight loss. Just like sticking to a training plan week after week, the results will start to show if you keep at it for a few months. It’s like training for a race and finding yourself eight pounds lighter on the big day, a rewarding outcome for your hard work and dedication.

6 Simple Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

Here are seven easy, calorie-reducing strategies that will help slash 500 calories from your daily eating menu in ways that you’ll barely notice.

1. Practice Undistracted Eating

In our fast-paced lives, we often eat while distracted by emails or TV. This habit can lead to overeating. It’s like trying to run a race with untied shoelaces. Studies show that people who eat while watching TV can consume up to 288 extra calories. Using phones during meals can add around 200 extra calories per day, research shows.

The solution is simple yet effective. During meals, focus solely on eating. Put away digital devices, turn off the TV, and find a quiet space. It’s like finding a peaceful running path where you can concentrate on your steps and surroundings. Sit at the table enjoy the flavors, textures, and the food itself.

2. Put The Fork Down

Here’s a simple trick that can help you cut down on calories during meals: put your utensils down between bites. Research from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that this practice can save you 200 to 250 calories per meal. Over the course of a day, that’s over 500 calories saved.

So how does it work? It’s straightforward. Slowing down your eating pace helps you feel more satisfied. Plus, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness. This practice also makes you more mindful of your food intake, as opposed to mindlessly shoveling food into your mouth.

3. Eat Smart Snacks

Let’s explore the world of intelligent snacking, where every bite becomes an opportunity to support your weight loss journey. Instead of focusing on eating less, the key is to snack wisely.

The snack aisle doesn’t have to be off-limits; it’s all about finding equilibrium. Think of snacks as your dependable companions rather than adversaries. Smart snacking combines art and science, where you choose snacks that satisfy your cravings while keeping your calorie intake in check.

Remember the golden rule: aim for snacks under 150 calories. However, it’s not just about calorie counting; it’s about selecting nutrient-rich options that make those calories count. It’s not about eating less; it’s about eating smarter.

So, the next time you feel hungry between meals, embrace it. Reach for a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a yogurt. These intelligent snacks act as stepping stones, guiding you toward your weight loss goals, one delicious bite at a time.

Top Smart Snack Ideas

nstead of giving in to high-calorie temptations like tortilla chips (400 calories per serving), cookies (300 calories), or pretzels (380 calories per 100g!), consider these healthier alternatives:

  1. Cheese & Grapes Combo: Pair a low-fat cheese stick with a cup of grapes for a delightful blend of creamy and fruity goodness, totaling just 180 calories.
  2. Almond-Apple Crunch: Enjoy the satisfying crunch of almonds along with the natural sweetness of apple slices for a delightful duo that adds up to a mere 140 calories.
  3. Crunchy Carrot Sticks: Savor a cup of crunchy baby carrots, guilt-free munching at its finest with just 40 calories.
  4. Banana-Raspberry Delight: Mix a banana with fresh raspberries for a burst of fruity flavor that’s only 150 calories.
  5. Zesty Kiwi Bites: Two kiwis provide a zesty zing to your snack time while adding only 84 calories to your day.
  6. Classic Apple Snack: A medium apple is not only a timeless choice but also a wise one at 90 calories.
  7. Sweet Peach Treat: A medium peach is like a sweet, low-calorie whisper at just 60 calories, perfect for a light snack.
  8. Popcorn Pleasure: A bowl of air-popped popcorn is like a party in your mouth for only 30 calories. It’s the ultimate guilt-free munch.

The variety of smart snacks is endless. The key is to explore and discover your favorites that fit within your calorie limit and satisfy your taste buds.

4. Drink Plenty of Water Instead of Liquid Calories

Our bodies consist largely of water, around 60 to 70 percent to be exact. It’s a crucial element for our health. Staying properly hydrated isn’t just important; it’s essential for our overall well-being.

Drinking a 16-ounce glass of water about 30 minutes before a meal can be a valuable strategy in managing your weight, as demonstrated in a study published in Obesity. Those who adopted this practice lost more weight than those who didn’t.

Think of your metabolism as a fire. Consuming 30 to 60 ounces of water daily is like adding fuel to that fire, making it burn more calories.

Liquid calories, such as those found in a 12-ounce soda with roughly 160 calories or a 16-ounce flavored latte with over 250 calories, can sneakily contribute to excess calorie intake. They are like unwanted extra calories in your daily diet.

By replacing just one sugary drink with water, you can eliminate more than 1800 unnecessary calories each week. It’s a simple way to reduce your calorie intake.

Swap out high-calorie beverages like soda, fruit juices, sweetened tea, alcoholic drinks, and even milk with water. It’s a healthier choice for staying hydrated.

5. Eat in A Smaller Plate

Our eyes can sometimes deceive us, especially when it comes to food. Eating from a smaller plate creates the illusion of a fuller plate, tricking your brain into feeling satisfied with less.

In our world of ever-expanding plate sizes, it’s time to take a step back. Modern plates have grown to be a whopping 40% larger than their 1980s counterparts. It’s not just about appearances; it’s a fundamental aspect of portion control.

Larger plates often lead to larger portions, and larger portions can contribute to weight gain. It’s a cycle where more plate space often means more food, and more food means more calories consumed.

Imagine two groups: one dining from large plates and the other enjoying meals from smaller ones. The group with the larger plates ends up consuming a whopping 45% more food. Having ample room on your plate can lead to overindulgence.

Swap your 12-inch plate for a modest 10-inch one, and you’ll be amazed by the results. Research suggests you’ll eat 20 to 25% less, and the best part is that you won’t feel deprived. It’s like having your cake and savoring every bite, even if it’s a smaller slice!

This simple switch can translate to about 500 fewer calories in your daily intake, equivalent to skipping a dessert-sized portion of calories each day.

6. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting (IF) shifts the focus from what you eat to when you eat. By restricting your daily calorie intake to specific time periods and abstaining during others, you give your body a metabolic break.

Choosing nutritious foods and avoiding overindulgence during your eating windows can naturally lead to reduced calorie consumption. It’s not just about fasting; it’s about making smart eating choices.

Interested in the scientific basis of IF? Explore this resource to gain scientific insights into how intermittent fasting can support your weight loss journey. Knowledge is empowering, especially when it comes to your health.

The 16/8 Method: Fast for a continuous 16 hours, then enjoy an 8-hour eating window. Think of it as skipping breakfast and indulging in meals from 1 pm to 9 pm. It’s like giving your digestive system a daily mini-vacation.

The 24-Hour Reset: Take on the challenge of a complete 24-hour fast twice a week. Consider it as resetting your eating patterns, allowing your body to focus on processes beyond digestion.

The Warrior Approach: Embrace your inner warrior with 20 hours of fasting (or light snacking on raw fruits and veggies) followed by a 4-hour evening feast. It’s about conquering the day and celebrating your victories at night.

Eat Smart, Burn More: The 7 Best Metabolism-Boosting Foods

Are you on a mission to shed those extra pounds and turbocharge your weight loss journey? If so, you’re probably no stranger to the term “metabolism.”

It’s often celebrated as the secret ingredient for achieving your weight loss goals. But here’s the deal: while you can’t change your genetics, age, or gender, you can certainly give your metabolism a gentle push in the right direction.

In this article, we’re setting off on a flavorful adventure—one that doesn’t involve guilt or deprivation. We’ll explore a mouthwatering lineup of metabolism-boosting foods that not only dance on your taste buds but also transform your body into a calorie-burning dynamo.

So, get ready to uncover delicious ways to rev up your metabolism and put your weight loss journey on the fast-track.

The Problem With Metabolism

Metabolism, the engine behind weight management, can be a puzzle. Some seem to have it naturally fast, while others struggle. But before we blame genetics, let’s understand the facts.

We’re dealt a metabolic hand from birth. Some are lucky with a turbocharged calorie-burning engine. However, as we age, especially after 40, metabolism tends to slow down, making it harder to shed those extra pounds.

But don’t despair! You can influence your metabolism through physical activity and food choices. Protein, in particular, is metabolism’s ally. It requires extra energy to digest, boosting post-meal calorie burn by up to 30%.

No need for extreme diets. Making smart food choices can keep your metabolism in good shape. It’s like having a reliable running partner on your fitness journey.

1. Eggs

You might not realize it, but eggs pack a punch, especially when it comes to protein. Just one large, hard-boiled egg contains a whopping 7 grams of protein. That might not sound like much, but it’s a game-changer for anyone looking to supercharge their metabolism.

Think of protein as your metabolism’s best friend. Your body has to work extra hard to break down and digest protein compared to other foods. This metabolic workout can crank up your post-meal energy expenditure by as much as 30 percent, and that’s not just a theory—it’s backed by some pretty impressive research.

2. Coffee

Research has spilled the beans (pun intended!) that caffeine found in coffee can give your metabolic rate a boost of up to 11 percent. Wondering how it works? Well, caffeine has a thermogenic effect on your body. In simpler terms, it cranks up your metabolism by giving your central nervous system a gentle wake-up call.

Now, you might be wondering, “How much caffeine do I need to get that metabolism firing?” A cup of coffee with around 150mg of caffeine should do the trick. But here’s the catch: coffee’s effects can be a bit like your favorite playlist—everyone’s got their own jam. It might work wonders for one person and be less effective for another, depending on factors like body weight and age.

3. Green tea

Green tea is loaded with Catechin Polyphenols, particularly one called EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). These are like the VIPs of antioxidants, and they’re found in high concentrations in green tea.

Now, let’s spill the tea on the research findings: the combination of caffeine and catechins in green tea can give your metabolism a nudge of up to 10 percent. It might not sound like a lot, but let’s break it down—this could mean burning an extra 100 to 120 calories daily. Over time, that adds up like coins in a piggy bank!

EGCG, the superhero of green tea, has a mission: to turbocharge your metabolism and jumpstart fat burning. It does this by finely tuning your nervous system functions in just the right way.

But wait, there’s more!

Green tea isn’t just a metabolism booster; it’s also armed with powerful compounds that battle against cancer. So, by sipping on this antioxidant-rich brew, you’re not only giving your metabolism a boost but also fortifying your body against potential health threats.

4. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is loaded with special chemicals that help regulate insulin levels. These compounds work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure your body’s insulin response is in tip-top shape. Why is that important? Balanced insulin levels mean your blood sugar is less likely to go on a rollercoaster ride, which often leads to those pesky cravings.

But that’s not all! Grapefruit goes above and beyond by being the ultimate craving-buster. Those same chemicals I mentioned earlier have a knack for curbing your desire for unhealthy snacks. Say farewell to those late-night munchies!

And here’s the cherry on top: grapefruit keeps you feeling satisfied without expanding your waistline.

5. Chili Peppers

Let’s add a bit of spice to the mix—literally!

Imagine this: You take a bite of a spicy chili pepper, and that fiery sensation is your metabolism kicking into high gear. That’s right! Capsaicin has the incredible ability to raise your body’s temperature, and this increase in temperature comes with an added bonus—burning calories.

But the benefits of Capsaicin don’t stop there. It’s not just about giving your metabolism a boost. Research has unveiled its potential in pain management, reducing inflammation, and even promoting heart health.

Here’s the spicy revelation: A research review dropped some knowledge bombs. They discovered that consuming about 150 mg of capsaicin per day could help your body torch an extra 50 calories daily.

6. Blueberries

Blueberries aren’t just a delicious addition to your morning yogurt or smoothie; they’re bursting with antioxidants that can work wonders for your metabolism and overall well-being.

First off, those antioxidants in blueberries are like sparks of vitality for your metabolism. While they may not directly set your body on fire to burn calories, they play a crucial role in keeping your metabolic rate in tip-top shape. Think of them as the loyal cheerleaders of your metabolism, ensuring it operates smoothly.

But wait, there’s more! Blueberries don’t stop at being metabolic boosters; they also don their capes as protectors of your health. These antioxidants do more than rev up your metabolism; they also act as formidable shields against a range of illnesses. From heart disease to cognitive decline, blueberries have your back

7. Coconut Oil

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the numerous benefits this versatile oil has to offer.

But here’s the exciting part—coconut oil isn’t just a flavorful addition to your culinary adventures; it can also perform miracles for your metabolism. It contains something known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs for short. These are special fatty acids that naturally occur in coconut oil and have a knack for firing up your metabolism.

So, how does it work? Well, MCTs are like the turbochargers of metabolism. They kickstart a process called thermogenesis, which is just a fancy way of saying that they crank up the energy expenditure in your body. In simpler terms, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat.

But that’s not all. Research even suggests that a daily intake of approximately 30 milligrams of MCTs could lead to a notable reduction in waist size, particularly in individuals dealing with obesity.

Conquering Runger: Smart Strategies for Managing Post-Run Hunger

You know that feeling after a great run when your stomach growls louder than your footsteps? Yep, that’s “runger,” and it’s something all runners know well. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, post-run hunger can hit hard.

Imagine this: You’ve pushed through those final miles, focused solely on the finish line. When you stop, euphoria sets in, but so does a powerful urge to eat everything in sight. That’s runger, a side effect of our pursuit of fitness.

In this article, we’re delving into runger – what causes it and how to manage it without derailing your fitness goals. It’s not about deprivation; it’s about empowering yourself with the right strategies to satisfy post-run cravings sensibly.

So, if you’re ready to conquer runger and make smarter food choices, stay with me. Your journey to becoming a better runner while maintaining a balanced diet starts here!

What is Runger?

Runger isn’t just a quirky term thrown around in running circles; it’s a real phenomenon. It’s your body’s way of saying, “Hey, I’ve just spent a ton of energy, and it’s time to refuel.” Think of your body like a car that’s just completed a long journey – you wouldn’t park it with an empty tank, right? Similarly, after a long run, our bodies need replenishment to repair muscles and restore energy.

But runger can be tricky. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much you eat, your stomach is a bottomless pit. I remember days when I’d eaten my way through the pantry, still feeling like a hungry caterpillar. It’s a bit like trying to fill a leaky bucket – no matter how much you put in, it never seems enough.

The Science Behind Runger

When you’re logging the miles, it’s not just your legs doing the heavy lifting; your entire body enters a state I like to call the metabolic hustle. Running, especially those long, grueling distances, burns off calories, and lots of them.

But why does this calorie bonfire turn into a ravenous appetite? It’s all about our body’s response to intense exertion. Running revs up our metabolism – it’s like putting your body’s energy demands on a fast-track. So when you stop, your body is still cruising on the metabolic highway, signaling the brain that it’s time to refuel.

Let’s not forget the calorie and nutrient toll. Imagine each mile you run as a coin in your body’s energy meter. The longer or faster you run, the more coins you drop. A study published in the “Journal of Sports Sciences” found that prolonged endurance exercise significantly increases energy expenditure, which makes sense, right?

But it’s not just about calories. Running is like taking your muscles through a tough boot camp – they need protein for repair and carbs to restock energy stores. According to research in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,” replenishing these nutrients post-run is crucial for muscle recovery and energy restoration.

Identifying Runger Triggers

Okay, fellow runners, let’s lace up our conversational sneakers and jog through the maze of runger triggers. It’s like understanding the different terrains we encounter on our runs – each has its unique impact.

Here are two main variables that contribute to your post-run hunger.

Duration and Intensity of Runs:

Have you ever noticed how an easy 5K leaves you feeling peckish, but a half-marathon has you raiding the fridge like there’s no tomorrow? It should come as no surprise, but the more intense the run, the bigger the appetite aftermath. Longer and harder runs are like a double marathon for your body – they not only burn more calories but also increase the production of ghrelin, your body’s hunger hormone.

Individual Differences:

Here’s the kicker – not all runners experience runger the same way. Just like we all have our unique running styles, our bodies respond differently to exercise-induced hunger. Some of us might feel like eating a banquet after a long run, while others might just crave a snack.

This variance is like having different fuel tanks – what drains one runner’s tank might barely make a dent in another’s. Studies, such as one published in “Appetite,” suggest that factors like age, gender, fitness level, and even the body’s efficiency in using energy can influence post-run hunger.

Strategies For Dealing With Runger

Without further ado, here are my best tactics for managing post-run hunger.

Drink Water

Have you ever felt that gnawing pit in your stomach after a run, only to discover it wasn’t hunger at all? Dehydration can play tricks on you, making your brain think it craves food when it’s actually craving water. Many people fall for this mix-up, leading to unnecessary calorie intake.

Here’s how to outsmart this common pitfall:

  • Pre-Run Hydration: Before lacing up your running shoes, ensure you’re adequately hydrated. Starting your run in a dehydrated state can set the stage for post-run runger. Drink a glass or two of water at least an hour before your run.
  • Stay Hydrated During Longer Runs: For extended runs, remember to carry water with you or plan routes with water fountains. Staying hydrated during your run not only fuels your performance but also helps curb post-run hunger.
  • Post-Run Rehydration: After your triumphant run, replenish your lost fluids by sipping at least 12 ounces of water. This not only quenches your body’s thirst but also sends signals to your brain to help regulate your appetite.
  • Thirst First, Snack Second: When the runger beast strikes, reach for water before considering a snack. Sometimes, a good gulp of water is all it takes to keep those cravings at bay. Give it a try, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty.

Pre-run Meals

Controlling those post-run cravings often boils down to one thing: what you eat before you even step out the door.

Let’s be real; what you fuel up with before a run can be the difference between a powerful stride and a grumbling belly.

And when it comes to your pre-run food choices, the type of your run should be your compass.

Let me break it down:

  1. Short and Easy Runs: If you’re planning a quick, breezy run, you can often do it on an empty stomach. Your muscles have stored glycogen to keep you chugging along.
  2. Hard Runs: But when it comes to hard sessions like long runs, interval workouts, or hill sprints, you’ll need a little somethin’-somethin’. A light snack about one to two hours before your run is the way to go. It fuels you up, prevents a blood sugar nosedive, and helps you power through the tough stuff.

Now, let’s talk about what you should chow down on before lacing up those running shoes. Here are some runner-approved options:

  • Bananas: Think of them as nature’s energy bars. They’re easy to digest and packed with potassium.
  • Nuts: A handful of nuts delivers healthy fats and protein for sustained energy.
  • Energy Bars: Look for ones with minimal ingredients and balanced nutrition.
  • Low-Fat Yogurt: It’s light, protein-rich, and easy on the stomach.
  • Fruit Smoothie: Blend some fruits, yogurt, and a drizzle of honey for a quick and nutritious fix.

Remember, the golden rule for pre-run noshing is to keep it light and easily digestible. Overdoing it before a run can lead to cramps, nausea, and other unpleasant surprises during your workout.

Planning to run beyond 90 minutes to two hours? Then, it’s time to consider on-the-go fuel. Shoot for around 150 to 250 calories for every hour of exercise. You can reach for energy gels, chews, or easily digestible snacks to keep your engine revving.

Eat for Recovery

Recovering after a run is just as important as the run itself. It’s like putting the final piece in a puzzle to complete the picture of your fitness journey.

First things first, there’s a golden window of opportunity for refueling, and it’s right after your run, within the magical 30-minute to an hour timeframe. Now, here’s the kicker: you might not feel super hungry during this time, and that’s because of a sneaky hormone called peptide YY.

Peptide YY is like the bouncer at the hunger club. It shows up after your run and says, “Hey, you’re good for now; no need to eat.” But don’t let it fool you; this feeling of fullness is short-lived. In a few hours, it packs up and leaves, and that’s when the hunger monster wakes up, demanding to be fed.

So, what’s the game plan? Do you wait for the hunger alarm to ring, or do you dive into a meal right after your run?

Here’s the pro tip: don’t wait. Eat something, even if it’s a small snack, right after your run – yes, even if you’re not craving it at that moment.

Your strategic snack should be a power combo of lean protein to kickstart recovery and wholegrain carbs to refuel those glycogen stores, getting you ready for your next run. Need some snack-spiration? How about a tuna sandwich with a side of milk or wholegrain bread with an egg and a sliced banana?

If solid food isn’t your jam, go for a nutritious smoothie or a protein shake.

Now, fast forward about an hour, or when your next mealtime rolls around – it’s time for the follow-up meal. This meal should be a balance of complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats, giving your body all the nutrients it craves for that sweet recovery and peak performance.

Keep a Food Diary

Keeping a food diary isn’t just about scribbling down what you eat; it’s like having a secret weapon in your arsenal for a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, especially for us runners.

So, why is it such a game-changer? Well, for starters, it’s like turning on the headlights in a dark tunnel. When you diligently jot down your daily eats, you’re not just keeping tabs on your nutrition; you’re giving yourself the superpower of making informed choices about what goes into your body.

Here’s the lowdown on why food tracking is your new best friend:

  1. Calorie Clarity: Ever wondered how many calories are marching into your belly daily? Food tracking spills the beans. It’s your calorie radar, whether you’re on a quest to shed some pounds or gain a few.
  2. Dodging Pitfalls: Picture this – you’re out for a run, feeling like a calorie-burning machine, only to return and indulge in a post-run feast. Well, runners often underestimate their food intake and overestimate their calorie-burning prowess. A food journal keeps you real.

Now, let’s talk numbers – the calories you take in versus the calories you burn. That’s the name of the game for weight management. Knowing these digits is like holding the keys to your fitness kingdom.

Inside your food journal, don’t just log what you munch; spill the beans on when those cravings come knocking, how you’re feeling, the foods you’re yearning for, and the nitty-gritty details like calories and servings. This deep dive lets you uncover patterns and connections that might have stayed hidden otherwise.

After about a month of this food journal romance, take a step back and give it a read. You might stumble upon some “AHA” moments. Look for those patterns – do cravings attack at specific hours? Is your mood pulling the strings in your eating game?

Once you’ve cracked the code, it’s time to find healthier alternatives to tackle those cravings. Not all cravings need an all-out calorie showdown. Sometimes, addressing the triggers in different ways can work wonders.

Snack Smart

Snacking is more than just appeasing your taste buds. It’s a golden opportunity to load up on the good stuff – essential nutrients and vitamins that keep your body firing on all cylinders. But here’s the deal – not all snacks are created equal.

The magic lies in making smart choices. Munching on empty-calorie, nutritionally barren snacks can be a slippery slope to nowhere. So, here’s your guide to snacking brilliance:

  1. Seek the Trifecta: Low-calorie, low-fat, high-protein snacks – these are your ticket to snacking success. Think fresh veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruits. They’re like a nutrient-packed punch without the calorie overload.
  2. Dodge the Junk: Say no to refined carbs and sneaky processed sugars. Those burgers, pizzas, and sugary treats might wink at you, but they’re sugar-coated trouble. Instead, reach for natural wonders like a trusty banana, a handful of almonds, or some dried fruits. They’ll give you a lift without the impending sugar crash.
  3. Stock the Smart Way: Be prepared for snack attacks by stocking up on wholesome goodies. Fill your fridge, pantry, and desk drawers with these smart choices. When you’ve got the good stuff within arm’s reach, it’s easier to dodge the junk.

Here’s the bottom line: snacking is your chance to nourish your body. Make each bite count by picking snacks that fuel your running mission and keep you in tiptop shape.

Sleep Enough

Sleep and food are entwined in a dance of hormones and cravings. When you skimp on sleep, your body’s hunger signals go haywire. Suddenly, those high-fat, high-calorie temptations become way more appealing than the healthier choices your body truly craves.

But don’t take my word for it; science has some compelling evidence. Researchers at top-notch institutions like UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago have dug deep into this slumber-nutrition connection.

Brace yourself for the facts: sleep deprivation can knock down your leptin levels (that’s the hormone shouting, “I’m full!”) by a staggering 18 percent. At the same time, it cranks up the production of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) by a whopping 30 percent.

In simpler terms, it means that when you’re sleep-deprived, that cheeseburger joint looks way more tempting than that salad bar. Not exactly a win for your health or your eating game.

Now, here’s the silver lining: the solution is blissfully straightforward. Get your beauty sleep! Aim for a solid 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye each night, and you’ll wield the power to transform your eating habits.

Listen to your Body

To truly conquer your cravings, you need to get to know them intimately. Imagine you’re a detective, and your mission is to unravel the mysteries of your cravings. How do you do that? Well, a food journal is your trusty magnifying glass, revealing the intricate connections between your hunger, emotions, diet, and exercise choices.

Now, picture this: you’re deciphering a secret code. Your body speaks in hunger, but there are two dialects. One is the genuine hunger when your body genuinely needs those calories – let’s call it “real hunger.” The other, “head hunger,” is when your mind plays tricks on you, tempting you to eat for reasons beyond nourishment.

Mastering this distinction is your ticket to making healthy choices. It’s like separating the wheat from the chaff – you avoid overindulging and ensure you’re treating your body right when it truly needs it.

Ah, emotions and triggers! They’re the villains that lead you to the snack drawer. But here’s the superhero move: instead of succumbing to those emotional villains, find healthier ways to tackle them. Whether it’s stress, sadness, or plain old boredom, there are better outlets to satisfy your emotional needs without going overboard on snacks.

The Pros & Cons Of Caffeine For Runners

Are you a runner who loves coffee? Many of us in the running community share a fondness for caffeine, found in our morning brew, tea, and even chocolate. But have you ever wondered what coffee really does for your running?

In this article, we’ll dive into how coffee and caffeine impact runners. We’ll cover the benefits and potential drawbacks, helping you understand how your go-to drink affects your running.

Whether coffee is your morning wake-up call or your pre-run energizer, knowing its effects is crucial. So, with your favorite coffee in hand, let’s delve into what it means for your running performance.

Ready to discover more? Let’s begin.

What is Caffeine

Caffeine is a familiar name globally, often associated with our morning coffee’s energizing aroma and promise. But what exactly is in your cup of coffee?

Caffeine is a natural substance found in coffee, tea, chocolate, some sodas, and energy drinks, famed for its energy-boosting properties. It helps keep us alert and wards off tiredness.

Interestingly, caffeine is more than just a key ingredient in our favorite beverages; it’s also classified as a drug, impacting our bodies and minds significantly.

In the United States, caffeine is a daily staple for about 90% of the population. It’s our morning kickstarter and keeps us energized throughout the day.

An FDA survey reveals that the average American adult consumes about 300 milligrams of caffeine daily, which is roughly equivalent to two 8-ounce cups of coffee. This underscores just how much America loves its caffeine!

The Timing of Caffeine Consumption: Finding Your Perfect Window

Finding the perfect timing for caffeine consumption can be a game-changer for runners. It’s like the art of tying your running shoes just right – it can significantly enhance your performance. The question is, when is the ideal time to have that energizing coffee before a run?

Based on my experience and research, the sweet spot is about 30 to 60 minutes before running. This timing allows your body to absorb the caffeine and gives you that energy surge as you start your run.

However, caffeine sensitivity varies from person to person. Some may feel energized almost immediately after a shot of espresso, while others might need more time. It’s a personal journey, similar to finding your perfect running pace.

Performance Enhancement: Unleashing Your Inner Athlete

As a runner, finding that extra performance edge is crucial, and caffeine can be that secret weapon. Science has revealed caffeine’s remarkable ability to boost running performance, and the results are exciting.

Think of caffeine as a turbo button in your running kit, ready to provide a burst of energy when you start to feel tired mid-run. A cup of coffee is more than just a warm drink; it’s a source of untapped energy.

Research has shown that caffeine not only enhances performance but acts as a powerful ergogenic aid. It stimulates the nervous system, boosting energy and transforming an average run into an extraordinary one. For example, a study in the “Sports Medicine” journal highlights caffeine’s role in enhancing athletic abilities, demonstrating how it can elevate your running game.

The Research

Exploring the research on caffeine’s impact on exercise is fascinating for runners seeking to enhance performance. Scientists have uncovered several benefits of this popular stimulant.

Starting with a study from the “Sports Medicine” journal: caffeine is identified as a potent ergogenic aid. It energizes us, reduces fatigue, eases pain, and aids recovery, acting like an additional gear during challenging runs.

Another exciting find comes from the “British Journal of Sports Science.” Runners who consumed coffee before a 1,500-meter treadmill run were, on average, 4.2 seconds faster than their non-caffeinated counterparts. Coffee here emerges not just as a morning ritual but as a performance booster.

Japanese research contributes further, showing that coffee consumption before exercise improves circulation by 30%. Enhanced circulation means more oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, leading to longer, more enduring runs.

Moreover, a comprehensive meta-analysis reveals that caffeine can make workouts feel over 5% easier. For runners, this is akin to having a secret ally that makes running more manageable and helps maintain high performance with less perceived effort.

Additionally, individuals who drank two cups of coffee before a 30-minute workout reported significantly less muscle pain than those who didn’t consume caffeine.

The Secret Sauce

The secret behind caffeine’s effectiveness lies in its interaction with adenosine, a compound that can induce feelings of tiredness. Caffeine blocks adenosine, acting like a barrier against fatigue and pain, enabling us to power through challenging workouts with more resilience and less discomfort.

Pain Management: Caffeine’s Soothing Touch

We’re all familiar with muscle burn during a tough run or the soreness that follows. Pain is a constant companion for runners, but there’s a way to alleviate it: caffeine, a surprisingly effective weapon against discomfort.

When you’re deep in a workout and your muscles are protesting with every step, caffeine can provide relief. Its pain-relieving qualities aren’t just anecdotal; they’re backed by science.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be a major challenge, but caffeine has shown to be a valuable ally in this fight. It works by blocking adenosine, a byproduct of energy breakdown in our bodies, known for causing fatigue and muscle pain. Caffeine effectively dulls this pain, helping you endure tough workouts and recover with greater ease.

Caffeine’s role doesn’t end with the workout. Consider the post-run scenario where your muscles are sore and fatigued. Caffeine steps in here as well, acting like a gentle massage for your tired muscles.

Research indicates that caffeine can lessen muscle soreness and facilitate recovery. For instance, individuals who drank two cups of coffee before a 30-minute workout experienced significantly less muscle pain than those who didn’t. This built-in recovery mechanism allows you to recover quicker and return to running with more energy.

Lose Weight

Looking to turn up the heat on your fat-burning workouts? Caffeine might just be the partner you need. It’s like having a secret weapon in your fitness arsenal. Research points out that caffeine can increase the number of fatty acids in your bloodstream. What does this mean for your runs? It’s like turning up the dial on your body’s fat-burning furnace, helping you use fat as fuel more efficiently.

Improved Heat Tolerance

Studies have shown that a caffeinated drink before working out in high temperatures can give you a much-needed boost. It’s akin to a refreshing, cool breeze on a hot summer day, giving you the extra push to keep going. Imagine running through the heat with that added edge, making your summer workouts feel a bit more bearable.

The Downsides Of Drinking Coffee

Exploring the potential downsides of consuming caffeinated beverages before running is crucial, even for the most devoted coffee lovers.

The Dehydrating Factor:

First, let’s clear up a misconception: moderate caffeine intake doesn’t significantly impact overall hydration. Research indicates that even up to five cups of coffee a day doesn’t drastically affect your hydration levels. So, your daily coffee isn’t likely to dehydrate you.

However, balance is essential. While caffeine alone might not dehydrate you, combining it with intense exercise could tip the balance slightly. It’s akin to adding a bit of extra weight to an already heavy load.

Increased Urge to Poop:

Yes, coffee can sometimes prompt more frequent bathroom breaks. It’s not dehydrating per se, but it can make your runs more…interrupted. Imagine a little gremlin urging you toward the nearest restroom at inconvenient times – not exactly ideal for running.

Digestive Issues:

For some, coffee can cause digestive unrest, particularly when combined with exercise. It’s like a turbulent party in your stomach, and not in a good way. Adding milk, sweeteners, or other ingredients might exacerbate this discomfort.

Additionally, caffeine can have a laxative effect for some people, potentially leading to urgent stops during your run.

Stomach Sensitivities

Experiencing a surge of energy after a pre-run coffee? That’s caffeine sensitivity at play, and it varies greatly from person to person.

For many runners, a pre-run coffee is essential for energy, but reactions to caffeine can differ. Some may feel energized, while others could become jittery. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, it’s worth exploring other ways to boost your run. Watch out for these common symptoms of caffeine sensitivity:

  • Heart Palpitations: Caffeine can sometimes cause an irregular heartbeat, which can be unsettling.
  • Increased Heart Rate: A spike in heart rate, leaving you feeling anxious, is another possible side effect.
  • Headaches: Too much or too little caffeine can trigger headaches, which are far from ideal for running.
  • Nervousness or Jitters: Overconsumption of caffeine might leave you restless, which is counterproductive for a focused run.

Alternatives for Caffeine-Sensitive Runners: If caffeine makes you more jittery than energized, there are plenty of alternatives:

  1. Decaffeinated Coffee: Enjoy the taste of coffee without the caffeine kick.
  2. Herbal Tea: Options like chamomile or peppermint are caffeine-free and soothing.
  3. Green Tea: A milder source of caffeine, it’s less intense than coffee.
  4. Water: Simple and essential for hydration.
  5. Nutrition-Focused Snacks: Opt for a banana or whole-grain toast with almond butter for sustained energy.
  6. Coconut Water: A natural choice rich in electrolytes, offering a gentle energy boost.

Remember, everyone’s body reacts differently to caffeine. If it’s not working for you, these alternatives can be just as effective for an enjoyable, energized run. Find what suits you best and embrace it.

From Walk to Run: A Safe Beginner Running Plan For Overweight People

If you’re carrying extra weight and thinking of donning those running shoes for the first time, you’re right where you need to be!

As someone who found solace and transformation in running, I can vouch for its incredible benefits.

Running is not just a workout; it’s a journey of self-discovery and improvement, accessible to everyone, regardless of size or background.

Let’s address a common concern: if you’re heavier, starting to run might seem daunting. I get it. There are worries about the impact on your joints or getting winded too quickly.

But fear not! In this article, I’m going to walk (and run!) you through a beginner running plan tailored specifically for those carrying extra weight. This plan is all about getting you moving, feeling great, and doing it all injury-free.

By the end of this post, you’ll be buzzing with excitement and ready to hit the ground running, all while taking the best care of your health and well-being.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Consulting a Healthcare Professional

Before you start, it’s crucial to get a green light from your doctor. It’s like getting a car serviced before a long journey – you want to ensure everything is running smoothly. Be open with your healthcare provider about any concerns, including heart health, kidney function, respiratory issues, joint problems, and any medications you’re taking.

When you see your doctor, it’s time for total honesty – no holding back. This is your chance to get a complete physical assessment that’s tailored just for you. Remember, keeping secrets from your doc is like trying to run with your shoelaces tied together – not helpful!

Here are some crucial topics to bring up during your appointment:

  • Heart Matters: Discuss any history of heart conditions or blood pressure issues.
  • Kidney Check: Keep your kidneys in the loop.
  • Breathing 101: Chat about any respiratory conditions, like asthma or other lung issues.
  • Joint Ventures: Don’t forget to mention any joint problems, like arthritis or past injuries.
  • Medication Roll Call: List all the meds you’re currently taking.
  • History Lesson: Share any significant points in your medical history.

Once your doctor gives you the all-clear, you’re ready to embark on your running journey with confidence and peace of mind.

The Gradual Approach

Rushing into running can do more harm than good. I learned this the hard way when I started. So, I recommend the walk/run method. This approach gradually builds your stamina and helps you avoid overuse injuries.

Here’s the brief scoop to give you the big picture:

Week 1-2: Getting Started

Day 1-3 (Alternate Days): Begin with a 20-minute workout.

  • Start with a 5-minute brisk walk to warm up.
  • Run for 30 seconds, followed by a 2-minute walk to recover. Repeat this cycle for 15 minutes.
  • Finish with a 5-minute cool-down walk.

Week 3-4: Building Stamina

Day 1-3 (Alternate Days): Increase the workout duration to 25 minutes.

  • Start with a 5-minute brisk walk.
  • Run for 45 seconds, followed by a 2-minute walk to recover. Repeat this cycle for 20 minutes.
  • Finish with a 5-minute cool-down walk.

Week 5-6: Progressing Further

Day 1-3 (Alternate Days): Extend the workout duration to 30 minutes.

  • Begin with a 5-minute brisk walk.
  • Run for 1 minute, followed by a 2-minute walk to recover. Repeat this cycle for 25 minutes.
  • Finish with a 5-minute cool-down walk.

Week 7-8: Building Confidence

Day 1-3 (Alternate Days): Continue with a 30-minute workout.

  • Start with a 5-minute brisk walk.
  • Run for 2 minutes, followed by a 2-minute walk to recover. Repeat this cycle for 25 minutes.
  • Finish with a 5-minute cool-down walk.

Now, let’s dive into the actual structured two-month plan, including weekly progressions.

Goal: To comfortably run for 20-30 minutes at an easy pace by the end of 8 weeks.

Key Tips:

  • Pace Yourself: Always run at a pace where you can carry on a conversation.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink water before and after your runs.
  • Warm-Up & Cool-Down: Start each session with a 5-minute walk as a warm-up and end with a 5-minute walk to cool down.
  • Rest Days: These are just as important as training days. They allow your body to recover and prevent injuries.

Week One

  • Monday: Run 2 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 6 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 2 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 8 times.
  • Friday: Run 2 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 6 times.

Focus: Getting your body used to movement.

Week Two

  • Monday: Run 2 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 8 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 2 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 10 times.
  • Friday: Run 2 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 8 times.

Focus: Building stamina.

Week Three

  • Monday: Run 3 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 6 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 3 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 8 times.
  • Friday: Run 3 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 6 times.

Focus: Increasing running intervals.

Week Four

  • Monday: Run 5 mins, Walk 3 mins. Repeat 3 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 5 mins, Walk 3 mins. Repeat 4 times.
  • Friday: Run 5 mins, Walk 3 mins. Repeat 5 times.

Focus: Building longer running blocks.

Week Five

  • Monday: Run 5 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 5 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 5 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 5 times.
  • Friday: Run 5 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 4 times.

Focus: Reducing walk intervals.

Week Six

  • Monday: Run 5 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 4 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 5 mins, Walk 1 min. Repeat 5 times.
  • Friday: Run 7 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.

Focus: Gradually extending running time.

Week Seven

  • Monday: Run 7 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 7 mins, Walk 2 mins. Repeat 3 times.
  • Friday: Run 10 mins, Walk 3 mins. Repeat 2 times.

Focus: Preparing for longer continuous runs.

Week Eight

  • Monday: Run 10 mins, Walk 3 mins. Repeat 2 times.
  • Wednesday: Run 12 mins, Walk 3 mins. Repeat 2 times.
  • Friday: Run 20 mins at an easy, slow pace.

Focus: Running for longer durations without breaks.

Final Thoughts:

  • Celebrate Your Progress: Each week, acknowledge how far you’ve come.
  • Listen to Your Body: If you feel pain or extreme discomfort, take extra rest or consult a doctor.
  • Stay Motivated: Remember why you started and visualize how much healthier and stronger you’re becoming.

The Easy 60-Day Plan For Beginners

If the above plan is a bit complicated for you, try the following simplified version.

Overall Goal: To progressively increase endurance and stamina, balancing longer walks with run-walking intervals.

Week 1: Establish a Solid Base

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Walk for 30 minutes, either indoors, on a treadmill, or outdoors.
  • Focus: Building a strong walking routine.

Week 2: Increase Walking Duration

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Extend to 40 minutes of walking.
  • Focus: Enhancing endurance and stamina.

Week 3: Expand Your Walking Range

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Walk around the block four times or aim for 1 mile on the treadmill.
  • Focus: Increasing your walking distance.

Week 4: Step Up the Walking Challenge

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Walk around the block six times or complete 1.5 miles on the treadmill.
  • Focus: Preparing for more intense exercise.

Week 5: Begin Run-Walking

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Alternate between walking two blocks and jogging one block, gradually increasing the jogging portion.
  • Focus: Introducing run-walking.

Week 6: Enhance Run-Walking Intervals

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Alternate between walking two blocks and jogging three blocks.
  • Focus: Increasing the length of run-walking intervals.

Week 7: Challenge with Longer Run-Walking

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Walk two blocks, then jog four blocks.
  • Focus: Building up to longer run-walking intervals.

Week 8: Intensify Your Effort

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Walk two blocks, jog six blocks, then walk three blocks.
  • Focus: Significantly boosting your run-walking distance.

Week 9: Maximize Endurance

  • 4-5 Times/Week: Walk two blocks, jog eight blocks, then walk two blocks.
  • Focus: Pushing your run-walking distances to new heights.

Chill & Enjoy The Process

If you find yourself hitting a bit of a wall and can’t quite move to the next step in your plan, there’s no need to fret or toss and turn at night over it. This journey you’re on is not a race; it’s a personal journey of growth and improvement.

Here’s the key: stick with the level you’re comfortable with until you feel ready to take that next step. There’s no rush. Every bit of effort you put in is valuable and contributes to your overall progress. Remember, every great runner started somewhere, and the most important thing is that you’re out there doing it.

The fact that you’re trying, that you’re committed to this path, already sets you up for success. Progress isn’t always linear, and sometimes, we need a bit more time at a certain stage to build our strength and confidence. That’s perfectly okay!

Running Technique For the Obese Runners

Let me level with you: if you’re not careful about your running technique, you’re playing with fire. As a beginner, especially if you’re carrying some extra weight, your risk of injury skyrockets if you don’t get your form right from the start.

Yes, we’re designed to run, but that doesn’t mean running form comes naturally to most of us. It’s like trying to learn a new dance routine – at first, you’ll feel clumsy and uncoordinated, but with practice, you’ll start moving with grace and ease.

The problem is a lot of beginners make the mistake of running with bad form, and they end up hobbling to the sidelines with an injury.

Fear not – I’ve got some tips to help you run with proper form and reduce your risk of injury.

  • Run tall. Imagine a string pulling you up from the crown of your head, keeping your back flat and your spine straight. Roll your shoulders back and keep your eyes focused on the road ahead. You’ll feel like a superhero, powering through your run with strength and confidence.
  • Engage your core. Think of your abs like a suit of armor, protecting your back and keeping your posture strong.
  • Hips matter. Don’t forget to keep your hips straight – no sticking your butt out or arching your back like a cat stretching.
  • Go flow. As you run, try to create flow by swinging your arms back and forth in time with your strides. It’ll feel like you’re conducting an orchestra, the rhythm of your feet and hands working together in harmony.
  • Stay relaxed. Running with tension in your body is like driving with the emergency brake on – it wastes energy and increases your risk of injury. Keep your face, neck, shoulders, and hands loose and easy, and let yourself sink into the rhythm of your run.
  • Hire someone. Consider booking a session with a coach or taking a class to work on your technique. Trust me; it’s worth the investment in your health and well-being.

Conclusion

Remember, the journey to becoming a runner is unique for each person, especially if you’re starting with extra weight.

It’s not about speed or distance; it’s about finding joy in the movement and celebrating your progress.

Listen to your body, take your time, and embrace the journey. Running is not just a path to physical health; it’s a gateway to a happier, healthier you.

Thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

Running for Weight Loss: How Much Running Do You Really Need?

lose fat

Are you on a mission to shed those extra pounds and get lean?

Well, if you’re wondering how much you should run to lose weight, I’ve got some answers for you. Brace yourself though because it’s not as simple as a one-size-fits-all solution. But fear not, my friend, because I’m here to guide you through the maze of factors and help you maximize your calorie burn while running.

You see, when it comes to running and weight loss, there’s a whole bunch of variables that come into play. It’s not just about lacing up your shoes and hitting the pavement.

We need to consider factors like your fitness level, body composition, metabolism, and even the intensity of your runs. Each runner is unique, and the number of calories burned can vary greatly from one person to another.

But don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging.

In today’s post, I’m going to unravel the mysteries and dive deep into the world of calorie burn while running. I’ll explore all those factors that can affect how many calories you torch during your runs. And most importantly, I’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to make the most out of every mile, ensuring you reach your weight loss and fitness goals in the most efficient way possible.

So, if you’re ready to lace up your running shoes and embark on this weight loss journey with me, keep reading. I’ll be your trusty guide, unveiling the secrets of calorie burn and sharing strategies to supercharge your running sessions.

Are you ready? Let’s do this!”

How Much Should I Run to Lose Weight?

Grab your calculators, folks, because there are approximately 3,500 calories packed into a single pound of fat. Now, on average, for every mile you run, you burn around 100 calories. That means if you lace up and embark on a glorious 5-mile run, you’ll be torching approximately 500 calories—give or take a few.

Now, let’s do some more number crunching. If we stick to the general rule of thumb of burning 100 calories per mile, you’d need to run a whopping 35 miles to shed that one pound of fat. So, imagine running 350 miles to bid farewell to those ten stubborn pounds. It sounds like quite the journey, right?

Now, hold your running shoes for a moment. I’m not suggesting you hit the pavement for an ultra-marathon right away. I’m just here to paint a clear picture. Running alone might not be enough to achieve your weight loss goals, especially if you’re not making any changes to your lifestyle and diet.

That’s where the magic combo of exercise and a balanced diet comes into play. It’s like a dynamic duo, working together to unleash your full weight loss potential. Think of your diet as the fuel that powers your runs. Without it, your weight loss efforts might stumble and falter. So, don’t forget to nourish your body with the right foods and strike a harmonious balance between what you eat and how you move.

Additional Resource – Does Running Burn Stomach Fat?

Weight Loss Explained

Imagine this: you’re juggling two balls, one representing your physical activity and the other symbolizing your nutrition. Each ball represents a piece of the weight loss puzzle, and it’s up to you to adjust the height, speed, and rhythm of your juggling act. By tweaking both elements, you can create a calorie deficit and tip the scales in favor of weight loss.

But hold on, before you dive headfirst into the weight loss sea, let’s set a course. If you’re unsure of where to start and what goal to aim for, fear not! There’s a trusty tool at our disposal—the BMI calculator. Think of it as your guiding compass on this weight loss journey. The BMI not only gives you insights into your overall health but also provides a rough estimate of your body fat levels.

BMI, or Body Mass Index, is like a magic formula that measures the ratio of your weight to your height. It’s a handy indicator that helps us determine if our weight is in harmony with our height, shining a light on the attention our bodies crave in terms of a healthy diet and exercise..

Metabolism Explained

The human body is a bustling city, with various departments working tirelessly to keep everything in order. The blood circulation department ensures that nutrients reach every nook and cranny of your body, delivering the necessary supplies for growth and repair.

The food digestion team breaks down your meals, extracting the building blocks of life and converting them into usable energy. Waste elimination, like the diligent sanitation crew, takes care of removing the byproducts and keeping the city clean and functioning smoothly.

But that’s not all—there’s a team dedicated to the maintenance and repair of cells and tissues, ensuring that your body remains strong and resilient. Meanwhile, the brain and nervous system department work tirelessly, coordinating countless signals and keeping your thoughts sharp and your movements coordinated. And let’s not forget the hormone regulators, the vigilant guardians of balance, making sure everything is in perfect harmony.

Every single moment, these vital functions are carried out, demanding a constant supply of fuel. That’s why our metabolism is always on the clock, ensuring that our bodies receive the energy they need to sustain life. It’s a remarkable symphony of processes, orchestrated by the power of metabolism.

The Second Burner – Physical activity

Imagine you’re in a kitchen, preparing a delicious meal for yourself. On one burner, you have the stove with a simmering pot of your metabolism, diligently converting food into energy. But there’s another burner, equally important, that adds an extra sizzle to the mix—physical activity.

Just like the different types of cooking methods, physical activity comes in various forms. From the gentle tapping of keys on a keyboard to the heart-pounding rhythm of running, every movement you make contributes to burning calories and keeping that second burner lit.

Now, let’s explore the factors that determine the intensity of the flame on that second burner. Firstly, we have to consider the mighty trio: body weight, age, and fitness experience. These elements weave together to create a unique equation that determines your calorie-burning potential while running.

Let’s start with body weight. Picture this: you have two individuals, both running at the same pace and covering the same distance. However, one person weighs 120 pounds while the other weighs 200 pounds. Who do you think will burn more calories? Well, the heavier individual will require more effort to propel themselves forward, resulting in a higher calorie burn. In fact, that 120-pound person can torch up to 620 calories running an 8-minute mile for an hour, while the 200-pound person can scorch around 1500 calories. It’s like they’re stoking the fire with extra logs, generating a more significant calorie burn.

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about speed. Just like turning up the heat on a stovetop, running faster amps up the calorie-burning process. Take our 160-pound runner, for example. If they maintain a 10-minute mile pace, they can burn up to 720 calories in an hour. But if they crank up the intensity, pushing their pace to a swift 7.5-minute mile, they can incinerate approximately 1000 calories in the same amount of time. That’s like adding a turbocharger to their calorie-burning engine.

But here’s where things get even more exciting. High-intensity training, like adding extra spices to your dish, can trigger what’s known as the “afterburn effect.” It’s like a secret ingredient that keeps the flame roaring even after you’ve finished running. This phenomenon, scientifically called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), refers to the energy your body needs to return to its pre-workout state.

woman running

Additional resource – Here’s how to lose body fat.

Incline For Weight Loss

Training intensity can also be affected by the surface you’re running on.

Running uphill and running on a flat surface is not the same experience.

The former is more challenging; therefore, it burns more calories.

In fact, you can burn up to three to five calories per minute, depending on the incline, then running on a flat surface.

Research out of the Journal of Sports Sciences revealed that incline running achieves greater leg muscle activation than running on the decline slope.

This obviously means more calories burned.

For example, the same 160-pound person from before may burn 200 calories during a 45-minute treadmill walk at 4.0 mph.

But if they just changed the incline to 5 percent, their calorie burn can go up to 300 calories for the same duration.

Additional link – Slow running vs fast running for weight loss

Losing Weight While Running

Let’s begin with a fantastic technique that allows you to customize your running experience—the run/walk method. It’s like having a secret weapon in your weight loss arsenal.

The beauty of this method is that you have the power to determine your own walk-to-jog ratios and the number of times you repeat them. It’s your personal symphony of strides, conducted by none other than you. However, remember to keep your ego in check because progress is built on consistency and gradual improvement.

Now, let’s break down the steps to get you started on your weight loss journey with the run/walk method:

Step 1: Warm-up

Before embarking on your running adventure, it’s essential to prepare your body for the challenge ahead. Start with a brisk walk for 5 to 10 minutes. This gentle warm-up primes your muscles, increases your heart rate, and sets the stage for the magic to come.

Step 2: The Run/Walk Dance

Once you’re warmed up and feeling ready, it’s time to start the run/walk dance. Begin by jogging for one minute—let your feet hit the pavement in a rhythmic stride, feeling the exhilaration of each step. Then, gracefully transition into a one-minute walk, allowing your body to recover and catch its breath. This alternating pattern of jogging and walking is the heartbeat of the run/walk method.

Step 3: Rinse and Repeat

Continue the jog-walk pattern for a total of 15 to 20 minutes. As you gracefully weave between the realms of jogging and walking, you’ll build your stamina, increase your cardiovascular fitness, and start to witness the incredible calorie-burning potential of running. Feel the sense of accomplishment with each repetition, knowing that you’re one step closer to your weight loss goals.

Step 4: Cool Down

As you approach the finish line of your run/walk session, it’s time to cool down. Gradually reduce your pace to an easy walk for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows your body to gradually return to its resting state, your breathing steadying, and your heart rate finding its calm rhythm once again.

Be Careful

Imagine embarking on a weight loss journey as if it were a grand expedition. The road ahead is filled with twists and turns, and you hold the compass to guide you towards success. As you begin logging the miles, it’s important to remember not to get caught up in the frenzy of pushing yourself too hard. Just like a delicate dance, finding the right balance is key.

Picture this: You’re on a scenic trail, surrounded by the beauty of nature. The sunlight filters through the leaves, casting a warm glow on the path before you. As you move forward, you feel the rhythm of your feet hitting the ground, syncing with the beating of your heart. This is your time to shine, to push yourself, but also to listen to the whispers of your body.

In the pursuit of weight loss, it’s essential to avoid the traps of overdoing it. Just like a roaring fire that burns too bright, pushing your body beyond its limits can result in injury and burnout. Remember, my friend, sustainable weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself, listen to your body’s cues, and find joy in the journey.

Additional resource – How to cut sugar intake

How Much Should I Run to Lose Weight – The conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking for the answer to how Much Should I Run to Lose Weight then today’s post has you covered. the rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

Thank you for stopping by.

Running to a Flat Stomach: The Ultimate Guide to Belly Fat Loss For Runners

runner belly fat

Ready to dive into the exciting world of running and its magical fat-burning powers? Well, you’re in for a treat because we’re about to uncover the truth about one of your most burning questions (pun intended): Does running burn belly fat?

Spoiler alert: Heck yeah, it does!

In fact, running is like that trusty sidekick many beginners recruit on their quest for a flat stomach. It’s the ultimate weight loss superhero, helping you shed those extra pounds and reveal your inner runner’s physique.

But here’s the kicker: while running is a fantastic weapon in your fat-burning arsenal, it’s not a one-person show.

Nope, it needs a supporting cast of the right diet and lifestyle changes to truly work its magic.

So, in today’s post, we’re serving up a plateful of wisdom on how to banish that stubborn belly fat and unveil the coveted flat stomach.

But before we dig into the juicy details, let’s kick things off with a quick chat about what exactly belly fat is and its impact on your health.

What’s Belly Fat?

Belly fat is like the supervillain of the fat world, and it goes by the ominous name of ‘visceral fat’ in the medical realm. This sneaky villain doesn’t just hang around idly; it’s the most dangerous fat you can find in your body.

Picture this: Visceral fat sets up camp in your abdominal area, almost like an unwelcome guest that overstays its welcome. It’s not just there for the view; it wraps itself around your vital organs like a menacing shroud.

Now, here’s a sobering statistic: surveys have revealed that more than 30 percent of U.S. adults fall into the ‘obese’ category.

That’s a bit over one in every three people, and it’s earned the U.S. the rather unwanted title of one of the ‘fluffiest’ countries globally. If things continue on this trajectory, it’s not far-fetched to predict that by 2040, more than half the U.S. population could be dealing with obesity.

But here’s the real kicker: belly fat isn’t just about how your jeans fit or your beach body goals. It’s a serious troublemaker with a rap sheet that includes being a prime suspect in various life-threatening diseases.

We’re talking about Type II diabetes, heart diseases, coronary artery disease, hypertension, some cancers, sleep apnea, and even shorter life expectancy.

Running To Lose Belly Fat And Get A Flat Stomach

Here is a list of smart habits that will help you get rid of that dad’s bod and enjoy a sexier stomach.

Part 1 – Diet Changes to Get A Flat Stomach

The kitchen is the heart of the house and also where the battle for losing belly fat is won or lost.

Make the following changes to your nutrition plan and see your belly-slimming down as a result.

  1. Remove The Sugars

If you’re on a quest for that coveted flat stomach and want to reach your goal as swiftly as a superhero in flight, here’s a game-changer for you: reduce your daily sugar intake.

And guess what? Science isn’t just cheering from the sidelines; it’s on the frontlines of this sugary battle, waving a victory flag. Here’s the evidence:

Study 1:

Ever wondered about the impact of white bread on your belly? Research has shown that subjects who indulged in four to five servings of white bread daily ended up with more belly fat compared to those who opted for just one serving, despite consuming the same number of calories. It’s a clear signal that sugar-packed foods can wreak havoc on your midsection.

Study 2:

Low-carb diets have been found to be appetite tamers, paving the way for weight loss. It’s like having a secret weapon to fend off those pesky cravings.

Study 3:

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dropped a bombshell – the average American now consumes a whopping 80 more calories per day than they did in 1977, largely due to increased sugar intake. It’s time to reverse this trend and take back control of our health.

Your Action Plan:

Now, here’s the part where you become the hero of your story. Cut back (or bid farewell forever) to all forms of refined and processed sugars. That includes waving goodbye to white bread, cookies, waffles, muffins, candy, chips, bagels, pastries, cakes, donuts, pasta, crackers, junk, and fried foods – basically, anything that comes in a bag or a box.

  1. Banish Liquid Calories

Liquid calories are like stealthy ninjas infiltrating your diet, and they come in all shapes and sizes – soda, coffee, energy drinks, fruit juice, beer, and a bunch of sugar-loaded beverages.

Liquid sugars are the sneakiest of them all. They don’t register the same way in your brain as solid food does. So, you end up consuming a boatload of extra calories without even realizing it.

And yes, even diet coke gets a bad rap here.

In a jaw-dropping revelation, a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society uncovered that folks who regularly sipped on diet soda gained triple the fat over nine years compared to those who abstained from it. That’s right – even artificial sugars can throw a wrench in your flat-stomach plans.

Your Battle Plan:

So, what’s the game plan, you ask? It’s all about mindful eating.

Focus on what truly fuels your body and promotes your well-being.

Here’s the battle cry: limit your intake of all liquid calorie sources, be it coke, sports drinks, beer, alcohol, juice, coffee concoctions, or any other sugar-laden beverages. Instead, raise your glass to water.

  1. Eat More Healthy Fats

Are you guilty of giving fats the cold shoulder because you’re on a mission to shed some pounds? Well, hold that thought because here’s a truth bomb: not all fats are created equal, and you’re about to discover a game-changing secret.

In reality, fats are like the unsung heroes of your diet, right up there with carbs and proteins. They play a crucial role in your nutrition game, and neglecting them is a big no-no.

Don’t take my word for it.

Here’s some solid evidence to back it up: research published in the journal Diabetic Care spilled the beans that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats can outperform a high-carb diet in regulating blood sugar levels. That’s right, fats are taking the lead in the race to better health!

And if that’s not impressive enough, another study published in the medical journal Appetite unveiled the power of long-chain omega-3 fats in taming your hunger pangs.

So, where do you find these mighty healthy fats? They’re hiding in plain sight in foods like olives and olive oil, canola oil, flax oil, seeds, peanuts, cashews, almonds, peanut butter, avocados, sesame seeds, tahini, and even pesto sauce.

  1. Count Your Calories

Let’s face it – we’re not exactly human calculators when it comes to estimating calories in our meals or the ones we burn during a sweat-inducing workout.

Research straight from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center backs up this reality check. It revealed that even when people make an effort to keep tabs on calories consumed, they still miss the mark by around 18 percent. It’s a bit like searching for treasure but coming up short on the chest of gold.

And if you thought it was just you, think again! People, whether on a weight-loss journey or comfortably nestled in a healthy weight range, tend to overestimate the calories they torch during exercise, surveys show. It’s like running a marathon in your mind while taking a leisurely stroll in reality.

Your Game Plan:

It’s time to sharpen our calorie-counting skills, but let’s do it smarter, not harder. There’s a world of apps and online resources waiting to simplify the process, provided you’re willing to embrace them.

Here’s a handy list of apps and websites to get you started:

  • SparkPeople
  • Lose it!
  • MyPlate
  • FitDay
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Cron-o-meter

To figure out how many calories you should eat each day, use this calculator

  • Training intensity
  • Fitness level
  • Age
  • Bodyweight
  • Gender
  1. Eat A High-Protein Diet

In a fascinating experiment detailed in The FASEB Journal, a group of female subjects embarked on a two-month dietary adventure.

One team followed a plan with approximately 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 40 percent carbs, while the control group opted for a diet with 16 percent protein, 26 percent fat, and a whopping 55 percent carbs.

Now, here’s where it gets exciting: the first group, the protein warriors, emerged as the clear winners. They bid farewell to a significantly higher amount of fat, including the notorious belly fat, all without sacrificing their precious muscle mass.

Your Road to Success:

Make protein your trusty sidekick in the battle for a flat stomach. Aim for roughly 30 to 35 percent of your daily calories to come from lean sources of high-quality protein.

We’re talking about protein-packed goodies like lean meats, whole eggs, fish, nuts, and dairy..

  1. Eat Probiotics

Let’s dive into the world of probiotics – those friendly little bacteria that hang out in foods and supplements, doing wonders for your gut health. But here’s the plot twist: they’re not just gut heroes; they’re also your allies in the war against tummy fat. It’s like getting a bonus prize in a treasure hunt!

In a scientific revelation published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, brave subjects embarked on a journey of probiotic exploration. They sipped on two cups a day of fermented milk loaded with Lactobacillus Gasseri, a probiotic strain, for a solid three months.

And what did they discover? A reduction in abdominal visceral fat by around 4.6 percent and subcutaneous fat shrinking by just over 3 percent.

But that’s not all – other research piles on the support, highlighting that probiotics aren’t just handy for overall weight loss; they’re specialists in tackling belly fat, too.

Your Journey to a Healthier Gut:

So, how do you keep these helpful probiotic buddies thriving? It’s all about the prebiotics – foods that are like the VIP invite for probiotics to flourish. These prebiotic-rich wonders are packed with soluble fiber and include asparagus, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, and leeks.

  1. Try Intermittent Fasting

A deep dive into research reveals that subjects who practiced intermittent fasting witnessed a remarkable 4 to 7 percent reduction in abdominal fat in as little as two to six months. It’s like discovering a secret passage to a flatter stomach.

In another eye-opening study published in the journal Cell Research, even mice got in on the action. They followed a diet where they feasted for two days, then fasted for a full 24 hours. The result? Drastic weight loss in just weeks.

But how does this magic trick work? It’s a combination of powerful mechanisms:

  • It lowers insulin levels, the key player in fat storage.
  • It reigns in ghrelin, the pesky “hunger hormone” that makes you reach for those snacks.
  • IF unleashes human growth hormone, your body’s fat-burning ally.
  • It revs up blood flow to your belly’s subcutaneous fat, saying goodbye to excess baggage.
  • IF recruits anti-inflammatory cells, calming the storm of inflammation.

You Action Plan

Here’s my personal favorite – the 16/8 method. It’s a breeze once your body adjusts. You fast for 16 hours, then enjoy all your meals in an 8-hour window.

For instance, your eating hours could be from 1 pm to 9 pm. Coffee is allowed in the morning, but skip the sugar or sweets to avoid those pesky hunger pangs.

  1. Drink Green Tea

When it comes to healthy beverages, there’s a superstar in town – green tea! No fancy lattes or frappes, just pure, classic green tea à la Japan. And the science is crystal clear – this brew is your secret weapon for a metabolism boost that’s as refreshing as it is effective.

Research spills the tea (pun intended) on this wonder drink. Drinking green tea can rev up your metabolism by up to 4 percent. It might not sound like a lot, but trust me, it adds up, turning your body into a fat-burning furnace.

But wait, there’s more! According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who sipped on green tea with caffeine witnessed the pounds melt away, especially that stubborn belly fat.

Your Green Tea Ritual:

So, how can you tap into these green tea benefits? Aim for around 600 mg of green tea per day, which roughly translates to two to three cups.

But here’s a pro tip for those who wrestle with insomnia – sip it gradually so it won’t disrupt your precious sleep.

Additional resource – Here’s how to lose body fat.

  1. Eat Plenty of Soluble Fiber

Imagine this: for every extra ten grams of soluble fiber you add to your daily intake, you could be bidding farewell to 3.7 percent of that pesky tummy fat over five years.

Let’s back this up with some science.

In a groundbreaking experiment published in the journal Obesity, subjects who upped their soluble fiber game experienced this astonishing reduction in belly fat. And guess what?

It’s easier than you think – ten grams of soluble fiber can be as simple as two servings of black beans, two small apples, or two cups of asparagus.

But that’s not all – another study, this time from the Journal of Nutrition, unveiled even more fiber-related wonders. Subjects who embraced fiber from whole grains and cereals found themselves sporting less body fat and, you guessed it, less belly fat.

Your Fiber-Rich Feast:

So, where can you find this belly-fat-busting soluble fiber? It’s hiding in plain sight, waiting for you to discover its power. Feast your eyes on foods like flaxseeds, Brussels sprouts, avocados, Shirataki noodles, legumes, and blackberries.

  1. Eat Fatty Fish

Let’s dive into the deep blue sea for a game-changer in your battle against belly fat – fatty fish like mackerel. And guess what? Science has your back on this one!

A study fresh from the British Journal of Nutrition reveals that the omega-3 fatty acids found in these oceanic wonders are your ticket to reducing visceral fat.

But here’s the kicker – you don’t have to become a seafood expert to enjoy these benefits. Fish oil supplements are here to save the day if you can’t reel in fresh fish. It’s like a shortcut to a slimmer waistline!

And here’s the real deal: research on subjects with fatty liver disease uncovered the astonishing power of fish oil supplements. They can slash abdominal and liver fat, turning the tide in your favor.

Your Fatty Fish Feast:

Ready to embark on this delicious journey? Aim for a minimum of three servings of fatty fish per week to flood your system with those omega-3 superheroes. Cast your net for options like sardines, halibut, salmon, herring, and mackerel.

  1. Go Easy on The Alcohol

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – alcohol. You’ve probably heard of the infamous “beer belly,” and it’s not just a myth. Those sips of wine, beer, or spirits can quietly sabotage your belly-fat-busting efforts.

Here’s the deal: a single serving of your favorite alcoholic beverage can sneak in a hefty 120 to 150 calories. And let’s be real, who stops at just one? Overindulgence can lead to a calorie overload that spells trouble for your waistline.

But there’s more to the story.

A study published in Obesity uncovered a not-so-fun fact – alcohol makes your brain more sensitive to the tantalizing smell of food, revving up your appetite. It’s like a one-two punch to your dieting efforts!

Sip Smartly:

Now, I’m not here to rain on your parade. I’m all for enjoying a drink now and then. What I’m suggesting is moderation – it’s your secret weapon for a flatter stomach.

Part 2 – Exercise & Running Strategies to Lose Stomach Fat 

The way you run and exercise, in general, also matters when it comes to burning belly fat.

Apply the following strategies to ensure you’re making the most out of your sweat time.

  1. Do Intervals

Alright, we’ve got a secret weapon in the fight against belly fat, and it’s not endless miles of running. It’s time to introduce you to the magic of interval training – the game-changer for a flatter stomach!

Here’s the scoop: instead of monotonous long runs, we’re diving into intervals. Picture this – you alternate between high-intensity bursts of running and gentle jogging or walking for recovery.

And the best part? It’s not just about speed; it’s science-backed too. Studies have spoken, and they confirm that intervals are the ultimate belly-fat-busting tool.

Here’s your action plan:

Start with a proper warm-up – 5 to 10 minutes of slow jogging to get those muscles fired up.

Now, here comes the fun part – go hard for 30 seconds, then take a one-minute breather. It’s all about pushing yourself to about an 8 or 9 on the RPE scale.

Rinse and repeat – keep up this cycle for 15 to 20 minutes.

And don’t forget to cool down to let those hard-working muscles ease into recovery mode.

For more, check my six fat burning workouts.

  1. No More Crunches

Sit-ups and crunches, we’ve all been there, but here’s the scoop – they might not be your best bet for melting away that stubborn belly fat. It’s time to introduce you to a whole new world of ab exercises that are not only efficient but also incredibly effective in helping you lose that spare tire.

So, what’s the secret sauce?

You need exercises that do more than just target your abs; they should engage multiple muscle groups and give your cardiovascular system a run for its money.

It’s like a total body workout that torches calories while sculpting your core, including those upper and lower abs, obliques, and even your glutes!

Meet the Planks:

Let me introduce you to a true core powerhouse – the plank! Picture yourself in a standard push-up position, core engaged, back flat, and forearms firmly grounded.

Planks are the real deal, not only hammering your core but also firing up your legs, chest, and shoulders. It’s like a full-body symphony!

But here’s the secret sauce – start slow and steady. If you’re new to planks, begin with 3 to 5 sets of 20 to 30 seconds each. As you get stronger, extend those holds and sprinkle in some exciting variations.

  1. Try HIIT Bodyweight Training

Get ready to supercharge your fat loss journey with a game-changer called High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This fitness dynamo involves alternating between heart-pounding, intense exercise intervals and blissful moments of low-intensity recovery.

But don’t just take my word for it; science has your back on this one. Greek researchers have discovered that HIIT can help you shed more belly fat compared to traditional, steady-state cardio workouts. It’s all about maximizing your results in less time – who wouldn’t love that?

HIIT isn’t just about burning calories during your workout; it’s like a gift that keeps on giving. Research published in the Journal of Sports & Physical Fitness reveals that HIIT workouts turbocharge your metabolism. That means your body becomes a calorie-burning furnace, even hours after you’ve left the gym!

Here’s your action plan:

Get started with my bodyweight routine below, aiming for as many reps as you can with perfect form.

Take a quick 20-second breather between each exercise.

After completing a round, rest for a well-deserved one to two minutes.

Aim to conquer six to eight rounds.

The HIIT Routine: Get ready to sweat it out with this body-transforming routine:

  1. Perform Resistance Training

Research has spoken, and it’s clear that resistance training is a game-changer for people dealing with these health challenges. For instance, a study showcased that combining strength training with cardio exercises is the most effective way to bid farewell to that pesky visceral fat, even if you’re a teenager struggling with excess weight.

Your Action Plan:

Let’s get you on the path to success with these guidelines:

  • Get a Personal Trainer: Starting your resistance training journey with a personal trainer is a wise move. They’ll ensure you nail the right form from day one, preventing injuries and maximizing your gains.
  • Combine with Cardio: Take your workouts up a notch by integrating cardio elements. Think kettlebells, battle ropes, and medicine ball exercises to keep things fresh and exciting.
  • Embrace Compound Moves: Forget about the myth of spot reduction; it’s time to focus on multi-joint, full-body exercises. Squats, bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses, and burpees should become your new best friends.
  • Lift Heavy: Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights with fewer reps. Research proves that this approach is the most effective for shedding body fat, and you won’t end up looking bulky—promise!

Lifestyle Changes To Get a Flat Stomach

Your everyday lifestyle choices can also affect your belly fat loss results.

Don’t worry.

I’m sharing with you below the exact measures you need to take to get your lifestyle up to speed.

The sweat will be for nothing if you neglect your lifestyle.

  1. Sleep Well

When it comes to shedding belly fat and improving your overall health, there’s one thing you should never underestimate: sleep. Here’s what the science says about the vital connection between sleep and visceral fat.

A study featured in the journal Sleep found that those who logged six to seven hours of uninterrupted sleep during the night had the lowest levels of visceral fat. Going above or below that range was linked to higher levels of belly fat, with the worst numbers reported by those who slept less than five hours.

Moreover, in a comprehensive 16-year study, it was revealed that women who consistently slept less than five hours per night were more likely to gain weight compared to those who enjoyed a solid seven hours or more of sleep.

What’s more?

Sleep deprivation is associated with various conditions that contribute to excess visceral fat, including an increase in cortisol and serotonin levels, reduced insulin sensitivity, lower levels of the satiety hormone leptin, and increased secretion of hunger-inducing ghrelin.

Your Action Plan for Quality Sleep:

  • 7-8 Hours of Sleep: Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep during the night.
  • Create a Sleep Sanctuary: Remove distractions like TVs, smartphones, and electronics from your bedroom.
  • Optimal Temperature: Keep your room comfortably cool, around 65 degrees, or at a temperature that suits your preference.
  • Caffeine-Free Zone: Avoid caffeine and other stimulants three to four hours before bedtime.
  • Consistent Sleep Schedule: Stick to a regular sleeping schedule, even on weekends.
  • Prioritize Sleep: Sometimes, you can’t do it all. Accept that you can’t accomplish everything on your to-do list.
  • Purpose-Driven Bedroom: Reserve your bedroom for two things only: sleep and intimacy.
  1. Reduce Stress

Did you know that stress could be a silent saboteur when it comes to your weight loss journey? Here’s how stress can pack on the pounds and what you can do about it.

Research from Ohio State University has uncovered the unsettling connection between stress and weight gain. When stress disrupts your hormonal balance, it can make you hungrier as your body continuously releases cortisol as long as the stress persists.

And things can get worse. The double whammy is that when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to reach for high-fat, high-calorie comfort foods. Why? These foods trigger the release of “feel-good” chemicals in your brain, providing temporary relief from tension.

Your Stress-Busting Action Plan:

  • Meditation: Explore meditation techniques like Vipassana, Transcendental Meditation, or vibrational meditation with Tibetan bowls or gong baths.
  • Journaling: Keep a daily journal to identify stressors and find constructive ways to deal with them.
  • Yoga: Consider joining a restorative yoga class to alleviate stress.
  • Prioritize “Me Time”: Learn to be assertive and say no when needed to create time for yourself.
  • Quality Sleep: Aim for 7 to 8 hours of restorative sleep per night.
  • Streamline Your Life: Eliminate sources of friction and uncertainty in your life.
  • Enjoy Your Interests: Make time for activities you love, even if it’s re-watching your favorite show for the umpteenth time.
  1. Set Challenging Goals

Want to know a powerful weight loss strategy? Set challenging goals!

Research from Nottingham University found that goal setting plays a pivotal role in long-term weight loss success.

Here’s what the study revealed:

  • No Clear Goals = Least Success: Participants who didn’t set clear goals were the least successful overall.
  • Modest Goals = Decent Progress: Those with relatively modest goals shed 10% of their body weight, a respectable achievement.
  • Challenging Goals = Impressive Results: The real winners were those who set challenging goals.

They lost a remarkable 19% of their body weight in just one year, nearly twice as much as the “realistic goal” group. Plus, this aligns with expert recommendations for safe weight loss.

Action Step:

Start by setting short-term fat loss goals. These smaller, achievable milestones pave the way to your ultimate objectives. For example, aim to lose one pound per week.

While it may seem slow, it adds up. Maintain this rate for three months, and you’ll reach your longer-term goal of shedding 10 to 12 pounds, which is 10 to 20% of your starting weight. Remember, slow and steady wins the race – instant results are rarely sustainable.

  1. Stay Consistent

Here’s the secret to shedding those extra pounds and ensuring they stay off: consistent, gradual weight loss. Research from Drexel University highlights the importance of this approach.

In a year-long study involving 183 overweight participants, those who consistently lost a small amount of weight over the first two months ultimately achieved more significant weight loss than yo-yo dieters.

Despite the initial appearance of greater results in the yo-yo dieters, steady progress proved to be the winning strategy.

Consistency isn’t just the key to weight loss; it’s a trait shared by highly successful individuals worldwide. They demonstrate unwavering perseverance, refusing to give up before they even begin.

Action Step:

Make exercise a daily priority and eliminate junk foods from your life. Put in the work consistently, and you’ll witness improvements over time, even if the results aren’t immediate. While it’s okay to indulge occasionally, limit recreational foods and cheat days as much as possible.

Losing Belly Fat While Running – The Conclusion

I think that’s it for today. If you’re still asking yourself, “Does running burn belly fat?” then today’s article should get you started on the right path.

Don’t worry; I will be writing more about running to lose belly fat in the near future.

Please do your best to put into action what you just learned so you can lose your belly fat and enjoy a flat stomach.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

David D

Shedding the Weight: How to Lose 100 Pounds the Right Way

Picture of 100 pounds

Are you ready to embark on a journey that will transform not just your physical appearance, but also your entire life?

I’m talking about losing a whopping 100 pounds or more. If you find yourself in the realm of obesity or morbid obesity, it’s time to take charge of your health and well-being.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it—losing such a significant amount of weight is no walk in the park. It’s a challenging and transformative process that requires dedication, perseverance, and a sprinkle of patience.

But here’s the silver lining: By shedding those extra pounds, you not only reduce your risk of health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart diseases, but you also unlock a world of newfound confidence and vitality.

But let’s address the burning question on everyone’s minds: How long does it actually take to lose 100 pounds?

Well, my friend, the answer isn’t as simple as a one-size-fits-all solution. It varies from person to person, depending on various factors such as your starting weight, metabolism, lifestyle, and commitment to a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Let’s buckle up and get started, shall we?

How Long Does it take to Lose 100 Pounds?

The question that lingers on the minds of those ready to embark on a remarkable weight loss journey: How long will it take to shed to those stubborn 100 pounds? Well, I must confess that the path to shedding that weight is quite the adventure, filled with twists, turns, and a healthy dose of unpredictability.

You see, the process of weight loss is like a roller coaster ride through a whimsical theme park. It’s exhilarating, yes, but also filled with unexpected loops and dips. And here’s the truth that often catches people off guard—it’s not a linear journey. Just because you shed 10 pounds last month doesn’t mean the next month will follow suit. Weight loss has a mind of its own, and it loves to keep us guessing

But fear not! Armed with the right tools and mindset, you can set a realistic goal of losing 100 pounds within a timeframe of 12 to 18 months. Think of it as embarking on a thrilling expedition where every step brings you closer to your destination. It’s a steady pace of about 1 to 2 pounds lost per week—a rhythm that allows your body to adjust and adapt as you progress.

Now, I must be honest and share that those miraculous tales of individuals shedding 100 pounds in just six months are as rare as finding a four-leaf clover in a bustling city.

While they exist, they’re like mythical creatures that grace us with their presence once in a blue moon.

So, my friend, let’s keep our expectations grounded in reality and celebrate each milestone along the way.

How To Lose 100 Pounds?

Without further ado, here are my best guidelines and tips on how to lose 100 pounds  the safe way. I hope you find them useful.

1.     Start with Realistic Goals

The journey of losing 100 pounds begins with the first step—a step towards setting realistic goals and embracing the adventure that lies ahead.

You’re standing at the base of a majestic mountain, gazing up at its towering peak. This mountain represents your weight loss goal of shedding those mighty 100 pounds. Just as this mountain wasn’t formed overnight, neither did those pounds accumulate in a blink of an eye. They sneaked up on you, inch by inch, just like the slow but steady growth of a tree’s roots.

Now, imagine if we tried to conquer that mountain with a single leap, fueled by the promises of flashy infomercials and overnight miracles. We’d surely come crashing down, realizing that such quick fixes are nothing more than illusions. No, my friend, this journey requires a steadfast commitment and a mindset tuned for the long haul.

So, let’s set our sights on a realistic timeframe. Aiming to lose one to two pounds per week is not only attainable but also healthy for your body and mind. Think of it as chipping away at the mountain’s summit, one step at a time, feeling the burn in your muscles and the strength in your determination.

Now, here’s where the math comes in. If we aim for a weight loss rate of one to two pounds per week, it may take us around one to two years to reach our 100-pound milestone. Yes, my friend, that might sound like a long time. But let me ask you this: Isn’t it worth it to reclaim your health, your happiness, and your sense of self? Isn’t it far more satisfying to embark on this adventure, knowing that each day brings you closer to your ultimate goal?

In the vast realm of time, 50 weeks may pass by in the blink of an eye. And within those weeks, you’ll witness incredible changes—both physically and mentally. You’ll discover the power of perseverance, the joy of small victories, and the resilience of the human spirit.

2. Start Exercising

Research and studies have shown that aiming for 150 to 180 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week can work wonders for your weight loss goals. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about running marathons or bench-pressing cars here. Instead, we’ll focus on enjoyable activities that get your heart pumping and your body moving.

Picture yourself strolling through a serene forest, feeling the gentle crunch of leaves beneath your feet. That’s right, my friend, walking is where we’ll begin. It’s a beautiful and accessible form of exercise that allows you to connect with nature, clear your mind, and burn calories all at once. Start with a leisurely 20 to 30-minute walk or mix it up with some gentle jog-walking. Let your body ease into it, gradually increasing your time and intensity.

As you gain strength and confidence, you can extend your walks to 45 minutes and beyond. Remember, slow and steady wins the race—no need to rush. The key is to find a pace that challenges you but doesn’t leave you gasping for breath. This gradual approach will ensure that your body adapts and avoids any unnecessary wear and tear.

But here’s the secret ingredient to success: Find an exercise program that speaks to your soul, my friend. Just as different melodies resonate with different hearts, there are countless workout options for you to explore.

Whether it’s the rhythmic splashes of swimming, the freedom of cycling through the streets, or the elliptical’s smooth glide, there’s a form of exercise that will ignite your passion.

Additional resource – Running with diabetes

3. Write A Meal Plan

Picture a cozy Sunday afternoon, the scent of possibility in the air. This is your designated meal planning time. Take a seat, breathe in, and let the ideas flow. Plan out your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and even healthy drinks for the upcoming week.

Feel free to unleash your creativity in the kitchen. Explore new recipes, experiment with vibrant ingredients, and discover the joy of nourishing your body with wholesome foods. But remember, balance is key. Your meals should be both delicious and aligned with your weight loss goals.

Once your meal plan is complete, don’t tuck it away in a forgotten corner. Post it up somewhere prominent, where it can proudly proclaim its presence. This way, every day, you’ll be greeted by a visual reminder of your well-crafted plan—a guiding star on your weight loss journey.

As you embark on this culinary adventure, you’ll find that simplicity is often the key to success. Instead of overwhelming yourself with an elaborate menu, seek out a few signature meals that truly tantalize your taste buds. These culinary gems will become your trusted allies, saving you time and sparing you from decision fatigue.

4. Get Rid of Unhealthy Food

The presence of junk food in your home can be a formidable adversary. It whispers sweet nothings into your ear, seducing you with promises of instant gratification. But fear not, for you possess the power to overcome these temptations. Out of sight, out of mind—and mouth!

Numerous studies have shown that the environment we surround ourselves with greatly influences our eating habits. When junk food is readily available, we’re more likely to succumb to its tantalizing allure. But by banishing these calorie-laden culprits from your home, you’re removing their power over you.

Bid farewell to the chips that beckon from the pantry shelves, the cookies that wink at you from the cookie jar, and the ice cream that whispers promises of sweet indulgence. It’s time to evict them from your fortress of health.

Now, envision your pantry shelves adorned with the vibrant hues of nature’s bounty—crisp carrots, juicy apples, and plump berries. These are the heroes of your new culinary landscape. By keeping them at eye level, you ensure that they take center stage in your quest for healthier choices.

A mountain of research papers has emphasized the importance of fruits and vegetables in maintaining a healthy weight. These nutritional powerhouses are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while being naturally low in calories. They nourish your body, support your weight loss goals, and leave you feeling energized and satisfied

5. Keep Track

You cannot improve on what cannot be measured. This is true whether you’re the CEO of 500-fortune company or simply trying to lose 100 pounds.

Keep a daily record of your weight, blood sugar levels, water intake, blood pressure, amount of sleep, mood, length and intensity of your exercise, and everything you put in your mouth.

Don’t take my word for it. Research shows that keeping track while trying to lose weight makes it more likely that you’ll achieve your goals and keep the extra pounds off long term.

This also should serve as a reference point to which you can look back and take stock of how much progress you’re making.

Additional resource – Here’s how to lose body fat.

6. Track Your Progress

In the wondrous journey of weight loss, my friend, it’s important to open your eyes wide and observe the signs of transformation that extend far beyond the numbers on that scale. Those digits should not hold the power of scripture over your progress, for they are but one piece of the intricate puzzle.

As you stay committed to your program and embark on this path of self-improvement, you’ll begin to witness the remarkable metamorphosis taking place within you. It’s not just about the numbers decreasing—it’s about the way your body shape evolves, the way your clothes drape differently upon your frame, and the newfound confidence that radiates from within.

I urge you to embrace these tangible signs of progress as invaluable feedback—a testament to your hard work and dedication. Allow them to serve as powerful motivators, igniting the fire within you to keep pushing forward. For as the pounds melt away, so too does any doubt that lingers, replaced by the undeniable strength of your human nature to strive for more.

Now, let’s talk about the stats—the markers of your triumphs that extend beyond the confines of a scale. These are the measurements that bear witness to your transformation, and they deserve your attention:

First, pay heed to how your clothes fit. Notice how they hug your body differently, how they glide effortlessly over your curves, and how they become a reflection of the new, vibrant you. Celebrate each time you find yourself reaching for a smaller size—a tangible testament to your progress.

Next, tune in to the whispers of your body. Observe how you feel from day to day. Do you have newfound energy, a spring in your step, or a sense of lightness that permeates your being? These subtle shifts in your well-being are an affirmation that you’re moving in the right direction.

Take out your trusty measuring tape and chart the journey by measuring the circumference of your thighs, waist, neck, and arms. Witness the inches that vanish, signifying the steady sculpting of your physique. Let each measurement serve as a milestone, a reminder of the progress you’ve made and the untapped potential that lies ahead.

Lastly, consider delving deeper into the realm of body composition by measuring your body fat percentage. This metric provides a more comprehensive understanding of your progress beyond mere weight. As you embark on this voyage, you may find that your body fat percentage decreases, indicating a shift towards a healthier, more balanced self.

7. Get a Support System

Having the right support system around is a non-negotiable. It’s what’s going to help you keep going whenever you feel like quitting.

It will take a long time to reach your weight loss goal, and it may be along the journey, having the right support system to motivate and encourage you is supercritical.

Find positive people that can hold you accountable and be there for you when you need them for emotional support.

What’s more?

Look up in person or online support groups—there are plenty to go around—and join as many social media groups as possible. That way you’re more likely to meet people who are going through the same ups and downs, which will make you feel like you’re not alone.

8. Expect Plateaus

This is a hard pill to swallow for most.

You’re doing all you’re supposed to be doing—exercising, eating healthy, keeping track of everything–but the scale won’t bulge. This can be quite frustrating.

Here’s the truth.

Don’t worry if you hit a plateau. There will be points where your weight will fluctuate for what it seems like an eternity. Don’t let that deter you.

Plateaus happen to everyone. They’re a sign that you have to figure out what’s wrong with exercise and/or diet plan.

Don’t feel so defeated when—it’s just a matter of time—hit your first plateau. Instead, keep doing the good work. You’ll eventually change the way you’re working out or eating, and try different approaches, and eventually break through the plateau.

Stay focused, keep pushing through, and never give up. It’s only a failure when you give up.

Have faith in the infinite wisdom of the universe—or something like that.

How To lose 100 pounds – The Conclusion

There you have it! These diet, exercise, and lifestyle measures are some of the best things you can do right now to get on the path to lose 100 pounds or more in a relatively short—but very realistic and healthy—time frame. You just need to start today—and never deviate. The rest is just detail.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for reading my post.

Keep running strong.

David D.

Running But Not Losing Weight? Here Are The 10 Reasons

runner trying to lose weight but he keeps gaining pounds

Are you tired of lacing up your running shoes, hitting the pavement with determination, and still not seeing those pounds melt away?

Trust me, you’re not alone. If you’ve been wondering why the numbers on the scale seem stubbornly stuck despite your running efforts, then you’ve stumbled upon the perfect post to unravel this weight loss mystery.

Let’s face it, running is often hailed as the holy grail of weight loss. It’s the go-to activity for countless beginners who are eager to shed those extra pounds and strut their stuff with confidence.

I should know because I embarked on my running journey for the very same reason—to bid farewell to those unwanted pounds once and for all.

But here’s the hard truth: running doesn’t always guarantee weight loss.

When I first embarked on my running journey back in 2006, the pounds started melting away. I was ecstatic as I watched the numbers on the scale drop, shedding around 25 glorious pounds within a few months. But then, the weight loss party came to a screeching halt. Despite my unwavering efforts and determination to stay slim, I found myself regaining about 15 pounds within six months. It felt like a cruel cosmic joke.

But here’s the thing—I refused to give up. I knew deep down that consistency was my only option. So I embarked on a journey of trial and error, determined to crack the code and keep those pounds at bay. And you know what? It worked. Today, I stand before you, ready to spill the beans on the main reasons why your weight loss progress may be slower than expected.

Are you ready? Let’s go.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 1. You are Gaining Muscle Mass

Imagine your body as a canvas, and running as the brush that creates a masterpiece of physical transformation.

When you first embark on your running journey, your body undergoes a series of remarkable changes in response to this newfound activity. It’s like a symphony of adaptations and physiological shifts that set the stage for a total body makeover.

One of the most exciting transformations is the shift in your body composition. Picture this: as you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, your muscles start to awaken from their slumber and begin to grow stronger.

They become lean and sculpted, like the well-defined strokes of an artist’s brush on a canvas. Running has the power to increase muscle mass, particularly in those key running muscles such as the glutes, quads, and calves.

But here’s the catch: while your muscles are gaining mass and becoming more defined, your fat cells may not be as quick to bid farewell. They cling on stubbornly, like an unwelcome guest overstaying their welcome. It’s possible that you could be building muscle faster than shedding fat, which might leave you scratching your head and wondering why the numbers on the scale aren’t dropping as quickly as you’d hoped.

Additional resource – Here’s how to lose body fat.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 2 Bad Nutrition

Here’s the truth: just because you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement regularly doesn’t mean you can indulge in a greasy Big Mac or a decadent slice of chocolate cake without consequences.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not how the real world operates.

Sure, a moderate 45-minute run can torch around 500 calories, but all that hard work can easily be undone if you follow it up with a sugary soda or a tempting donut. It’s like running a race and then taking a detour that leads you right back to the starting line. The calorie deficit you thought you had achieved vanishes in an instant.

In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed a startling truth: people tend to underestimate the calorie content of high-caloric foods nearly 100 percent of the time.

Here’s what you need to do to remedy this quandary.

First and foremost, focus on eating right. While everyone’s eating plan may differ based on factors like genetics, body type, and metabolism, the general rule of thumb is to choose natural, whole foods at least 90 percent of the time. Think of your plate as a vibrant canvas, filled with colorful fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains that nourish your body and support your running goals.

Next, aim for three satisfying meals a day that keep you fueled and energized for four to five hours without the nagging need for constant snacking.

When it comes to food choices, say a resounding “no” to sugary temptations, processed foods, and anything with a laundry list of unpronounceable ingredients. Remember, the fewer the ingredients on the label, the better.

Portion control is another key aspect of successful eating for weight loss. Grab those measuring cups and spoons and use them to keep your serving sizes in check. It’s a simple yet powerful way to ensure you’re not overdoing it and consuming more calories than you intended.

Timing is everything. Yes, even when you eat plays a role in your weight loss efforts. Consider exploring the concept of meal timing and its impact on your body’s metabolism. It may just give you an extra edge in achieving your goals.

Lastly, keep a close eye on your overall calorie intake. Knowledge is power, and monitoring your calories can provide valuable insights. Utilize a simple online calculator to determine your daily calorie needs and adjust accordingly based on your weight loss objectives.

Additional resource – Clean keto food list for beginners

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 3 You Run too Much

Picture this: you’re a dedicated runner, pounding the pavement, logging in those miles, and pushing yourself to new limits. It’s exhilarating, isn’t it? But here’s a plot twist you may not have anticipated: too much running without enough recovery time can throw a wrench in your weight loss vision. Yep, you read that right.

Overtraining is the villain in this story, lurking in the shadows, ready to wreak havoc on your health and sabotage your weight loss efforts. It’s not just about feeling exhausted and fatigued; overtraining can actually mess with your body’s delicate balance, affecting crucial factors like fluid levels, electrolytes, blood sugar, and stress levels.

And guess what? All of these can put a strain on your thyroid and slow down your metabolic rate, dealing a blow to your weight loss aspirations. Talk about a setback you didn’t see coming!

In simple terms, excessive stress, whether it’s from overtraining or other aspects of your life, can be a major roadblock on your weight loss journey, no matter how diligently you champion a healthy lifestyle

Here’s the fix you’ve been waiting for:

Recovery must become your number one priority. Give your body the TLC it deserves and watch as the benefits ripple through every aspect of your well-being. Here’s what you can do to promote effective recovery:

First and foremost, eat for recovery. Focus on post-run nutrition, fueling your body with natural, nutritious foods that replenish your energy stores and support the healing process. Think of it as giving your body the nourishment it needs to bounce back stronger than ever.

Next up, sleep like a champion. Aim for a solid 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted slumber each night. Sleep is when your body works its magic, repairing and rejuvenating itself. Don’t skimp on this essential recovery tool.

To truly prioritize recovery, integrate it into your training program. Schedule dedicated recovery runs, workouts, days, and even weeks. These intentional breaks give your body a chance to recover and adapt, setting the stage for better performance and weight loss progress in the long run.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 4 You’re Not Running Hard (or Long) Enough

You start off on your running journey, taking a few short runs around the block, and you’re thrilled to see a few pounds melt away.

It’s like a magic trick, right?

But then, after a couple of months, you hit a roadblock. Suddenly, the progress comes to a screeching halt. What’s going on? It’s as if your body has decided to play a cruel joke on you.

The truth is quite simple. Our bodies are incredibly smart machines, designed to be efficient and adapt to the demands we place upon them.

So, if you keep running the same route at the same pace, over and over again, your body catches on and says, “I’ve got this.” It adjusts to the workload, and the weight loss party comes to a disappointing end. It’s like hitting a weight loss plateau—a frustrating predicament that can make you want to throw your running shoes out the window.

But don’t despair just yet! The researchers at the University of Tampa have shed some light on this phenomenon.

They found that while running on the treadmill for 45 minutes at a steady pace does promote weight loss, it’s most effective during the initial weeks. After that, the magic starts to fade, leaving you stuck in a fitness limbo.

Here’s what you need to do

First and foremost, be consistent. If you’re serious about shedding those pounds, aim to schedule at least three runs per week, totaling a minimum of 240 minutes of exercise. Consistency is key, my friend.

Now, here comes the secret ingredient: diversify your training. It’s time to kick boredom to the curb and introduce some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine. This could mean incorporating sprints, hill repetitions, or other HIIT workouts that will leave you breathless and your muscles begging for mercy. By mixing up the intensity and duration of your runs, you’ll break through that weight loss plateau and reach your running goals in no time.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t limit yourself to running alone. Embrace the world of cross-training. Whether it’s spinning, yoga, weight training, or swimming, cross-training sessions will not only keep you consistent but also accelerate your fitness gains. It’s like adding some secret ingredients to your weight loss recipe.

Additional link – Slow running vs fast running for weight loss

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 5 The Scale is Just One Piece of a Much Bigger Puzzle

The scale—a sly trickster, if you ask me. It has a knack for playing mind games and can easily throw you off track when it comes to measuring your weight loss progress. Trust me, it’s not always the most reliable buddy in your weight loss journey.

Here’s the thing: our body weight is like a mischievous rascal, fluctuating by a few pounds from one day to the next. Blame it on the hormonal dance, the foods we consume, or even our hydration levels. These factors can create a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs on the scale.

Let me share a little secret with you: the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s like trying to understand an intricate painting by focusing on a single brushstroke. Weight loss encompasses so much more than what those digits reveal.

But fear not! I have the perfect fix to liberate you from the scale’s mind games. Are you ready?

It’s time to broaden your horizons and embrace a variety of measurements to track your progress. The scale is just one piece of the puzzle, my friend. Consider incorporating other methods to paint a clearer picture of your weight loss journey.

For starters, how about taking some measurements? Grab a measuring tape and track the changes in your waistline, hips, and other areas of interest. These measurements can be a fantastic indicator of your progress, even when the scale refuses to budge.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the power of visual evidence. Take some “before” photos and snap new ones every few weeks. Compare them side by side, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation your body is undergoing. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words—much more than a number on the scale.

And here’s a little tip that athletes swear by: keep an eye on your clothing. As your body transforms, your clothes will start fitting differently. That snug pair of jeans will suddenly become looser, and those shirts will drape over your figure in a whole new way. Pay attention to these subtle changes—they’re a testament to your progress.

Now, here’s a refreshing thought: instead of solely relying on the scale, shift your focus to how you feel. Are you gaining strength? Are your energy levels soaring? Can you tackle physical activities with newfound vigor? These non-scale victories are priceless and a true reflection of your overall well-being.

Try some of these ways to measure your progress:

  • Measure your body fat percentage once per month.
  • Measure your waist circumference.
  • Keep tabs on how well your clothes fit. Try on the same pair shirts or jeans every four to six weeks, and look for the subtle differences.
  • Take before and after pictures on a monthly basis.
  • Keep tabs on your emotional states and energy levels. Are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy? Are you feeling less stressed? Do you feel more alive? Etc.
  • Keep tabs on your athletic performance. Is your athletic performance improving? How much you can you run? How long can you run? How fast can you run? Take these fitness tests on every six to eight weeks to see how your fitness level stacks up to the average Joe.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 6 Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations

Alright, let’s have a heart-to-heart about weight loss. Brace yourself because I’m about to drop some truth bombs. Are you ready?

Here’s the thing: weight loss is not a magical overnight transformation. I know it’s disappointing to hear, but it’s the reality. Contrary to popular belief, shedding those extra pounds takes time—more time than we’d like it to.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We’ve all heard those tales of people who seemingly dropped weight like it was nothing. But here’s the catch: those stories of rapid weight loss rarely tell the whole story. In fact, research shows that losing a substantial amount of weight quickly is not the healthiest approach, nor is it sustainable in the long run. So, let’s put those unrealistic expectations aside.

If you’re feeling frustrated with the scale, it might simply be a matter of not giving it enough time. Patience is key, my friend. Weight loss is more of a marathon than a sprint. It’s about embracing a slow and steady journey rather than chasing quick fixes.

Now, I can already hear you saying, “Easier said than done!” And you’re absolutely right. But fear not, because I have an action plan to help you navigate this weight loss marathon.

First things first, let’s set realistic goals. Aim for no more than one pound of weight loss per week. Yes, you heard me right. Slow and steady wins the race. This means creating a daily calorie deficit of 300 to 500 calories. It’s all about finding a sustainable approach that works for you in the long term.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 7 You Are Under Too Much Stress

Plenty of research has revealed that stress and weight gain go hand in hand.

Not convinced? Check the following studies:

Research 1

Research 2

Research 3

Research 4

Research 5

Chronic stress can contribute to a host of health issues, including:

  • Elevated cortisol. Not only does this mess up your hunger hormone, but also cause extra belly fat storage.
  • Research shows that we’re more likely to reach for ‘comfort foods’ that are rich in sugar and fat when we’re stressed.
  • Skipping Runs. When you feel like the world of the world is on your shoulders, it’s easy to put your run on the backburner in favor of a delicious waffle or a beer.

The Solution

Let’s take a moment to talk about the importance of checking in with yourself and managing your stress levels. Trust me, it’s worth it. But hey, don’t just take my word for it. I’ve got some fascinating research to back it up.

According to a study published in the journal Eating Behaviors, regular meditation can actually help tame those pesky binge eating tendencies and reduce emotional eating. So, taking a few minutes out of your day to consciously center yourself and lower your stress levels could be a game-changer on your weight loss journey.

Now, let’s dive into another reason why you might be running but not seeing those pounds melt away. Are you sleep-deprived? Hear me out on this one. I know that squeezing in your morning runs means sacrificing precious sleep time, but here’s the thing: getting enough shut-eye is crucial if you want to shed those extra pounds.

Multiple research studies have highlighted the link between poor sleep and obesity. It turns out that sleep deprivation is a common risk factor for weight gain. So, if you’re not clocking in enough hours between the sheets, it could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Think of it like this: sleep is the secret sauce that helps your body function at its best. It’s the time when your body restores itself, balances hormones, and regulates metabolism. When you skimp on sleep, you’re throwing off this delicate equilibrium and potentially derailing your weight loss progress.

Here are a few:

Study 1

A study out of the University of Chicago found that sleep-deprived subjects opted for foods with twice as many carbs and fats as those who had enough sleep.

Study 2

One Mayo Clinic research found that sleep deprived subjects consume an average of 500 extra calories a day.

Study 3

Research out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sleep deprivation can increase the chances of late-night snacking and unhealthy food decisions.

Study 4

Research proposes that lack of sleep may lower your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate at which your body burns calories when at rest.

In other words, by skipping on sleep, your body is cooking up a perfect recipe for weight gain.

The reasons sleep affects your weight are manifold. These include :

  • Sleep deprivation can boost both insulin and leptin levels, resulting in the body becoming desensitized to their response.
  • You’re more likely to get takeout for dinner then hit the bed late because you feel uncomfortably full.
  • When tired following a bad night, you may choose to skip your workout or simply do less, burning fewer calories.
  • Being tired and moody the next day sets your brain up to make bad food decision, research shows.

The Solution

Ah, the elusive and often underestimated power of a good night’s sleep. It’s time to dive into the solution for those sleep-deprived nights and the impact they can have on your weight loss journey. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.

To get things rolling, you’ll want to aim for a solid seven to eight hours of quality sleep each and every night. I know, I know, it may require some adjustments to your schedule, but trust me, it’s worth every minute.

Now, let’s talk about improving the quality of your sleep. Here are a few tips to help you catch those Zzz’s like a pro:

First up, let’s talk about napping. A power nap can work wonders, but remember to keep it short and sweet, no more than 30 minutes. It’s like a little recharge for your brain and body.

Next, experiment with different bedtime schedules to find what works best for you. Maybe hitting the hay at 11 pm and waking up at 7 am is your sweet spot. Give it a whirl and see how it feels.

Consistency is key, my friend. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, yes, even on weekends. Your body loves routine, and it’ll reward you with better sleep.

Now, let’s set the stage for a restful night. In the few hours leading up to bedtime, try to reduce distractions and limit your exposure to bright lights. Think of it as creating a tranquil and cozy environment for your slumber.

Oh, and here’s a sneaky culprit to watch out for: stimulants. Avoid caffeine and nicotine at least three hours before bedtime. They can interfere with your ability to drift off into dreamland.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 9 You’re Losing Weight Without Realizing It

Here’s the deal: the scale provides just one piece of the puzzle, your absolute weight. But here’s the thing, that number doesn’t always give you the full picture of what’s really happening in your body.

Stepping on the scale day in and day out only captures the everyday fluctuations in your hydration levels and other trivial weight metrics. It’s like trying to measure the vastness of the ocean with a single drop of water.

But wait, there’s more to the story. Muscle gain can also throw a wrench in the scale’s grand plan. Yes, running might not make you bulk up like a bodybuilder, but it does allow you to build lean muscle mass, especially in those powerful lower body muscles.

So, if you’ve been hitting the pavement consistently and notice those defined running calves and quads, congratulations, you’ve gained some muscle! And here’s the twist: muscle weighs more than fat.

So, it’s no surprise that the scale might not move in the direction you desire or, heaven forbid, it might even show a slight increase. But fear not, my friend, it’s just a sign that your body is getting stronger and more resilient.

Now, let’s get to the solution. First and foremost, step away from the scale obsession. No need to hop on it every single day.

Remember, weight can fluctuate by a few pounds throughout the day due to various factors. Instead, focus on gradual and consistent changes in your weight over a span of three to four weeks. This gives you a more accurate reflection of your progress

To eliminate the influence of external factors, establish a routine. Weigh yourself at the same time of day, on the same day each week. And here’s a pro tip: do it first thing in the morning, before indulging in breakfast or getting dressed. This way, you’re capturing your body’s true state.

But hold on, my friend, there’s a whole world of measurements beyond the scale that can provide valuable insights into your progress. Let’s explore some alternatives:

First, grab a measuring tape and track your waist circumference. It’s a fantastic way to monitor changes in your body shape and inches lost.

Next, consider measuring your body weight percentage. This gives you a glimpse into the proportion of your weight that comes from fat versus other components like muscle and water.

For a deeper understanding of your body composition, you can even get your body analyzed. Various methods, such as DEXA scans or bioelectrical impedance, can provide you with detailed insights.

And last but not least, keep an eye on your body fat percentage. It’s an excellent indicator of your overall progress and can help you see beyond the scale’s deceptive games.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 10  You Have A Medical Condition

Maybe you’re not losing weight, despite running regularly and eating well, is because you have got an underlying health condition.

A host of medical conditions can hinder weight loss or cause weight gain. Among them are:

  • Cushing’s syndrome. Occurs when your adrenal glands release too much cortisol, resulting in the buildup of fat in your abdomen, upper back, and face.
  • Happens when your thyroid is underactive, resulting in a limited production of the thyroid hormone, which is key for burning stored fat.
  • Polycystic over syndrome. Or PCOS, this condition is caused by a hormonal imbalance, affecting more than 5 million women in the US alone.
  • Insulin resistance. Or hyperinsulinemia, this is the umbrella term for host health issues thought to be rooted in insulin resistance.
  • You’re more likely to turn into eating to ease your emotional issues. Some antidepressant medications (SSRIs) can also cause weight gain.

The Solution

Regardless of your exercise, diet, or lifestyle habits, if you’re piling up the pounds and don’t know why, consult with your doctor to rule out a medical issue as the cause.

Although you might feel tempted to give up, don’t. Most of these medical problems can be solved.

Running But Not Losing Weight – The Conclusion

If you’re having trouble losing the pounds while running, you need to get real get back to basics—most of which I shared with you today (as well as this previous post).

It’s not only important to pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth, but also how much sleep you’re getting, your stress level, your training intensity, and the fact that you might have medical issues that are sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

I know it’s hard to keep track off, but it’s worth the effort.

Just remember to take action, start small, and build these healthy habits gradually.

Then it’s just a question of time.

Losing weight is a messy business, especially when you’re a fat runner.  There are no shortcuts nor silver bullets—and it requires hard and persistent work to see results—the type of result that works for the long term.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Keep Running Strong.

David D.

The 101 Best Weight Loss Tips of All Time

Weight Loss woman

If you’re looking to lose weight—whether it’s 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds or more —then you’ve come to the right place.

This article will take you through just about every aspect of weight loss possible, from exercise to diet, motivation to lifestyle, and everything in between.

Without further ado, here are 101 ways to lose the extra pounds for good. I hope you find my tips and strategies helpful.

Note:  This is a super-long article (14000+ words). Don’t sit down to read it until you have enough time to dig into it. To make sure you don’t forget, bookmark this post and read it later, when you have time.In addition to the content I’ve written, I’ve also provided links to over 70 scientific studies related to weight loss and exercise.  They’re worthwhile reading as well, so click through on the links for even more helpful information and detail.

  1. Find Your Big Why

 In my experience, the first step toward achieving anything in life—let alone losing weight—is having the right motivation.

Without a “Big Why,” you’ll have no (or too little) motivation — especially when you come across roadblocks. When you’re motivated enough, you’re in a good place. I can guarantee that you ’ll lose weight and keep it off for good once you know your Big Why.

So, What’s YOUR WHY?

Why do you want to lose weight?

Why do you want to start exercising?

Why do you want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Why?

Is it because you’re ashamed of your body?

Is it because losing weight is a matter of life or death?

Whatever your real reason is, after you’ve figured out your big WHY (or WHYs), write it down and keep it somewhere that you’ll see it on a daily basis. This will serve as a constant reminder when the going gets tough.

Diet Tips

  1. Eat More Vegetables

There is no such thing as healthy eating without vegetables.

Why? Well for starters, vegetables score high in fiber and are low in calories— both key nutritional elements for successful weight loss. They’re also chock-full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and plenty of other valuable nutrients.

Do your best to eat as much as green stuff as possible. Some of the best options include broccoli, watercress, kale, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, cauliflower, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts.

3. Eat Protein At Every Meal

Protein is your friend, whether you’re trying to increase muscle mass or lose weight.

Good protein can help keep you feeling full longer and controls your blood sugar levels, both of which can cut cravings for sugary, high-calorie, high-fat foods. Protein is also critical for muscle recovery and fat burning.

There is plenty of research to back these claims up.  According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat protein at each meal lost more weight than those who didn’t have the nutrient at certain meals.

Another study conducted at the University of Missouri found that people who had protein with each meal reported the most weight loss benefits.

Some of the best animal-based sources of lean protein include lean meat, seafood, and egg whites, and the best plant-based are nuts and beans.

Limit processed meats like ham, sausage, and bacon, or better yet avoid them entirely. These foods contain a lot of saturated fats and a plethora of chemicals and harmful ingredients.

Additional Resource: What is in a dairy-free Protein Powder?

  1. Plan Your Foods

“If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.” This maxim holds true whether you are the CEO of a 500-Fortune company or just a regular Joe (or Jane) trying to build healthy eating habits.

Planning your meals can help you take the guesswork out of the equation, and this, in turn, increases your chances of success.

The best way to plan your food intake is to spend at least an hour every Saturday or Sunday evening thoroughly planning your meals for the upcoming week. Then all you have to do the rest of the week is stick to the plan.

Try to prepare at least 10 to 12 meals and put them in Tupperware bowls, so you have them ready for the week ahead.

  1. Eat More Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, increasing fiber intake by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories you take in can promote weight loss and prevent weight gain.

Why?

Fiber, unlike other carbs, does not get easily absorbed by your body. This means that it helps you feel full for longer. Increasing your intake of fiber can also lower your cholesterol, and may even prevent colon cancer and other health ailments.

Shoot for at least 30 to 40 grams of fiber a day. Some of the best sources of fiber include beans, broccoli, asparagus, oats, Brussels sprouts, apples, and flax seeds, to name just a few.

woman trying to lose weight

  1. Cut the Bad Carbs

Not all carbs are created equal. If you want to lose weight, eat the good carbs and avoid bad ones.

Good carbs are also known as complex carbs. They take longer to digest and can help you feel full longer. Some of the best sources of good carbs include vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, and other whole grain products.

Bad carbs are also known as simple carbs. They are digested quickly by the body, and this can lead to blood sugar spikes, cravings, and a host of health troubles.

Classic examples of simple carbs include bread, pasta, bagels, candy, muffins, donuts, French fries, sugary cereals, white rice, and any sugary or highly processed food.

Additional resource – A 7-day keto meal plan

  1. Eat Low GI Foods

Established about 30 years ago, the glycemic index is a scale that ranks foods from 0 to 100 based on the impact they have on blood sugar levels. According to studies, subjects who followed a low-GI diet have reported losing double their fat as compared to a high GI group.

Check the following list.

glycemic food index

Many thanks to LeanGainGuide.com for this awesome list.

  1. Don’t Fear Fats

Fats get a bad rap in the health community, but if you avoid them entirely, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.

Here’s the truth. Fats — the healthy kind — are an integral part of a healthy diet. Research shows that eating the right kinds of fats can help you lose weight and increase your overall health and well-being level.

So, which fats are good ones?

Good fats are monounsaturated fats, AKA MUFAs. They increase good HDL cholesterol while reducing bad LDL cholesterol.

Research shows that good fats can protect against the buildup of artery plaque, preventing heart disease and other health troubles. They can also suppress your appetite, reducing the number of calories you eat in a day while boosting your metabolism.

Some of the best sources of MUFAs include olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, avocados, almonds, peanuts, and sesame seeds.

You don’t need too much good fat to get its benefits. Research suggests that two to three tablespoons of olive oil per day are enough to do the trick.

  1. Consume Water-Rich Foods

According to a study conducted at the Pennsylvania State University, eating water-rich foods cuts overall calorie consumption, as many of these foods are low in calories but high in fiber.

Here is a list of some of the best water-rich foods:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Green peppers
  • Celery
  • Cantaloupe
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Radishes
  • Grapefruits
  • Watermelon
  • Cauliflower
  1. Keep a Food Journal

According to a six-month study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, people who kept tabs on their daily eating habits for six days a week reported losing about twice as many pounds as those who didn’t keep written records.

By monitoring your daily eating habits, you give yourself a better idea of what’s going into your mouth, This can help you better assess your daily eating choices and habits.

Here’s what you need to do. Get yourself a diet journal and start tracking the amount of food you consume throughout the day, including snacks and treats.

  1. Take Pictures of Your Food

Photographing your meals and snacks is another helpful way to keep tabs on your daily eating habits.

Doing so can also help you examine the quantity and quality of the meals you’re eating, as well as holding you accountable for every bite you eat.

Research backs this up.

According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, taking pictures of every meal and snack you eat can encourage you to change your diet.

  1. Eat Five Times a Day

Although there are no conclusive studies that prove that eating 4 to 5 mini meals a day can help you shed weight, many people say that eating small healthy meals multiple times a day has helped them lose weight.

As long as you’re eating the right foods, eating small meals throughout the day can help you win the battle of the bulge.

Try eating four to five 350 to 500-calorie meals every three to four hours. These small meals should include breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a small early lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, a finally a small, light dinner.

Here is a sample schedule:

  • 7:30 am—Breakfast
  • 10:00 am—Mid-morning snack
  • 1:00 pm—Lunch
  • 4:00 pm—Evening snack
  • 7:00 pm—Dinner
  1. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the artful form of skipping meals without hurting your weight loss efforts.

Intermittent fasting, or IF, involves regular, short-term fasts. According to research, fasting during short, specific windows during the day can help you consume fewer calories. It also optimizes some hormones linked to weight control.

There are several methods of intermittent fasting. One of the most popular is the 16/8 method in which you skip breakfast and eat during a limited 8-hour feeding period.

During the 16/8, you fast for 16 hours (including sleep time). For example, fasting from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. adds up to 16 hours of fasting.

This method only requires that you trade your regular breakfast for a cup of coffee or some other non-caloric fluid. Then you can have lunch at 1:00 as your first meal of the day. This method only requires that you trade your regular breakfast for a cup of coffee, MUD\WTR, or some other non-caloric fluid

The 16/8 Method is convenient and simple, and does not require counting calories. You can do the 16/8 fast twice a week, on weekends, or every single day.

Additional resource – Here’s how long does it take to lose 100 pounds.

  1. Fill Your Plate with Veggies First

As you may already know, eating more vegetables has been proven one of the most significant predictors of weight loss and ideal health.

But how do you ensure you’re getting enough veggies?

It’s simple. Fill up half of your plate with vegetables, then divide the other half into two equal-sized areas. Fill one with good carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice or a slice of whole-grain bread. Fill the other with lean protein such as skinless poultry, fish, lean beef or beans.

With this simple trick you won’t even need to count your calories or worry about portion size.

  1. Spice it Up

Spicy items like hot sauce, chopped jalapeno, and Cajun seasonings add a lot of flavor to meals with few calories. But that’s not the whole story.

According to research, most spicy foods contain a compound called capsaicin, which is the source from which chilies get their heat. According to research, this compound can tame your appetite and increase your metabolism.

Not only that, but capsaicin also may have a thermogenic effect, boosting body temperature after consumption. This may lead to a higher calorie burn for 20 to 30 minutes after you’re finished eating.

Additional resource – The best running songs

  1. Cook with Coconut Oil

Two tablespoons per day of coconut oil can help you reduce your waist circumference by an average of 1.1 inches over the course of a month, according to a study.

Coconut oil scores high on the healthy medium chain saturated fatty acids fats (known as Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTs) that increase metabolism for immediate energy and decrease appetite.

To get the most benefit from this, use virgin coconut oil. It’s usually made with no chemicals, while refined or RBD oil is usually chemically treated.

  1. Have Breakfast

A study conducted at Harvard revealed that obesity rates are roughly 40 to 50 percent lower in people who have breakfast on a consistent basis, compared with those who skip breakfast.

A healthy breakfast will make you less likely to be hungry later, which often leads to overeating over the remainder of the day.

Unless you’re doing intermittent fasting, you should never skip breakfast. As a rule, have up to 500 calories each day at breakfast, depending of course on your weight loss goals, age, fitness level, and exercise goals.

A healthy breakfast should consist of a serving of protein, a serving of whole grain carbs, and a serving of fruit—especially after a morning workout.

  1. Eat Eggs for Breakfast

Eggs should be a staple of your daily eating plan, and research shows that the best way to get the most out of eggs is to start your day off with them.

A study found that obese subjects lost more weight and had a higher reduction in waist circumference when they ate a breakfast of two eggs instead of bagels, even though each group’s breakfast contained the same amount of calories.

Why? Eggs are rich in protein (one egg contains about six grams of protein) and other valuable nutrients, helping you feel full longer.

  1. Have Barley for Breakfast

If you don’t like eggs for breakfast, then another healthy choice is barley.

Barley is one of the best foods you can eat.

According to Swedish researchers, having barley for breakfast can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control. Barley scores low on the GI index, meaning it raises your blood sugar level more slowly than high carbs foods like bagels and donuts.

As a rule, buy minimally processed hull barley, and avoid processed forms such as pearl barley.

  1. Watch the Salad Dressing

Salads should be a big part of your eating plan. They’re one of the best ways to ensure you’re eating enough veggies.

But, if you don’t keep an eye on the goodies you put into your salad, they can end up more calorie-laden than pizza or bagel.

Many salad dressings are chock-full of preservatives, trans fats and artificial flavor, which can spell disaster for an otherwise healthy and green dish.

For more flavor, opt for low-calorie, healthier alternatives.  Try avocado oil, refined olive oil, homemade Paleo mayonnaise, a squeeze of lemon juice, tomato juice, macadamia, balsamic vinegar or even some homemade salsa.

  1. Eat Light at Night

By eating lightly during the late evening, you’ll not only prevent weight gain, you’ll also sleep much better and have a better appetite for a healthy breakfast in the morning.

Here’s how to make it happen:

Aim to consume at least three-quarters of your calories before dinner, then make sure to leave at least a gap of two to three hours between your last meal of the day and bedtime. This will help give your body enough time to digest your food before you sleep.

If you feel super famished just before going to bed, then opt for a small serving of protein such as a piece of cheese or a hard-boiled egg.

  1. Eat More Slowly

It takes roughly 20 minutes for leptin, the body’s satiety hormone, to kick in. Once it does, your brain gets the signal of “fullness” from your stomach. In other words, your brain doesn’t register when your stomach is full right away.

As a result, give yourself at least 20 minutes to eat, and then wait after you’re done. If 20 minutes go by and you’re still hungry, go back and have a healthy snack. To help you eat slowly try using a set of chopsticks, or eat your meal with your less dominant hand.

  1. Chew Your Food

Eating your meals more slowly and mindfully can drastically help you decrease the amount of calories you consume during a meal, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Chewing and eating your food slowly helps you feel full faster, and it’s when you feel full that you should stop eating.

Next time you sit down to a meal, make sure to take your time to chew your food rather than gulping it down as fast as you can.

  1. Sit Down to Eat

If you’re in the habit of eating on the go, you may be heading in the wrong direction.

Research published in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that taking a seat at the table while eating can help you eat at a slower pace, and the slower you eat, the better.

As a rule, eat your food while sitting down, preferably from a plate.

  1. Mind your Portion Sizes

According to a study, subjects who practiced portion control for two years lost 5 percent more weight than those who didn’t.

Here’s more good news. Portion control is not rocket science. To master it, you simply need to learn how to measure portion size correctly. Doing so will help you know for sure the amount of calories you’re taking in and how they’re affecting your weight loss efforts.

Here’s a simple infographic to help you understand portion sizes.

  1. Use Smaller Plates

A simple change from a 12-inch plate to a 10-inch plate can cut your food consumption by up to 20 percent, according to the Cornell and Brand Lab’s Small Plate Movement.

Make sure to serve yourself on a smaller plate that’s roughly the size of your grandmother’s china instead of one of the larger, more modern ones.

Photo courtesy of SkinnyRules.com

serving size

  1. Change Your Plate Color

According to a study conducted at Cornell University, you can cut your serving size by 20 percent when opting for a contrasting plate color instead of for a plate whose colors blend in with your meal’s color.

Next time you sit down to a meal, make sure that your food color and plate color are different from one another. Many experts recommend using blue plates, but at the very least make sure your plate doesn’t match the color of your meal.

  1. Turn Off the TV

According to a study from the University of Massachusetts, eating in front of the TV leads to consuming more than 300 extra calories. That’s because if you’re busy watching TV, you’re more likely to be so distracted that you devour an entire plate quickly without thinking about whether you’re satiated or not.

Create a distraction-free eating environment. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, shut down Facebook and enjoy your meal.

  1. Find a Healthy Meal You Love and Eat it Over and Over Again

Come up with a list of low-calorie foods that you love and which satisfy your daily energy needs, then mix and match them, so you’re eating the same meals over and over again.

By planning your healthy meals this way, you’ll be less likely to make unhealthy last-minute food choices. This method will also help you spend less time fretting about the foods you need to eat.

  1. Never Shop Hungry

According to a study conducted at Cornell University, eating something healthy before going to the grocery store makes shoppers less prone to buy junk food.

How come this trick works is no mystery. Shopping while feeling full strengthens your willpower and makes you immune to junk food temptations.

As a rule, never go shopping when you’re hungry. Instead, eat a filling meal, some produce or a healthy snack before you hit the grocery aisle.

  1. Read the Labels

Not only will learning this skill give you a better idea of the number of calories you’re consuming, but it will also help you be more aware of food’s nutritional value. Take the time to read the labels, making sure you know how to interpret what you read.

Here is an infographic to provide you with a quick and easy guide.

Photo courtesy of UC Davis and Gkplace.com

  1. Make a Weekly Grocery List

To make sure you’re putting the right kind of foods in your shopping cart, write a detailed and thorough grocery list. Doing so not only help you get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, but it can also help you decrease impulse purchases and stick to your healthy eating plan.

Use this simple list to stock your kitchen up with healthy food all week (or month) long.

Here’s an infographic to help.

Infographic courtesy of Greatist.

food list for weight loss

  1. Banish Emotional Eating

If you’re more likely to eat when you’re feeling depressed, anxious or lonely, you might be prone to emotional eating. According to research, emotional eating is one of the leading causes of bad food choices.

Emotional eating can compromise your weight loss efforts, especially since the food we crave at those times tend to be sweet, high-calorie, and fatty.

Reevaluate your relationship with the food you eat and learn how to differentiate between real hunger (physical hunger) and fake hunger (head hunger).

  1. Say No to the Bread Basket

Research has found a direct link between regular consumption of white bread and being prone to weight gain.

White bread is bad for you for a slew of reasons. It adds a lot of empty calories to your meals, and it doesn’t keep you feeling full.

Bread is also high in carbs. Eating it in bulk will prevent stored body fat from being used as fuel, hindering your fat-burning process.

The real bad news is that white bread is a staple in most pantries.

So what should you do here?

It’s simple: Replace your white bread with whole grain or whole wheat bread whenever you can.

  1. Banish Junk Food

To set yourself up for total weight loss success, declare your house a junk-food-free zone.

If you have no unhealthy food laying around, you’ll be more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan. In other words, practice the mantra “out of sight, out of mind.”

Purge your kitchen of as cookies, cakes, pies, candy, sugary drinks, biscuits, crisp pretzels pastries, and other sugar-filled, highly processed junk foods.

  1. Stock Up on Healthy Foods

Instead of letting junk food into your home, fill your kitchen cupboards with healthier foods and snacks so when hunger pangs strike, you’ll reach for something that’s good for you.

Here are a few food items you should stock up on:

  • Fruits
  • Unsweetened or unsalted popcorn
  • Baby carrots
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  1. Stop Drinking Soda

Research has linked soda to a host of health troubles, including obesity, diabetes, and a plethora of other troubles. And if you believe diet soda is a good alternative, you’re WRONG.

Diet soda is just as bad as regular soda. A study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center showed that subjects who drank two cans of diet soda are more likely to gain weight compared to those who didn’t drink the stuff. That’s right – they gained weight instead of losing it.

Don’t drink your calories. Doing so is even worse than eating junk food. Have water instead of soda, and you’ll be thinner and far healthier for it.

Additional resource – How to measure body fat percentage

  1. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

A study published in Current Obesity Reports found that alcohol intake increases the risk of weight gain, especially for heavy drinkers.

And according to a UK survey, drinking alcohol weakens willpower and inhibits healthy eating decisions, making you more likely to indulge in high-fat high-calorie foods such as pizza, burgers, and chips.

If alcohol is your diet downfall, then you need to cut it out, or at least, have control over your drinking.

woman trying to lose weight

  1. Drink More Water

Your body uses water to metabolize fat stores, and relies on it for every other process as well.

Water has no calories at all and can help you feel full, making it less likely that you’ll fill yourself up with more food.

Instead of drinking juices and soft drinks, I urge you to start drinking more water.

Shoot for at least 10 to 12 cups of water per day. Drink plenty of water before your workouts, during your workouts, and immediately afterward too.

Make sure your body is well hydrated throughout the day. You’ll feel fitter and healthier when you do so, and dampen any penchant for gorging at the same time.

  1. Drink Water Before a Meal

Chugging a glass of water before a meal will help regulate your appetite, as the water will take up room in your stomach.

Research shows you can lose up to 30 percent more weight simply by having two cups of water before each meal.

Another study from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. found that drinking roughly 16 ounces of H2O 30 minutes before a meal promotes weight loss, without making any other dietary changes.

  1. Drink Green Tea

I believe that green tea is the healthiest drink on the planet, right after water.

Why?

This remarkable beverage is rich in antioxidants, fights cancer and contains brain-healthy compounds and a host of other health-promoting and vital nutrients.

Not only that, according to a study published in the Journal of Nurse Practitioners, green tea can help you reduce your appetite and increase your metabolism, both of which are essential for weight loss.

Add green tea to your diet plan. Stick to two to three cups a day and opt for brewing your own instead of choosing bottled versions to avoid added calories and artificial chemicals and sweeteners.

Remember, adding sugar and cream to your tea will wipe out any weight loss benefits, so get used to drinking your tea with no sweeteners or adornment.

  1. Snack Smart

Dumb snacking— and especially snacking on high-sugar, highly processed foods with little or no nutritional value — can compromise your weight loss goals.

Smart snacking between meals can tame hunger and control appetite, helping you prevent overeating and keep you from making bad food choices when meal time rolls around.

If you snack often, do it the smart way. Healthy ideas include hard-boiled eggs, apples, or a handful of nuts, seeds or dried fruits.

  1. Don’t be a Perfectionist

Practice the 90/10 rule. What’s that?

As a rule of thumb, 90 percent of your diet should focus on healthy food (vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats) while the remaining 10 percent can be devoted to “cheat meals.”

By adhering to this simple rule, you’ll indulge your sweet tooth and satisfy your cravings without throwing your whole intake out of balance.

Cheat meals are vital for a healthy diet, as long as you are doing them right.

Feel free to cheat every now and then. That’s how you’ll stay sane for the long haul.  Just keep it to one meal, not every meal throughout the entire day.

Exercise Tips

  1. Start Slowly

Whether you’re thinking about starting a running program, hitting the weight room, hiring a personal trainer, or joining a CrossFit class, starting slow is the way to go.

Once you decide on a workout program, start slow and stay within your fitness level at all times.

If you’re a beginner with little exercise experience, start with two to three workouts per week that last at least 30 minutes per session. As you get fitter, you can slowly and gradually ramp it up until you reach your challenge point.

  1. Start Running

Running is one of the best exercises you can do to lose weight and get fit for good. This sport is convenient and sheds mad calories. All you need is a pair of good running shoes, and you’re ready to go.

This whole blog is about running and the many ways you can incorporate it into your life, so why wait?

Here are the resources you need to get started without risking injury or burnout.

  1. Lift Weights

Weightlifting is an INTEGRAL part of any weight loss program. If you’re skipping the strength room, you’re missing out.

Strength training builds muscles, and the more muscles you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be. This means you’ll burn more calories, even when you’re not working out. Isn’t that a good thing?

Add at least two strength workouts to your training program.

For the highest calorie burn, train your entire body in each workout. Focus on total-body exercises that challenge the large muscle groups, like pushups, squats, deadlifts, planks, lunges, and pull-ups.

Additional link – Slow running vs fast running for weight loss

  1. Go Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact option that burns mad calories without putting a lot of pressure on your body.

A 160-pound person can burn up to 520 calories by swimming laps for an hour. The exact number of calories burned depends on a wide range of factors, including weight, age, fitness level, and training intensity.

Swimming uses all of the body’s muscles, so with each kick, push, and stroke you’re performing a mini strength workout for your entire body, especially your glutes, core, hips, arms, and shoulders.

  1. Do Yoga Two Times Per Week

Yoga is another low-impact exercise that can help you melt fat without breaking a sweat. According to research, overweight subjects who rolled out their yoga mat at least once a week for four years lost more weight than those who didn’t take the time to practice.

Yoga can also help you become more flexible, reduces stress and promotes a general sense of health and well-being. I could go and on about its benefits.

Add at least a couple of yoga sessions into your training program, either by following a yoga DVD program or enrolling in a class — make sure to do it with good form. You’re always better off doing yoga with the guidance of a certified professional. Once you nail the form, you can practice it in the comfort of your home.

Additional resource – Guide to running terms

  1. Shoot for 10,000+ Steps Every Day

According to research conducted at Arizona State University, people leading an active lifestyle typically take over 10,000 steps per day.

This is very helpful if you can’t afford going to a gym, or if you’re looking for more ways to be active that don’t involve intense exercise.

10,000 steps a day might seem like too much walking, but it’s not. There are always opportunities to squeeze in more walks during everyday situations.

You’ve got plenty of options.  Meet up with a friend and walk around the neighborhood or park. Go to a museum. Take a walk during your lunch break. If it’s possible, walk to work instead of taking a car or public transportation.

To make sure you’re on the right path, use a pedometer or fitness tracker to keep tabs on your daily steps.

Additional resource – How to reduce sugar intake

  1. Challenge Yourself

Real growth happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. If you stick to the same exercise routine—whether it’s weightlifting, running, swimming, or anything else —you’ll invite boredom and training plateaus.

On the other hand, constant challenges lead to improvement.

I encourage you to challenge yourself to lift more weight, to run farther in the same amount of time, to make even the tiniest and smallest improvement. It all counts.

  1. HIIT it Hard

High-intensity interval training is, by far, the ideal training method to help you burn calories and improve your fitness level. Countless studies have shown HIIT to be effective for weight loss as well as for improving fitness level. It’s like nothing else.

HIIT is all about mixing high-intensity exercise with low-to-moderate intensity exercises.

I have used it. I have done it. And I love it. I bet you will love it too once you get used to it and learn how to do it right.

Here’s your complete guide to the HIIT method.

  1. Sprint It Out

Sprints are the ultimate form of high-intensity interval training. They’re simple, intense, and scalable, so you can always readjust them to fit your needs and training goals.

During sprint intervals, you alternate between running as fast as possible for a set distance and brief periods of slow jogging for recovery.

Here’s how to proceed with a sprint session.

After a thorough warm-up of 10 minutes, perform eight to ten 30-second, full effort sprints at your maximum speed.

Take one minute of recovery between each sprint, then finish your session with a 5-minute cooldown.

  1. Run Some Hills

Hill reps are the next level of track sprints. They’re one of the best resistance exercises for the lower body, helping build strength and speed in your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

Hill sprints are also safer on your legs and take less time to perform than sprints.

Here’s how to proceed:

Find a steep hill that takes you 20 to 30 seconds to run to the top. Sprint up it as fast as you can, then slowly jog back down to recover.

Perform enough reps of this exercise for the session to last between 20 and 25 minutes, then end your workout with a 5-minute cooldown jog.

Here are five more hill workouts to try.

  1. Rope Training

Rope training is one of the most under-utilized yet most effective training tools for increasing cardiovascular fitness. It speeds up weight loss and improves muscle endurance.

This training system is a fat burning machine. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, battling the ropes for one minute can burn up to 10.3 calories per minute. That translates to 400 to 500 calories in a 30-minute workout.

Battling ropes exercises target almost every muscle in the body, especially the core, the glutes, lower obliques, and abs.

Here’s a battle rope workout routine to try out.

  1. Use Kettlebells

Kettlebells are cannonball-like weights with a handle. They are one of the best training tools you can add to your workouts if you want to get a leaner, stronger body without spending endless hours in the gym.

According to research conducted at the University of Wisconsin, kettlebell training burns as many calories per minute as running a 6-minute mile, amounting to 400 to 500 calories for a 30-minute workout.

Other research has found that kettlebell training can lessen shoulder, neck and back pain by strengthening upper body and core muscles.

Here’s a simple workout routine to try:

After a thorough 10-minute warm-up, do 12 reps of kettlebell squat thrusts immediately followed by 16 reps of kettlebell swings. Then do 12 kettlebell snatches, rest for one to two minutes, then repeat the whole circuit three to four times.

Here’s another kettlebell workout to try.

  1. Stop Doing Crunches

Crunches, sit-ups, and other traditional ab exercises are a waste of time and energy.

Sit-Ups and crunches can lead to lower back pain and may even cause herniated discs. They’re boring and not that effective, especially when performed using bad form.

Instead, do planks (with all of its variations) or total-body exercises such as deadlifts, squats, or floor wipes.

Additional resource – How to rotate running shoes

  1. Do Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Also known as lactate threshold (LT) or threshold runs, this is a faster-paced workout that’s vital for improving metabolic fitness and maximizing the number of calories burned on the treadmill.

Here’s how to proceed:

First step: Warm up with five minutes of easy jogging,

Second step: Run a mile at 20 to 30 seconds slower than your half-marathon pace. It’s a pace that feels comfortably easy.

Third step: Pick up the pace every mile by 5 to 10 seconds until you’re running the final mile 20 seconds faster than your half marathon pace.

Fourth step: Finish the workout with a slow five-minute jog and some light stretching.

  1. Hill Treadmill Intervals

The second treadmill workout is a hill interval routine.

Performing indoor hill intervals can help you get more out of your treadmill workout by simulating outside hill running. This is vital for increasing endurance and building killer lower-body strength.

Here’s a hill treadmill workout to try out:

First step: Warm-up.

Second step: Raise the incline to three or five percent, and run for 90-seconds at a pace that’s 15 seconds slower than your 10K pace. The pace should feel mildly challenging.

Third step: Recover by jogging slowly for one full minute with no incline.

Fourth step: Raise the incline to five or seven percent and run for another 90-seconds at 15 seconds slower than your 10K pace. Recover for one minute.

Fifth step: Repeat the fourth step three to six times, depending on your fitness level and goals. You could also opt for a steeper incline.

Sixth step: Cooldown.

  1. Embrace Free Weights

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, exercising with free weights instead of machines leads to greater muscle activation.

With free weights, you can target every muscle group in your body without wasting precious time moving from machine to machine or going back and forth between different pieces of equipment.

Also, free weights can help you achieve better symmetry between both sides of your body by forcing the weak side to work unaided by the dominant side. They’re also convenient, scalable and easy to learn.

I could go on and on about the effectiveness of free weights, but you get the big picture.

  1. Start CrossFit

I love CrossFit, and I believe it’s one of the best workout programs out there for helping you to push yourself and keep improving.

There are nine basic exercises in most CF training routines. These include the deadlift; sumo deadlift high pull; shoulder press; push press; air squat (without the weights); front squat; overhead squat; and medicine ball clean.

As you get stronger, you’ll be doing other exercises such as sprints, pull-ups, burpees, sit-ups, box jumps, rowing, gymnastics ring work, and other exercises.

  1. The Tabata Protocol

Dubbed “the fat burning miracle training routine,” the Tabata protocol is a form of high-intensity training scientifically proven to improve aerobic and anaerobic threshold as well as calorie burn.

Studies show that the typical Tabata workout routine can burn 12 to 15 calories per minute.

Here’s a sample workout:

Perform the following exercises for as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving to the next exercise and doing it as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Shoot for six to eight total rounds, resting one minute between each round.

  • 20 seconds of squat jumps, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of burpees, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of jumping lunges, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of push-ups, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of kettlebell swings, 10 seconds of rest

Here’s another Tabata workout routine to try.

  1. Medicine Ball Training

Medicine balls are powerful and can be a great addition to your training arsenal.

What I love about medicine ball exercises is that they’re some of the best and most challenging core exercises you can ever do, building both muscular power and endurance while pushing your cardiovascular system to its breaking point.

Here’s a medicine ball workout to try.

  • Squat to chest pass
  • Suitcase crunch
  • Diagonal chop
  • Russian twist
  • Lunge to rotation

Here’s another medicine ball workout to try.

  1. Add Short Cardio After Each Weight Workout

Engaging in intense exercise after 45 minutes-to-an-hour of weight training guarantees that the activity right after will immediately use up fat as the primary source of energy.

In other words, the window right after your weight workout session is prime fat-burning time. Make the most of it!

Here are three workout finishers to try:

Workout Finisher One

Do three rounds of:

  • Plate push for 30 seconds
  • Kettlebell swings, 15 reps
  • Med-ball thrusters, 15 reps

Workout Finisher Two

Do three sets of:

  • Lunge jumps, 20 reps
  • Burpee, 15 reps
  • Jump rope for one full minute

Workout Finisher Three

300-yard shuttle sprints.

Place two cones or water bottles roughly 25 yards apart, then run as fast as you can back and forth between the cones eight to ten times. Aim to touch the cones each time.

women on treadmill trying to lose weight

  1. Try a Group Fitness Class

If you’re more of an extrovert and enjoy the company of others, consider joining a group fitness class.

These classes are a great way to stay on track, up the ante with your workouts, and meet active and like-minded people. As an added benefit, peer pressure can do wonders for your weight loss journey.

The good news is that there are a wide range of classes available, and you’re sure to find something that fits your budget, fitness level, and training goals.

Different classes offer different exercises and workout routines geared around building strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Try CrossFit, join an MMA class, try a spinning class, or enroll in a boot camp class.  Just find a class you like and attend it consistently.

  1. Try an Outdoor Activity

Working out outdoors not only helps you lose weight, it also provides a lot of health benefits.

Studies show that exercising outdoors boosts vitality, self-esteem, and enthusiasm and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Braving the outdoors can help you reduce tension, fatigue, and depression.

Here’s a list of outdoor activities and sports that will put your gym workouts to shame:

  • Biking
  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Skating
  • Frisbee
  • Surfing
  • Rowing
  • Bouldering
  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Beach volleyball
  • Rock climbing
  • Badminton
  1. Follow a Workout Plan

If you have a good plan, or even a mediocre plan, you’re more likely to lose weight and achieve your fitness goals than those who don’t have a plan at all.

The best workout plans involve working out three to four times per week, depending on your current fitness level and training goals.

Start your workouts with a proper warm-up, do the workout, then finish with a cool-down and a few stretches.

Never been to a gym? Ask a trainer for some advice, or hire them if you have a budget. It’s important that you start off on the right foot and build up the right way. If you’re unsure where to start or want to find a qualified personal trainer in your area, you can compare personal trainers near you using a comprehensive directory. A directory allows you to compare trainers based on their qualifications, experience, and client reviews, helping you make an informed decision about hiring a trainer that’s right for you.

  1. Start a Workout Journal

In addition to regular fitness tests, one of the best ways I know of measuring your fitness progress (or lack thereof) is keeping track of your training routines and cycles in a workout journal.

I’d go so far as to say that keeping a workout journal is as important as training itself, especially if you’re serious about reaching your full potential.

Get yourself a workout diary and keep tabs of all your activities: training sessions, workout routines, daily miles, weights used, reps performed, number of sets, energy levels, performance numbers, and everything else.

  1. Schedule Your Workout

To ensure training consistency, schedule your workouts the same way you schedule your important work meetings or family events.

By giving your training routine the same level of importance that you give your school deadlines, work meetings, and unpaid taxes, you’ll increase your odds of following through and staying consistent with it—especially if you lead a hectic life.

Spend at least 10 minutes every Sunday night planning your workouts for the week, the same way you would with other obligations.

Choose at least two workouts and schedule them the way you would an appointment that you don’t want to miss. These will be the most important workouts of the week, and should preferably include a total-body strength workout and an intense cardio session.

Jot down the exact time you are going to exercise on your daily calendar, then treat your workouts like an unbreakable commitment.

  1. Exercise First Thing in the Morning

Research shows that people who work out first thing in the morning are more likely to stay consistent with their training programs than those who skip morning workouts.

When you exercise first thing in the morning, you’re done – you don’t have to worry about doing it later in the day. You also get the mental boost of knowing that you’ve accomplished what you need to do for the day while the rest of the world is still asleep.

Exercising in the morning is a great way to help you wake up, boost your energy levels and increase your brainpower and productivity for the rest of the day.

Go to bed 60 to 90 minutes earlier than usual so that you have enough time and have rested enough for a workout first thing in the morning.

  1. Pair Up with a Training Buddy

According to research conducted at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, working out with a partner speeds up weight loss results.

The more you rub shoulders with people who support your goals and your vision, the more likely you are to succeed.

Chances are you be more consistent with your workouts when you have a training buddy to motivate you who will hold you accountable for your action.

Whether you’re trying to get into better shape or just want to shed a few extra pounds, be sure to schedule your workouts (or at least some of them) with a workout partner.

  1. Hire a Personal Trainer

If you’re looking to get the most out of every hour you spend working out, hire a personal trainer. They can help you learn proper form, hold you accountable to your goals, devise a smart workout strategy, overcome physical and emotional obstacles, and teach you how to safely adjust your workouts so you can keep on getting real results without hurting yourself.

Once you find a trainer you like, ask them to take you through a fitness assessment to identify your weaknesses and muscular imbalances.  Doing this will help them come up with a well-rounded workout routine that fits your current fitness needs and future goals.

  1. Do What You Love

In my opinion, the best exercise program in the world is the activity you already love doing.

When you choose to do an exercise you love, you’ll have more fun doing it and be more likely to keep doing it over the long haul, so if you like running, then run.

If you like swimming, then swim.

If you like skating, then skate.

If you like boxing, then box.

If you prefer lifting weights, then pump it hard.

If you like them all, then alternate between them as often as you like, for at least 30 to 40 minutes a day.

Do whatever you want. You’re the boss. You’re in charge.

The list of possible workout options available to you is long and varied; you have to find something you love doing.

  1. Practice Proper Recovery

Spending endless hours working out eventually leads to diminishing returns. If your current workout routine doesn’t allow for proper rest, you’re flirting with disaster.

Inadequate recovery hinders your ability to train, and might set the stage for injury, burnout, and serious trouble. Becoming a workout addict will only get you in trouble, so you need to make sure to build good recovery habits.

For starters, space out your hard workouts, especially interval and intense strength sessions, with at least two days of rest. Take as many recovery days as you need, especially when experiencing symptoms of overtraining such as elevated heart rate or chronic soreness and fatigue.

Sleep is also essential for proper recovery.  Aim for at least eight hours of high quality and uninterrupted sleep per night. You can also plan for a recovery week by decreasing your training volume 50 to 60 percent for every four to five weeks of training.

Motivation Tips

  1. Manufacture Motivation

Motivation is of paramount importance, and maybe the most important thing on this list. On your weight loss journey, you’ll need lots of inspiration to help keep your inner fires burning.

What are some ways to keep motivation going strong?

You’ve got plenty of options. Read real-life success stories. Read fitness blogs and magazines and books. Use the reward system and the buddy system. Take before and after pictures. Set weight loss goals and make them public, Use mantras and motivational quotes.

Just be open and try them all.

Here’s a lit of my favorite fitness quotes.

  1. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

This is a good checklist to consider when you’re about to set goals for yourself.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound. SMART goals are the right way to go about setting weight loss goals.

Setting smart goals can be the difference between success and failure. They will help keep you focused and motivated.

Here’s what you need to do. Come up with one weight loss goal and one performance goal, and keep these two goals somewhere visible, so you’re reminded of them every day.

For example, your goals might be “Lose 15 pounds in three months” and “Run three times per week for the next three months.”

Over the long term, the best weight loss goal is to lose one to two pounds a week. That may not seem like much, but if you keep doing it consistently, it adds up.

Do it for a month, and you’d shed 4 to 8 pounds.

Do it for three months, and you’d shed 12 to 20 pounds.

You get the picture. It might not be as fast as you’d like it to be, but slow and steady is what will help you win the flab race.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to set fitness goals, check this post.

  1. Go Public With Your Goals

Research shows that if you make your goals public, you’ll be more likely to stick with your healthy lifestyle plan. It keeps you accountable for your behavior and your habits.

Your social circle can encourage you and push you to do your best and never give up.

I encourage you to make your weight loss goals public and commit to giving regular updates to your family members, friends or social circle every week or month.

Also share them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

  1. Enlist Your Friends and Family For Support

The weight loss journey is not a smooth ride, so you’re going to need all the support you can get.

A strong support system can be the difference between success and failure. A study revealed that people who had the support of their social circle lost more weight than those who didn’t.

Let your family and friends keep you motivated and hold you accountable for your actions, making sure you never deviate from your weight loss journey.

At the same time, you need to banish negative people from your life.  They’ll only bring you down and hamper your progress. You’re better off restricting yourself to spending time with people who believe in you and support your goals.

  1. Get Your Partner on Board

When you go on a weight loss journey, your entire life has to change to make the changes you need. If you’re married or live with a partner, your decision will affect them too, so they need to be on board and provide their support.

Your partner’s heartfelt support can make the difference between reverting back to old, damaging ways and accomplishing the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself.

Where appropriate, consider starting a weight loss journey together: it’s a great way to keep each other on track.

One way or another, start preparing healthier dishes together. Eat at home more. Keep each other accountable. Go running together. Join a gym class. Build a home gym.

  1. Use Online Support Networks

A study conducted by Britain’s Medical Research Council (MRC) found that people who joined a weight loss support group lost more weight than those who hadn’t.

A support group can help you talk through your troubles, provide you with practical solutions to your problems, and most importantly remind you that you’re not alone. Look for these online message boards, join one, then open up and talk about your struggles and victories.

Here’s a list of websites to check out:

Spark People

Diet.com

FitLink

Peer Trainer

Weight Loss Buddy

Weight Loss Wars

  1. Weigh Yourself Once a Week

Keeping track of your weight is a good strategy, but obsessing over it is counterproductive. Your weight isn’t everything, and it doesn’t tell your whole story.

Stepping on the scale every day can have a negative impact on you. Your weight will fluctuate from day to day, and if you weight yourself daily, you’ll find yourself in a constant battle of ups and downs.

Most experts recommend that you weigh yourself once a week under the same conditions—preferably at the same time and on the same weekday. The best time is in the morning, shortly after finishing your morning ritual and just before you’ve eaten.

man losing weight

  1. Take Progress Pictures

As I’ve already said, the scale only tells one side of the story. To get a full picture of your progress, you need to start taking pictures of your fitness and weight loss journey on a weekly basis.

Taking before and after pictures is not only perfect for keeping track of your progress, the “before” pictures can also be a huge wake-up call and provide the exact motivation kick you need to make your weight loss vision a concrete reality.

Here’s a short video to show you how to take your progress pictures the right way:

  1. Track Other Body Stats

Weekly weigh-ins and photo shoots are often enough, but if you want a clearer picture of your weight loss journey, start tracking some other important body stats.

Here are the main ones to take and write down:

  • Weekly measurements of your hips, chest, waist, upper arms, thighs
  • Body fat percentage should be checked on a monthly basis using a body fat caliper

Additionally, use fewer objective measures of your progress. Ask another person — preferably a trusted friend or family member —for honest feedback, and check how your clothes fit. Are they looser than before?

  1. Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself for progress can help reinforce your new habits and provide you with the motivation you need to continue with your journey, so after reaching a performance or weight loss goal, treat yourself to something nice.

Some of the best things you can do to reward yourself include shopping for smaller sized clothes, going to the movies, taking a surfing lesson, taking a vacation to your dream destination, spending a weekend at the spa, reading a book, binge-watching your favorite show, or just sleeping in. It doesn’t matter whether it’s expensive or free, far-flung or in your home, as long as it is something that gives you pleasure and is not about food.

  1. Sign Up for a Race

To keep yourself exercising regularly, consider signing up for a 5K race. This is a perfect distance for beginner runners who are looking to build cardio power and fitness the right way.

You can find plenty of 5K races in your city or cities near you by checking websites like Runners World or Running in the USA for local races and dates.

After signing up for a 5K race, find a training program to help get you ready and fit enough to cross the finish line.

As a general guideline, most 5K training plans last 8 to 12 weeks, so you signing up for one will give you a plan within a reasonable amount of time to get you in shape.

Lifestyle and Mindset Tips

  1. Take Responsibility for Unhealthy Habits

You’re the one in charge.

You choose the script by which you live your life, and you’re the king or queen of your actions. No one is responsible for them but you.

Bad habits or not, they’re yours. You’re the one responsible for changing it. No one else.

You’ve built your habits through repetition, and through repetition, you can break them too.

Take conscious responsibility for your everyday actions—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Doing so is empowering because it lets you realize that you’re the master of your destiny.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep will not only make your life miserable, it’ll also make your waistline bigger.

Research study after research study has revealed that sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to be overweight and to suffer from a plethora of health troubles.

Sleep deprivation can boost hunger, muscle loss, and unwanted weight gain, so log at least 8 hours of high quality, uninterrupted slumber each night.

  1. Relax

According to research, stress is a primary cause of weight gain, while relaxation and calm can facilitate healthy weight loss.

When we’re stressed, we seek comfort and emotional release in food, usually by reaching for high-calorie, unhealthy foods.

Stress also increases the release of the hormone cortisol, known as a key culprit behind stubborn belly fat.

To tame stress, try meditating, taking long walks in nature, talking out your problems with a friend, getting enough sleep, getting rid of friction in your life, doing yoga, look into anti-stress supplements or therapy.

The bottom line is don’t ignore your stress. As long as you’re dealing with your it in a positive and constructive manner, you’re in the right place.

  1. Try Meditation

Sitting blissfully on a cushion for endless hours does not burn a lot of calories, but research shows that mindfulness—one of the many benefits brought about by meditation—is key for weight loss and overall health and well-being levels.

Studies show that people who practice meditation on a regular basis are less likely to give in to emotional eating or unhealthy bingeing.

Meditation practice can also help lower high blood pressure levels and helps to manage stress, one of the primary causes of overeating and making bad food choices.

So what you are waiting for? The science backing up meditation is IRREFUTABLE.

Start with short meditation sessions lasting no more than 10 minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Whenever your mind wanders—and it will have the tendency to do so— bring it back and keep focusing on each exhalation and inhalation.

  1. Brush Your Teeth More Often

If you brush and floss your teeth right after dinner, you’ll find yourself less likely to crave snacks or sweet desserts late at night. This sets you up right for avoiding late night snacking.

It also helps keep your gums healthy and your teeth clean.

Additionally, if you follow this train of thought and brush your teeth after every meal, it will make you less likely to snack between meals.

  1. Check Your Hormones With a Blood Panel

By learning more about your hormonal situation, you give yourself a better idea of the nutritional and lifestyle changes you need to speed up your weight loss and increase your energy and health.

A blood panel can help you assess your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, whether your adrenals are insufficient, whether you’re low in vitamin D3, or whether your cholesterol and blood sugar levels are within the normal healthy range.

  1. Embrace the Cold

Spending time in relatively chilly temperatures can help you burn more calories, even if you’re just sitting around doing nothing. This may sound crazy, but research backs it up.

According to a study published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, cooler temperatures can increase calorie burn by up to 30 percent, while another study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigations found that people who spend a couple of hours a day in mild cold—approximately 63 degrees F—for a period of six weeks burned more energy than those who spent the same amount of time in warmer temperatures.

Next time you’re thinking about skipping an outdoor workout because it’s too cold, remember that the cold is your weight loss friend.

  1. Handle Social Festivities the Right Way

Studies show that most people gain two to ten pounds during the winter months, and one of the main reasons for this weight gain is the eating festivities during the holidays.

The best thing you can do to counter this effect is to eat before you go to a party. It will help curb your hunger and take the edge off your appetite.

If you want to go all out, you can also bring your healthy foods to make sure you have an alternative to the high calorie, fat-laden dishes your host or hostess is serving.

  1. Watch Your Weekends

It’s totally doable to stick with a healthy diet and exercise plan during the week, but once the freedom of the weekend arrives, a lot of people take a break from their weight-loss resolution. This is a mistake.  Doing so will only set you back and undo all your efforts from the week before.

You need to be conscientious when you’re attending that happy hour after work on Friday, the restaurant dinner on Saturday, and the home-cooked meal on Sunday. Otherwise, your weekends will turn into diet landmines that undo each week’s worth of healthy dieting and exercise.

Eating poorly and skipping workouts from Friday to Sunday add up to a whopping 12 days off a month. Not a good idea.

  1. Be Patient

Patience is a virtue. It helps you reduce stress, control cravings, set the right goals, and most importantly it will keep you consistent, especially when all the odds are stacked against you.

Patience allows you to see beyond the current (unpleasant) moment to a future in which you’ve already achieved what you’re after.

Said in a different way, the more patient you are, the more likely you are to succeed.

Take the time you need to learn about what type of exercise works best for you, as well as about the various foods that offer the best nutrition.

  1. Take Action

“Nothing happens until something moves.”—Albert Einstein.

Every minute you’re sitting around thinking about losing weight, surfing the net for magical diets, or checking Facebook, you’re not doing what’s needed to achieve your weight loss goals.

Regardless of how much you want to do to change your life or lead a healthier lifestyle, nothing will happen until you actually DO something. You can talk about starting a workout program and developing healthier eating habits as much as you want, but nothing will change until you start taking action.

This means you need to get moving NOW.

Here’s what you need to do: make a list of the lifestyle changes you want to see happen, then give yourself time to make each one a part of your life.

  1. Practice Kaizen

The philosophy of Kaizen is all about going after small, continuous improvement. It builds up over time — over weeks, months and years of regular practice.

This approach is the best way to banish short-term and silver bullet thinking.

Achieving a healthy lifestyle is a marathon rather than a sprint. Slow, and steady will win the race.

Embrace the philosophy of small, continuous improvement and aim to get 1 percent better each day. Begin every morning by asking yourself what the one thing is that you can do today to improve your fitness and health? Start super small and go about achieving it.

There are hundreds of these little things, and if you keep adding one a day, they will quickly build up.

  1. After you Lose the Weight, Stick to Your New Lifestyle

Research shows that most people gain back most of the weight they lose less than two years after losing it. This is atrocious.

Losing weight is hard enough. Gaining it back sucks.

Once you reach your target weight, keep in mind that you’ve only won half of the battle. You need to do your best not to revert to your old ways.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the real secret to reaching your ideal weight and staying at that weight for life is to make a lifelong commitment to the all the diet, lifestyle and exercise habits listed above.

The moment you go back to your old ways is the moment when the pounds start creeping back.

If you’re serious about losing weight and never gaining it back again, you need to understand that your weight and health consciousness doesn’t ever stop.

All of it. The healthy eating. The sleeping. The running. It doesn’t stop.

You need to keep things going, prevent slip-ups and come up with creative ways to spice up your workouts and cope with whatever life throws at you.

  1. Remember: It’s all About Creating a Calorie Deficit

Weight loss is all about creating a calorie deficit.

At this point you surely know that weight loss is a numbers game. Nothing more and nothing less.

If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight.

If you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight.

A healthy weight loss goal is to aim for a 500 calorie deficit per day, and the best way to accomplish that goal is to do a mix of healthy eating and smart exercise.

That’s it. Weight loss, in its basic form, is a numbers game

  1. Find What Works Best For You

Please keep in mind that the subject of weight loss—whether it’s diet, exercise or lifestyle-related—is one of the most controversial topics out there. Most of the tips and strategies I’m sharing with you are based on my own experience and research.

There are some contradictory tips—for instance, intermittent fasting versus eating breakfast—but there are some great ones here too.

What’s important to remember is that nothing is written in stone. Take all the tips with a grain of salt and remember that everyone is different and responds differently to different diet and exercise methods. Just because a weight loss tactic works for someone else, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you.

Feel free to experiment to find what works the best for you.

Bonus Tip: Never Give up

This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to losing weight and keeping if off for good.

Weight loss resolutions fail because people give up way too often and way too early in their journey.

Whatever you do, please don’t give up.

Don’t give up.

Don’t ever give up.

You’re going to have bad days, weeks, maybe even bac months. But don’t give up.

Shit happens. It’s part of life.

If you fail one day, the next day is a new start. Get up and go after it again.  Change your approach, find a way to do things differently to make it work for you.

Please, please, please don’t let your past mistakes or past failures define who you are. You are much more than your past.

Welcome failure and let it shape your approach and course of action.

Conclusion

Boy, that was a long post! If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you for your commitment. You’re the best.

You rock for taking the time to invest in yourself.

Now go take action on what you’ve just learned, and thank you for reading my post.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments below.

David D.

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Featured Image Credit – Byong Wook via Flickr