Certified Personal Trainer


Your Guide to Body Fat: What It Is, What’s Healthy and How to Lose It

By Kaitlin AhernNovember 25, 2019Reviewed by Emily Weber, MDView Related Topics

Three women friends walking arm-in-arm after an exercise class

A healthy body fat percentage looks different for everyone.Credit: Tinpixels/E+/GettyImages

Body fat is one of those surprisingly complex topics. The idea of it is simple enough — it’s the fat stored in your body (duh). But did you know there are at least four different typesof body fat, each of which plays a different role? And that one type is far more dangerous than the others? (Fortunately, it’s the easiest one to lose — more on that later.)

Here, we’ll break it all down for you, from defining body fat to measuring it, laying out what’s healthy percentage-wise and digging into the best tips on how to lose it for good.

Body Fat 101

A man running on a path by the water

Not all body fat is bad.Credit: vgajic/E+/GettyImages

First, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: Body fat isn’t necessarily “bad.” In fact, our bodies need a certain amount just to carry out basic everyday functions, from thinking to staying warm. Fat also helps our bodies store important vitamins, regulate hormones and keep our metabolism chugging.

So why does body fat have such a bad rep? Well, as the saying goes, too much of anything can be a bad thing, and too much body fat is no exception. Still, just how harmful that fat is to your health depends on several factors, including what type it is and where it’s stored.

Learn about the four types of body fat, and why some are healthier than others.

How Much Do I Have?

A woman measuring her waist size with a tape measure

Measuring certain body parts can help you determine your overall body fat percentage.Credit: flukyfluky/iStock/GettyImages

Even more than your weight, your body fat percentage can tell you a lot about your overall health. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy to measure. While a scale can give you an accurate weight reading in seconds, there are several different methods for calculating how much body fat you have, and they vary widely when it comes to ease of use, accuracy and cost.

For example, there are several formulas out there that incorporate your height, weight and different body part measurements (think: waist, hips, neck), but they’re clunky, to say the least. And even if you are a math whiz, you’ll still only get a rough estimate of your composition from these equations.

Here are the best methods for estimating your body fat percentageat home or with the help of a professional.

What’s Healthy?

A woman in athletic clothes stretching outdoors

A healthy body fat percentage looks different for men and women.Credit: Drazen_/E+/GettyImages

Once you’ve learned how to tally your body fat percentage, the next step is understanding how your number measures up. In other words, is your percent body fat healthy?

Just like weight and body mass index, there’s no one optimal number when it comes to fat. Instead, experts agree that people can be healthy at a wide range of body fat levels — although those ranges are different for men versus women.

Find out if your body fat percentage falls in the healthy range, and why women need more body fat than men.

Healthy Ways to Lose Body Fat

A woman checking her fitness tracker during a workout

Higher-intensity workouts and strength-training are both beneficial for burning fat.Credit: Hinterhaus Productions/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Then there’s the million-dollar question: If your percentage is above the healthy range, what’s the best way to bring that number down? Trying to lose body fat can feel complicated because of the amount of misinformation out there, but the best methods are pretty straightforward.

There’s a bit more to it than just “calories in, calories out,” though. And it’s important to note that losing fat isn’t the same thing as losing weight.

Get the skinny on shedding body fat, including all the science-backed ways that actually work.

The Truth About Targeting

Men doing sit ups during a workout class

Targeted weight loss, aka “spot reduction,” is a myth.Credit: Ridofranz/iStock/GettyImages

If you tend to store fat in certain areas, like your belly or hips, you might want to target fat loss to that specific body part. It’s a tempting thought — but unfortunately, that’s not really how weight loss works.

It all comes down to how our bodies store and use fat, which, when you think about it, is a pretty impressive process. Instead of bemoaning it (again, tempting), try working with your body to achieve the result you want.

See why some people hold fat in different parts of the body, and what you should really focus onwhen it comes to trimming your arms or thighs.

Truly a very complex topic. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Does Sweating Mean That You Are Losing Weight?

By Marygrace TaylorUpdated December 19, 2019

Fact Checked

Being drenched with sweat at the end of an exercise session can make you feel like you’ve worked pretty hard. And when you hop on the scale — hey! — it might even read a few pounds lighter. But does that actually mean that you’ve lost fat and are getting closer to your weight-loss goal?

The answer might seem like an obvious yes. But the truth is, sweating tons doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the path to a smaller jeans size. Here’s everything you need to know about sweating and weight loss, plus why sweating too much is dangerous.

What Is Sweat, Exactly?

Sweat is a liquid that’s released from your sweat glands to help you stay cool when your body temp rises, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. That can happen during physical activity, of course. But if it’s really hot and humid, you can be dripping sweat without even lifting a finger.

Sweat is mostly water, along with some salt and tiny amounts of other compounds like ammonia and urea. It doesn’t contain any fat. (Also, a fun fact: The stuff doesn’t actually smell on its own at all. It only starts to reek when it mixes with the bacteria on your skin, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society.)

Sweating and Weight Loss

Can sweating help you lose weight? The answer is… kind of, but not directly. In order to lose weight, you need to burn calories. One pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories of stored energy, so in order to lose 1 pound, that’s the number of calories you’d need to burn.

Sweating in and of itself, though, doesn’t burn calories. “You can be lying down in a sauna and sweating buckets or sitting outside on a 100-degree day,” explains Los Angeles-based personal trainer Jill Brown. “If you’re not moving, you’re most likely not burning any more calories than if you were sitting in an air-conditioned room.”

So why does the scale show a lower number after you’ve sweat a lot? Sweating does lead to temporary weight loss, but the pounds are from water, not body fat. “It’s possible for your body weight to fluctuate 3 to 5 pounds just from water retention or loss,” Brown says. So after guzzling a few glasses of H2O to rehydrate, your weight will be right back to where it was before your sweat session.

We lose body fat over time by using more calories than we take in. That can be accomplished by eating fewer calories and by burning them through physical activity. “On average, a moderate- to high-intensity workout will burn approximately 350 calories an hour, depending on factors like age, gender, muscle mass and type of exercise,” Brown says. Do that for an hour every day and cut out 150 daily calories, and you’ll have burned around 3,500 calories and lost a pound of fat by the end of the week.

Does Sweating a Lot During a Workout Mean You’re Burning More Calories?

Body fat is lost by burning calories, not by sweating. But most of us tend to sweat when we exercise. So is it fair to assume that heavier sweating means you’re getting a harder workout — and burning more body fat?

More vigorous activities can cause more sweating than less vigorous ones. But you shouldn’t automatically assume that sweating a ton means you worked really hard and burned a ton of calories. Or that not sweating much means you took it easy and didn’t burn many calories.

For one thing, some people just tend to sweat more than others. (Thanks, genetics!) Also, environmental factors like temperature and ventilation can have a major influence on how much you sweat, Brown points out. Case in point: In a July 2013 study done by the American Council on Exercise, researchers had subjects take the same yoga class in a 70-degree room and in a 92-degree room. Even though subjects sweat more and felt like they worked harder in the hotter room, their calorie burn was basically the same during both classes.

The moral of the story: Don’t use your sweat to gauge how many calories you’re burning. Sweating can be a sign that you’re working hard and burning lots of cals, but that’s not always the case. If you’re trying to keep tabs on your calorie burn, consider using an activity tracker instead.

Curious exactly how many calories you burn during your workouts? Download the MyPlate app for a more accurate and customized estimate.

What Can Sweat Actually Tell You?

You can’t necessarily rely on sweat to tell whether you’ve burned a lot of calories or are losing body fat. So what can those little droplets tell you? “Sweat can let you know how much fluid you’re losing,” says Jason Machowsky, RD, a sports dietitian and exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Generally, you want to avoid losing more than 2 to 3 percent of your body weight through sweat. (For a 150-pound person, that’s 4.5 pounds.) Sweating out more than that can put you at risk for dehydration, which can be dangerous. And if you’re exercising, it can potentially cause your performance to suffer.

The Risks of Excessive Sweating

Losing a couple pounds of water from sweating isn’t a big deal. But losing more than 3 percent of your body weight is dangerous because it puts you in the dehydration zone. In serious cases, dehydration can lead to heatstroke, urinary and kidney problems, seizures and shock, per the Mayo Clinic.

Signs of Dehydration

  • Thirst
  • Peeing less often, or having pee that’s a darker color than usual
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry skin
  • In severe cases, fainting, rapid heartbeat and/or rapid breathing

Anyone can become dehydrated from sweating, but you’re at higher risk if you’re working out in a hot or humid environment, exercising vigorously or not replenishing lost fluids by drinking more water. “An issue I sometimes see is people start workouts dehydrated, by exercising first thing in the morning without drinking fluids or working all day and not drinking water, and then the exercise exacerbates it,” Machowsky says.

Drinking before, during and after a workout can help you stay hydrated as you sweat. The American Council on Exerciserecommends drinking a glass of water 20 to 30 minutes before exercising, another glass every 10 to 20 minutes throughout your workout and another glass within 30 minutes of stopping. Going hard for more than an hour? “You may do better with a sports drink containing some electrolytes,” says Machowsky. The added electrolytes will help your body rehydrate faster.

Always remember to stay well hydrated. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

4 Ab Exercises That Won’t Hurt Your Back

By Kelsey CasselburyUpdated November 13, 2019Reviewed by Lisa Maloney, CPT

Sometimes, ab exercises can feel like a no-win proposition — you have back pain because you don’t have core strength, but training those muscles makes your back hurt. To solve this problem, look for moves that train your entire core — the muscles that surround and stabilize your spine, including your abs — that won’t put undue stress on your back.

Woman raising her leg while doing side plank

Try side planks if you want to avoid hurting your back.Credit: Zinkevych/iStock/GettyImages

Are Crunches Good or Bad for Your Back?

When it comes to ab exercises, your first thought might be to lie on your back and start crunching. For most people, this exercise is mild, suitable and effective. But if your back isn’t entirely healthy, the repetitive action of flexing the lumbar spine might cause problems; it’s best to speak with your doctor about the ins and outs of your particular back condition to be sure.

Warning

If you have a back injury, talk to your health care provider before undertaking a comprehensive core workout plan. And if you’re just embarking on a core strength routine, start with basic exercises before you switch to more advanced moves.

How about sit-ups? Although this exercise is often conflated with crunches they’re quite different, and hinge-at-the-hip sit-ups work your hip flexors, which are muscles that run from your thighs to your lower back. If you have tight or overly strong flexors, it can pull on the lower spine and cause low back pain.

The Best Ab Exercises That Don’t Strain Your Back

But even if your back is healthy enough for crunches and sit-ups, you might still want to skip them. Why? They’re not a very functional or effective exercise, and more often than not, they’re done incorrectly, putting undue strain on your neck. Try one of the four exercises below — ranked from beginner to more advanced — instead.

1. Leg Slide

Because this exercise has you maintaining a neutral spine throughout, it’s less likely to cause back pain.

  1. V on your back, place your hands on hip bones and move your spine into a neutral position. Your feet should be flat on the ground with knees bent.
  2. Engage your ab muscles, exhale and extend your right leg, sliding your heel along the ground as you do.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side.
  4. Complete six to eight reps on each leg.

Tip

To increase the difficulty of this move, lift the non-sliding leg so the foot is raised and the knee is bent to a 90-degree angle.

2. Bird-Dog

While slightly awkward at first, the bird-dog exercise promotes lower back strength and helps work on balance.

  1. Get on all fours, with your hands and knees on the ground.
  2. At the same time, raise your left arm forward and your right leg straight back. Keep your right hand and left knee on the ground to support your body.
  3. Return your arm and leg to the floor.
  4. Raise your right arm forward and left leg straight back.
  5. Repeat on both sides for six to eight reps.

3. Modified Plank

The plank pose is an ideal abdominal exercise because, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), it requires minimal movement while engaging all layers of the abdominal fascia.

  1. Lie face-down. 
  2. Raise your body so you’re supporting yourself on your forearms and knees.
  3. Position your elbows directly under your shoulders. 
  4. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, or as long as you can without compromising your form.

Tip

Keep your forearms parallel to each other. Joining your hands together during a plank can create instability in your shoulder joint, according to ACE.

4. Plank With Rotation

Once you’ve mastered the modified plank, push yourself to a full plank, which requires balancing on your toes instead of your knees. When that also becomes too easy, add a thoracic rotation for extra strength-building benefits.

  1. Lift up to a high plank by balancing on your hands and toes, hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Press your right hand into the ground, rotate your feet and hips to the left, then raise your left arm toward to the ceiling. 
  3. Rotate your left arm back down. 
  4. Press your left hand into the ground and repeat on the other side. 
  5. Do three to six reps on each side.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a rock solid core.

Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

How a Strong Core Can Keep You Fit and Pain-Free

By Isadora BaumUpdated December 30, 2019Reviewed by Katie McKinney, ACE CPT and GFI, FMS Level 1

When it comes to being in shape and working toward your fitness goals, a lot depends on your core. The muscles in your core — which extend from your chest and upper back to your hips and glutes — initiate and support just about every movement and are important for building flexibility and endurance.

Father exercising with baby in park, enjoying the benefits of a strong core

A strong core means balance and stability in your daily life as well as your workouts. Not to mention, keeping up with the kids.Credit: Raphye Alexius/Image Source/GettyImages

Read more: So, What Exactly Is Your Core?

How a Strong Core Benefits Your Everyday Life

Basically, your core supports everything you do. “First and foremost, it supports and protects your spine,” says Kat Wiersum, certified Pilates instructor at Amplified Pilates Center and interval instructor at Studio Three in Chicago.

That can mean preventing or lessening back pain — good news for the 80 percent of Americans that deal with it, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

“Beyond that, it ensures your body is in correct alignment and lets your bones and muscles move in the most uninhibited way possible.” The stronger your core is, the more correctly your body can move, which will help you feel less pain or tension during your day-to-day life.

When your core is weak, it can lead injury in other parts of your body as the other muscles attempt to compensate. For example, if your glutes (yes, they’re part of your core!) are weak, that can lead to overuse in your hip flexors and lower back, Wiersum says.

A solid, stable torso also gives your workout performance a boost. For example, in a 2018 study in The Saudi Journal of Sports Medicine, working on core strength improved the pace of speed skaters. And a March 2019 study in PLoS One, found that college athletes were able to improve their balance, endurance and running economy with eight weeks of core training.

Why Strong Abs Are Also Important

Your entire core is important, but your abs are important on their own, too! Since your abs are a part of your core (and a pretty large part, at that), the stronger your abs are, the stronger your core will be as a whole.

“Since we spend a lot of time moving forward and forward-facing, the front-body muscles tend to do a little more work naturally than the back-body muscles,” Wiersum says. So, your abs are primarily responsible for keeping your posture strong and your body aligned.

How to Tell if You Have a Strong Core

With all of the above-mentioned benefits, who wouldn’t want a strong core? But how can you tell if yours needs work?

Lift yourself up into a forearm plank and assess. Does it look like your belly button is pushing outwards? If so, try and engage it better to bring it toward your spine, Wiersum says.

Now time yourself. “You should be able to hold it for at least 30 seconds without lifting or shifting your hips,” says Katie Dunlop, CPT.

Or you can try the leg-lowering test. “Lie on your back with hands at your side or thumbs slightly under your hips,” Dunlop says. “Straighten your legs and lower them toward the ground without compromising a neutral spine position to at least a 45-degree angle,” she says.

Read more: Build a Core Workout Routine That Targets More Than Just Your Abs

What Six-Pack Abs Say About Your Core Strength

So if you have six-pack abs, that must mean you have amazing core strength, right? Not always. “Simply having a six pack doesn’t mean you’re strong, and people can also have a six pack that shows because of their low body fat percentage, but they may not have solid core strength,” Dunlop says.

Usually, six-pack abs can indicate that you have strong rectus abdominis muscles (the front of your abdomen), but you could still be overlooking the rest of the muscles of your core Wiersum says. And that puts you at risk for injury and pain. “This is common when people only work their rectus abdominis and neglect their back muscles especially,” she says.

At the same time, someone may be strong and have a well-functioning, aligned core but never have visible abs. So, don’t use just your abs as a way to define a strong core. Think of it as a nice perk if you have a chiseled midsection, but not as a measure of what’s necessary to be healthy or fit.

How to Strengthen Your Core

Ensure that you’re reaping all the benefits of a strong core you whole life long with these exercises.

Move 1: Forearm Plank

  1. Lie on your stomach with your forearms tucked underneath your body. Your elbows should be under your shoulders with your forearms extending out in front of you.
  2. Lift your hips and torso off the floor, supporting your body using your elbows, forearms and hands.
  3. Keep your body aligned from your ankles to your neck, keeping your back and hips as straight as possible. Look three to five inches in front of you to keep a neutral neck alignment.
  4. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, or as long as you can.

Move 2: Bicycle Crunches

  1. Begin lying on the ground and place your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise your legs at a 45-degree angle, fully extended.
  3. Raise your torso and bring your right knee toward your chest, twisting your left elbow toward the knee.
  4. Keeping the shoulder blades off the ground, extend the right leg and bring the right knee toward the face, twisting the left elbow toward the knee.
  5. Continue alternating, keeping your upper body off the ground.

Move 3: Bird-Dog

  1. Start on your hands and knees with your back parallel to the floor.
  2. Slowly straighten your left arm and right leg until both are aligned with your back, pointing straight out.
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly alternate to your right arm and left leg, returning to the starting position each time.
  4. As you alternate arms and legs, focus on keeping your back and torso as still as you can. Don’t arch your back or allow your hips and shoulders to sag in either direction.

A strong core is mandatory to help in preventing injuries. Would you build a house on a weak foundation? Then why would you try to build muscle on a weak core? Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Weight Loss Tip

Tip

If you’re actively losing weight, aim to eat about 1.3 grams of lean proteinper kilogram of body weight each day. Keep in mind that a kilogram equals about 2.2 pounds. So, for example, a 250-pound person should aim to eat about 148 grams of protein daily (for reference, a 3-ounce serving of roasted chicken breast contains about 25 grams of protein, per the USDA).

Good morning everyone. One of today’s tips is to incorporate protein into your diet to aid you in your weight loss goals. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Food And Weight Loss

5 Reasons You’re Still Not Losing Weight After Cutting Junk Food

By Hallie LevineUpdated December 26, 2019

Fact Checked

You’ve said sayonara to cookies, chips and virtually anything that comes in a bag or a box, so why haven’t the pounds magically flown off your tummy, butt and hips? Alas, cutting out — or cutting back — on junky or processed foods in your diet doesn’t automatically translate into weight loss.

Woman drinking fresh orange juice

Even if you’ve cut out junk food, getting too many liquid calories may sabotage your weight loss.Credit: Rawpixel/iStock/GettyImages

“It’s true that a foundational step toward losing weight is taking out highly processed junk food — that is, anything that has a label that reads more like a lab experiment and/or contains added sugar,” says Liz Wyosnick, RDN, a registered dietitian in Seattle and owner of the private practice Equilibriyum.

body of research has tied processed foods to weight gain, and indeed, a small-but-groundbreaking study published May 2019 in Cell Metabolism found that people who eat a highly processed diet are apt to take in about 500 more calories each day than those who eat unprocessed foods.

Read more: Trying to Lose Weight? This Is the One Food Group You Should Probably Cut (No, It’s Not Carbs)

Oftentimes, though, nixing junk food isn’t enough on its own. Here are a few other common reasons why the scale may not be moving in the right direction.

1. You’re Eating Too Much of a Good Thing

Healthy whole foods like avocado, coconut oil, red meat, nuts and cheese all get points for being high-protein, satiating options, but they are also calorie-dense, too. “The portion size can make a huge difference in the amount of fat and therefore calories consumed in a day,” explains Wyosnick. One medium avocado, for example, has over 300 calories and 30 grams of total fat.

Fix it: When it comes to high-fat, high-calorie whole foods, sticking to healthy portion sizes is key.

  • One-quarter of an avocado clocks in at 75 calories but will give you plenty of filling, good-for-you fat and fiber, says Wyosnick. 
  • Opt for just 1 ounce of nuts as a snack (160 calories, 14 grams of fat). 
  • When it comes to red meat, “Stick to the portion that will fit in your palm (without the fingers), which is about 4 ounces,” says Wyosnick. You’ll still get all the benefits of satiation, but you’ll be doing your waistline a favor, too.

Did you know that keeping a food diary is one of the most effective ways to manage your weight? Download the MyPlate app to easily track calories, stay focused and achieve your goals!

Read more: 8 Dietitian-Approved Tricks to Make Portion Control Easier

2. You’re Drinking Your Calories

Guzzling plenty of fluids is important for weight loss, since it supports digestion and helps your body flush out toxins, explains Wyosnick. But not all fluids are created equal.

Fruit juices, sugary coffee drinks and that extra glass of wine or two at dinner aren’t doing you any favors. “I have clients who drink a ton of juice because they think it’s healthy, but they also don’t realize that it has a ton of calories,” says Ellen Albertson, PhD, RDN, a nutritionist and psychologist in Burlington, Vermont. “Just because a food is healthier and not ‘junk food’ doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free.”

Fix it: Keep drinking, but stick mainly to calorie-free water, black coffee, sparkling water and tea — and view that cocktail or full-fat cappuccino as an occasional indulgence, says Wyosnick.

Drink strategically, too. Try downing two cups of water 30 minutes before each meal. One study, published in the July-December 2014 issue of the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine found that this tactic can help reduce hunger and aids in weight loss over time.

And while organic fruit or veggie juices may sound healthy, they are laden with sugar and calories: Instead, eat the whole foods, which are also rich in filling fiber.

Read more: 6 Tricks to Help You Feel Fuller on Less Food

Intermittent fasting concept showing an alarm clock next to an empty plate with silverware on a blue wooden table

Timing your meals strategically may help with weight loss.Credit: everydayplus/iStock/GettyImages

3. You’re Not Timing Your Meals Correctly

Whether you’re skipping meals or noshing throughout the day, both ends of the meal timing spectrum can inhibit weight loss, says Wyosnick. If you graze constantly, you’re likely consuming extra calories throughout the day that make it harder to shed fat. But waiting too long to eat — or forgetting a meal entirely — can also backfire because it may leave you so ravenous that you eat everything in sight.

Fix it: Wyosnick recommends eating every three and a half to four hours during a 10- to 12-hour daytime eating period. “This meal-timing strategy supports steady blood sugar control and means that during the times between meals, and overnight, fat reserves are used more readily,” she explains.

Try to front-load as many of your calories as possible, too: Big breakfast eaters experienced more than twice the amount of weight loss compared to big dinner eaters at the end of 12 weeks, according to a March 2013 study published in the journal Obesity.

Read more: You Are When You Eat? How Intermittent Fasting Affects Weight Loss

4. You Overcompensate for Exercise With Food

You may feel virtuous ordering that protein shake at your gym’s juice bar after your spin class, but there’s a chance you may not actually need those extra calories, says Wyosnick. Pre- and post-workout snacks can be beneficial, but only if they’re timed and portioned appropriately with your other food intake.

Fix it: If it has been more than two hours since your last meal, it’s a good idea to have a small snack before your workout, to help you power through it, advises Wyosnick. If it’s after your workout and your next meal is more than two hours away, have a small, protein-packed snack to aid in recovery.

But if you’re exercising close to meal times, it’s probably a better idea to wait to refuel at your next meal, so you’re not consuming extra calories.

Asian woman using mobile phone while lying in bed

Not getting enough shut-eye has been linked to weight gain.Credit: Enes Evren/iStock/GettyImages

5. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

When the amount of time you spend sleeping goes down, your weight goes up, says Los Angeles-based sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, author of The Power of When.

It doesn’t take long to see these effects, either: One study published April 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that just a week of sleeping five hours a night (instead of the recommended seven to eight) led participants to gain an average of 2 pounds.

“Sleep deprivation causes changes to hormones that regulate hunger and appetite: It reduces leptin, which suppresses appetite, and raises ghrelin, which triggers hunger,” Breus says. It also causes your body to churn out more cortisol, he adds, which creates more intense cravings for fat-laden foods. The result? You’re more likely to have a second or third helping of steak and skimp on low-calorie and low-fat fare like veggies.

Fix it: Prioritize getting enough zzzs each night. For most people, that’s about seven and a half hours, says Breus. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can make up lost sleep time on the weekends, either. “You want to stick to the same bedtime and wake up time throughout the week, because when your sleep has a regular rhythm, your biological clock will be in sync, and all your other bodily functions — including your metabolism — will run more smoothly,” he explains.

Follow these tips on your journey to weight loss. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Weight Loss Strategy

Strategy

A weight loss plan emphasizing whole foods that are minimally processed is the best weight loss strategy, says the American Heart Association, Harvard School of Public Health and the CDC. Instead of cutting food out altogether, seek to create calorie deficit of between 500 and 1,000 calories. Utilize physical activity along with dietary measures to create this negative calorie balance. This is the safe alternative to losing weight. No magic pills! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Does Starving Yourself Help You Lose Weight?

Warning

You need a minimum of 1,200 calories per day as a woman or 1,500 as a man to support nutrition for bodily functions like breathing, cellular repair, hormone production and pumping blood, says MedlinePlus. Starvation leaves no fuel for these basic bodily functions, let alone energy for daily tasks. Following a fast or starvation diet for several days can also cause nutritional deficiencies, dizziness, weakness, digestive distress, nausea, irritability, depression and fatigue. Undergoing a fast or starvation diet for too long can seriously compromise your health, and lead to organ failure and even death.

So please be careful when starting your weight loss journey. Make it a great day!

Philip “FitGuy46”