The great news: You don't have to spend hours in the weight room. "Research shows that you'll have the same muscle gains with 2 days of strength training as you'd have with 3," says Dr. Westcott. In a recent study, participants who performed a strength-training program twice a week for 10 weeks had the same increase in muscle mass—an average of 3.1 pounds—as those who added an extra weekly session.
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"It wasn’t until 2015 when I was diagnosed with diabetes and PCOS that I started doing my homework and took control of my health. I stopped caring about a wedding dress. I thought more about where I was going to be in 20, 30, 40 years from now. That’s when I started running, lifting weights, and learning how to eat right. My entire mentality shifted from how I would look in a dress to how I could improve my body inside the dress. Now, I'm training for my first half-marathon, I can deadlift 200 pounds, and you can see my biceps when I flex. I weigh 145 pounds, wear size six to eight, and am no longer diabetic. If I wanted to, I could probably fit into that dress. But for now I am just happy wearing my regular clothes and knowing that I am actually healthy." —Athena Warner, 29
Adding a leg day to your workouts can help you tone up your lower half and make it easier to shave off unwanted weight. Not only will increasing your muscle tone help you burn more calories, research conducted at Chungnam National University suggests that individuals with more muscle tone in their lower bodies have a lower risk of falls and fractures that may keep them from getting adequate exercise for months, if not years. A study published in Gerontology also suggests that strong legs are a good indicator of the strength of another important muscle: your brain.
Starting your meals off with bulky foods that are low in calories, such as broth-based soups, salads and non-starchy vegetables, can help you fill up on relatively few calories and make it easier to eat less of the higher-calorie foods on your plate. Be sure to eat protein at each meal and snack, as protein is another nutrient that helps you feel full and makes it easier to cut calories.
Portion control is critical in losing belly fat. Eating too many calories, even healthy ones, deters weight loss. Estimate your daily calorie needs based on your exact age, gender, size and activity level by consulting with your doctor or using an online tool. Eat 250 to 500 calories fewer than this maintenance number to lose 1/2 to 1 pound per week.
A great post Robyn. I am not getting married but feel this is relevant to me. Being in recovery from anorexia, I am working with my dietitian to gain weight and vary the range of foods I eat. The messages society and media send out to people about weight loss, exercise and diet are so destructive…they drill in silly ideas and spread out fear, anxiety and most of all confusion. Everything everything around me is telling me the complete opposite to what my eating disorder dietitian is constantly reminding me of. Weight gain is bloody hard and society pressures just make it even harder.

Are you a woman over 40 and noticing it’s getting harder to lose weight?  Got some extra stubborn fluff and puff around the middle?  Maybe you’re finding that the diets you did in your 20’s or 30’s don’t work as fast as they used to or don’t even work at all!  If you’re already well past 40, chances are you’ve found it’s harder to lose weight.  And, those inches around your waistline won’t budge.
You aren’t the same person at 40 (or above) as you were at 20. Job responsibilities, marriage, kids, social obligations, and the general time crunch of modern life all tug at every ounce of your being, every waking moment. Since you can’t (and shouldn’t) shirk your family obligations, you must learn to manipulate stress levels, improve time management, and increase self-discipline. All it takes is a little planning. Below are some guidelines to make sure you get the most from every hectic day:
Managing your stress throughout the wedding planning process is one of the most difficult things to do and it can seem nearly impossible. "Calm your mind by working out," suggests Winhoffer. "This action, brings you to the present moment. Thinking gets in the way. Secondly, meditate every morning. Feel your skin, breathe, and bring your utmost focus to your breath. It's essential!"
One of the very first cardio exercises to reduce belly fat is walking. Surprised? Do you think it’s too simple to be effective? Well, then you should know that walking is a great and effective way to burn away that ugly belly fat. In fact, it is an excellent fat burner for your entire body. If you follow a healthy diet along with walking at a steady pace for 30-45 minutes for at least four to five days every week, you will witness a gradual decrease in your weight.

I second (or eight at this point) sparkpeople.com. They have food and excersize tracking tools that make things very simple. They offer routines and you can even use google maps to track the number of calories you burned on a jog (just remember your start and finish time). Please don't do the hgc diet. The hormone is not approved by the fda as a healthy longterm diet aid (its a pregnacy hormone btw) and the eating plan is a starvation diet. Just take things in moderation and remember that no matter what size you are on your wedding day you will be a glowing bride.


As we age, we tend to become more insulin resistant which can put us at risk for type 2 diabetes. When you eat foods that break down into sugar, the pancreas pumps out insulin to escort the sugar out of your blood.  People with Insulin resistance don’t use insulin effectively so that cells have trouble absorbing sugar which causes a buildup of sugar and insulin in the blood.  Researchers still aren’t 100% in agreement as to why, but at the end of the day, people with insulin resistance gain weight, particularly around the middle.  And some research shows that lack of estrogen may cause insulin resistance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7O3Zjk1EYg


Trainer tip: "Save time by working out at home. Dragging yourself to a gym can be extra tough when you're already overwhelmed." It sure may sound counterintuitive to sweat yourself tired when you're already dragging, but just by completing the workout you'd already scheduled time for (even if you decide to move it to your living room) will give you a sense of accomplishment.
In hindsight, I think that "no" was so easy for me because I'd already watched my sister morph from a level-headed woman into a stressed-out bride-to-be leading up to her wedding day. I assumed that I was in for at least some of the same emotional whirlwind, and I just didn't want to add the pressure of losing weight to the mix. (Related: Why This Is the Year I'm Breaking Up with Dieting for Good)
As well as increasing the rate of fatty acid metabolism, caffeine also decreases the rate of carbohydrate (glucose) metabolism during aerobic exercise. Every study done on the effects of caffeine during aerobic exercise that has measured muscle glycogen levels, has found that glycogen is spared after ingestion of only 150 to 250 mg of caffeine. An increased reliance on fat, and decreased reliance on glucose and glycogen translates into increased aerobic exercise endurance and increased time to exhaustion. In addition to this, for a given amount of calories used during exercise, more calories will come from body fat if caffeine is consumed prior to exercise.
"It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet. But be realistic – you won’t see the affect overnight. Your brain’s wiring plays a huge part in resisting changes in lifestyle, and it takes time to establish new habits – up to 12 weeks. Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpyvL0pb0mo
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