Though it’s hardly realistic to keep people from moving north, there’s evidence to suggest that those living in northern latitudes may need to be a bit more careful about their gut health than the rest of us. A study in the journal Biology Letters found that living in northern latitudes encourages the growth of Firmicutes microbes, which have been linked to weight gain while decreasing the number of microbes linked with slim body types called Bacteroidetes. Generally speaking, the research showed that the number of Firmicutes increases with latitude and the number of Bacteroidetes decreases with latitude. To help ensure a healthy gut no matter where you reside, make sure your diet includes fermented and probiotic-rich foods, both of which encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
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The Wisconsin native also struggled with health issues. In her early teens she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea. “It is extremely difficult to lose weight and maintain weight loss with PCOS,” says Stolfi, who hit her highest weight of 286 lbs. at age 18. “And the lack of good sleep caused me to be lethargic, which meant I didn’t have the energy to work out.”
Somewhere buried the “I am Woman, hear me roar” is a self-critical overweight woman who is down on herself and disillusioned because of her negative body image, throwing up her hands not knowing what, where or how to win this almighty battle. Asking themselves, “How did I lose myself? How do I find happiness? How do I take time out for ME without feeling so guilty?”
It is widely recognized that exercise aids in weight loss. But many people have the wrong idea about what kind of workouts are best for dropping weight. There is a common belief that doing long cardiovascular workouts alone will result in quick weight loss. But surprisingly, cardio alone isn’t the key to quickly shedding pounds. Research conducted by Professor Herman Pontzer of Hunter College revealed that long stints of exercise aren’t enough to help you lose weight — let alone lose it quickly.
While we're sure you meant well when you set that New Year's resolution to lose weight—and actually stick to it this time—research shows most people ditch their goals by the end of February. But we say it's time to recommit, what with warm weather on the horizon and swimsuits getting pulled out of the closet. And since we may or may not need a little kick in the pants to get started (and figured you might, too), we rounded up the top weight loss retreats that do just that. So instead of focusing on the kids, work, and the 12,000 errands you have to run, book a flight and focus on getting back to, well, you. Because yes, it really is smart to take care of yourself first. Pinky promise.
Once you start to feel the effects of all these positive benefits, the result will be a healthier lifestyle you can stick to for the long term. “Many people tell me that when they feel happier, they want to sustain that feeling, so it just makes sense to choose habits that support it, like reaching for water instead of soda, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, and snacking on fruit and almonds in place of cookies,” Sass says. “External thoughts, like ‘I should do that,’ become internally driven choices that just feel right.” Focusing on the positive changes to your health rather than the number on the scale, Sass says, will likely make you feel more excited about other healthy behaviors, like drinking more water and eating more veggies. Make these 50 easy ways to lose weight naturally part of your routine.

When grabbing grub at a fast-food restaurant, the “combo” or “value meals” are typically less expensive and make you feel like you’re getting a better deal, but oftentimes they’re also nutritional nightmares. A study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing shows that compared to ordering à la carte, you pick up a hundred or more extra calories by opting for the aforementioned cheap “value meals.” That’s because, when you order items bundled together, you’re likely to buy more food than you need or want, and end up overeating as a result. To keep your weight in check, order your food piecemeal instead.


While understanding your body composition may not seem like an important concept in a generic weight loss plan, it represents a clear measure of unseen risk. You see, as excess body fat accumulates around your organs, it begins to act as an independent endocrine organ secreting inflammatory compounds and increasing insulin resistance that may lead to metabolic syndrome, a constellation of elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and a state of insulin resistance (diabetes). 

Garlic may leave your breath smelling funky, but don’t let that stop you from incorporating it into your diet, especially since it can help you lose weight and keep you healthy. A 2016 study found that garlic powder reduces body weight and fat mass among people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Recent studies have also shown that garlic supports blood-sugar metabolism and helps control lipid levels in the blood. What’s more? Eating garlic can help boost your immune system, help ward off heart disease, fight inflammation, increase memory retention, and lower blood pressure.
Even if you don’t typically order take-out, research suggests that just the mere presence of take-out food increases your risk of being overweight. One study printed in the British Medical Journal found that just having a lot of take-out options near your work or along your commute to work makes you twice as likely to be obese. Though you obviously have little control over what kind of establishments populate where you live and work, this is just another reason to practice healthy eating as often as you can.
My size has always been a part of my story. I never felt ashamed of my weight or pressured to change myself. I loved my body and loved eating good food—I was even a food blogger in New York City. Yet after 14 years in New York, my life turned upside down. I'd just ended a long-term relationship and needed something new, so I decided to make a big change and moved to Greenville, South Carolina.

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For the first month, I did the Hilton Head Health's LoseWell program, which is a very structured program—there's less choice and more guidance, my dieting training wheels, so to speak. I met with a group of other people looking to lose weight, and we ate pre-planned meals and did our prescribed workouts together. In between, I went to classes about the basics of nutrition and fitness, trying to learn everything I could about this new lifestyle.
We know you love binge-watching your favorite reality series, but it’s important to enjoy your meals sitting at your kitchen table—not in front of the television. Why? Carolyn Brown, MS, RD, of Foodtrainers, told us that in addition to commercials of unhealthy food and drinks increasing our cravings, TV is so distracting that it makes it harder to realize when we’re actually satiated. Science agrees with Brown: A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that paying attention while eating can aid weight loss efforts while distracted eating can lead to a long-term increase in food consumption.
In the morning before breakfast and after urination, body weight and waist circumference were measured at baseline and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as body weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. At baseline and 6 and 24 months, body fat mass and lean mass (n = 424) were measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) (Hologic QDR 4500A bone densitometer; Hologic); visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat (n = 165) were measured using a computed tomography (CT) scanner [39]; and blood pressure was measured by an automated device (Omron HEM907XL; Omron). RMR was assessed at baseline and 6 and 24 months using a Deltatrac II Metabolic Monitor (Datex-Ohmeda) after an overnight fast [40]. Briefly, after a 30-minute rest, a transparent plastic hood was placed over the head of the participant for another 30 minutes. Participants were required to keep still and awake during the test, and the last 20 minutes of measurements were used for the calculation of RMR [40].
While a few programs still offer this model, it is truly not advisable. The emphasis now for short-term stays at destination spas like Canyon Ranch Lenox and  Rancho La Puerta is not so much on losing pounds, but on eating delicious, healthy food, getting plenty of exercise, and attending lectures and classes on healthy living and personal expression. 
But if navigating these choices seems confusing, that’s where Eat This, Not That! comes in. What really works are making little lifestyle tweaks, simple moves that help you slash calories, boost nutrition and build a healthy foundation. We’ve gathered up some of the easiest, most effective new tricks and tactics to help you shed those unwanted pounds and slim down for good.
Not only is drinking lemon water a healthy, low-calorie alternative to soda or juice, but lemons themselves have also been shown to contribute to weight loss. Just one of the citrus fruits contains an entire day’s worth of vitamin C, a nutrient that has the power to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that triggers hunger and fat storage. Additionally, lemons also contain polyphenols, which researchers say may ward off fat accumulation and weight gain. Believe it or not, even the peel is beneficial because it is a potent source of pectin—a soluble fiber that’s been proven to help people feel fuller for longer. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, participants who ate just 5 grams of pectin experienced more satiety.

Dozens of scientific studies have tied diets high in vegetables— especially greens— to better health outcomes, including weight loss and a decreased risk of a handful of chronic diseases. Veggies like watercress, spinach, chives, and collard greens all rank highly on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's list of "powerhouse foods," so find a few you like, and start adding them to your plate.
A new German study found that when you drink 17 ounces of water (about two glasses) within a certain time frame, your metabolic rate shoots up by about 30 percent. Using these results, they estimate that by increasing your current water intake by 1.5 liters a day, a person would burn an extra 17,400 calories a year, resulting in about a five-pound weight loss.
Women who ate low-fat dairy products, such as non-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese three to four times a day lost 70 percent more fat than low-dairy dieters, according to a study published in the journal Obesity Research. "Calcium serves as a switch that tells your body to burn excess fat faster," explains study author Michael Zemel, M.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Sorry, but you won't reap the same benefits from calcium-fortified O.J. Research shows that you get the best results from dairy products themselves, not fortified foods. Aim for 1,200 mg, which includes about three servings of dairy a day.
Hilton Head Health is recognized as a world leader in destination weight loss and wellness resorts. Our community of supportive dieticians, psychologists, wellness educators, fitness trainers, chefs and spa therapists draws upon H3’s decades of experience to create personalized medically based weight loss programs that will help you achieve real results and set you on a path towards sustained health and wellness.
Many of my patients 50 and older come to their appointments with similar reasons for not keeping up with a workout plan. These often include some sort of joint pain, but this is not the decade to stop moving. First, assess what you can do. Then, take away the “I can’t” phrase out of your vocabulary. Swimming, walking, exercising on the elliptical machine and biking are low-impact activities. You’ll also want to focus on developing muscle mass to help preserve your metabolism. Finding a good trainer can be the first step in determining which resistance training activities will work best for you.
Berries are more than just morsels of sweetness that you can toss on yogurt or work into a smoothie; they can help you lose weight, too! Raspberries pack more fiber and liquid than most other fruits, which boosts satiety. They’re a rich source of ketones, antioxidants that can make you slimmer by incinerating stored fat cells. And like other berries, raspberries are loaded with polyphenols, powerful natural chemicals that have been shown to decrease the formation of fat cells and eliminate abdominal fat. Not to be outdone, research suggests blueberries can also help blast away stubborn belly fat by engaging your get-lean genes. After a 90-day trial, University of Michigan researchers discovered rats that were fed a blueberry-enriched diet showed significantly reduced belly fat compared to those who skipped the berries.

It's a one-time investment you'll never regret. Here's why: Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories — at work or at rest — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you'll slim down. How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups or a few squats or lunges. Use your free weights to perform simple bicep curls or tricep pulls right in your home or office. Do these exercises three to four times per week, and you'll soon see a rapid improvement in your physique.


Unfortunately, metabolic compensation isn’t your body’s only strategy to prevent weight loss or encourage weight gain. Hunger hormones – leptin and ghrelin – are also at play. Fat cells produce leptin, which tells your brain when you’re full. Fat cells also shrink when you lose weight, producing less leptin and meaning you don’t feel as full. Strike one. Ghrelin, produced by the stomach, tells the brain it’s time to refuel. When you lose weight, ghrelin levels rise, prompting you to want to eat more frequently. Strike two. Research suggests that neither leptin levels nor ghrelin levels return to a normal baseline for at least a year.
In addition to your metabolism and hormones, the neural circuitry in your brain is fighting weight loss too. Food has a greater reward value after you’ve lost weight and the part of the brain that regulates food restraint becomes less active – meaning that while you’re eating more to feel full (courtesy of leptin), you’re also less aware of how much you’re eating.
And we all left with resolve to continue. That’s because as exciting as it is to notice more room in your waistband, or to summit one peak, Mountain Trek is really in the life change business. Director Kirkland Shave—a virtual encyclopedia of health and a poster boy for the healthy lifestyle—gives engaging and inspiring lectures, with lots of take-home tips, but we wouldn’t buy an ounce of it if we didn’t feel great there and or believe it was possible to re-create any of it at home.

While overnight oats remain a healthy and trendy breakfast, there’s one healthy oatmeal trend that’s also making waves: Zoats! The funny-sounding name actually describes a very straightforward (but delicious) dish made from shredded fiber-filled zucchini, oatmeal, milk, spices and nutrient-packed add-ins such as nuts and fruit. We love how the dish makes it easy to add veggies to your morning meal—somewhere it’s rarely found. Another win: Adding zucchini to your oatmeal adds bulk to your breakfast bowl without the need for extra cereal, ultimately saving you calories.

In addition to improving your health, maintaining a weight loss is likely to improve your life in other ways. For example, a study of participants in the National Weight Control Registry* found that those who had maintained a significant weight loss reported improvements in not only their physical health, but also their energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-confidence.
Whether you want to escape for one of their well-known WellFit retreats or stick to a personalized program like Beat the Bloat or Lose It, Tone It, there's basically always an option for you at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia (and when it doubles as a vacation to St. Lucia, well, you always win). Our personal favorite, though, lies in the Adventure Program: Complete with mountain biking, rappelling, kayaking, cave diving and swimming, there's no way an adventurous spirit won't be satisfied. Plus, when you're having fun while losing weight (and getting tons of Instagram hearts to boot), it really makes all the difference.

{I’m grateful for... this moment and this plate} On a day that’s about the food, yesterday was the first Thanksgiving in my life that it wasn’t. It ended up actually being about so much more. Gratitude is always there no matter what, but now so is the freedom. To eat this meal and to enjoy every bite in a new and different way knowing it’s totally different than what I would have been doing if I wasn’t here right now was an enlightening and liberating feeling. There is such joy in new experiences and power in the finding the enjoyment of them. I’m grateful for that. 🍁
There’s a reason Eat This, Not That! hired celebrity trainer Mark Langowski to develop Eat This, Not That! for Abs, our e-book system for getting a six-pack in six weeks: He said it wouldn’t include a single sit-up. “I have been a personal trainer for over 13 years—during this time, I have learned a lot about a lot, but the most important topic that I discovered was 10 years ago when I found out how damaging sit-ups are to the discs in my spine,” he told us. “It was after listening to genius professor Stuart McGill, who is head of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, that I realized I had been doing more harm to myself and my clients by having them do traditional sit-ups.” Instead, “throughout the workout section of the Eat This, Not That! For Abs, I explain how to train the entire body in a way that is activating the core muscles in every exercise you do. A squat may look like a leg exercise
In our eat-and-run, massive-portion-sized culture, maintaining a healthy weight can be tough—and losing weight, even tougher. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that diets don’t work for you. You’re probably right: some diets don’t work at all and none of them work for everyone—our bodies often respond differently to different foods. But while there’s no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, curb emotional triggers to overeating, and achieve lasting weight-loss success.
Instead of gobbling down breakfast at home, eat at your desk a few hours later than you typically do. Pushing back your first meal of the day naturally reduces your “eating window”—the number of hours you spend each day grazing. Why’s that beneficial? Sticking to a smaller eating window may help you lose weight, even if you eat more food throughout the day, a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found. To come to this finding, researchers put groups of mice on a high-fat, high-calorie diet for 100 days. Half of them were allowed to nibble throughout the night and day on a healthy, controlled diet while the others only had access to food for eight hours, but could eat whatever they wanted. Oddly enough, the fasting mice stayed lean while the mice who noshed ’round the clock became obese—even though both groups consumed the same amount of calories! For more amazing weight loss insight, check out these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body.
It's an oldie but a goodie. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that if you want to lose weight, the best way to make sure you stick with it is to make a few goals to work towards at the very beginning that aren't just about weight loss. Whether this is simply wanting to hit your five a day fruit and vegetables count or doing 30 minutes of exercise a day, they say this is the most effective way of beginning and maintaining weight loss.
Thanks to an increased interest in food and food trends, recipe videos are likely dominating your social media feeds. And their constant presence could be hindering your weight loss goals, especially since many of the brief clips spotlight unhealthy dishes and sweets. “The internet and social media sites are basically making you fat,” Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, and founder of The WellNecessities, told us in The 30 Worst Flat Belly Mistakes Women Make. “If it isn’t 25 ways to eat tater tots then it’s [another] national [something] day. The internet has made it basically impossible to stay away from cravings and indulgences. These are not excuses to eat unhealthy food.” Next time you see one of these videos, scroll quickly past. Or better yet, unfollow the page completely, and follow Eat This, Not That! on Facebook for healthier videos and more slimming tips.
Weight loss can be intentional, such as from dieting and exercise, or unintentional and be a manifestation of illness. Weight loss can result from a decrease in body fluid, muscle mass, or fat. A decrease in body fluid can come from medications, fluid loss, lack of fluid intake, or illnesses such as diabetes. A decrease in body fat can be intentionally caused by exercise and dieting, such as for overweight or obesity. Weight loss is normal after pregnancy. Other causes of weight loss include, but are not limited to, cancer, viral infection (such as CMV or HIV), gastroenteritis, parasite infection, depression, bowel diseases, and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

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