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Weight Loss: How To Keep Off The Pounds For Good

The holidays are over and as the fog of egg nog, gingerbread and candy canes begins to lift, many people find themselves confronting the harsh reality of the bathroom scale.

Now is the time to put down the champagne flute, sweep up the tinsel and start thinking about healthy living and New Year’s resolutions. One of the most passionate topics is always weight loss, not just how to shed a few pounds fast but how to take off the extra weight and keep it off for good. If you have been over indulging since Halloween saddled you with extra bags of candy, you might want to start taking stock of your jingle belly.

The trick is to address core issues, experts say, rather than lose weight fast only to let the pounds creep right back on. This is not about a trendy cleanse or quick fix diet you will have forgotten about come Valentine’s Day. So think beyond those apple cider vinegar shots you’ve heard of to make lasting changes.

“A lot of diets can help you lose weight but the hard part is finding a diet you can stick to over the long haul,” says Dr. John Morton, chief of Bariatric surgery at Stanford Health Care. “That’s the real challenge. Can you maintain the weight loss over time?”

Discipline was always the sticking point for Robert Brandyberry. The San Jose resident says he could barely get himself to plow through one workout at his previous weight of 433 pounds. But now, 28 weeks into his latest diet and workout plan, which he learned from the coaches at San Jose’s Achievement Fitness Center, he has lost a whopping 136 pounds. He went from having high blood pressure and borderline diabetes to a clean bill of health.

“Before when I got stressed out, I lost myself in cheeseburgers and Mountain Dew because food never talks back,” he says. “Now I go to the gym and get rid of the stress that way.”

The diet is tough and the workouts grueling but he’s determined to get to his goal (to have lost 200 pounds in the course of a year). He does a high-intensity workout twice a day, seven days a week. The first workout comes at 6:30 am, the second after a day’s work. The man who used to get winded taking his 5-year-old to the park and who struggled to tie his shoes is now a gym rat.

“When I first started my whole body hurt and I could barely walk. I needed a bench just to get up off the floor,” he says, “But I had to check my ego at the door and just suck it up.”

Changing the way he eats has been key to winning the battle of the bulge.

“I follow a high protein, low carb diet. No sugars and very, very low sodium. I drink well over a gallon of water a day,” says Brandyberry, 44. “The diet is hard to stick to. It takes a lot of mental power that I didn’t have before. The lifestyle changes I have made are for good.”

Social media has played a huge role in keeping him on track.

“Before I had no accountability. I’d say ‘I will start soon’ and that passed,” he says. “Now I have the best support system with my friends. They comment on my Facebook posts with so much positive energy, it makes me want to keep going.”

Meanwhile, slow and steady is the plan for Diana Crawford. She’s been on the Jenny Craig program since 2016 and has whittled her weight down from 300 to 195, which has improved her quality of life immeasurably.

“I will have to eat the way I’m eating now for the rest of my life if I don’t want to gain weight again,” says the 64-year-old from Pinole, Calif. “Bodies are funny and mine is funnier than most in that it will try to take me back to my highest weight.”

For John Manoj Vastrad, the motivation to make a lasting change and keep pushing himself was more emotional. After getting a divorce from his wife of 18 years, back in 2013, he went through a dark period and fitness was the light at the end of the tunnel.

“After going through an initial bleak period, I had a lot time on my hands and I was also between jobs,” says the 46-year-old from Fremont. He filled the void with a workout regiment worthy of a triathlete. “I started with 100 push ups, 100 squats, 200 bicycle crunches, 50 pull ups every alternate day and I peaked at 250 push ups, 150 squats, 300 bicycle crunches and 65 pull ups every alternate day.”

To top it off, he also tried to go hiking or biking almost every week. He has had moments of weakness, he admits, but he has always found a way to push through the wall of inertia. Knowing he has a family history of heart issues and diabetes is what keeps him going.

“It wasn’t always easy and I still have to drag myself to workout but the after effects are better than any drug,” he says. “By far the biggest motivator is just the wonderful feeling of being healthy and fit, free from illnesses, depression, aches and pains and stress. I would rather spend a few hours every week in the gym than in the doctor’s waiting room or in a hospital.”

From a doctor’s perspective, Morton suggests that no matter what combination of diet and fitness plan you choose, you should try to follow some basic rules, such as eating some protein at breakfast, even if all you have time for is a little Greek yogurt or peanut butter, and trying to get some exercise. Every single day.

“That old adage about eating like a king at breakfast and a pauper at dinner turns out to be true,” he says.

He also advises patients to exercise in between leaving work and coming home so that the activity can be a sort of emotional buffer zone that helps fight stress, which is one of the factors that causes people to overeat in the first place. Calming down and eating more mindfully may be crucial in combating the American obesity epidemic.

“Stress triggers cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone in the body,” says Morton, “and that makes your body fight even harder to hold onto those pounds.”

Brandyberry admits there are obstacles but he remains resolved.

“You have to keep reminding yourself why you are doing it,” he says. “For me, I could care less about looking good at the beach. I just want to be here for my kids, you know?”


Health & You · Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

How To Lose Weight By Eating Chocolate Cake

Why your diet in 2018 should include a slice of your favourite dessert

How to lose weight without having to give up our favourite foods is something we’ve all tried to figure out. But if you’ve been rationing calories and skipping a meal or two to be able to fit that slice of chocolate cake into your diet, you don’t have to do that any more; because we’ve got some good news for you: Eating chocolate cake can actually help you lose weight. According to researchers from Israel’s Tel Aviv University (TAU), lead by Professor Daniela Jakubowicz, having dessert can actually aid weight loss – instead of making you pile on the pounds, as was previously thought. Of course, there are some dos and donts that come with this. Read on to know how, according to science, you can have your cake and eat it too without the fear of it negatively affecting your weight loss journey.

How to lose weight by eating chocolate cake

Since you knew this sweet deal was coming with terms and conditions, let’s get those out of the way first: Yes you can eat chocolate cake for breakfast, but it cannot be your entire breakfast. You can have a slice as part of your morning meal, given that you’re eating a full, healthy breakfast that has proteins and carbs as well. Moreover, you must eat it at breakfast only. According to researchers, the morning is the best time to eat sweet because not only is your metabolism most activity in the morning but also because your body has a day’s worth of activity to help burn off the calories we would consume during our breakfast.

If it still sounds impossible that eating chocolate cake – that one thing you’ve religiously avoided while trying to figure out how to lose weight and keep it off – can actually help you get fitter, don’t worry. We’ve got the science to back it up.

Researchers at TAU conducted a study spanning eight months in which they observed 193 participants who were obese (but not diabetic). These participants were divided into two groups. One group consumed 300 calories for breakfast, thanks to low-carb diet. Whereas the other group consumed 600 calories for breakfast consisting of a balanced meal and a piece of chocolate cake. Despite of the 300-calorie deficit that the first group had in their breakfast, both groups consumed the same number of calories in the day, with men consuming 1600 calories and women consuming 1400 calories.

In the first four months it was seen that each of the 193 participants lost an average of 15kg. However, in the next four months, the ones who followed the 300 calorie low-carb diet regained about 10kg of the 15 kg they had lose where the ones who followed the 600 calorie diet (which included the cake) went on to lose another 6.8 kg. Overall, it appeared that the group that ate chocolate cake for breakfast lost 18kg more than the one on a low carb diet

According to Dr Jakubowicz, this has to do with the feeling of satisfaction. Speaking to the Telegraph, she explained that those who had been on the 300 calorie diet felt less satisfied and craved sugar and carbs. This resulted in them straying from their diet plan.

How to maintain your weight loss

How to lose weight without sacrificing your sweet tooth doesn’t just depend on what or how much you eat. It’s also about when you eat. You must have heard it a million times from different sources that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; and it’s absolutely true. Not only does breakfast provide you with the energy you need to start your day but it also regulates a hormone in your body called ghrelin.

Called the ‘Hunger Hormone’, ghrelin is responsible for increasing hunger. When released in the stomach, it signals to your brain that your body needs to be fed. The more ghrelin levels rise, the hungrier you get. So it is important to keep them stable in order to ensure that you don’t end up overeating. The best time to suppress excess ghrelin release is at breakfast, as per Dr Jakubowicz.

For those trying to figure out how to lose weight, this is a crucial bit of information because just cutting calories from your daily routine isn’t going to help. When you begin to consume less calories than your body is used to, it only causes you to have more cravings. For example, cutting sugar out from your diet completely may start off well but it is not a realistic goal to have. While you may be able to avoid sweets completely in the beginning, your body will crave them to a point where you are forced to give in. This won’t just result in you being demotivated to carry on your fitness journey but you’ll also end up being addicted to sugar in the long run.

Therefore, according to Dr Jakubowicz, while staying away from the foods you crave may work in the short term, the success of long term weight loss lies in finding a way to indulge in a healthy manner.

Thus the researchers, whose findings were published in the peer-reviewed international journal Steroids, found that it is more likely that those who included chocolate cake as part of a full breakfast would succeed in keeping the weight off as opposed to those were on a low-carb diet.


Health & You · Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

Don’t Starve: Instead Do These 10 Things To Lose Weight

Weight loss does not need to be a rough ride. Fitting into your favourite dress should not be a daunting experience for you. Unfortunately, many of us take a faulty route and hope for quick results, and starvation is one of those routes. Crash diets often encourage you to stay hungry for long hours, which leads to temporary weight loss but permanent body damage.

Before you hop on the ‘no food’ bandwagon, here are ten simple ways which can help you lose weight faster and in a more sustainable manner.

1. Eat breakfast like a king: Eating proper breakfast every day cuts down your chances of hogging on unhealthy snacks through the day. This is the time our body needs maximum fuel for the day and skipping breakfast will lead to gaining weight more than anything else.

2. Snacks: The key to a consistent weight loss are healthy snacks which keep you satiated for a longer time. A handful of peanuts, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, 10-12 almonds during your peak hunger times can make you lose weight quicker than you think.

3. Avoid the ‘three Ws’: The ‘three Ws’ mean white rice, wheat and white sugar. Not that these three hurt your body massively, but our Indian diet is extremely rich in these and can harm our weight loss. Do not starve yourself off the three Ws all of a sudden, rather reduce their quantity.

4. Weights: Lifting weights can increase your metabolism and consequently lead to weight loss. A sustainable weight loss is what your ultimate goal should be.

5. Mindful eating: Practicing mindful eating is an art. Controlling your temptation of foods which made you gain weight in the first place should be the first thing on your checklist.

6. Cheat meal: As much as healthy food and exercise is important, so are cheat meals. Cheat meals help break the monotony of your diet and make you lose weight in the process. But, remember to keep portion size in control.

7. Low carb: Even though this is not a permanent practice, but beginning with a low carb diet can help you lose weight faster. Once you have stabilised your weight, then get back to proper carbs if you wish to.

8. No soda: Fizzy drinks with excess sugar are the biggest barrier in your weight loss. Not eating food but drinking carbonated drinks to fill your tummy? DON’T. Staying off fizzy drinks can help you a great deal.

9. Eat fats: To cut bad fat in the body, eat good fats. You can include nuts, dried fruits, cheeses in your diet to make the most of it.

10. Jog: Jogs are high cardiovascular activity sessions which lead to quick weight loss. Not only does it increase your heart rate but also your metabolism and leads to vigorous calorie burn.


Fitness · Health & You · Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

2017 Weight Loss Myths That You Must Stop Believing In 2018! And It Will Be A Good Riddance

“Eat clean and move more if you are trying to lose weight.” Isn’t this something we hear every now and then? We do follow certain tips to lose extra kilos but for many of us, these tricks and tips actually don’t work. The reason could vary from person to person but the main cause could be certain myths that surround these weight loss tips. We have listed some weight loss myths that many of us believed in 2017 and should not follow in 2018. We can assure you that it will be a good riddance.

Eliminate certain foods from your diet: This happens with many of us. We think that certain types of foods might increase our weight and without consulting anyone, we eliminate them from our diet. For instance, cutting out carbs, baked goods and sugar may work for someone and may not be healthy for another person. While all these foods should be taken in moderation, getting rid of them completely from your diet may not prove healthy. This theory goes like this: Somebody who has a sweet tooth might kill his/her cravings and when they get to eat them, they might binge on these foods. Hence, you should not deprive yourself of these foods, rather eat them in limited quantity until you know a balanced diet that works for you.

Eating low-fat diet: This is one of the common myths that we have heard so far. As the enthusiasm for fitness has increased among many of us, we have also realized that there are healthy fats and high-fat foods. And eating healthy fats is essential for smooth functioning of our body. Healthy fats include eggs, avocados and these foods help in improving our cholesterol levels.

Skipping meals: If you are trying to lose weight, skipping your meal will never work. By starving yourself, you will never be able to achieve an ideal weight. When you starve yourself, you also reduce your calorie intake. This affects your metabolism, and when you eat food, you tend to overeat, without even realizing. So, instead of losing weight, you gain extra kilos. In fact, you must eat a healthy meal and also have snacks in between your meals.

You can lose weight only by exercising: Indeed, working out is essential for weight loss and to stay healthy. But believing that it as the only way out is a myth. If you are only exercising and eating whatever you want to, it will not give you the desired results. You should stay balanced with a healthy diet and exercise regularly.


Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

The 5-Minute Tricks That Will Help You Lose Weight Even If You’ve Got Zero Time

No calorie counting or hour-long workouts required.

It’s pretty much a given that, for the majority of people, weight loss is not an easy thing to achieve. After all, it usually involves a combo of working out regularly and eating well, and it takes time and effort to do both.

That alone is kind of intimidating—especially if your schedule is already jam-packed. But, while you have to invest a little time in your weight-loss efforts, experts say it’s not as much as you think.

Taking on small changes (read: things that aren’t a total time suck) can actually help you reach your goal better than making a bunch of drastic changes at once, says Sonya Angelone, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Not only are little changes more manageable than completely altering your lifestyle in one go, they make it easier to see how much progress you’re making, says Albert Matheny, R.D., C.S.C.S., of SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition. And that can help you figure out which changes are working for you, and which you need to ditch ASAP.

Making little tweaks to your lifestyle is better for your body, too. Drastic changes can actually mess with your thyroid function and make it tough for you to keep the weight off, Angelone says.

So, making little tweaks is good; spending tons of time and effort on crazy changes is bad. “Losing weight is just a series of small changes,” Matheny says.

Here, experts share six quick ways to lose weight. They each take five minutes or less (some will steal absolutely zero time from your day!), but can make a huge impact on your weight-loss results. (Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women’s Health’s

  • Start Your Day With Water
  • Most of us wake up dehydrated… and then spend the rest of the day pretty dehydrated, too. Apart from the fact that dehydration can slow the body’s metabolism, it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. The result: You end up overeating when all you really need is a glass of H2O. Making sure you’re well hydrated lowers the odds this will happen to you. Start first thing in the morning. Good news: Research shows that coffee doesn’t dehydrate you! It can actually hydrate you just as well as water.

  • Do Jumping Jacks Before You Shower
  • Squeezing in some jumping jacks while your water warms up (just don’t perform them in the shower) will get your heart rate up and make you feel awake, so you can take on even more activity throughout the day, Matheny say. Plus, it burns extra calories.

  • Fill Your Plate With Fruits And Veggies First
  • When you go to have a meal, fill up half of your plate with minimally-processed vegetables or fruits first, Angelone says. That does two important things: It makes sure you’re getting enough of your daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies, and also fills you up on the good stuff. Stick with low-prep veggies like lettuce, avocado, and frozen fruits and veggies. 2017 research shows that they often contain more nutrients than their “fresh” counterparts.

  • Meditate
  • Seriously, it’s legit. While meditation itself isn’t going to make you lose weight, it can have an indirect impact on your weight-loss efforts. “This will help cut down on anxiety or stress-related eating—a biggie for some people,” Angelone says. One study published in the Journal of Obesity, for example, found that overweight people were able to avoid gaining weight when they meditated for 30 minutes a day, while a group of people who didn’t meditate actually gained weight. Fortunately, you don’t have to devote a full 30 minutes to meditation in order to lose weight. Even a few minutes when you’re feeling stressed can help. Just close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath.

  • Eat A Mid-Afternoon Snack
  • Eating something with protein and healthy fat or unrefined grains like oat bran, chia, or flaxseed meal will help you fill up and make you less like to overeat at the next meal, Angelone says. And it doesn’t take much time. You can quickly pull together some Greek yogurt with some berries or cottage cheese with salsa and a third of an avocado. As a bonus, the snack will make you feel more alert. Protein raises levels of dopamine, the alertness neurotransmitter, in your body, Angelone says. In the end, that may mean more activity throughout your day.

  • Train Harder (Not Longer)
  • This last (but not least) quick way to lose weight is so fast that it actually saves time. It’s all about increasing the intensity of your workouts. Greater efforts mean better results, Matheny says. So, instead of performing isolation exercises with little-bitty weights and lots and lots of reps, focus on performing total-body exercises with heavier levels of resistance for fewer reps (think six to 12), which will help you build lean muscle, raise your metabolism, and lose more fat, he says. The key is to push yourself with each exercise.