super-foods, easy workouts, fun exercise videos
I’ve started and stopped weight-loss journeys more times than I can count. (I’m sure plenty of women can relate.) For as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to change parts of my body I didn’t like, or doing everything in my power to get to ‘x’ weight. Why? Because I believed that once I did, I’d finally be happy.
This struggle with my weight has been going on since I was a teenager. I was always searching for the best diet to get “skinny” and even resorted to starving myself at times. It didn’t help that I was always told that I was a “big girl” and would never be “petite.” Eventually, I accepted what people were saying as fact and began using food as both a reward and a punishment.
This continued—treating my body poorly and eating emotionally—up until I gave birth to my second child at 29 years old. Before I got pregnant with him, I was already overweight. Then, I took “eating for two” to a whole other level: I used being pregnant as an excuse to eat anything and everything. Not to mention, I believed I needed to rest all the time, which contributed to even more weight gain.
Post-pregnancy, I knew something had to change. There wasn’t one exact light-bulb moment—it was just lots of little things that added up. My family had long been urging and inspiring me to be healthier and I wanted to be a role model for them too. I wanted to be around to see my two boys grow up and live a long happy life with my wonderful husband.
So in July of 2017, I decided it was time to regain my health. I knew that this time was going to be different because I didn’t make drastic changes—like try a crazy diet or go nuts in the gym—right away. Instead, I gradually made small changes and, looking back, it was those simple steps that eventually led to big changes.
To start, I knew I had to change my attitude toward weight loss. This time, I was going to think of weight loss and happiness separately. I made an effort to find things about my body that I loved just as it was. I’d focus on those things instead of the things I didn’t like—my arms. At first, it was tough. I had to try really hard to find things about my body that I appreciated because my whole life, I’d looked in the mirror and picked out my flaws. But after weeks of telling myself that I was worthy of self-love, that my body was amazing for giving birth to two healthy children, and that it was capable of accomplishing anything, it became easier and easier to find the positives and push away the negative thoughts.
I began to accept my body as it was, but also enjoyed improving it. (More: You Can Love Your Body and Still Want to Change It) Instead of wanting to be “skinny,” I wanted to be strong and fit. Sure, the actual loss of weight also helped with my confidence and being happier and more comfortable. But I really think that the mental shift in how I looked at myself—from the beginning—made losing the weight a lot easier.
Changing my diet was part of this too, but I didn’t follow a rigid plan. I decided not to make any food off-limits—and I still don’t. I’ve found that the more you deny yourself of something, the more you want it. (That goes for anything in life, not just food.) Knowing you can eat something if you really want to kind of removes the urge to “cheat” or overindulge.
I did, however, focus on being in a calorie deficit and making sure that each and every one of my meals was balanced: I started having protein with each meal and including a wide variety of nutrient-dense whole foods like vegetables and fruit. I also made sure to include food I enjoyed eating, like the occasional chocolate or some chips. My food consumption became mindful and I really enjoyed it—mostly because I didn’t feel like I was necessarily giving anything up. (Here’s why eating more might actually be the secret to losing weight.)
The next step for me was to start being more active—but first, I needed to change the way I looked at exercise. I knew I had to separate my exercise intentions from my weight-loss goals. I worked hard on not viewing being active as a punishment or simply a means to lose weight. I began approaching it as a way to feel good and reward my body. It helped that, within a few weeks, I started seeing my body change. From there, I was hooked. (FYI, science found the best workout to overcome your weight-loss plateau.)
What started as a couple of at-home workouts per week turned into a routine—one that I continue to follow today. On top of running around with my two kids all day, I lift weights four times a week. (Two are upper-body days and two focus on lower body.) My diet varies but is still centered around sufficient protein and nutrient-dense foods with a good splash of what people might consider “treat food.” (Here’s why you seriously need to stop thinking of foods as “good” or “bad.”)
Yes, I’ve lost 100 pounds so far—but the most welcomed change in my life has been emotional. In the past, if I was busy or stressed, exercise would be the first thing to drop from my schedule. Now, in situations like that, it’s what helps keep me grounded and makes me better at handling stressful situations. Overall, I’m much calmer and I don’t get upset as easily. I’m also now able to see my body as strong and capable and am so thankful for it after all it has been through.
For anyone who might feel like they’ve been in my shoes and are thinking of building a healthier lifestyle, I’ve got one small piece of advice: Make it simple. (More evidence: How Making Small Changes to Her Diet Helped This Trainer Lose 45 Pounds)
You don’t have to do crazy fad diets with hard-to-follow rules. Find a diet that you can stick to—one that you can enjoy for the rest of your life, not just for a few months. A diet is only ever going to be as good as your ability to stick to it. So if you can’t live without bread and a diet is telling you that you have to cut it out, it’s probably not going to be good for you. (See: Why You Should Stop Restrictive Dieting Once and for All)
Also, find a supportive network that knows what you’re going through, even an online community. Find an exercise that you actually enjoy, and don’t just look at working out as a way to lose weight but as a time to do something valuable for your body. Finally, be patient and celebrate small victories. Remember that small achievements = big results. That’s the key to creating a healthy lifestyle that’s lifelong—and to actually being happy.
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Skinny up your cocktails
Many people participate in “Dry January” to jump-start their weight loss goals, but it’s not necessary to completely eliminate alcohol to get back to your pre-holiday weight. Just be smart about what you order: Syrups, sour mix, and sugary fruit juices can quickly turn a drink into a dessert (a Mudslide, for example, can pack more than 800 calories—yikes!). Instead, opt for a beverage that’s mixed with club soda, tonic water, cranberry juice, or a slice of lemon to save up to 800 calories.
It happens to the best of us: Thanksgiving rolls around and we enjoy the holiday dinner a little too much. A binge that includes buttery potatoes, greasy gravy, rich casseroles, and—of course—lots of turkey (not to mention pumpkin pie!) can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and irritable. If you find yourself in this situation this year, you don’t have to suffer through the aftereffects. Here are some things you can do the day after Thanksgiving that will help you feel better—plus some tips for getting your diet back on track for the rest of the holiday season.
Commit to getting back on track
For some people, Thanksgiving is just the beginning of a six-week-long holiday eating and drinking spree. Don’t wait until Monday morning to make healthy changes; you’ll want to prevent bad habits from forming before they snowball out of control.
Eat like it’s a normal day
While it may be tempting to eat less the day after Thanksgiving to balance out the binge from the day before, this can do more harm than good. Restricting your food intake will only make you hungry. Let your stomach growl for too long, and you may find yourself forking down a plateful of turkey-day leftovers. Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast and round out the day with lots of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Avoid hard-to-digest foods
If you’re dealing with post-Thanksgiving digestive distress, you’ll want to avoid certain foods for a few days. Steer clear of dairy products like milk and cheese, coffee, refined sugar, carbonated beverages, and highly acidic foods until you’re feeling better. Here’s a handy list of 9 Foods to Avoid When You Have Tummy Trouble.
Drink lots of water
Getting plenty of H2O is another proven way to deal with digestive issues. And it’s a habit you’ll want to hold onto throughout the holiday season: drinking water fills you up and can prevent overeating. Have trouble staying hydrated? Here are 4 tips to drink more water.
It’s understandable if squeezing into your gym clothes is the last thing you want to do while suffering from post-Thanksgiving bloat, but working out is one of the best things you can do for yourself after a big binge. First, a quick sweat session can help ease any tummy trouble you may be experiencing (this 15-minute yoga workout is designed to beat bloating). Second, committing to exercise now will help prevent you from totally falling off the wagon during the busy holiday season. As you make your way through December, remember my 9 Easy Ways to Sneak in Exercise.
Change your attitude
A food binge can definitely derail your healthy habits and goals, but don’t let it bring you down. Worrying and disappointment in yourself won’t do you any good! Instead, change your thinking and know that you have the power to get back on track and move on. Positive thinking will help you get motivated to work toward your goals again!
Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.
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“She’s lost 40 lbs.,” her trainer Joel Bouraima, or “Coach Joe,” tells PEOPLE. “She’s back to right around where she was before the pregnancy.”
But Kardashian, 34, wants to keep going. “Now that she’s reached this point, she wants to lose more, to be fitter than she was before the pregnancy,” says Bouraima. “She’s about 10 lbs. from her ultimate goal.”
Bouraima, who also works with Kardashian’s partner Tristan Thompson, credits Kardashian’s work ethic and diet for achieving her weight loss milestones.
“She’s very motivated,” he says of the Good American designer, who during the height of her post-baby workouts was exercising six days a week. “She’s proud of herself. And she uses workouts to feel better. If she feels bad, she does a workout, and boom! She feels better.”
After True was born in April, “it was more about how she felt, rather than how she looked,” says Bouraima of getting Kardashian back into the gym once her doctor gave the ok. “She started feeling better and better day after day, and then she was ready to get more intense. She was always able to upgrade the workouts. And that’s why she reached the goal she wanted so quickly.’
Continues Bouraima: “Now that she’s lost the weight, the goal is to add a little bit of definition on abs and arms. She likes the triceps to be cut!”
Most importantly, as devoted as the Keeping up with the Kardashians star is to her workouts, Bouraima says she’s loving motherhood even more.
“She’s enjoying every second of her little girl.”
Jacqueline Adan is ready to share her biggest insecurity.
The Montessori preschool teacher, 31, lost 350 lbs. and now deals with excess skin, something she was body shamed for during two separate beach vacations. She’s undergone five skin removal surgeries — three on her upper body, one on the lower body and liposuction on her legs — but quickly learned that it isn’t an instant fix.
Adan has posted plenty of photos of herself since her surgeries, but for the first time, she decided to put up a video showing exactly what her legs — her biggest source of insecurity — look like now.
“This is getting very real, but I did want to be honest and open and share everything with you guys, so this is what we’re working with,” she said in an Instagram video on Monday. “They’re a lot more loose, as you can see. There’s a lot of it … There’s lots of dents, holes from the liposuction sucking out. This is kind of just what they are. They’re heavy, there’s a lot of it.”
Adan explained that she first had liposuction in January to get rid of some remaining fat in her legs, and is meeting with her surgeon this week to move on to the next step — skin removal.
“It’s a big insecurity for me, my legs, but at the same time, mentally it’s not just challenging, but physically,” she said. “As you can see, there’s a lot of weight. It’s heavy. Lifting my legs just to go up and down the stairs, in and out of bed, is hard because they’re so heavy.”
Adan said she decided to post this video to help her move past her insecurity.
“I wanted to share my legs with you because…well, because I am scared,” she wrote. “Even though I do not hate them anymore, I still feel very insecure with them. Even though I am insecure, I am not going to let them stop me from living my life or sharing them with you. This is real and this is me. This is what hard work looks like.”
And Adan — who certainly knows about body shaming — added that she refuses to be bothered by any negative comments about this video.
“You can call them ugly, nasty, big, fat, disgusting. Don’t worry anything negative you could ever say about them I have thought those things too,” she said. “I am now embracing my legs for what they are … I am not going to call them ugly anymore. These are my strong legs.”
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: The number on the scale does not matter. Fitness influencer Christina Basil is helping women everywhere see the truth in those words with her latest before and after photo.
“I’ve reached the same weight I was when I first started training almost 2 yrs ago!” Basil wrote alongside a post earlier this year. “Kinda seems like my fitness journey has come full circle in a way, doesn’t it???” The photo shows Basil at 140 pounds before she got serious about self-care and again at 140 pounds after nearly two years of weight training.
In the caption, Basil explains that when she first started setting fitness goals for herself, all she wanted was to shrink down to 120 pounds. She would religiously count down each and every pound, and if the number on the scale wasn’t what she wanted it to be, she would restrict calories and feel exhausted.
“Why do we as women keep doing this to ourselves???” she wrote. “Men are generally so PROUD when they’ve put on weight when working out – meanwhile many women are determined to forever shrink themselves down to nothing.”
Wake up call: The scale doesn’t define you, and it can’t tell you how much fat you’ve lost versus how much muscle mass you’ve built. “I’m here to remind you, love, that YOU DON’T NEED to constantly weigh less and less to prove you’re healthy or fit,” Basil wrote.
What’s way more important than the number staring back at you is the fact that you’re sticking to reasonable goals, and you’re giving your body the time it needs to transform, both on the inside and out.
“I’m rooting for your success,” Basil wrote. “Whatever your health and fitness goals may be. You got this.”
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The actress told PEOPLE in April about how she manages her keto diet by cooking a lot of meals at home that follow the trendy, low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat eating plan. “I don’t really eat pasta, anything with sugar, it’s very much meat-based,” she said. “I eat meat, I enjoy chicken and beef and a lot of vegetables.” She adds that she includes healthy fats in her diet “all day long.” “Avocado, oil, coconut oil and I use butter, but don’t have any sugar. So when your body gets trained to burn fats, it’s constantly on fat-burning mode—that’s the secret,” she said.
At the end of a long day, it’s tempting to dive into your social feeds or Netflix queue the minute you’ve finished eating. But back before screens bogarted all our free time, an after-dinner stroll was a popular activity and one associated with improved health and digestion. “Italians have been walking after meals for centuries,” says Loretta DiPietro, a professor of exercise science at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, “so it must be good.”
Research backs this up. One small study co-authored by DiPietro found that when older adults at risk for type-2 diabetes walked on a treadmill for 15 minutes after a meal, they had smaller blood sugar spikes in the hours afterwards. In fact, the researchers found that these short post-meal walks were even more effective at lowering blood sugar after dinner than a single 45-minute walk taken at mid-morning or late in the afternoon.
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The human digestive system converts food into the sugar glucose, which is one of the body’s primary energy sources—so after a meal, glucose floods a person’s bloodstream. Hormones like insulin help pull that glucose into cells, either to be used immediately or stored away for later use. But for people with diabetes and impaired insulin activity, too much glucose can remain in the blood, which can cause or contribute to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and other health problems.
“Insulin secretion in response to a meal tends to wane later in the day, and this is especially so in older people,” DiPietro says. She points out that many of us eat our largest meal of the day in the evening, and we also tend to sit around afterward. As a result, “blood glucose levels will rise very high and will stay elevated for hours,” she says.
What good does walking do? “The muscles we use to walk use glucose as energy, drawing it out of circulation and therefore reducing how much is floating around,” says Andrew Reynolds, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Reynolds coauthored a 2016 study of people with type-2 diabetes and found that just 10 minutes of walking after a meal helped control their blood sugar levels. “We saw the biggest differences with walking after dinner time,” compared to other times of the day, Reynolds says. Like DiPietro, he says many people just sit around in the evenings, and this may be especially bad because the body’s ability to manage blood sugar at that time of day is weakest. “Getting up and moving around at that time was very effective,” he says.
Along with combatting surges in blood sugar, a little post-meal movement may also aid digestion. “Exercise stimulates peristalsis, which is the process of moving digested food through the GI tract,” says Sheri Colberg-Ochs, a diabetes and exercise researcher at Old Dominion University. Her research has found that a post-meal walk is much more effective than a pre-meal walk for controlling blood sugar.
More research has found that walking helps speed up the time it takes food to move from the stomach into the small intestines. This could help improve satiety after eating. There’s also evidence that links this type of faster digestion with lower rates of heartburn and other reflux symptoms.
Walking isn’t the only type of post-meal exercise that provides these benefits. “Whether it is resistance exercise or aerobic exercise, both have a similar impact on lowering blood glucose levels,” says Jill Kanaley, a professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri. One small study by Kanaley and others found that for people with obesity and type-2 diabetes, doing a weight training session with leg presses, calf raises, chest flies and back extensions 45 minutes after dinner lowered their triglycerides and blood sugar for a short time—and improved their wellbeing.
But more isn’t necessarily better when it comes to post-eating exercise. There’s some evidence that vigorous forms of training may delay digestion after a meal. “Exercising muscles pull more of the blood flow their way during activity, and the GI tract gets relatively less,” Colberg-Ochs says. “That actually slows down the digestion of food in your stomach during the activity.” Most of the research on post-meal physical activity suggests that moderate intensities—think fast walking or biking—are best. “Anything but really intense exercise would probably work equally well,” she adds.
As far as timing goes, try to move your body within an hour of eating—and the sooner the better. Colberg-Ochs says glucose tends to peak 72 minutes after food intake, so you’d want to get moving well before then.
Even if you can only fit in a quick 10-minute walk, it’ll be worth it. Apart from the perks mentioned here, more research has linked short bouts of walking with benefits like lower blood pressure and a reduced risk for depression.
So make like the Italians and head out for a walk after your next meal. Your TV and the Internet will still be there when you get home.
On Wednesday, the former adult film star, 44, revealed she’s suffering from loose skin as a result of losing a massive amount of weight.
“Yes I’m trying to make the most of my legs in this pic… but if you look you can see the loose skin,” Jameson captioned an Instagram photo of herself, which shows her posing in a mirror wearing a black and white striped one-piece with her 17-month-old daughter Batel in the background.
“I’m actively doing yoga as much as possible to try and tighten. I just wanted to post this so other mamas can see what happens when you lose weight. It’s not all perfection. But I feel so beyond healthy now that I’m fat adapted and intermittent fasting on the regular. Let me know your thoughts,” Jameson added.
In August, Jameson shared she’s gone from wearing a size 16 in jeans to a size 6. The model posted a before and after photo in which she delighted in telling her followers about the progress she’s made since beginning the keo diet— a very low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat eating plan and “intermittent feeding.”
“It’s time for another #tuesdaytransformation. Guys, I fit into size 6 jeans! the picture on the right I’m wearing size 16 jeans the fit of my clothes is catapulting me forward now, not the scale so much,” Jameson wrote in the caption.
“Oh, and can we talk about “muffin top” it’s gone! I feel like keto paired with #intermittentfasting has been my riddle solver!” she continued. “I’ve officially weaned off my poison sugar free creamer and am now drinking black coffee with stevia and coconut oil! on a side note I want to acknowledge all of you taking the leap with me to get healthier, I’m SO damn proud of you!!!! Love you guys so much!”
A few weeks later, Jameson — who weighed 187 pounds post-partum — dropped down to 123 pounds. In another Instagram post, Jameson detailed her journey to meet her weight loss goal.
The mother of three said she initially procrastinated when it came to slimming down out of fear.
“It really was fear of failing. I was so afraid I couldn’t reach my goals like I was so accustomed to, I just told myself ‘why bother?’ I conquered sobriety, but that came with a whole set of new issues… actually FEELING my feelings. Raw, painful feelings.”
“I ate. Then suddenly I was on big brother and people all said I ‘got fat. UGH. Sobriety was more important to me, so I pushed forward and kept on track,” Jameson explained.
“We then decided to do ivf for Batelli. The cocktail of hormones pushed me up to 160. Then pregnancy. I hit 205 at 39.5 weeks.”
“My head swam with joy and comfort. I expected the weight to fall of with breastfeeding. That would be a big NO. I dropped to 187 and stayed there. Ignored it and put every ounce into mothering my sweet girl. Well here we are, folks… Batelli is 17 months and I’m 123. I did it.”
Jameson and her fiancé Lior Bitton welcomed Batel on April 6, 2017.
Carbs get a bad rap. People seem to believe that eating them equals weight gain—and followers of low-carb, high-fat plans like keto seem content to do away with them all together. But there’s a new diet in town, and it’s a bread lover’s answer to this rise in carb phobia: the super carb diet.
No, the diet doesn’t recommend you eat only carbs (we wish). Created by former Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper, super carb prioritizes balance across all macronutrients—proteins, fats, and carbs. Harper says each meal or snack you consume should be made up of 40% proteins, 30% fats, and 30% carbs.
RELATED: 7 Dangers of Going Keto
According to that ratio, you’re not actually eating a crazy amount of carbs. But the carbs you are eating should be “super” in the sense that they’re fiber-dense, so they fuel the body and are digested slowly. That includes things like 100% whole grain bread and pasta or fresh fruit.
“I didn’t want to live a life that was going to be so deprived that I wasn’t able to incorporate complex carbohydrates into my diet,” Harper tells Health. After he had a heart attack in February 2017, he created the super carb diet to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed to maintain his weight and recover, he explains.
For Harper, a typical day on the diet consists of three standard meals and one snack, or as he calls it, a “floater meal.” For breakfast, he’ll make an egg sandwich with Ezekiel bread, and when lunch rolls around, he’ll whip up a grilled chicken breast with a quarter of an avocado, steamed veggies, and brown rice. For the last meal of the day, Harper will choose a lean red meat or fish along with brown rice or quinoa pasta and more veggies.
Sometimes, if his sweet tooth is calling his name, Harper says he’ll leave fat off his dinner plate and have peanut butter for dessert instead. Overall, his number one guideline is sticking to foods that are processed as little as possible. “It’s a way to get people to start thinking about what they’re eating, so they’re not just eating mindlessly,” Harper says.
Turns out, Harper’s method isn’t as new as it seems. Health contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, says “Dietitians have been recommending this balanced approach for decades.” Sass says Harper is right, carbs are not inherently fattening. The way they impact weight is determined by quality, portion size, and timing.
So why do people lose so much weight on low-carb diets? Those who see serious results were likely overeating highly processed carbs prior to completely cutting them out, she says. “The solution isn’t to remove carbs completely, but rather to choose nutrient-rich, unprocessed carbs, in amounts that will be burned and used by the body, based on your activity level and fuel demand,” Sass explains.
Though this eating plan might not be revolutionary in the world of nutrition, Sass says it’s encouraging people to look at their diets in a balanced way, and that is definitely beneficial. If the portions are appropriate based on a person’s needs, super carb could promote weight loss, she believes.
Sass recommends reaching for healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa, beans, lentils, and chickpeas. And if you’re intrigued by the diet, pick up Harper’s book, The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength, Eat Real Food ($18, amazon.com).
“Again, the idea is balance, with a goal of hitting just the right amount to allow for weight loss, but without robbing your body of key nutrients,” Sass says. “So it’s not a high carb diet or a low carb diet, but rather a just right carb diet.”