1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.
Dear Stefani, I am 65 years old and I would like to ask, what is your advice for post-menopausal women in regard to carbo-cycling? For the past 8 months I have practiced IF (fasting nearly daily, between 16 and 24 hours) combined with carbo-cycling (extremely low carbs for 3 or 4 days in a row followed by 1 day of carb reloading) to dramatically reduce my calorie intake while eating nutritious foods only. As a result, I have lost 70 pounds. Now that I am at a good weight and feeling well (I exercise daily), I would like to think I can use IF and carbo-cycling when necessary to avoid regaining weight. But I am concerned by the possibility that I may actually be undermining my body’s insulin sensitivity.
An article published in Consumer Reports in 2006 recommends avoiding the fat-burning supplements 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, and citrus aurantium, also called bitter orange, as these both have potentially serious side effects. Bitter orange can cause increased heart rate, anxiety and chest pain, and 5-HTP can cause inflammation and pain in the joints and muscles and severe gastrointestinal issues. Another article, published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2011, notes that an herbal fat-burning supplement containing usnic acid, guggul tree and green tea extracts was linked to a case of liver failure.
"With all the different tips out there, it can be tricky to understand exactly which exercises work the best. HIIT is great for fat burning and will get your heart rate up, but I’d also recommend including strength (resistance) exercises too. Try lifting weights, using resistance bands or using the weight machines at the gym as these will increase your metabolism to help with weight loss, and increase your muscle strength. It’s important to mix-up your whole-body workouts so you don’t get bored."
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Replace the negative voice in your head that's telling you to quit with a motivational saying that will inspire you to keep going even when it gets tough. "I powered through workouts telling myself, 'I can do hard things!'" says Megen Karlinsey, who kept off 150 pounds. Her mantra helped her accomplish a triathlon, which she signed up for to blast a weight loss plateau.
Trim Portions. If you did nothing else but reduce your portions by 10%-20%, you would lose weight. Most of the portions served both in restaurants and at home are bigger than you need. Pull out the measuring cups to get a handle on your usual portion sizes, and work on paring them down. Get instant portion control by using small bowls, plates, and cups, says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating. You won't feel deprived because the food will look plentiful on dainty dishware.