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Body Transformation: Clean Eating, Spotless Future

Name: Nancy Reinhardt
Email: [email protected]
BodySpace: fitand40with5

AGE 39
HEIGHT 5’8″
WEIGHT 160 lbs
BODY FAT 30%
AGE 41
HEIGHT 5’8″
WEIGHT 118 lbs
BODY FAT 10%

Why I Got Started

As a senior in high school I was taught how to work out and from that I developed a passion for fitness. I went on to teach aerobics, train men and women, and manage health clubs. Many times though, this meant eating once a day, to maintain my “body!”

Well, by my early twenties I began to let life take over and all things fitness came to an end. Married by my mid-twenties and having my first child meant that my life was now about everyone else and not me, or so I thought! This pattern continued for the next 17 years, along with depression and anxiety.

With my last three children I was gaining upwards of 70lbs and after my last and 5th child, at 38 years old, I was topping 200lbs. Getting down to 155-160 lbs was what my “normal” had become between babies and what I thought being mom was about, giving up yourself and giving to everyone else first.

The mental and physical strain took its toll and at 39, I did not even know the person that I had become. Avoiding the camera so that I did not have to really see what was happening to me was becoming a full time job with 5 children and many things to be celebrating.

In November of 2009 my back started to give me lots of problems and had me in bed more than not. I later found out that I was suffering from degenerating discs. I was told that pain management was the only way to deal with what was happening to my back and that when I could not stand the pain anymore that surgery would be my next step.

These limited my daily life and life with 5 children was becoming difficult to manage. I could not even bend down or walk on some days, due to the pain and inflammation.

I began to eat better and by December of 2009 I was down almost 50lbs. I knew what I was capable of however, had the mind set that this might not happen at “40” and especially not after having “5” children. Well the drive to get rid of that “muffin” was fierce and to fight what would eventually be back surgery was not going to stop me and the fight began!

This is when I found what would change my life, clean eating and my life has never been the same. “40” was approaching and I was ready to fight, to be the woman I knew and not the woman that I had allowed myself to become!

How I Did It

We cleaned out all things unclean and I got back into the gym. Our diets consist of 5-6 small meals a day and lots of lean white meat protein, veggies, fruits, whole grains and little dairy. I knew that this was my only hope to get my life back.

We had to make many sacrifices for me to be able to get to the gym. Working out at home was not an option as mom needed some time for her and there is always some interference to referee with children that range from teens to at the time, toddlers.

The problem was that our only gym in our town has no childcare so this limited me with the times that I could make this happen. I took it upon myself to enlist the help of my older children to watch the younger children after school. Life as I knew it had to become a thing of the past and I was going to turn “40” a whole new woman. Never giving up, as my back was not strong enough to stand or walk for long, I just kept going! I knew that this was my only hope to get my life back.

Not able to sit for long, I started with 10 minutes on level 1 on the semi recumbent bike. As I began to lift again after an 18yr break, my back and core were not strong enough to withstand much. I knew how to lift and it was just a matter of starting to make that happen. Frustrating as it was I knew that I had to keep going. I just kept at it and slowly added more and more weight.

I tried to get to the gym at least 5 days a week but knew that if I obsessed over missing workouts that I would not sustain this lifestyle. I just kept an open mind and went with each day as it came. Life will always happen and with 5 kids you never know what each day will bring you.

Wearing a weight belt was the only way that my back could stand the pressure of lifting. I continued to increase cardio and my intensity and time, both increased. As my core became stronger I added more body parts to my routine. I landed back in bed often with pulled back muscles in an effort to save my spine.

Still not discouraged as I was getting stronger I kept going back for more. My body was responding and I was gaining a new sense of who I was. Last April I was down to 130lbs and although I never had a number in mind, this number pleased me greatly.

I bought my first string bikini in April of 2011 at the age of 41. Legs were the last thing to add back into my weekly routine this past summer and I still go very easy with abs. I am now lifting with the intensity and duration that I once knew and am free of the weight belt.

Pictures have kept it real for me and with each new photograph; I gain more motivation to keep doing what I do. Depression, anxiety and an overwhelming lack of energy are no longer a part of who I am and the inflammation in my back is now managed with a clean diet and not medications.

In my quest to gain mobility, get rid of back fat, a “muffin” and lose a pant size, I have lost 5! Never underestimate what your body is capable of. I am currently at over an 80lb weight loss since the birth of my 5th child and weigh what I did 22 years ago, at the age of 41! (42 this April)

This time it is the result of eating more and not eating once a day and lifting heavy weights, concentrating mostly on free weights and not machines. I now do 2-3 days of cardio on the bike or stairmaster as running is no longer possible and I lift so that I get a great cardio workout on the days that I don’t do cardio.

I have never stopped and continue to workout and eat clean. I am a busy mom so reaching a “number” was never my goal. It was about being happy, healthy and fit both mentally and physically. I have accomplished all of them and nothing feels greater after this journey, one that I call, “A mental journey with physical benefits!” Keep eating clean and anything is possible!

I now coach others as an Online Lifestyle/Fitness Coach and am now living the life that had eluded me for years. All seven of us now live a “clean” life and my children, ages 16-3 years, have learned how to continue this lifestyle and for that I am proud! As I now say Rockin40with5!

Suggestions For Others

  • Eat 5-6 small clean meals each day with each meal containing lean protein and a clean carbs.
  • Make small goals and focus on single body parts and not your entire body. You still need to workout each body part but to stay encouraged, focus on parts.
  • Lose the cardio junkie mentality. You must build muscle to have that lean toned look, and to obtain that you need to lift weights.
  • You cannot change your past but you can learn from it and use your past as FUEL to change you life.
  • We can overcome anything we set our minds to. Everyone has to make choices each day to make fitness a lifestyle. It takes dedication and determination to make it happen but it can be done at any age and on any level. It is never too late to begin.
  • Surround yourself with like minded people who support you and your goals.
  • Lift on a 7 day split and focus on each muscle as it works. You have to visualize to materialize!
  • KEEP GOING and NEVER GIVE UP! You will get there with a positive attitude and an understanding that living this lifestyle is about knowing that life happens, it’s what you do with it that matters!
  • You can get your life back after “40” and after having kids! You are WORTH it!

10 Things I Learned During My Body Transformation

Photo: Instagram / jmalacoff

This story originally appeared on Shape.com by Julia Malacoff.

At the end of the holiday season, people start thinking about their health and fitness goals for the following year. But many people give up on their goals before the first month of the year is even over. That’s why I recently decided to share my own transformation-something that took me way out of my comfort zone.

Related: How One Woman Lost Over 90 Pounds with Hard Work, Strength Training and Good Food

I was okay with my body, and I loved working out. But I felt like I should be leaner for how much work I was putting in at the gym. Because of my job as a writer and editor in the health and fitness industry, I knew a lot about various diets and exercise protocols that were *supposed* to help me get the body I wanted, but for some reason, I couldn’t make it happen.

On the right, 20 months later, my mindset, eating habits, and workout schedule are completely different. I still work as a writer and editor, but I’m now also a certified personal trainer. I finally have the body I wanted, and the best part? I’m confident that I can maintain it.

That said, it took a lot of work to get where I am now. Here’s what I learned over those 20 months, plus how I actually changed my body after years of trying and failing.

1. There is no secret.

This is probably what people least want to hear, but it’s also the truest. I truly thought there was some simple secret to getting my best body ever that I was missing out on.

I tried going dairy-free. I got hard-core into CrossFit. I did dance cardio every day for three months. I considered doing Whole30. I tried well-researched supplements like fish oil, creatine, and magnesium.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. They all probably made me healthier and maybe even fitter. But the aesthetic results I wanted? They just weren’t happening.

That’s because I was missing out on the big picture. Making one big change isn’t enough.

There was no single thing that helped me change my body. Instead, it was the combination of many small diet, fitness, and lifestyle changes I made.

2. When it comes to workouts, more isn’t always better.

In my “before” picture, I was working out five to six times per week. What I didn’t realize was that for my body and goals, this was totally unnecessary and might have actually been making it harder for me to make progress. (Related: How to Work Out Less and Get Better Results)

Working out so frequently made me feel like I was burning tons of calories (overestimating how many calories you burn through exercise is a common phenomenon), and then I’d end up overeating thanks to the appetite I’d worked up. While this isn’t the case for everyone, anecdotally, many people find that cardio workouts increase hunger, which can make it harder to stick to nutrition goals-and that was definitely my experience.

Plus, working out very intensely without enough rest can lead to overtraining, which can make it harder to lose weight. Looking back, I have a sneaking suspicion that the fatigue and difficulty losing weight I was experiencing a couple of years ago was due in part to overtraining.

Now, I work out a maximum of three to four days per week. Allowing myself to take plenty of rest in between workouts means I work harder during the time I do spend in the gym. (Related: I Started Exercising Less and Now I’m Fitter Than Ever)

I also started to enjoy my workouts more when hitting the gym didn’t feel like a daily chore that needed to be completed. Instead, it became a chance to try to increase the weights I was using each session. That was key because progressive overload can help you see results much faster.

3. You don’t need to feel like you’re going to pass out after every workout.

HIIT is a well-researched method of exercise. The benefits are plenty. It’s time-efficient, burns loads of calories, and provides a serious endorphin boost.

But you know what else is really well-researched? Strength training. About a year and a half ago, I started working with a new trainer. I explained to her I was lifting heavy about two days a week and ALSO doing HIIT about four days a week.

Her advice shocked me: Less HIIT, more weightlifting. Her rationale was simple: It’s just not necessary. (Related: 11 Major Health and Fitness Benefits of Lifting Weights)

If my goal was to reshape my body and lose weight, lifting weights was the most efficient route. Why? When you’re eating in a caloric deficit, lifting weights helps you retain (and sometimes even build) muscle mass while losing fat. (This is also known as body recomposition.)

Why would you want to gain muscle when you’re trying to lose weight? Not only does gaining muscle mass help you burn more calories at rest, but it also gives your body shape and definition. In the end, that’s what many women are really after-whether they know it or not-not just losing fat, but replacing it with shapely muscle.

So, my coach encouraged me to continue doing HIIT one or two times per week if I enjoyed it, but after a few months, I realized that I actually didn’t like it that much. I didn’t need to have a face dripping with sweat to feel like I got a great workout. Instead, milestones like getting my first chin-up (and eventually going on to bang out sets of five), my first 200-pound trap bar deadlift, and my first double bodyweight hip thrust became way more satisfying.

Plus, I was getting a pretty intense heart rate boost from lifting heavy weights. In between sets, my heart rate would come back down, and then I’d start the next set and spike it again. I realized I was basically doing HIIT anyway, so I said goodbye to burpees and squat jumps and have never looked back.

4. You can’t ignore your diet.

For years, I avoided the difficult, research-backed truth that exercise alone was not going to get me where I wanted to be. I figured, if I’m CrossFitting five times a week, I can eat whatever I want, right? Erm, wrong

In order to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. In other words, eating less than you’re burning. While those intense HIIT workouts were burning plenty of calories, I was loading them right back up (and then some) with those four glasses of wine, cheese boards, and late-night pizza orders. Once I started tracking my meals and controlling my calorie intake (I used macros, but there are plenty of other ways to control calorie intake), I started seeing the results I was after. (Related: Your Complete Guide to the “IIFYM” or Macro Diet)

5. Changing your diet is HARD.

Now, there was a reason I resisted changing my diet. I like eating-a lot. And I still do.

Overeating had never really been a problem for me until I got my first full-time job after college. I knew I was incredibly lucky to be employed in my dream industry, but I was working very long days and was extremely stressed due to a high-pressure environment and the knowledge that if I failed at my job, there were hundreds of other qualified candidates who would gladly take my place.

At the end of the workday, all I wanted to do was treat myself. And most often, that came in the form of food. Within a year of graduating from college, I’d packed on a solid 10 pounds. Over the next six or seven years, I’d added another 15 to my frame. Of course, some of that was muscle from my long-standing exercise habit, but I knew some of it was body fat, too.

Transitioning to dialing in my nutrition was not easy. It became very clear that I was using food for more than just nourishment and enjoyment. I was using it to soothe deep-down, uncomfortable feelings. And once I stopped overeating? I had to find other ways of dealing with them.

Exercise is a great outlet, but I also talked to friends and family on the phone, made more time for self-care, and hugged my dog a lot. I also learned how to cook tons of healthy meals, which can be surprisingly therapeutic. Spending time with my food helped me feel more connected to it, while also helping me be more aware of my food intake.

6. Don’t give up the foods you love.

Just because I was cooking healthy doesn’t mean I never ate anything fun. Cutting your favorite foods out of your diet will only make you miserable and crave them even more-at least, that was my experience. (The damage and inefficiency of the restrict/binge/restrict/binge eating cycle is also well-documented by research.) Instead, I learned how to eat them in moderation. I know, easier said than done. (Related: Why You Should Give Up Restrictive Dieting Once and for All)

I used to get SO annoyed when I’d see super-fit influencers sharing the unhealthy treats they were eating/drinking. I couldn’t help thinking, sure, they can eat that because they were blessed with amazing genes, but if I ate that, I’d never be able to look like they do.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, everyone has different genes. Some people can eat whatever they like and still maintain their abs. But the majority of fit people who eat pizza, french fries, and nachos every now and then? They’re enjoying them in moderation.

What does that mean? Instead of eating the whole thing, they’re having however many bites it takes for them to feel satisfied, and then stopping. And they’re probably filling up the rest of their day with whole, nutrient-dense foods.

But here’s the bottom line: Life is too short to stop baking if you love it or to avoid wine night with your friends. Learning how to have just one cookie at a time, a few pieces of cheese, or two glasses of wine was a game-changer for me.

7. Find something you like about eating healthy and exercising that has nothing to do with weight loss.

Let’s be real: No 12-week challenge is going to transform your body for the long haul. Sustainable progress takes time. Creating new habits takes time.

This is especially true if you have 15 pounds or less to lose. You probably can’t just cut out soda or alcohol and miraculously lose the extra weight you’re carrying. The less body fat you have, the harder it becomes to shed it.

That means if you go balls-to-the-wall with your diet and workout routine for three months, yes, you’ll see some changes and lose some weight, but you’re probably going to be disappointed that you haven’t reached your goal in this short amount of time. You might also be disappointed when you gain the weight back because you’ve returned to your old eating habits.

So how can you make sustainable progress?

This might be a controversial point of view, but I think putting visual changes and progress on the backburner is a highly effective way to enable yourself to actually reach your goals.

By working on my relationship with food through cooking, constantly chasing PRs and movements that had been too hard for me before (hello, plyo push-ups), I took the focus off of weight loss. Yes, I wanted to progress, but I wasn’t thinking about my weight (or how I looked) on a daily basis. This also allowed me to lose weight in a sustainable way, slowly losing fat and building muscle, rather than quickly dropping 15 pounds of both.

8. Perfection is the enemy of progress.

If you’ve ever been on a diet, you’re familiar with the “I’ve f*cked up” feeling. You know, that thing that happens when you meant to say “no” to the cupcakes at work and then ended up eating five. This leads to the “f*ck it” mentality, where you figure you already messed up your diet, so you might as well go ham for the rest of the week and start fresh again on Monday.

I used to do this all the time. Starting my “healthy” diet, messing up, starting, and stopping again. What I didn’t realize was that I was doing this because I valued perfection too highly. If I couldn’t follow my diet perfectly, then what was the point?

In reality, perfection is simply not required. And pressuring yourself to be perfect? It inevitably leads to self-sabotage. By facing diet trip-ups and skipped workouts with self-compassion, I was able to accept myself as not perfect-just doing my best. In doing so, the f*ck it mentality no longer had a place in my brain.

If I had an unplanned cupcake, NBD. It was simply back to my regularly scheduled programming afterward. One cupcake won’t ruin your progress. Requiring yourself to be perfect? That will.

9. Taking progress pictures feels silly. You’ll be happy you did it later.

You can see in my before picture that I felt awkward taking it. My hips are shifted to the side, and my posture is tentative. But I am *so glad* I have this picture because it illustrates how far I’ve come both physically and emotionally. On the right, my body looks different, but I’m also standing firm, tall, and confident. (Related: The Best Transformations from 2018 Prove That Weight Loss Isn’t Everything)

It’s hard to observe changes in your own body over time, and many changes are not reflected on the scale or via girth measurements. It took me 20 months to lose 17 pounds. My progress was slow and sustainable. But if I had been going by scale weight alone, I definitely would have been discouraged.

Photos aren’t the be-all and end-all of progress, but as you can see, they can be a very useful tool.

10. Getting your “dream body” won’t make you love yourself any more than you did before.

It’s easy to think that looking a certain way or seeing a certain number on the scale will change how you feel about yourself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Back in April 2017, I probably would have given anything to body-morph into what my body looks like today. But these days, I still notice my own flaws. (Related: Why Losing Weight Won’t Magically Make You Happy)

If you’re not totally happy with your body, it can be difficult to find something you love about it. But I found that focusing on things my body could do was the fastest route to loving what I already had. And that’s what enabled me to keep going.

If all else failed, I tried to focus on feeling grateful that I had a healthy body that allowed me to wake up every day, do a tough work out a few times a week, and still get through all my daily tasks without any trouble at all. I reminded myself that for many, this isn’t the case.

I’m not saying I have self-esteem and body image completely figured out. I still see photos of myself and think, hmm, that’s not a good angle for me. I still occasionally catch myself wishing this part was leaner or that part was fuller. In other words, self-love will probably always be a work in progress for me, and that’s okay.

My biggest takeaway? Find something about your body to love, and the rest will come with patience and time.

This article originally appeared on Shape.com

How To Start Eating Healthy

Healthy eating is not a diet. It is a way of living that does not require you to starve yourself nor to eat anything that you don’t want to. Healthy eating can become a habit, just like drinking your morning coffee or going to bed at 10 pm every night. It won’t be an easy ride, but once you manage to make it habit, it will come naturally.

Here’re the 5 most important things that you’ll need to pay attention to for turning healthy eating into your next best habit.

Healthy Eating Checklist

1) Processed Foods: NAY, Whole Foods: YAY

Whole foods means everything that is unprocessed or has gone through only a minimum level of necessary processing. You can think about them as foods that you could pick up from your little farm (if you had one) and put straight on the dinning table after cooking.

So things like vegetables, fruits and whole grains belong to the whole foods category. While your favorite cheat meals, like truffle fries or strawberry cheesecake most definitely don’t.

Processing usually diminishes the nutrient contents of food and increases ingredients that your body does not need, like sugar and sodium. Hence, as a general rule of thumb you should minimize processed foods in your diet and eat whole foods instead.

2) Don’t Just Count Your Calories, But Your Macros As Well

Counting your calories is a great start as it gives you an indication on how much you should eat. But you should not get fixated on calories.

Your macronutrients intake is just as, if not more important than calories. Because all calories are not created equally, 100 calories of chocolate won’t give you the same energy as 100 calories of broccoli.

Make sure you monitor your progress to stay motivated. Check out how in our Ultimate Tracking Guide.

First of all, the quantity of 100 calories of chocolate is a lot less than 100 calories of broccoli. Secondly, and most importantly, the quality of nutrients gained from broccoli highly surpasses that of chocolate.

3) Don’t Drink Empty Calories

Sodas and pre-packed fruit juices are the sneakiest calorie and sugar sources. The reason behind this is that most people would be very surprised how much sugar and how many calories are hidden in a single glass of them. And of course it’s really easy to chug couple of glasses when you’re thirsty.

Plus we also tend to assume that the words ‘fruit’ and ‘healthy’ come hand in hand . Well, the said truth is that they don’t. Supermarket shelves are stacked with artificial fruit juices that are pumped up with refined sugars and other flavor enhancers. These obviously won’t do any good to your diet.

So my #1 health-conscious advice in this department is water. Water is the single best cure for thirst and the only liquid that comes with 0 calories and 0 unhealthy additives. And if you crave something with more flavor, go for a cold-pressed juice or everyone’s favorite, a cheeky little LaCroix.

4) Avoid Snacking

Snacks are just like sodas. You can easily get to a couple hundred calories by simply eating a little piece of this and that every hour or so. Because a handful of peanuts won’t do any harm, right? One might not, but when that one handful becomes 3 and then 5, the calories easily add up.

So instead of jumping on anything you see in the snack cupboard, be conscious about your snacks and prep something healthy in advance. Veggies, like carrots or celery are always a good choice. Low in calories, high in nutrients.

5) Eat Smaller Portion Sizes

Finally, portion sizes are another tricky issue, especially in the US. Packed food sizes, meal sizes in restaurants and even plate sizes tend to get bigger and bigger exceeding the recommended serving sizes by far. As your brain adjusts to these increased sizes, your body also gets used to eating more. And the end result of this little chain is overeating.

However you can say no to the excess calories and teach your body to get used to the recommended healthy portions. There are a couple of tricks to do this starting from using smaller plates and putting away the extra food to skipping appetizers when eating out. But the most effective method in our opinion is ‘Mindful Eating’.

Learn About Mindful Eating Now

Now that we laid down the basis, it’s time to look at how your body changes once you start eating healthy!

1 Day Of Eating Healthy Results On Your Body

Constant hunger is not a pleasant feeling, but a quite common “side-effect” of dieting. One of the reasons behind constant hunger is an inefficient diet that subsists on empty carbs. Food filled with empty carbs burns up in your body quickly, which causes your body to crave substance faster. Hence, making you hungry shortly after you finished eating.

If you start tracking your macros alongside counting calories, you’ll finally start paying attention to eating nutrition-full foods. When you start to fuel up on these slow-burning sources of energy like complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats, you’ll start to experience fewer cravings throughout the day.

You’ll be amazed to find out that you can eat so much food without gaining weight. And before you think it’s magic, it’s really now. It can simply be explained by the fact that eating healthy means being more conscious about the types of food you eat.

Increasing the consumption of foods such as sumptuous fruits and fresh vegetables will nourish your body better. And because not all calories are created equally, these fresh and nourishing foods will usually contain less calories in the same amount as processed foods. Meaning that you’ll be able to eat more without increasing your calorie intake.

1 Week Of Eating Healthy Results On Your Body

You will experience a higher level of mental focus and have more energy in general. Meals high in sugar, saturated oils, and starch bring about immediate sleepiness, sluggishness, and bloated feeling. All you ever want to do after a big Mexican meal is go home and sleep.

By switching to healthy food choices, you will have all the energy needed to accomplish many other things for the rest of the day!

A poor diet can easily result in sleep quality drop. When you only consume foods that digest quickly and leave you hungry, you can disrupt your sleep cycle with middle of the night hunger. Once you start eating healthy, you will sleep more soundly. You will also fall asleep easier and won’t wake up so much throughout the night.

Listen To Learn How Technology Can Improve Your Sleep Quality

When your body gets used to a healthy diet, you will experience a lower amount of bloating and discomfort. As a result you may notice that your clothes are feeling looser than before.

Furthermore, your body will be shedding all the excess water you have retained from high sodium intake and highly processed foods that you were consuming before.

As you start eating healthy, you’ll notice you have less ups and downs throughout the day and may even start to feel more empowered. If you had depressive thoughts before, these may be starting to weaken.

Read How Your Body Changes Once You Start Exercising

1 Month Of Eating Healthy Results On Your Body

When it comes to your skin, what you put in your body may matter more than what you put on it. Good nutrition is a fundamental building block of healthy skin.

As you provide your skin with all the nutrients it needs for repair and growth, you’ll notice a new glow to your skin. The natural ingredients in food help to speed up the pace of exfoliation, protect the skin from UV damage and much more! You will look more radiant and appear younger!

As you start eating healthy and at regular intervals, you will notice your metabolism speeding up. Lots of water and fiber equals a very regular digestive tract. And if your metabolism is faster that means your body burns calories at a higher rate. This will lead to shredding those pounds more easily instead of piling up your fat storage.

Eating healthy will now require less effort. After doing something for 21 days straight, you will find that you do it without thinking. Making smart choices will start to feel like second nature! You will stop to crave certain foods that are not good for your body.

You can learn more about how to prevent giving in to cravings by understanding the science behind cravings.

7 TIPS TO BUILD LIFE-LONG HABITS

When you work out you tear your body down, damaging muscles, and ligaments. The most effective way to accelerate recovery and reduce muscle soreness is to eat nutrient dense foods. So once you start eating healthy, you’ll help your muscles to recover faster.

6 Months Of Eating Healthy Results On Your Body

That’s right! When people look and feel better about themselves, they are more open with their bodies. Confidence can lead to amazing results in the bedroom.

Your blood pressure may decrease, lowering your risk of heart diseases and stroke. Your blood glucose levels will also be under much better control, reducing blood sugar fluctuations and lowering your risk factor for diabetes.

It is also worth noting, however, that your blood pressure should not get too low. Curejoy give 9 effective remedies for treating low blood pressure.

Your bones will be getting stronger, reducing your risk of stress fractures and breaks. While this is something you cannot see, it is happening!

1 Year Of Eating Healthy Results On Your Body

You’ll be enjoying all the benefits listed above as these benefits will persist for as long as you continue to eat healthy!

You’ll be at your goal weight – a bodyweight where you feel healthy, strong and confident. What’s more, unlike quick-fix diets, this is for the long haul! Eating healthy will let you stay healthy and sexy for many years to come!

By this point you will know how to indulge wisely. You understand that a single cookie or two won’t hurt you. You can now treat yourself and not fall right off your healthy plan entirely.

Well-balanced nutrition and mental health are basically tied together. As we all know a happy body makes a happy mind. Eating nutrient-dense foods at regular intervals will help you feel more positive and energetic. With a well-fueled body and mind, you’ll also be better equipped to deal with the inevitable stresses of life.

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You don’t have to eat unprocessed for a whole year to reap the benefits. Eating healthy is not about being on a short term “diet” that is overly restrictive and leaves you hungry all the time. Instead, find a way of eating that can be sustained for the rest of your life, where you eat healthy most of the time and allow for occasional splurges.

Sure, the change may be slow but these benefits make it all worth it. Try it for a day, a week, or a month. You don’t have to do it all, or all at once. But you can start today.

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I’m fat and miserable, and I can’t stop eating

I’ll be the first to admit that I am fat because I eat too much. There’s nothing genetic about it, except that people in my family all have the tendency to eat more than they need.

This doesn’t change anything, though, because I can’t stop eating. I eat compulsively. The only two times I’ve not been fat in my life is the time that I got an adderal prescription in my teens, and two years ago, when I was actually able to follow a 1200 calorie diet for a while. For fuck knows what reason, I was able to stop shoving shit into my mouth for a year. I don’t know how I did it. I gained back 40 of the 50 lbs I lost, and now I’m back to being fat and hating myself.

Every day I tell myself that I’m going to eat in moderation and every day I fail. It’s almost like I’m scared to say no to food. Scared to miss out on food. Some days, food is all I think about. My spouse is in a different country for the next 6 months and maybe even longer due to issues with his visa. I just work all day, and then when I come home there’s nothing that I want to do besides eat. There’s just nothing else to look forward to. I don’t have any friends here.

I hate putting on clothes in the morning. Everything makes me look fat because I am fat. I hate that others see my fat body and probably judge me. I had two sweaters that looked okay on my but they just got ruined in the wash today. Now I’m wearing one of my brother’s oversized sweaters. My closet is full of nice clothes that look bad on me now.

When I think back to times that I’ve been happy, I was always skinny. I don’t have any confidence when I’m fat. No energy. No desire to do anything. People treat me differently. When I was thin I got all these comments on what ‘great self-control’ I had and what a good job I did. As if having self-control was something I chose. I just had it and then I no longer did.

I’ve tried everything. Thinking positively. Thinking “I am not a bad person for getting fat, but now is the time to watch what I eat again and lose a bit of weight so that I’ll feel better.” Thinking negatively “I am a fat sack of shit who needs to lose weight or else I will die a premature death.” I’ve tried crash diets. I’ve tried taking it ‘one step at a time’. Nothing helps.

The doctor doesn’t take me seriously. She doesn’t understand that I’ve been trying to lose weight basically since I was 6 years old. She says a dietician would be a waste of my money and to just watch my sugar intake. I think it’s because I’m only 3 kilograms overweight, so nobody takes me seriously. They don’t understand how debilitating it feels. I know that some people can be healthy/look good with more weight but I am just a blob.

I’m sick of gaining weight. I’m sick of being fat. I hate that I know what skinny feels like and can’t get back to it.

100 squats a day or am I overtraining?

I recently decided to start working out as I weigh like 140 pounds and am a skinny dude. Getting a routine from a trainer tomorrow and gonna start going to the gym.

I work at a gas station and have this regular that is a really buff dude in his early 40s that looks great. I chatted him up asking about lifting for a bit and one piece of advice he gave me was to do 100 unweighted squats every day. Something about testosterone and how it will help with gaining muscle.

So night two of doing squats (divided them into sets of 20 while doing sets of 20 crunches/situps in between as a leg rest period, also want to get abs too) and I’m kinda just wondering if this constitutes overtraining. My legs were definitely a bit sore today from last night but it wasn’t terrible; my abs were a bit more sore to be honest.

The way I’m doing this is I’m doing them at night once I get home from work at 10:30-11:00PM. I try to eat something first as I’m often hungry after work, I might smoke a cigarette, then do the squats/situps, then have a protein shake. Usually another 2-3 hours before I’m heading to bed at around 1-2AM.

TL;DR: Is doing 100 unweighted squats a day healthy or is it overtraining?

Edit: Jesus thanks for all the views and replies. And to be clear, this post isn’t about “owie my legs are kinda sore am I overtraining,” it’s just that everything I’ve learned about working out has been target a muscle group then give them two or so days to recover. If I’m doing 100 squats every day then I’m not giving my legs enough time to recover. That’s where I got the idea that this could be “overtraining.”

Then again night two (three? Can’t remember) and no problems rolling outta bed. No significant soreness. Maybe I should do them more slowly? I was already doing them really sore last night and during one of my sets of 20 I had to stop at 14 for a couple seconds because holy fuck it felt like I my thighs were going to melt. It was by no means very easy, but I’m still not all that sore. Hmm…

I’ve had fantastic results with intermittent fasting. Don’t even really have to think about what I eat these days.

I was introduced to intermittent fasting about two years ago. I’ve struggled with my weight since I was 19 at 170 lbs, and now, at 34, I easily maintain at about 115 lbs, with a pretty good (http://imgur.com/9QhDkwg) and plenty of energy.

I love the feeling of eating delicious food until I’m good and full, but for about 10 years I focused on traditional clean eating habits and was up to eating 6 small meals a day for years, tracking all of my calories, balancing my macros and bringing a million tupperwares of food with me every where I went. I felt like if it was a huge priority, or in other words, it consumed my life, I could get the results I wanted, but then I was always thinking about food. Either when my next meal was, what it would be, if I had time to do all my food prep, and of course, getting the salad when I was out with friends, while staring forlornly at their grilled cheese sandwiches or mac n’ cheese. Eventually I’d start to slip, then get discouraged, and lose my progress, usually oscillating between 120-135 through this cycle for a decade.

When I first found intermittent fasting, I found some pretty significant research into the health benefits (listed at the bottom of the article below), so figured I’d give it a try. I was eating 3 (mostly) clean meals a day, so it was easy to just start skipping breakfast. After several months of that I was getting really great results. So I tried a 3 day fast, which was super hard, but it was also a kinda cool experience. It had me think a lot more about my relationship with food and also a lot less at the same time, if that makes any sense? It set me thinking about how I’d rather enjoy a lot of good food all at once, than food that was just ok, a lot. So I stretched out how long I waited to break my fast to 1 or 2 in the afternoon, then after a few months, until 3 or 4. Then I’d eat a big meal, and maybe another snack a few hours later. These days I usually eat between 5pm and 7pm (sometimes I’ll have an apple or some veggies earlier if I’m feeling really hungry).

I eat a lot in one sitting. Probably at least 1500-1800 calories. And usually I’ll do another small snack a few hours later. I will probably do just meat with some fruit/veggies as my big meal between 3-5 days a week. Then I eat whatever the fuck I want on the other days (yes, I even eat grilled cheese sandwiches and fried chicken sometimes- so fucking delicious). Over the holidays I did a lot more of the eating whatever I wanted thing, including breakfast and lunches too, and my weight went a bit above 120 lbs. It took about two weeks of clean big meals (and maybe a small bowl of ice cream only one or two nights a week, instead of my usual 5 or 6 nights a week), before I’d already lost my holiday weight gain.

If I feel my weight is dropping too low (110 is my lower limit) then I just throw some lunch back in for a week or two until I’m back to my ideal weight/composition. The other nice part (aside from getting to love chowing down on my favorite foods again, and not being weird and high maintenance at restaurants and social stuff) is that I just don’t have to think about food, hardly at all. It’s kinda this huge burden lifted. Like, I actually get to have my cake (the body I want) and eat all of the things too.

Here’s a really great post from r/intermittentfasting that has a lot of the science behind this eating style. I’d love to hear if anyone here has tried this and had luck? Or just thoughts in general.

If you ever wondered how effective is intermittent fasting at helping you lose weight, this article will provide the answer.

If you don’t know what intermittent fasting is, please read my article on what is IF first.

Now, to find some examples of people that lost a lot of weight using intermittent fasting, I went to Reddit and I did a lot of searching.

All the examples below are from people that submitted their pictures on Reddit with all the details about their journey. I don’t have the rights of any of these pictures, and I’ll provide a link to the source of each photo.

I wanted to find some real-life examples of how intermittent fasting works, as companies can easily fabricate these images in trying to fake big results. But these photos are real, and they are from people that managed to lose a lot of weight using IF.

As you are about to see, some examples are really spectacular, and they come after one year or so. That means intermittent fasting is working good in the long-term.

The most prominent case for short-term weight loss was a man that lost 35 pounds or 15 kg in 3 months. Now let’s get to the examples.

Female went from 180 lbs to 120 lbs in around a year (from 82 kg to 54 kg)

“Starting at 180 the initial 30 pounds was lost in about five months. It was mostly due to not eating my kid’s leftovers and eating just one meal a day. I didn’t get into healthy eating yet so the meal was not healthy, it was a lot of calories and I drank a lot of soda still. The rest melted off in three months. I went to diet soda less frequently and on. 16/8 schedule. Some days I couldn’t get my hands on real food due to truck driving parking situation and just ate a few fiber one bars for that day.”

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/intermittentfasting/comments/94qm5r/before_after/

Male went from 220 lbs to 185 lbs in 3 months (from 100 kg to 84 kg)

This person used 16:8 intermittent fasting with exercising 4 times a week to get rid of 35 lbs (16 kg) of extra body fat in 3 months. He kept his daily intake at 1500 calories.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/progresspics/comments/7rcai8/m2361_220_185_45lbs_3_months_intermittent_fasting/

Female went from 248 lbs to 148 lbs in one year (112 kg to 67 kg)

“I started with way too much way too fast. I started fasting for 20 hours and eating for 4 without adjusting. I didn’t understand how important it was to ease into it. I was so used to dieting and restricting so much when I started a weight loss program I almost quit because it was way too hard. I started doing more research and pushed forward my eating window to a 16 hour fast 8-hour eating window. It made it doable. I made the mistake of thinking I could eat whatever I wanted in my window gained weight at first and was completely frustrated.”

As you can see, it’s extremely important to know how to do intermittent fasting for it to be efficient. That’s why I recommend following a professional guide such as the Eat Stop Eat Diet.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/intermittentfasting/comments/bgpn4a/one_year_of_intermittent_fasting_and_one_hundred/

Male went from 240 lbs to 190 lbs in one year (109 kg to 86 kg)

When asked what he used to lose weight, the user said: “Intermittent fasting and fasting cardio. I’ll eat twice a day within a 6-hour window. I’ll also workout in the morning before I eat anything so I’m burning pure fat. If weight loss is your goal then you have to count your calories. It’s as simple as burning more than you ingest. If muscle growth is your goal then you have to consistently train with weights at least 3 times a week.”

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/uglyduckling/comments/6j3d9p/2223_one_year_transformation_from_the_college/

Male went from 282 lbs to 160 lbs in 15 months (128 kg to 73 kg)

We don’t have much information from this user, except for the title details. Still, his 15 months transformation is pretty amazing.

“M/22/5’7″ My weight loss progress in 15 months. I did weightlifting and minimal cardio. The Amazing Results of Intermittent Fasting! (IF)”

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/progresspics/comments/9pvzub/m2257_282lbs_160lbs_122lbs_my_weight_loss/

Female went from 197 lbs to 150 lbs in 7.5 months (89 kg to 68 kg)

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/progresspics/comments/b6x2nf/f4059_197_lb_150_lb_47lb_75_months_intermittent/

Male went from 320 lbs to 205 lbs in two years (145 kg to 93 kg)

“Intermittent fasting was a game-changer for me. I wasn’t anyone special; If I was able to do it anyone can. Lost 115 lbs Just under 2 years by Lifting/Running and Intermittent Fasting.”

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/loseit/comments/ain6w2/intermittent_fasting_was_a_game_changer_for_me_i/

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting works, especially when we talk about the long term. That is clear and obvious.

What is also clear is that you need to know what you are doing if you want to have the best results with it. Having a clean diet and nourishing your body is also essential to losing weight.

Some people combine keto with intermittent fasting to see faster results, as a keto diet puts your body in a fat-burning mode and stops the cravings carbs produce.

There are plenty of variations of IF that can be used for losing weight, and they are all effective if they reduce your total weekly calorie intake.

If you want to jump-start into intermittent fasting and have good results, I recommend the diet Eat Stop Eat, which provides all the information you need to know about fasting and how to do it efficiently. If you want keto combined with fasting, I recommend trying the 28 Day Keto Challenge instead.

And if you want to lose weight faster using a specially developed diet that uses keto, fasting and working out to drop a lot of weight in 3 weeks, I recommend the 3 Week Diet.

To your health!

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

Intermittent fasting is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Last month alone there were over 246,000 searches for the phrase ‘intermittent fasting’ on Google alone. This search volume shows how popular it’s become.

Scientists and nutrition experts like it too and are saying it’s the way of the future for losing and keeping weight off and new books and articles on the topic are being published daily including best selling books like ‘Eat Stop Eat’ and ‘The 8 Hour Diet’. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, carbohydrates, or eat 6-7 meals a day.

This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is the greatest weight loss diet hack around. After reading it you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting is a diet plan where you fast for a set period of time during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours. You eat during the other 4-8 hours of the day.

While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better.

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours. The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about counting calories or carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

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It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 o’clock at night to 4 the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

My experience with intermittent fasting finds that’s it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2-3 fasts a week at first. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

1. During your fast you’ll want to drink plenty of water.

Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie free beverages. After a few weeks you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

2. If you can handle it, take in a little caffeine in the morning and early afternoon.

The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting a little easier to fast since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

3. Avoid artificially flavored drinks.

One type of calorie free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

4. Don’t gorge at your first meal.

The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

5. Minimize foods rich in processed carbohydrates and sugars.

While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

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Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

How Intermittent Fasting Will Help You Lose Weight

Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you not only lose weight but weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying. This means that you won’t just be thinner but will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way.

Intermittent fasting is that it can help optimize the release of the key fat burning hormones in your body. The is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your bodies fat burning furnace so it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can increase your body’s production of growth hormone by 1,300% in women and 2,000% in men!

The influence intermittent fasting has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off. Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

Following an intermittent fasting style of diet for 15 days is shown in clinical studies to help ‘balance’ your insulin levels. This will help your body stay in a calorie and fat burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn help correct other hormonal imbalances.

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Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you too and make getting started a lot easier.

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

Can I Work Out While Fasting?

Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll build muscle too which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

One workout that I’ve found to be very effective for weight loss when combined with intermittent fasting is the 10 Minute Workout plan which can be done at home or the gym.

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Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

I wouldn’t sweat this at all. First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have perhaps hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

Is Fasting Safe?

As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

Are There Any Supplements I Can Take To Make Fasting Easier?

As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and really decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

You can also use a BCAA supplement during your fast to help reduce the risk of crashing or suffering from a bad mood during the day.

Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

Give it a try yourself and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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