Sugary soda, packed with empty calories, is obviously a diet disaster, but even the no-calorie version can expand your waistline. A 2012 study published in the journal Obesity found that regular soda was associated with increased waist size and abdominal fat, but diet soda was associated with increased waist size, BMI, and total percentage of fat. One theory why this happens is the artificial sweeteners in diet soda don’t produce the responses your body expects when you eat something sweet. So, the sweet taste of a diet soda triggers a message to your body to expect an influx of energy, which won’t arrive since there are no calories in diet drinks. This interferes with your body’s hunger signals and causes you to crave (and consume) additional calories to make up for the lack of calories in diet soda. (Not to mention, diet soda has also been linked to stroke and dementia.)
Why it works: This move is more challenging than a traditional plank because you’re supporting your entire body weight on two points of contact instead of four. As a result, you must work your core harder to stay stabilized.
“If you wake up bloated on Monday morning, your weekend food choices are likely to blame,” explains Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. “In fact, overindulging for two days straight can easily cause a gain of three pounds. Fortunately, this weight gain is usually temporary and easy to get rid of in less than a week.” (Give your entire body a shape-up in just minutes a day with these exclusive ballet-inspired routines from Prevention’s Flat Belly Barre!)
Hey Michelle, that’s possible (although there are a few hormones at play, not just cortisol). But if that’s the case, it’s really a bit of a waiting game. It can seem like nothing is happening, and then one day you’re 3 pounds lighter. Eventually your weight will even out, but in the interim, it’s still generally a good idea to drop your calories and/or increase your activity levels.
However, keep in mind that grain-based fiber is less than optimal, and may in fact promote insulin and leptin resistance. Ideally, you should opt for both soluble and insoluble fiber from these foods:
Nice job on dropping 15lbs! Really, it just takes time. There’s no way to localize fat loss, unfortunately. It’s happening all over your body, although fasted HIIT can put more emphasis on targeting that stubborn fat.
Do 8 reps of the kettlebell swing, followed immediately by 8 reps of the squat thrust. Without resting, do 7 reps of the kettlebell swing, and then 7 reps of the squat thrust, and so on, until you work your way down to 1.
Need another reason to hate Mondays? Tight postweekend waistbands. Unless you spent the past 2 days living like a monk, the cocktails, movie snacks, and dinners out can all add up to one thing: belly bloat. (That kind of eating can do a number on your GI tract, too. Here are 5 ways to stay tummy trouble-free.)
Great post as always. Quick question – you said, 10g of BCAA’s when training in a fasted state. Is there a range for this and is this on the high end? I am looking at Optimum’s BCAA product and each capsule is 1,000mg (suggested serving 2). I really need to take 10 of these things or am I missing something?
Understanding adult obesity. Weight-Control Information Network. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/understanding/Pages/understanding-adult-overweight-and-obesity.aspx. Accessed March 8, 2016.
Belly fat can make the waistband of your pants uncomfortably tight and leave you feeling self-conscious in a bathing suit. Classic weight-loss strategies help slim your middle so you feel more confident, but you’ll have to be a little patient.
Sugar, refined grains and saturated and trans fats contribute to belly fat development. A study published in a 2012 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed postmenopausal women who changed their eating behavior to eat fewer desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages and fried foods, and who ate out at restaurants less often, experienced the most weight loss. The AARP recommends cutting out the “five C’s” — candy, cookies, cake, cola and chips — as an easy way to curb your intake of many of these foods.
A. Find a stretch of floor that allows you to go forward 10 to 20 yards, and grab anything that will slide over the surface with minimal friction. Dinner plates or plastic bags work on a carpeted floor, while towels work on wood or tile.
Bend at your hips and hold a kettlebell (or dumbbbell) with both hands at arm’s length in front of you. Now rock back slightly and “hike” kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height. Allow momentum to swing the weight—you’re not trying to actively lift it with your arms.
Two questions Mike… 1) I was following this diet of 20% deficit (or close to it as I thought) for about 2 months. Did my metabolism suffer as a result? 2) Why do some suggest to breakdown macros into 1-1.5 P g/lb, .5 F g/lb , remaining cals from carbs??
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Sure, ketchup is tasty, but it’s also a serious saboteur when it comes your weight loss efforts. Ketchup is loaded with sugar — up to four grams per tablespoon — and bears little nutritional resemblance to the fruit from which it’s derived. Luckily, swapping out your ketchup for salsa can help you shave off that belly fat fast. Fresh tomatoes, like those used in salsa, are loaded with lycopene, which a study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan links to reductions in both overall fat and waist circumference. If you like your salsa spicy, all the better; the capsaicin in hot peppers, like jalapeños and chipotles, can boost your metabolism, too.
“The key to losing belly fat is self-motivation, exercise, eating a more healthy diet and consuming fewer calories than you use up,” says Dr Sarah Clarke, a consultant cardiologist at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Even most personal trainers and athletes agree that the quality of your diet is the No. 1 factor to address in order to lose belly fat. Once you improve your eating habits, ab workouts and core exercises are like the icing on the cake. Doing about 2–4 ab workouts weekly can strengthen and define your midsection while you also work on losing body fat all over through improving your diet, sleep and stress.
Sure! HMB is great to take if you’re training fasted. Leucine is another option. Not going to be much fat burning going on since you’re on maintenance cals. Because fat loss isn’t the priority right now, I recommend you have some preworkout nutrition prior to training. That way you will have better physical performance.
“I can’t do this. I can’t face another diet.” My friend Kimberly was making yet another series of desperate New Year’s resolutions. “Every year, I starve myself for months, I lose maybe 5 pounds, and by springtime it all comes back,” she complained. “What’s the point? I’m just destined to be overweight.”
Women who wake up and go to bed at the same time each evening have lower levels of body fat, according to a recent Brigham Young University study. Chaotic sleep habits cause your internal clock to go haywire, which in turn causes your body to secrete fat-storing hormones like cortisol. (Avoid these 10 more unhealthy weekend habits that set you up for a less-than-stellar week.)
I stumbled upon Mike’s website while searching for a solution to the ‘post-baby belly’. He seemed to be talking a lot of sense but I still wanted to be sure this book would be right for me before purchasing. So I emailed Mike my questions. He answered right away and was friendly, knowledgeable, positive, encouraging, and trustworthy.
Nonstarchy vegetables: Because vegetables fill you up without filling you out, they’re really the backbone to any healthy eating plan. They’re also loaded with anti-inflammatory properties to continue to banish belly fat for life. Even when you reach your goal weight, aim to have a minimum of four servings of nonstarchy vegetables every single day.
Hello Mike, loved BLS and BBLS got them both on audio. My question is how is it possible to track calories (and macros) for home cooked meals? Is getting a food scale and measuring cup the only way? This has been my biggest obstacle in losing weight I never know how much I’m eating.
Cut out sugar and refined white flour. Studies have shown that one of the biggest culprits of visceral fat is sugary beverages, sweets and foods made from refined white flour. Limit or cut out these foods to help reduce belly fat.
Perform muscle-building calisthenics and stretches that use your body weight as resistance. Pushups, pullups, sun salutations, squats, lunges and triceps dips add muscle tissue that replaces excess fat. This shift in your body composition raises your basal metabolism so you burn more calories even while resting.
You can restore your sodium-potassium equilibrium by increasing your potassium intake to an optimum 4,700 mg per day. To do this, you need to eat about 4½ cups of produce daily, including the especially rich sources that are mentioned below. As you rebalance your system, you’ll flush out the extra sodium along with the water. Presto: less puffiness. Watch out, though. Food is a safe source of potassium, but supplements are not. They can cause potassium to build up in your body and potentially lead to abnormal heart rhythms and even heart attack, especially in people with kidney or heart problems, says Leslie Bonci, RD, MPH, chief nutrition officer at Come Ready Nutrition.
Muffin top. Love handles. The slang makes it sound oh so adorable. But if you’re like most women over 40, this overspill of flesh is anything but that. In fact, belly fat ranks as your number-one biggest body complaint. Beyond making you cringe when you look in the mirror, belly fat is even more frightening on the inside, increasing your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Thanks for the reply. And yup, just using the macro/cal targets you recommended in a past email. I try to track as accurately as I can (weigh in grams, use appropriate variations- frozen chicken grams vs. cooked, etc). Maybe I just haven’t given it long enough. I’ve lost about 40 lbs so far and all that remains is this stubborn belly fat. It’s been 2 weeks, so hopefully in another 2 I’ll start to notice a change. Thanks again!
Real peanut butter is made with two ingredients: peanuts, and maybe some salt. You already know that peanuts give you belly-slimming monounsaturated fats, tummy-filling fiber, and metabolism-boosting protein. But peanuts have a hidden weapon in their weight-loss utility belt: Genistein, a compound that acts directly on the genes for obesity, helping to turn them down and reduce your body’s ability to store fat. (Beans and lentils have the same magic ingredient, albeit in slightly less delicious form.) But be careful of the brand you buy: if you see ingredients like sugar, palm oil, or anything you can’t pronounce, put it back. They’ll undermine any good the peanuts might do.
You know that your cardio sessions are crucial when it comes to burning the layer of fat sitting on top of your abdominal muscles. But it’s still important to work those abs even as you’re trying to shed fat, says New York City-based personal trainer Adam Sanford, founder of Adam Sanford Fitness. His favorite move to do that? Holding plank on a BOSU ball. “It’s more challenging than a normal plank where your hands are on the floor, because the BOSU tests your balance,” says Sanford. “When your body tries to find control as your balance is challenged, your abs, obliques, and deep transverse abdominal muscles are activated.” Strengthening these core muscles also helps increase your metabolism, ultimately helping you to burn more calories and fat. (Here are 6 other ways to make a plank work your abs even more.)
Heat 1 1/2 tsp peanut oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 oz extra-firm tofu cubes and 1 small minced serrano pepper; stir-fry till tofu is browned. Add 2 Tbsp pad thai sauce, 3/4 cup each cubed zucchini and sliced red bell pepper, and 1 minced scallion; stir-fry until veggies are al dente. Stir in 1/4 cup fresh basil. Serve over 1/2 cup brown rice; top with 2 tsp chopped peanuts.