In Part 1 of this series, we covered everything but the hormones. But now it’s time for the million dollar estrogen question: do female hormones make it harder for women to lose weight? And if they do, what can you do about it? In this article, we’ll look at the pro- and anti-fat effects of estrogen (yes, there are both!), what this means for weight loss, and how diet can affect estrogen levels in various ways.
The sprawl is basically a burpee on steroids — a full body exercise that works as many muscles as possible and burns calories while shaping and toning upper and lower bodies — especially your abs! “It takes the traditional burpee to the next level by having you touch your chest to the ground, then pushup to plank as you continue the move,” explains Braganza.
If you want to lose weight, you’d better avoid special “low-carb” products that are full of carbs. This should be obvious, but creative marketers are doing all they can to fool you (and get your money). They will tell you that you can eat cookies, pasta, ice cream, bread and plenty of chocolate on a low-carb diet, as long as you buy their brand. They’re full of carbohydrates. Don’t be fooled.
If food contains the word “veggie,” it’s not automatically healthy. Don’t let marketing gimmicks fool you: The majority of foods are mislabeled and not as healthy as they claim to be, veggie chips included. You’re a lot better off eating fresh vegetables than synthetic and processed versions. You can always try making your own veggie chips by slicing veggies like kale, carrots, zucchini, and squash, really thin, misting them with olive oil, and then baking them in the oven. Here are 25 more weight-loss myths you need to stop believing.
Including your significant other in your workouts can help to keep you on track, even if your goals aren't necessarily the same. "My hubby and I make exercise outings 'our' time," says Twyla Grimes, who knocked off 26 pounds by combining an hour on the stairmill or treadmill with strength training. "We'll go to the gym for an hour and lift weights together. Having him there keeps me accountable."
But while many people want to target their belly fat, it's easier said than done. You can't spot-reduce fat from any specific place in your body. That's why endless crunches won't give you flat tummy. But you can lose weight overall, including from your belly, thanks to a combination of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits. Although every body is different and loses weight at a different speeds, personal trainer and dietitian Jim White, RD, ACSM, told POPSUGAR that you can see results in as little as two weeks.
If you don't have access to the gym, there are other exercises that can help trim your tummy and many of them can be done at home. "Plank exercises are an effective way to strengthen all of the muscles in your core, "says football trainer Brian Martin, CSCS. Martin has trained numerous pro players and says that "the plank works dozens of muscles all at once. It is a much more complete exercise then abdominal crunches or situp."
Currently, Martin uses a product called the Stealth Core Trainer with his clients. The plank-based ab trainer engages the user with smartphone games for a challenging ab workout. The unbalanced board puts your body into an unstable position that has be manipulated to reach targets and score. Not only does the game system take your mind off the workout, but the stabilization required to increase points in the game helps to sculpt a tight core.
If you follow the slim-fast program by the book it will work. There is no way out since the major meals are composed of slim-fast products that guarantee the amount of calories you consume. Now, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach. First it is costly because you will have to order all those slim-fast products and second there is a chance that you will get bored quickly and quit. On the other hand it is a perfect solution for the working woman who does not have the time to cook or organize her meals in advance. If you want a quick solution that is healthy and can generate good results then the slim-fast solution is for you.
If HIIT workouts and strength training aren’t part of your exercise routine, it’s time to add them in. Instead of just running or walking on the treadmill do bursts of high intensity running or sprinting followed by a cool down. For example, you can sprint full force for 30 seconds, slow down and walk for two minutes, then rev it up and sprint again for 30 seconds. Continue this routine for 10 to 20 minutes. If your gym offers Tabata workouts, check those out, too.
While it’s often assumed that bread is off-limits when you’re trying to lose belly fat, the right bread may actually expedite the process. Switching to sprouted bread can help out carb-lovers eager to get their fix without going up a belt size, thanks to the inulin content of sprouted grains. The results of a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism reveal that found that pre-diabetic study subjects whose diets were supplemented with inulin shaved off more belly fat and total weight than those whose meal plans didn’t pack this healthy prebiotic fiber.
Why are so many people putting on more weight, despite their best efforts to reverse or prevent it? While not all experts entirely agree on what needs to be done in order to correct “the obesity epidemic,” most support the theory that several key factors are to blame for such high rates of unhealthy weight gain. Accumulation of dangerous visceral fat (essentially the belly fat that most want to see disappear the most) and general obesity is said to be a “complex pathological processes reflecting environmental and genetic interactions,” which include:
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“Every morning I drink a cup of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and a dash of cayenne pepper,” says Michelle Keough. This helps her start her day off on a healthy note while getting her hydrated after a long night. This trick, combined with eating meals built around protein and veggies, helped her lose 20 pounds and keep it off.
Your most immediate and best option is to combine aerobic exercise and exercise involving lifting weights, as you will not only burn body fat but tone your muscles as well, positively changing your hip to waist ratio, and working quickly towards a healthier body in ever aspect. As you burn belly fat, you'll burn fat where it doesn't need to be elsewhere, too!
Lose fat with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). If you're trying to lose weight fast, HIIT training can super-charge your metabolism for upwards of 24 hours after exercising. This means your body will continue burning calories long after you've ended your workout. HIIT burns more calories in less time than steady-state cardio. In one study, researchers looked at two groups, one running for 30 to 60 minutes three times per week, the other doing four to six 30-second treadmill sprints, resting for four to six minutes between each sprint. After six weeks, it was found that the group doing HIIT training lost more weight.
"If your diet consists of lots of sports drinks, sugar-sweetened drinks like fizzy pop and flavoured waters, or sugary foods like chocolate and cakes, it will make losing weight harder. While whole fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly good for you, they can also sometimes cause weight gain if you eat too much, as they have high levels of natural sugars in them. Low-fat food options might have high amounts of added sugar in there too, so make sure to check the food label.
Dr Tumpati is a board certified physician with significant practice experience in managing sleep disorders, internal medicine, aesthetic and obesity medicine. As one of the few physicians that have the privilege of a fellowship training in Obesity Medicine, Dr Tumpati is very passionate about educating the public and physicians about how some of the nutritional concepts were misunderstood. As the founder of W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep and MedSpa centers, Dr Tumpati is the medical director for the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania locations and commutes weekly between the locations.
An increase in fiber intake is also recommended for regulating bowel movements. Other methods of weight loss include use of drugs and supplements that decrease appetite, block fat absorption, or reduce stomach volume. Bariatric surgery may be indicated in cases of severe obesity. Two common bariatric surgical procedures are gastric bypass and gastric banding. Both can be effective at limiting the intake of food energy by reducing the size of the stomach, but as with any surgical procedure both come with their own risks that should be considered in consultation with a physician. Dietary supplements, though widely used, are not considered a healthy option for weight loss. Many are available, but very few are effective in the long term.
If you feel like you're making smart moves to lose weight but the scale isn't moving the way you want, your diet may contain some sneaky foods that can lead to bloating, water retention (ahem, salt!), and a higher calorie intake. Veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, whole grains, and other smart choices loaded with fiber and protein will keep you fuller longer, all while working their nutrient-powered magic. When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, these plant-based foods loved by registered dietitians have your back.
Thyroid hormone is essential for fat loss. Unfortunately on a low carbohydrate diet thyroid hormone production can slow down. This is crucial to bear in mind for women especially because women’s metabolism and thyroid activity are much more sensitive than men’s. It is important in the “low carb” times of the cycle to still not be very low carb. Stay above 50 grams of carbohydrate a day, at very minimum (and higher if physically active).
There are certain foods that will help you lose belly fat, while other foods will actually increase belly fat. Foods that help burn belly fat are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil, walnuts, and flax seeds. However, avoid refined grains, which increase belly fat, and choose whole grains instead. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, preferably organic is ideal. Indeed, research shows that Mediterranean style dietis the best diet in aiding the loss of belly fat. Read more about foods that can help you lose belly fat.
The results: estrogen isn’t an angel or a demon; it’s a hormone that should ideally be within a healthy range, and too much or too little can be dangerous. So far, some studies suggest that a high-fiber, lower-carb diet might be useful in treating estrogen overload, but the best advice for anyone with PCOS or another serious problem will come from a real endocrinologist.
Use an adult energy needs calculator to estimate your calorie intake needs; then subtract the 500 to 1,000 calories for weight loss. For example, a 28-year-old woman who is 5 foot, 9-inches tall weighs 175 pounds and is lightly active -- less than an hour a day -- burns about 2,400 calories daily. She'll burn about 2 pounds of fat in a week if she eats 1,400 calories daily, or 1 pound a week if she eats 1,900 calories a day.
A diet that’s low in fat and carbohydrates can improve artery function, according to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins researchers. After six months, those on the low-carb diet had lost more weight, and at a faster pace. But in both groups, when weight was lost—and especially when belly fat shrank—the arteries were able to expand better, allowing blood to travel more freely. The study shows that you don’t have to cut out all dietary fat to shrink belly fat. For heart health, simply losing weight and exercising seems to be key.
There don't appear to be lot of safety concerns with green tea or caffeine as long as they're used in moderation, but they can cause some side effects, such as nervousness and irregular heartbeat, with an intake of more than 400 milligrams per day of caffeine. Stick to brewed green tea, because the green tea extract can cause abdominal discomfort and potential liver damage.
Like protein, fiber slows the rate at which your body plows through carb calories so you feel full for longer and maintain steadier blood sugar levels, one reason why research consistently links fiber intake to weight loss. That means fibrous whole grain bread tends to be a better choice than white bread and also explains why fruits, which contain fiber and valuable vitamins in addition to sugar, beat straight-up candy every time.
Most people are not aware that leptin plays an enormously important role in the development of obesity. Leptin is a hormone produced by your fat cells that is just as important as insulin in determining your risk for type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. It also impacts how much you eat and how much fat you burn, and leptin resistance specifically causes your body to produce and accumulate visceral fat around your midline. So how do you become leptin resistant? In short, by:
Probably. If you have overweight or obesity, your risk for many health problems is higher than that of women who are at a normal weight. Even a small amount of weight loss can lower your risk for or even prevent health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) to see whether you’re at a healthy weight. If you have overweight or obesity, start by making small changes to your eating habits and getting more physical activity.
Estrogen often shows as Moobs for men and fatty thighs (thunder thighs) for Women. There are ways you can solve this problem but you must understand what is the problem and what is the symptom. A lot of it comes down to chemicals, heavy metals and toxins we expose ourselves to. For example: non organic meat and antibiotics fed to animals or even air pollution. Other examples are deodorants and sprays, birth-control pills, plastic and bacteria in water.
The final possible culprit behind stubborn weight issues may be the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain. The most common cause of elevated cortisol is chronic stress and lack of sleep (see tip #10), or cortisone medication (tip #9). It’s a good idea to try your best to do something about this.
Water is one of the best tools to help you with weight loss. According to experts, water is crucial when it comes to regulating the metabolic rate and the body’s fat-burning mechanisms. It helps your body run more efficiently and helps flush out harmful substances from the body. Water also helps you control food intake by helping you feel full sooner and longer.
While you could lose weight and body fat by dieting alone, adding exercise will result in a better body composition after you're finished losing weight. It also appears that weight lost through exercise may be more likely to come from your belly fat than weight lost through diet alone, according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Bran muffins sound like a healthy breakfast option—with all that cholesterol-lowering oat bran, right? But the prepackaged ones found at the supermarket aren’t nearly as fresh or healthy as they claim, and they’re almost always oversized, packing in some 300 calories—about the same as a cream-filled doughnut! Many are also loaded with saturated fats butter and oil and contain upwards of 600 grams of sodium. Homemade is key when you’re trying to lose weight, so why not try making your own? While baking definitely does take more time than going to the store, you’ll reap the benefits of all your hard work spent in the kitchen.
New York fitness trainer Matt Griffin works at a gym where the clientele is mostly men. He says that getting a lean body requires a combination of cardiovascular training and lifting weights. “The mix of weight training and cardio keeps the body guessing and reacting to the stresses being put on it.” Both Griffin and Schober say that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is particularly effective for burning fat and targeting the gut.
It is important to note that these recommendations appear to be useful for most that are struggling with insulin or leptin resistance (overweight, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol ratios, or diabetes). If you don't struggle with insulin/leptin resistance, then it would be wise to have a higher percentage of carbs and lower percentage of fat.
But of course, that doesn’t mean you should use exercise as an excuse to ignore your diet. You can’t eat whatever you want and still expect to get rid of your paunch. Book author and fat-loss expert Tom Venuto says that one of the most common workout mistakes made by men is to ignore the important relationship between diet and exercise in reaching weight loss goals.
Including sufficient protein in your diet is essential in staying lean. Not only does it help you feel fuller at meals, but it can also bump up your metabolism a bit and help your muscles grow (and then more muscle tissue revs your metabolism even further). People who regularly ate what are defined as "quality protein sources," or foods that supply about 10 grams of essential amino acids (like eggs, beef and milk) at each meal had a smaller amount of fat around their waists, reported research in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism. However, it's all too common to eat most of your protein at dinner. The problem with that is that your muscles can only use so much protein to rebuild at a time, so for the best fat-burning results, aim to divvy up these high-quality sources throughout the day, and exercise regularly too.
That sour cherry is pretty sweet when it comes to your health. The results of a study conducted at the University of Michigan found that rats given high-fat foods along with tart cherries ditched nine percent more body fat than those in a control group over just 12 weeks. Cherries are also a good source of antioxidant pigment resveratrol, which has been linked to reductions in belly fat, dementia risk, and lower rates of macular degeneration among the elderly.
Monounsaturated fats, or more simply MUFA, may help you lose belly fat. Research suggests that a diet rich in MUFA may be more effective than a carbohydrate rich diet in burning belly fat. While a carbohydrate rich diet appears to increase belly fat, there is evidence that a MUFA-rich diet helps get rid of belly fat – even in the absence of exercise. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that participants who ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fats lost more stomach fat than those participants who consumed the same amount of calories but less of the healthy fats. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that participants who ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fats lost more stomach fat than those participants who consumed the same amount of calories but less of the healthy fats. Not only does it help burn belly fat, but MUFA also help control satiety, reduces risk of diabetes and confers cardiovascular benefits. Therefore, including MUFA in your 5 daily meals and snacks will help you stick to your calorie controlled diet to lose belly fat. Include one serving of MUFA at every meal.
The MIND diet, or Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, is a sort of hybrid between the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet. It features foods meant to slow the progression or development of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia and an incurable neurodegenerative condition that more than 5 million Americans are living with, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. (12) Some research backs up this notion, including a study published in September 2016 in Alzheimer’s Dementia that found a link between following the MIND Diet and a reduced risk of the disease. (13)
SOURCES: WebMD Feature: "With Fruits and Veggies, More Matters." 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author, The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD,author, Comfort Food Makeovers. Brian Wansink, PhD, professor and director, Cornell Food and Brand Lab, Ithaca, N.Y.; author, Mindless Eating. Barbara Rolls, PhD, professor of nutritional sciences; and director, laboratory for the study of human ingestive behaviors, Penn State University; and author, The Volumetrics Eating Plan.