Q&A

Workout & Weight Loss Questions (25)

HI! I just wanted to ask, is there anything I can do about my excess butt fat? I’ve been working out a lot and eating really well and the generic advice just doesn’t seem to do me good. I’m really short, like 5″1, and my upper body is perfect. My waist is only 23.5 inches but my butt and my thighs are like freaking huge. It has been my concern for quite a few years and sometimes it brings me to tears when I look at my rear because it looks like a grandma’s. -Jayden

Hi Jayden,

I’m sorry to say this, but you cannot lose weight from a particular spot. Weight comes off evenly from the entire body. Too bad it doesn’t store evenly. Every person has a problem area that’s hard to slim down.

Although it sounds like you have a very feminine curvy figure. I don’t think you should stress about it too much. Many people find such body type a lot more appealing than a boyish stick figure. You should embrace it. My advice would be to do some squats, lunges and other exercises that would help you tone you butt and thighs. You should do them almost every day at home or at the gym. Look up some workout videos on YouTube for your problem areas.

Aiste

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Hi, I was wondering are there any tips for people who cannot do cardiovascular exercise or HIIT due to a medical condition. I eat fairly healthy, I am a vegetarian, I am 5’8″ and weigh between 165-170, I have been trying to lose weight for over two years. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! -LaTisha

Hi LaTisha,

You don’t necessarily need to do high intensity workouts in order to lose weight. All that’s important is that you move. Go on long walks, take a swim in the pool, clean your entire house, spend the afternoon at the mall… As long as you’re not sitting still on the couch watching TV, you’re burning a lot of calories.  So keep it moving!

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I’m just wondering what you eat exactly to keep your figure small? I eat clean and only eat 1200-1500 calories a day. no sugar and I exerscise twice a day but cant seem to lose the 3 kg I wish to lose. currently I am 60kg and wish to be 57. my height is 5ft7. -Tania

Hi Tania,

Even though I gain weight very easily, the thing is that I still eat whatever I want. What I always tell people is that it doesn’t really matter what you eat, it’s all about how much you eat. There’s nothing wrong with eating chocolate or a doughnut, as long as you only eat one and not 3 or 5. Even if you do it every day, that won’t make you any bigger.

If you’re still interested in what I eat exactly, you’ll find your answer in my post Skinny Girl’s Eating Habits.

When you’re already skinny, losing the last few kilograms is always the hardest. You can either do it by frequently doing cardio exercises or you can eat in smaller portions than you do now, but eat more often. Every time you eat something, your body only takes what’s necessary to keep you energized and the rest turns straight into fat for future use. Everyone has different needs based on their lifestyle. If you can figure out the system and determine how to give your body the exact amount or a bit less of food it needs and not feel like you’re starving yourself at the same time, then you will have no problems with losing the last 3kg. Try experimenting with different portion sizes. Eat slowly and experiment with how little you can actually eat without feeling hungry.

Aiste

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I am so so so bad at keeping away from carbs. I eat all my fruits and veg, drink 150 ounces of water, but in th evenings all I want is carbs. oats, potatoes, bread. HOW DO I STOP THAT?

This usually happens when people don’t eat enough throughout the day. If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re eating light and as little as possible, then when the evening comes your body feels so exhausted from almost starving all day, making it difficult to resist foods high in energy (carbs). You need to start decreasing your meals late into the day and start all over the next morning. Have a big breakfast full of carbs, and then eat a bit less during lunch and barely anything for dinner.

Since you only need lots of energy during the day and very little before and during bed time, your body won’t feel like it needs that extra fuel to keep you going and your cravings for carbs should stop.

The best time to do all the snacking and heavy eating is in the morning, because you burn through those calories throughout the day anyway.

Aiste

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Do you think low carb is the best way to loose weight? How many carbs do you consume if you want to loose weight? What do you think about veganism? (:

I don’t think it’s the best way to lose weight. If you eat very little carbs you would definitely lose a lot of weight fast, but it’s very unhealthy and once you start eating normal again, the weight would grow back. Atkins is the most famous one, if you are looking for a low carb diet. Carbs are the main source of energy and people who try to avoid them feel sluggish and tired a lot.

I think veganism is more of a spiritual thing than an attempt to eat healthy. Vegans need to have a very strict and balanced diet. If you do it wrong, your body won’t get enough nutrition and it could lead to serious health issues.

I don’t really understand why people would give up something that is natural and given to us by nature. I would rather see a word for people who give up man-made foods instead of natural ones.

Everyone’s body needs all kinds of vitamins to function. We need carbs, protein and even fat. When you deprive yourself from one of them, you deprive your body from reaching its full potential. Everyone keeps saying that fruit and veggies are really healthy, but if you eat only fruit and veggies you would never be healthy. You would feel faint and sick.

Aiste

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Do eating small meals frequently and TONS of water actually work?

I’ve heard it many times that you’re suppose to eat 5-6 small meals a day, but I think it’s just too much thinking and too much work (unless you’re a professional athlete/body builder). After a couple of days you would get tired and annoyed from doing it.

You should always eat small meals. The best time to stop eating is when you don’t feel like you’re full/stuffed yet, but also don’t feel like you’re starving. In other words, when you feel like you could eat a bit more (but you don’t do it).

Also eat only when you’re truly hungry and not just bored or want something that tastes good and yes, drinking water helps a lot. It’s best to drink 2 liters/8 glasses of water a day.

Aiste

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I’ve been eating right, working out as much as I can and drinking water. But I gained 5 pounds? How does that work.

I know every other person on the internet/TV emphasizes that all you need to do to lose weight is eat healthy. This is not entirely true. You could be eating the healthiest food in the world and still be overweight. What really matters is HOW MUCH you eat.

The other reason might be that you gained muscle weight, because muscle weighs more than fat. The scale can be deceiving. To know for sure if you’re getting thinner is to use a measuring tape and measure various parts of your body, such as thighs, arms, and stomach. Measuring tape doesn’t lie.

Also, every person’s weight fluctuates a lot, so one day it might look like you’ve gained 5 pounds and two days later you might be 6 pounds lighter. Therefore, once again, the scale is never a very good indicator. Weight also differs depending on the time of the day you weigh yourself. You would get the most accurate number if you weigh yourself in the morning right after you wake up and use the restroom.

Aiste

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When is the best time to eat before and after a work-out and what should I eat before/after a work out (I’m also a pescetarian).

If you’re having a big, filling meal, then you should wait about 2 hours before working out. If it’s a small meal, then an hour. The key is to find the right time between meals when you neither feel hungry, nor stuffed.

If you go work out with a full stomach, all the energy will be directed towards digesting food instead of burning fat and building muscle. You might also get side or stomach pains.

If you work out on a empty stomach, you would most likely feel light-headed and have no energy.

If you’re trying to build muscle, then the best thing to eat before a workout is food high in protein, such as egg whites, cottage cheese, fish, edamame, milk etc.

It doesn’t matter that much what you eat after exercising. After a good workout your metabolism speeds up for the next couple of hours anyway. Just make sure not to overeat.

Aiste

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A lot of people say you need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, but I see a lot of videos that are only half that. Is the 30 minutes of exercise a day true, or is there such a thing as working out too much?

I would recommend working out 3-4 times a weeks for an hour. 30 minutes is better than nothing, but I don’t think it’s enough. Your body starts burning fat only after the first 20 minutes of working out, so 30 minutes is good for your health but not enough if you want to see results, unless you do really hard core cardio for 30 minutes straight with almost no breaks.

There is such a thing as working out too much. I would say 2 hours a day every day is too much.

Aiste

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So, I made a work-out schedule for myself and was wondering if I could improve it: 8- Wake up and yoga/meditation until 8:30-9. 9- breakfast, 11- snack, 1:00- lunch, 2:00 work out, 3:00 snack, 5:00 dinner (end of eating for the day), 10:00 bed

It’s a nice schedule, but I don’t think you should plan your day by the hour. It’s not like you’re in the military and you’re not a robot lol. You’re going to get tired of doing this routine in a couple of days. Don’t be so strict on yourself.

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Does eating 1200 calories a day work?

If you were eating a lot more than 1200 calories and now you would start eating less, then yes, it would work. I never recommend actually counting how many calories you are eating. No one should make losing weight feel like hard work or torture. It should be more like something you are doing on the side and not thinking too much about, because next thing you know it you will be sitting at home looking at the clock and counting how much time is left until you lose a pound.

Aiste

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Hey there – I love your blog and you’ve inspired me to work out a lot more :D I was just wondering if you could give me some advice. I’m a boxer and normally I train 3-4 times a week, but as I’m going back to school I won’t be able to go to training as much as I’d like, and I’ll have less time to do any exercise full stop. I’m trying to put together a short workout that I can do in the mornings before school – any advice on what moves I should do, and how many sets/reps? Thanks :)

Wow a boxer. Pretty cool 🙂 Jump rope sound like a perfect fit for you, since it’s the best cardio workout out there (along with swimming). Also because you need to do a lot of jumping in place and have good stamina in boxing. So I would advise to do 10-15 minutes of rope jumping every morning. Assuming you already are in good physical shape, you should do sit-ups where you hold your legs and arms straight and try to reach your toes with your fingers. Try to do two sets of 12-17 reps. then two sets of push-ups (as many reps as you can) and 2 sets of lunges with 17 reps. If you feel it’s too easy and you can do a lot more than 17, then you should use some weights. The rule applies to any exercise. If you can do more than 17 reps, then weights should be added for resistance.

This concludes the short morning workout.

If you don’t have any weights, check out my post on how to make your own weights at home.

Aiste

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hey, i was just lookin’ at your blog here and noticed that in one of the answers you said, ” It’s all about how much you eat and not what you eat.” could you elaborate here? i definitely disagree. while caloric intake does of course play a part in weight loss, 1200 a day from fried foods and sugary drinks will not give you the same result as 1200 of protein and veggies. thoughts? thanks :)

Yes, it won’t give you the same results in terms of health. I’m not saying that eating healthy won’t get you anywhere. In order to lose weight all you need to do is eat less. Eating healthy would make you feel like you have more energy, it would prevent a lot of diseases, your face would be glowing, you would have strong hair and nails etc., but you could still be overweight or even obese.

The best combination would be to eat less and eat healthy, but my point is that you could eat McDonald’s every day and still lose weight, even if you don’t feel so good after doing it. Society tends to blame fast food for being overweight, but they are the ones who shove enormous amounts of it into their mouths.

For some people it’s easier to lose weight eating healthy because when your body gets all the vitamins it needs, it doesn’t make you crave random greasy or sugary foods to make up for it. For others it’s not that easy to give up on all the things they love the most, which can eventually become a real torture and a feeling of being anti-social when everyone around you is eating tasty snacks making you the only one left out.

I couldn’t live without vegetables, but I don’t always eat healthy myself. I love McDonald’s, cream filled doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and I’m in great shape! Sometimes people are just too hard on themselves. It’s always all or nothing. That’s why over 90% fail.

Aiste

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So about three months ago I had ACL reconstruction surgery and now that I can walk I’m back on track to losing weight. However, due to my recovery I can’t do a lot of the things I used to do ((anything medium-high impact on your knees)) I do a lot of biking, but that doesn’t help me tone much. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to keep working out, but not harm my knee?

I would think biking has a lot of impact on the knees, but if the doctor said it’s ok then you could definitely do swimming as well. It works great if you want to lose weight. In fact, it’s the only sport where every muscle on your body is put to work.

Also, you could do most exercises for abs, arms and back along with leg lifts in different positions.

Your situations doesn’t restrain you from exercising as much as you might think, as long as you avoid lifting heavy weights, running and jumping.

Aiste

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How much weight could I lose in two weeks assuming that I’m eating healthy and exercising 3-4 times a week (high intensity cardio)?

You won’t lose weight just by eating healthy. It’s all about how much you eat and not what you eat.

If you want to lose weight the healthy way, making less likely for it to quickly come back, then you shouldn’t lose more than 4 pounds per week.

Now if you’re asking me how much weight is it humanly possible to lose in two weeks by eating less and exercising a lot, then I would say about 11 pounds. The down side is that  your body would be so exhausted after, that it would save every piece of food it gets and the weight would grow back really fast as soon as you go back to your old eating habits.

Aiste

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Do you think: If I used to eat about 2000 – 3000 cal a day about 2 months ago and now eat about 500 – 800 will I lose weight? Like a lot kind of quickly? I exercise daily and burn about 700 – 800 cal a day. Oh and I am 15, weight 200 and am 5’7″. My goal is to lose about 80 – 90 cal by the end of January or at least 55 – 60 lbs by the end of January.(:

That’s a really big cut in calories. If you just go one day from 3000 to 800, then you would be losing weight for a little while, but soon it would stop completely, because your body would slow down your metabolism in order to save energy, and no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise, you would not lose any more weight. You can read more about it here http://www.americasbestweightloss.com/reasons-why-you-stopped-losing-weight/

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to cut down on food gradually, so your body wouldn’t think it needs to save any extra resources.

Aiste

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hey :) so i once fat i did a diet …a healthy diet…lost about 10 kg…i exercise alot!but sometimes i get lazy and dont..:/ anyways i wanna lose more wieght jus about 4 more killos and im doing what ive always did like eatimg less working out health food…and its soooo much harder than it used to be and i cant lose wieght!! help!plz some advices would help me a lot! (btw im 157 cm, 56 kg) your awesome thnx :)xxxxx

I know how you feel. The last 4-5kg are always the hardest to lose, because the bigger you are, the more calories you burn when exercising. Whatever you do, don’t think of starving yourself because the results never last for too long anyway.

What I would suggest is eating every couple of hours or at least 5 times a day but in very small portions, like a half of a sandwich, two bananas, a small piece of fish with some veggies, etc. To make it even easier, just cut what you normally eat in half and eat it throughout the day instead of just having two big meals that make you feel really full.

Aiste

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You recently answered a question of mine on Yahoo Answers about working out in 10min segments. I understand what you’re saying in regards to cardio, and I am going to adjust my regimine, but is it ok for me to do 10min sets with weights, as long as I get what they call “muscle fatigue”?? And thanks for starting this blog, I’ve already emailed my mom the blog “Starving Yourself” because she is on WeightWatchers PointsPlus Program and does Zumba and has a membership at Curves gym, but has plateaued and getting VERY discouraged, so hopefully your blog will ease her worries. :) Thanks :) -Margaret

Hi, Margaret. I’m sorry it took me so long to reply. I’m happy to hear that you like my blog and are even sharing it with your mother.

I’m not sure what you mean by 10 minute sets. It’s not a good idea to just lift weights for 10 minutes, stop and then do it again in a hour or two. When you are working at a desk, your muscles are relaxed and if you suddenly start using them but quit after 10 minutes all that will do is warm them up a bit, but you won’t see any results after weeks of doing it. The only way to make it work is to exercise for at least 40-60 minutes straight.

If by sets you are asking if you could exercise your arms for 10 minutes and then do some other exercise for another 10 minutes, then it’s ok as long as you do at least 4-6 of those sets.

Aiste

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Hey, I recently found your website on Yahoo Answers. I think it’s very helpful but I was wondering what is the best way to lose weight from the thighs? -Fozia

Hi Fozia. I’m sorry to say this, but you cannot lose weight from a particular spot. Weight comes off evenly from the entire body. Too bad it doesn’t store evenly. If you do exercises for legs, that will only make them muscular. That’s why you need to lose the weight first. The top 3 exercises for weight loss that I recommend are jump rope, jogging and swimming. Cardio exercises always help to lose weight, but you have to remember that your weight depends 80% on your eating habits and only 20% on exercise.

Aiste

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Thanks for your reply. But what sort of food should i be eating and what sort of food should i avoid eating in order to lose weight and store less calories? and also i wanted to let you know that Im 18 years old, im 5ft 4 and weigh about 10 1/2 stones, is that the right weight for my age and height? -Fozia

There is no wrong or right food. Many people have the wrong impression, that if they eat only healthy, low fat food they would lose weight. You should eat whatever you like. Just try to eat a wide variety of foods every day and not the same type of food all the time. That way your body will get all the nutrition it needs and you won’t have those awful binges. Don’t give up on anything you like, just try to eat less than you normally do.

There are so many ways how you can lose weight. That’s why I wrote a whole blog on this entire topic. All the information can’t just be put into one e-mail.

If you want to hear my top 3 weight loss tips out of everything I know it would probably be:

#1 Don’t eat anything after 6pm or at least 4-5 hours before bed.
#2 Have a big breakfast, a bit smaller lunch and a really small dinner.
#3 Buy a jump rope and use it for at least 15 minutes every day. It’s the most effective weight loss exercise out there.

I can’t tell you if you weigh too much or too little. The best way to determine this is to ask yourself what weight do you feel comfortable with. There are really big people out there who “own it” and never feel the need to get smaller. Also, there are some really skinny girls who are still not satisfied with how they look. You should be the one to decide and not anybody else.

Aiste

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I am a 20 year old female, 5’8” and ~120 lbs. I’m writing to you because it might sound crazy looking at my stats, (some might even consider me to be underweight) but I’m still generally not happy with how I look. I have a very slender body type and I do not build muscle or have much muscle mass at all. My problem is that I carry my weight mostly in my stomach and love-handles. I need workout/diet tips on how to get rid of this problem area to make myself appear more proportionate, like you! I don’t necessarily feel like I need to lose any more weight. I just want to focus on working out to achieve the look I want, become more toned and have a better ass. Just curious, what country are you from? Your name is so interesting. Thanks for your time! -Blaire

Hey, Blaire. Since you weigh so little, the reason for having a sticking out belly might be bloating, which can make you look like you’re 3 months pregnant. This happens to a lot of people who eat several types of foods in a short period of time. This makes a lot harder for food to get digested and might result in gassiness, stomach pains or bloating. What you need to do is to try to combine the rights foods. Meat and poultry should be only eaten with vegetables on the side. Don’t combine them with foods high in carbs, such as potatoes, cheese, bread, pasta, rice etc. Also wait at least 30 minutes after your main meal to eat dessert. Don’t eat anything together with fruit. Restrain yourself from eating 2 hours before going to bed. These tips should help your stomach get smaller. It also wouldn’t hurt if you do some ab exercises. There are lots of ab workout videos on YouTube to choose from. Most people have an area on their body that stores more fat than anywhere else. Sadly so, but when losing weight, it comes off evenly from the entire body and no one can lose weight only from a desired spot.

I’m not that proportionate myself. My lower body is a bit bigger than my upper body, that’s why I mostly work out on my legs and butt. I’m originally from Lithuania and my native language is Lithuanian, but I enjoy writing in English. I moved to Miami, Florida four years ago.

Let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

Aiste

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What’s your workout routine to get those abs? I’ve had three kids and hate my pouch. -Sam

Hi Sam,

It’s not possible to lose weight from a particular body part. Weight comes off evenly from the entire body. Sadly so, but it doesn’t store evenly. To make you stomach smaller you would have to get your entire body into shape. Cardio exercises such as jump rope, running, swimming and bike riding are most effective when it comes to losing weight. If you would only do exercises for abs, your muscles would become strong and tight, but you would never be able to see them because of the fat layer on top of them.

The extra layer on your stomach could also just be excess skin in which case it would not be possible to bring it back into shape without surgery.

I don’t really have an exercise routine. I try to change it up every other month. I usually look up exercises on YouTube and do them for a month or two until they become too easy. Any exercise works great as long as you have to struggle to do it, but like I mentioned before, it’s important to do a lot of cardio workouts to get rid of the extra layer of fat before doing any muscle building exercises. Eating more fruit and vegetables would help as well.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Aiste

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Hey! I found your blog and like your down to earth advice. I am an avid exerciser, I exercise 6 days a week, run 6-8 miles about 4 times a week and the other days do the elliptical and yoga (I’m also a yoga teacher in training). I love exercising and often wind up walking a lot throughout my day as well! I eat healthy 85% of the time, and here and there will have candy or something unhealthy. I wound up going from 125 lbs to a mere 105 (I’m 5’3 and my goal was between 110-115) from slowly changing my diet to including a large variety of vegetables and increasing the length and speed of my runs. The thing is, in the past year I am back at just over 120 lbs and I’m not sure how! Your post about your body getting used to certain things struck a chord with me, but I am so frustrated and don’t want to “force” myself to starve or diet. Any advice? Thanks! -Lexi

Hi Lexi. Judging from what you wrote there could be several reasons why your weight got to 120. You have to figure out which one most likely applies to you.

1. Since you work out so much you might have gained muscle weight. Muscle weighs more than fat. It’s always easier to keep track by using a measuring tape and measuring several parts of your body, because when you gain muscle weight the number on the scale would become higher while the measurements would stay the same or get smaller.

2. You might be going too hard on yourself. If you really lowered your calorie intake, then your body might have gone into stock up mode. In such case your metabolism becomes slower and your body starts saving everything it gets. It might sound crazy, but to lose weight you need to eat more. You need to get more calories from food, especially carbs and fat. We all need a bit of fat to function properly. I would suggest you include into your diet some pasta, whole grain bread, potatoes or anything else high in carbs or fat.

3. When it comes to weight and numbers (not healthy lifestyle) it doesn’t matter that much what you eat, it’s all about how much you eat. Maybe you eat super healthy foods but you eat a lot of them. That could be one of the reasons why you gained weight.

I hope this answered your question.

Aiste

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I’m trying to lose 30 pounds. I’m 20 years old. I have a lot of medical issues, one then being cp. What exercises would you have me do? I’m trying to do this on my own because I have very little money, but I want to feel better about myself and get healthier. Any idea would be great, thanks. -Noelle

Hi Noelle, you should ask your doctor what exercises you can and cannot do. Top 3 exercises to lose weight are jump rope, swimming and running. Cardio workouts always work best when it comes to weight loss. Other things you could do would be go on long walks, ride a bike or just dance.

Aiste

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