aww thank you so much, chessca— i really do appreciate it! :)
hi there! yay, i’m glad you’ve fallen in love with exercise! :)
ideally, i’d love to say that if you keep at it, you’ll achieve the super-flat stomach that almost everyone desires. however, the fact of the matter is that it’s harder than most expect.
in order to achieve this goal, it’s not simply about doing the right amount of exercise. there’s more to it than that. typically, diet is the most important factor, and still, there are other things that can prevent you from achieving a flat tummy:
- Retaining water can make you look and feel fatter than you are. The amount of water our cells retain has a lot to do with the balance of sodium and potassium in our body fluids. Too much salt (sodium), the curse of modern diets, is often the easiest cause of water weight to fix.
- The body fat level required to get flat abs is lower than you can sustain with your current lifestyle/schedule, or the body fat level required is lower than is healthy for your body to function. (the level of fat in your body has to reach a certain low in order to have a flat stomach or six-pack.)
it’s not impossible— but now you can better understand why it can be such a struggle to get a flat stomach. still, don’t let it discourage you! the fact that you’re exercising is already commendable. :)
rain? snow? no problem!
bundle up with the right gear, and you should be A-OK. weather should never stop you from a good run— unless it’s lightning haha.
but if you really can’t, there’s plenty of things you can do indoors. jump roping’s a great cardio alternative, and even if you don’t have a rope, you can always jump in place to achieve the same result.
i definitely recommend checking out my workouts and looking into plyometrics (jump training) as well as calisthenics (push-ups, crunches, all’a that type of stuff).
i’m glad you want to stay in shape, despite the weather. good luck! :)
was my last post really 3 weeks ago? sorry guys!
life’s just extremely busy at the moment… school, volleyball, college apps, all’a that good stuff. and last week, which was homecoming week (i won senior princess!), was pretty hectic.
hopefully i’ll be able to start posting regularly again, so stay tuned! :)
awww thank you so much! kudos to you, you’re definitely on the right track to weight loss. as you continue on your exercise regimen, don’t forget to keep pushing yourself (obviously, just don’t overdo it).
to answer your question, i’d recommend aiming for foods that are high in fiber (like these)— they can really fill you up. also, because we often mistake dehydration for hunger, try drinking a glass of water if you’re hungry. it can make all the difference.
good luck to you on your journey to health! :)
I learned from someone else that arguably the best food for dealing with hunger pangs is chicken breast. A 250-gram piece of boiled chicken breast, eaten dry (no seasoning/condiments) so as not to be palpable, takes a long time to eat, and it’s not very enjoyable, but your mouth gets a workout.
Protein has this neat effect of curbing appetite as well.
Other than that, you could try a heaping plate of broccoli, frozen grapes, Otter Pops, jello, and pickles.
honestly, at least in my opinion, i believe that the only way to stay motivated is to truly want to change— willpower is necessary when it comes to weight loss.
for me, i enjoy the feeling of working out. just like when i’m eating right, i get pleasure from knowing that i’m doing my body some good. i love knowing that i’m working towards better health.
that’s what pushes me to work out. yet… even then, like everyone else, there are days where i’m lazy. sometimes i give in to my lethargy (i’ll consider it a rest day), but the majority of the time i just have to force myself to get up and move. really though, once you don your workout clothes and step out the door, you’ll find that you don’t wanna turn back.
it’s just that initial step of getting out the door. aside from that, it’s not that hard at all! you just gotta look forward to your workouts. :)
Motivation is a real can of worms & there’s ongoing research on processes in the body & environmental factors that can affect it. I’ll be honest here & say that the advice I have for you is mostly speculative.
The amino acid tryptophan as well as the neurotransmitters serotonin & dopamine have been implicated in motivation, willpower, reward-seeking behavior, addiction, & anhedonia, the inability to find pleasure from things people usually find pleasure doing (people with clinical depression have this problem). Different mood states (& the chemicals they’re associated with) can be affected by food & exercise.
Consuming a large amount of carbs in the absence of protein & fat will increase serotonin. This also has the effect of making many people feel drowsy. At least in animals, exercise improves dopamine release & sensitivity. Now, even if that’s not the case for humans, exercise does improve mood, & it benefits those with depression & anxiety.
Studies suggest that both the obese & psychiatrically ill have genetic defects that are affecting neurochemical processes linked with mood, which in turn can impact the likelihood of someone undermining his or her diet by overeating. A person who isn’t receiving the same degree of pleasure from eating due to a dopamine dysfunction is likely to eat more to achieve the desired effect.
There are also environmental factors affecting motivation. The people you surround yourself with, the availability of food in your household, & social support may have different effects on different people with regard to motivation. In an earlier post, I mentioned intrinsic & extrinsic motivation.
There should be a genuine desire within you to change yourself. Having other people who want you to change or being financially motivated to change your body will not cut it in the long term. As it turns out, it’s quite easy to get people to lose weight. The problem is keeping the weight from coming back on.
Even under stringent conditions, such as in boot camp or on The Biggest Loser, many gain at least some weight back when those conditions are lifted (this was the general trend I saw across the 11 completed seasons of TBL; still, most never climbed back up to their original weight, fortunately).
So what can we do with the information above to help with your motivation? Not much, really, but it drives home the point that motivation is more complicated than it looks. If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t have so much trouble staying on the health bandwagon.
The one tangible piece of advice I can give you regarding motivation is to not work out too often. That’ll make you cherish the days you actually do hit the gym.
Furthermore, people tend to equate hard work (e.g., frequent exercise) with results, but when they don’t see the results right away (& who can blame them? Humans weren’t hardwired to pick long-term goals over short-term ones), it kills their motivation. Lastly, limiting the number of days you exercise will help prevent mental burnout & overuse injuries.
hi there! unfortunately, there’s no way to target weight loss. :(
what you’ll have to do to lose that “muffin top” is drop your overall weight. i’ve addressed this question a few times before, so rather than simply repeating myself, i’d like to link you to my previous posts here and here.
best of luck to you!
awww you’re very welcome, lauren!
and thank you so much, i’m so happy to hear that i’ve been able to make a difference and help you. continue working hard! :)
hi rebecca, thanks so much for that compliment! i feel the exact same way when it comes to pro-ED/pro-ana tumblrs. it’s simply not something to encourage. :(
first of all, congrats on the weight loss— 30 pounds is awesome, you’re doing great. secondly, it is completely reasonable to want to lose 5-8 pounds a month. in fact, that’s a very realistic goal to set! just know that it’ll gradually get harder as your weight gets lower; it’s just a part of the process.
therefore, if/when you hit a weight loss plateau, don’t give up. it may be a little disheartening, but keep at it. remember that it’s not always about the number.
as for how much weight to lose… that’s entirely up to you. once you hit a weight that you’re happy at, simply work on maintaining your weight while improving your strength/endurance/all’a that.
either way, i’m sure you’ll be seeing amazing improvements to your physique! keep it up! :)
aww thank you so much, mauren— you’re the awesome one! :)
those kind of diets are TERRIBLE! as i’ve said before,
500-900 calories just isn’t enough for your body to function in the way that it needs to (see recommended caloric intakes here). it’s damaging to your health, both physically and mentally.
i don’t know why— or even how— people can encourage others to take on such ridiculous diets (like, the abc diet, for instance); it’s just not healthy.
so my advice to anyone considering this method is simple: please don’t do it.
Yes, it’s bad. An amount that low has historically been used (in the research, they call them VLCD, very low-calorie diets) for the morbidly obese. Even 1200 calories won’t guarantee that one will select all the foods that cover his or her nutrient bases.
It’s setup for failure in the long term.
This is going to sound like an evasive answer, but hear me out.
I know a lot of people need their intake calculated for them so that they can follow it straight off the bat. A simpler way is to start at some arbitrary number - say, 2000 calories the first day - and gauge your weight loss the first week.
If you don’t lose the 2 pounds you wanted, lower it to 1800 (or exercise more) the next week. That can do more for you than some theoretical formula (and there’s a lot out there, such as the Harris-Benedict, Mifflin-St Jeor, Katch-McArdle, and Cunningham formulas).
I would rather go about it this way than hand you an exact number for calories because there are factors I can’t see (e.g., if you have a slow or fast metabolism, the nature of the exercise you do, your NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, for the other 23 hours of the day you’re not exercising) that can confound the results.
Doing a considerable amount of cardio (6x/week counts as a lot) can cause a weight stall (I’ve seen a gain in some) because your body starts to hold water. Also, intense exercise, while burning an appreciable amount of calories, can negatively impact your NEAT, or what you do, for the rest of the day.
Do you continue to carry out daily chores/errands/go out/stay relatively active after your exercise session, or do you actually become lethargic, lounging around on the couch and watching television all day afterward?
Do you fidget a lot after a meal (some people are habitual fidgeters, and believe it or not, doing this for several hours helps them unknowingly combat weight gain) or do you become sluggish?
No one can predict for you whether 1800 calories is going to net you the weight loss you want at the end of the week. In theory, it probably should. Will it? That depends on you.
yeaaaaah buddy! hope you like them— i know i do. :)
- can’t be touched - roy jones jr.
- worldwide choppers - tech n9ne ft. ceza, JI of B hood, U$O, yelawolf, twista, busta rhymes, d-loc the gill god, twisted insane
- heart of a champion - nelly
- maui wowee - kid cudi
- chillin - wale ft. lady gaga
- best day ever - mac miller ft. bleszt (remix)
- first person - cyne
- feather - nujabes
- changes - tupac
- say this now - karizmatik ft. isaac slade
you can view my other playlists here.
i figured it’d be easier to address it all under one post. :)
Hello :) For the past couple days, I’ve been slowly looking through this blog and getting more and more inspired to make my lifestyle healthier. Our family used to be fairly healthy and in shape, I, being a competitive level dancer, got plenty of exercise, as well. However, my dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and with so many hospital trips, we were missing school, dance, meals, (I’m going to continue typing this in another message because I’m running out of available “characters”)
and eating the unhealthy cheap processed foods, lots of fast food, etc. So we got out of our healthy ways and were being dragged down by all this anxiety and stress, becoming less active, as well. So about a year or so later, my dad passed away, as well as my grandpa, who was fairly young and we were extremely close to, and my brother and I were both diagnosed with depression. I haven’t been put on medication for financial reasons, but it has actually worsened to the point that I will be soon…
and with that, I have gained about 40 pounds in the past couple years that I’ve gone through this. Aside from all this, I started smoking pot on occasion because I found that it really helped with my anxiety and depression, and the friends I made who smoke pot have been really very supportive in me with my depression and family and friend problems. This summer, I decided it was times for a change, but it’s been really hard for me to get back into shape, I am still in dance and I feel that…
my weight and unhealthy eating habits have really been holding me back. (also, I should put a side note that I’ve really wanted to get a breast reduction because I have extremely bad back problems, aside from the fact that I suffer from chronic joint pain and a shattered tailbone) but this blog has shown me that I can really customize my eating plans and workout plans to my lifestyle, and I plan on dancing, which I must say builds so much muscle, flexibility, endurance, and weight loss, plus…
I plan on trying to find a local place to go swimming where I can do swimming work outs without it being somewhere kids are playing in the water. (I forgot to put that I dance 3 to 4 days a week varying between an hour and 2 and a half hours, and on other days, I work approximately an hour and a half a day on my dance technique as well as doing my dances and make some up) I’ve already lost about 8 pounds getting back into dance, now all I’ve gotta do is encourage my family to eat healthier…
and maybe once I get a new job (I’m 18 in about 2 weeks) I can do some grocery shopping myself, as I plan on eating more all natural and when I move out and am not tempted, I plan on going vegetarian, which I’ve found that my adult vegetarian cousin is the healthiest person I know, and I plan on being the same way. anyway, your blog has inspired me so much to make these changes and I thank you greatly! <3 also, I’d like to say that your playlist is a lot better than I expected it to be…
I generally find workout playlists to be tacky ballad music and I can’t help but laugh listening to some of them. But all three of yours are fresh and modern and can really get you in the right mood. also, I’m sorry for all the messages I filled your inbox with, I wish I could just put one really long message but tumblr has limited me. haha thanks again! :)
oh also, I forgot to send this earlier, I hope this doesn’t throw things off but my mom, brother and I live on the edge of town and about maybe 3/4 of a mile from our house, there’s tons of walking and horseback riding trails that go through the woods and prairies and by lakes and stuff, and we go on walks there all the time, usually just after dinner. and also if you have any advice for a beginner for exercising, I’d love to hear it :)
hi alicia! thanks for providing so much information— it definitely helps when answering a question. also, i’m really glad you enjoy my playlists! i try to keep them fresh because, well, they’re what i use too haha. :)
anyways, first, i’d like to say that i think it’s commendable that you really want to make a change. it’s understandable that your physical activity ceased while you were undergoing so much stress and anxiety, but now it’s time to get back on track. it’s great that you’re so motivated!
yep, stay away from the fast food joints, and try to fill your kitchen with fruits and veggies (all that generic stuff you’ve probably heard regarding diets)— basically, give yourself healthy options.
as you continue exercising, you’ll definitely be dropping pounds. so work hard and eat right (as i’ve said before, your diet’s gonna be the source of the majority of your weight loss). regardless, focus on taking it slowly, and you’ll definitely start seeing progress (8 pounds already is awesome!).
ideally, i’d say not to lay off the weed, but the choice is yours.
good luck to you on your journey to health! :)
I am terribly sorry for your losses and for the ordeal you, your brother, family, and friends have gone through these past few years. Nobody can blame you for the way you initially dealt with it, but I’m glad to see you ready for change. Just know that your path to self-improvement may be ridden with continued difficulties that you should try your best to surmount (and that’s the beauty of it).
I’m sure you’re aware of the positive impact of exercise on depression, so I won’t go there as you’re already doing it. And I’m sure you agree with me when I say that I feel dance to be the ultimate form of self-expression; I plan on enrolling in either salsa or Bachata classes myself. Swimming is a great overall exercise as well.
Having your own money will definitely grant you the freedom to make more responsible food choices outside of what your family provides on the table. Good job on being proactive and taking care of yourself. I hope the rest of your family soon follows suit. As for the pot, I would ask that you refrain from engaging in illegal activities.