Doctors Surgically Removed 28-Pounds of Feces From Constipated Man

A 22-year old Chinese man found himself in the hospital in really bad shape; he was weak and moaning in pain, his stomach so distended he looked 9 months pregnant. He had chronic constipation for most of his life and got to the point that laxatives couldn’t provide total relief from his pain and discomfort.

The patient looked like he was about to burst anytime!

Source: IBTimes
He was sent to surgery and after three hours, doctors were able to remove a massively swollen large intestine filled with feces; it weighed 28.6 pounds or 13 kilograms!

Source: Daily Mail UK
“It looked like it could explode at any time,” said Doctor Yin Lu of Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital.

The patient was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. It is a congenital condition in which nerve cells were missing in the bowel, which results to chronic problems in movement. Compared to a healthy digestive tract, food and waste stops in affected parts of the colon. The waste or the feces gathers up in the area and causes the large intestine to swell. In this patient’s case, it has turned into a “megacolon,” and if not operated on quickly could result to tearing or perforation and will release fecal bacteria that can cause sepsis.

This could lead to death so the man was lucky to have this operation just in time to save his life.

Source: Daily Mail UK
The disease is rare; it occurs in only 1 out of 5,000 newborns within 48 hours after birth. It can also manifest in older children through chronic constipation, distended belly, and malnutrition. The patient was already an adult when he was admitted to imagine the build-up of waste residing in his colon!

He was expected to recover fully after the operation. His story is a reminder for us all to monitor our bowel movements and keep our GI tract healthy. So if you notice constant abdominal pain and bloating that just wouldn’t go away, a trip to the doctor is a must.

This Woman Hit the Beach with Loose Skin After Losing 350 Pounds. Here’s Her Message to the Haters

Blogger Jacqueline Adan used to weigh 500 pounds. She avoided bathing suits at all costs and wouldn’t dream of wearing one in public without a cover-up. So when she dropped 350 pounds by exercising and eating clean, she finally felt ready to step into a swimsuit again.

The only problem? Obnoxious onlookers who snickered at her loose skin, a common side effect of dramatic weight loss.

“I was nervous to take my cover up off and to walk into the pool or walk on the beach,” Adan wrote in the caption of a photo she posted on Instagram this week. In the picture, she’s wearing nothing but a wetsuit and a big smile while vacationing in Mexico. Even after undergoing skin removal surgeries, Adan still has excess skin on her body.

In the photo, Adan looks elated. But “I still felt like that same 500 pound girl,” she continued in her post. “Then it happened. A couple sitting by the pool started laughing and pointing at me and making fun of me as soon as I took my cover up off.”

The body positive icon, who has 47K Instagram followers, could have let their obnoxious reaction ruin her day. Instead, she took a deep breath, smiled, and made her way into the pool.

“That was a huge moment for me,” she wrote. “I had changed. I was not the same girl anymore.” While she confessed that the teasing bothered her, the experience showed her how far she’d come not only physically but also emotionally.

“I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life,” she vowed in her post. “They do not know me. They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds. They do not know how I am recovering from major surgeries. They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me.”

So Adan unapologetically rocked her wetsuit and went on enjoying her vacation. “What matters is how you react to it,” she said. “How you feel about yourself. Loving yourself just the way you are is hard. Others might not like that. That’s ok. I hope you love yourself. Love your body. I hope you keep doing you and just keep smiling!”

10 Ways Water Can Help You Shed Pounds

Do you have to force yourself to drink eight glasses of water each day? Do you opt for juice instead and tell yourself it is okay since you are drinking a water substitute? It might be time to rethink your modus operandi and consider the numerous ways water can help you reduce that glaring number on the scale. Ready? So, water can help you…

Ways Water Can Helps You Lose Weight

1. Reduce your caloric intake
Filling up on water before a meal or a snack can help lower your caloric intake. A tummy full of water doesn’t have nearly as much room left for food. Can you say natural appetite suppressant?

2. Beat sugar cravings
Drinking water instead of soda or even sugar-free juice substitutes can help you lose weight. Sugar-free juice substitutes still trigger sweet cravings that can cause you to eat sugary treats. Removing all sweet flavors from your diet can help you put sugar cravings behind you. Plus, artificial sweeteners usually replace the sugar in sugar-free drinks, so opting for water helps you ingest fewer chemicals too.

3. Flush out toxins
Water helps flush out toxins from your body and can help you lower your cholesterol count at the same time. Even if you don’t like the taste of water, think about all the nasty gunk you are flushing out of your ‘pipes’ each time you chug-a-lug a glass of H20. Keep lemon or lime juice in your fridge and add a drop or two to your glass to alter the flavor of your water.

4. Boost your productivity at the gym
Although it’s not something you usually consider when you are working out, water actually helps you work out more. Ever had a muscle cramp when you haven’t inhaled enough water? There is nothing like a pulled muscle to put an abrupt end to your workout routine. You won’t have to worry about shortened workouts if you keep your muscles lubricated.

5. Improve your liver function
Without getting too heavily into high-school biology, water can help your liver process fats better. A smooth-running liver equals less fat building up around your six-pack. Now who wants to drink more H20? Even if you won’t drop those pounds, you will at least have a healthy liver.

6. Improve your complexion
Water is phenomenal for your skin. The better your skin looks, the more pep you will have in your step. The perkier you feel, the more likely you are to engage in physical activity. It’s a pretty cool side effect, right?

7. Poop more
Although it might sound gross, water helps you poop more. Less poop in your colon can equal a lower number on your scale first thing in the morning. Many dieters take a laxative to speed up their poop process. Laxatives might be effective, but not healthy. Water is a way better alternative.

8. Pee more
On the topic of bathroom habits, drinking water makes you pee more. The more time you spend in the bathroom emptying your bladder, the less time you have to be peering into the fridge wondering what you’ll eat next. While it sounds weird, the result will astonish you.

9. Rehydrate your body
A dehydrated body is less likely to feel energized enough to exercise. Less exercise equals less weight loss. Consider that little tidbit the next time you want to pass up the chance to drink more water. If plain water isn’t your bet, opt for lemon water instead.

10. Control your blood pressure
Drinking plenty of water also helps you naturally lower your blood pressure. Flushing sodium out of your body helps you avoid blood pressure medications that can make it difficult to lose weight. Water is definitely not a cure, but it’s still vital for your whole body.

As you can clearly see from the list above, water truly does do ‘a body good.’ Not only is drinking plenty of water fabulous for your skin, muscles, and internal organs, it also helps you feel better mentally too. Each time you down another glass of water, you know you are doing something that is really healthy for your overall well-being. Doing something that you know can potentially help you live a longer life can definitely put a little extra pep in your step. Are you ready to start drinking more water without complaining now?

7 Pizza Tricks That Will Help You Shed Pounds

Ask any dieter about pizza, and they will tell you that it is one of the most diet-sabotaging foods out there. Pizza makes us feel heavy and bloated and can lead to weight gain, because we make wrong pizza choices.

When it comes to pizzas, one of the best things you can do instead of counting fat, calories, or carbs, is to use these pizza tricks that help the scale move in the correct direction no matter whether you eat out or make your own version at home.

1. Dense vegetables

Depending on where you eat out, you may have an option to create your own pizza. If you are going to order diet-friendly pizza, make sure you choose dense vegetables, such as mushrooms, artichokes, onions, olives, shredded carrots, peppers, and broccoli.

Not only are these vegetables rich in essential nutrients, they all help you shred pounds while eating your favorite food. If you make your own pizza at home, this trick works perfectly well too.

2. Oil-free pizza

One of the worst ingredients in most pizzas is vegetable oil. It’s cheap and tasty, but unfortunately dieters should avoid it at all costs. Olive oil is a healthier option than a vegetable oil, but it is actually bad for diet-friendly pizzas as well. Way out? Ditch oil at all. Oil-free pizzas are incredibly delicious and super healthy.

3. Low-carb pizza crust

This trick works best with a homemade pizza. Low-carb pizza crust is not a must, but it helps to make your pizza more satisfying. Opt for almond flour, mozzarella and egg crust, or ground flaxseed, cheese and egg pizza crust to get the most out of your diet-friendly pizza. Some store-bought versions offer low-carb pizza crusts as well, however I don’t recommend them to anyone.

4. Fresh herbs

Herbs boast a host of health and weight loss benefits, making them an excellent addition to your pizza. Fresh herbs will add a ton of flavor to your pizza for nearly zero calories. Basil, oregano, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, dill, parsley, sage and even bay leaf are all perfect options for pizzas. You can either sprinkle a herb of your choice on top of your pizza or add it to the tomato sauce.

5. Fresh tomato sauce

Store-bought pizza sauces are loaded with added sodium, sugars and oils. Even though those labeled ‘diet-friendly’ or ‘healthy’ contain ingredients that your stomach will not like. Create your own fresh tomato sauce, instead. Add fresh herbs and a pinch of black pepper to it for a mouth-filling taste. Do not add salt and sugar.

6. Cheese

Picking cheese for a diet-friendly pizza may be tricky. Parmesan cheese is low in calories but high in sodium. Vegan cheese is dairy free, but loaded with fats. Fat-free mozzarella is probably the best choice, yet its taste is not the best one. I recommend using a little bit of any cheese you like. Just a sprinkle of it will not ruin your waistline.

7. Skip meat

Yes, you read that right. Pizza without meat is still pizza. Actually, a delicious pizza. Instead of meat, I suggest you use sweet potatoes, mushrooms, eggplants, canned beans, or lentils. They are inexpensive, hearty, filling, and totally diet-friendly. Animals will thank you for that choice.

With these diet-friendly tricks, you will not have to eliminate pizza from your meal plan. Master the art of eating pizza in moderation and you can have a piece each day. Keep the rest in the fridge for restrained snacking. I would love to hear your pizza tricks that help you stay fit, too.

This Mom Lost Over 150 Pounds by Cutting Out 4 Foods

© courtesy @beautifulu_pinupIt only took one photo to change 37-year-old Casey Gemmell’s life.

When she first saw the picture, taken at her son’s birthday party and posted by a friend on Facebook, she literally couldn’t believe what she was looking at.

“I thought ‘That’s not me, what a terrible angle,’” Gemmell, who lives in Perth, Australia, told TODAY. “But then another photo was posted—from a worse angle. I kept waiting for a good angle and it never arrived.” (Here’s how to look better in every photo.)

As the unflattering photos kept rolling in, Gemmell realized that it wasn’t the camera that needed to change; it was her. At 353 pounds, she struggled to even change her son’s diaper over her belly. The photos made it obvious: She needed to change her lifestyle, before it was too late.

Almost five years later, Gemmell has now lost 155 pounds. Her transformation photos are absolutely incredible—and inspiring! (Check out even more jaw-dropping weight transformations on Instagram.)

Her secret? Aside from daily exercise and her husband’s unfailing support, Gemmell revealed that the key to her weight-loss success was a simple diet change. But forget radical fasting or strict calorie counting. In the end, Gemmell cut only four foods out of her diet: cheese, pasta, bread, and soft drinks.

“I started to change my diet by just cutting out those four specific foods and nothing else,” Gemmell said. “It was a massive challenge because at 33, I had a lot of food tendencies that were hard to break.”

Still, that one small change made all the difference. Pretty soon, she could get out of the car without turning sideways, she didn’t need a seatbelt extender on airplanes, and, best of all, she could run a 5K without stopping.

Now, Gemmell has one more goal to achieve. She needs surgery to remove her excess skin as a result of her dramatic weight loss and has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cause.

Gimmell has one simple message for everyone on their own weight-loss journey. “I hope I continue on this journey and hope to motivate others,’ she said. ‘There are so many people out there like me, and I want them to know there’s hope.’

Want to achieve your own stunning weight loss transformation? Start with these fast, easy tips to lose weight.

Gallery: 6 scientifically proven ways you can start losing weight right now

Want weight-loss tips that work? These strategies are all based on studies with proven results.

Is your pantry full of snack foods that boast ’10 percent less sodium!’ and ‘Now with more fiber’? Ditch those products in favor of more whole foods. That means choosing packages that list only one or two ingredients—such as whole wheat couscous or unsalted, sugar-free peanut butter.

Now 500 pounds, former NY Giants QB goes deep in battle against obesity

Stepping on the scale last year for the first time since he left the NFL in 2008, former New York Giants quarterback Jared Lorenzen was hit harder than he ever had been by a blitzing linebacker.

At least it felt that way when he read 502.8 pounds on the digital display.

© Getty Images Jared Lorenzen as a New York Giant in 2007. He served as Eli Manning’s backup and earned a Super Bowl ring that season.

He had a sense he was putting on too much weight each time he had to go up a shirt size — 3XL to 4XL — but nothing prepared him to see that number.

“It’s embarrassing, it’s life-altering, it’s scary,” Lorenzen told TODAY. “When I watched the little screen … I looked at myself and even then, I thought, ‘I’m not that guy.’

“I was to a point where I realized that if I went to bed and didn’t wake up, people would say, ‘Well look at him, he’s huge.’ It wouldn’t be unexpected. That’s where it hit me: Oh, my God, I could die.”

© courtesy of Jared Lorenzen Lorenzen tipped the scales at 502 pounds last year — and is now doing something about it.But Lorenzen, who is a dad to a 14-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son, is going on offense.

The 36-year-old University of Kentucky football legend is embarking on a healthier lifestyle to lose weight as part of a planned video initiative called “The Jared Lorenzen Project.”

And he’s hoping fans will join him.

“I would get kids come up to me all the time, telling me, ‘I’ve been a quarterback because you’re big and I’m big,’ said Lorenzen, whose nickname during his career was “The Hefty Lefty.”

“It means the world that these kids were quarterbacks because of me, but I also want them to realize there’s a stage where you have just got to be healthier.”

The docuseries is the brainchild of filmmaker Anthony Holt, who previously made a documentary about ex-NBA star Antoine Walker’s post-retirement financial troubles.

Lorenzen met the Holt at the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony in 2015, where he and Walker were inducted for their respective stellar college careers.

“It wasn’t until I went to the induction and heard Jared speak, and the way he captivated a room telling a story during his induction speech,” said Holt, “that I knew he was someone that — if he wanted to do this and really dedicate himself to this — could really inspire and change the lives of millions of other people.”

© courtesy of Jared Lorenzen Lorenzen said he wants to live to see his daughter get married and his son play college football.A year after they met, Holt convinced Lorenzen to embark on a life-changing regimen — and to do it in front of cameras.

He put together an all-star support team: celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson and nutritionist Philip Goglia.

Before the full-scale regimen begins this fall, Lorenzen has taken small steps to change his lifestyle. For example, he’s traded the 10 to 12 Diet Cokes he drank a day for 3 gallons of water on a doctor’s advice.

His team also built a mobile gym in a trailer that they plan to drive to different communities so Lorenzen “can rally fans to work out with him,” Holt said.

© courtesy of Jared Lorenzen Lorenzen said he was always the biggest player on the field.Lorenzen has always been big — he was 13.3 pounds at birth. Once he started playing sports, no opposing player would dare make fun of his weight.

“I was bigger than all of them, but they weren’t going to do anything because I was better than them, too,” Lorenzen said.

Bigger than many offensive lineman blocking for him, he could run over defenders to pick up yardage when he wasn’t torching them from the air.

He set 11 school records and six NCAA records during his time at Kentucky. And while his NFL career was less prolific, he did win a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants, serving as Eli Manning’s backup for three seasons.

© courtesy of Jared Lorenzen Lorenzen helped off the field after breaking his ankle in his last professional game in the Continental Indoor Football League.”My size was an advantage to an extent, but once you get too big and you can’t move, you’re in trouble,” said Lorenzen. “There were times in my career where I’d hand off the ball and I’d run downfield to block. Well, I couldn’t do that towards the end. I’d hand the ball off and have to stop to catch my breath.”

By 2014, he was playing quarterback in the decidedly less glamorous Continental Indoor Football League, having ballooned to around 300 pounds.

His career came to an end after he shattered his ankle on a tackle — one he’s certain he would have dodged if he’d been fitter.

He’s kept busy since then, coaching his son’s football team, launching a T-shirt company, and working in sales near his home in Kentucky.

But without the regular exercise, he’s found himself at 500 pounds.
Currently in the fundraising stage (there’s a GoFundMe page), the Jared Lorenzen Project will be a video journal that includes workout and nutrition guides on partner site NowLetsGetFit.com.

Holt plans to start shooting footage next month.

“I have very important reasons for doing this,” said Lorenzen. “I look at my daughter every day and say if I continue, I’m not going to see her get married. I look at my son, he’s 7, I want to watch him grow up and play ball.”

87: How to Stop Emotional Eating (From a Nutritionist Who Lost 100 Pounds!)

We’ve all been there. It’s midnight, we’re up late, and suddenly hunger strikes … for chocolate!

But can craving chocolate really be hunger, or is it just emotional eating? It’s pretty easy to guess the answer. Emotional eating wrecks our healthy eating habits more than we probably realize (especially among women, I’d dare say).

My guest today, Stephanie Dodier, knows this all too well. Her story is all about transformation from the inside out and freedom from emotional eating. She lost over 100 pounds as a result!

I’m so thankful she’s here to share!

The Emotional Eating Test: Do You Pass?

Maybe you don’t think emotional eating plays that much of a role in your life. I didn’t think it did in mine. Then Stephanie shared with me her emotional eating “test.” It’s pretty simple:

When you have a craving, ask yourself:

  1. Am I suddenly and urgently craving something very specific?
  2. Did I eat something and immediately feel guilty after?

If you answer “yes” to either of these, you are experiencing emotional eating … not physical hunger.

I had to admit these questions shed new light on certain food cravings of mine, especially around a certain time of the month!

The Unconscious Habit of Emotional Eating

Stephanie had it all … or she thought she did. She had a great career as a senior executive in a Fortune 500 company. But take it from her: success does not always equal happiness.

Overweight and overworked, Stephanie had a wake-up call in the form of a debilitating (and public) panic attack. She decided she could ignore her body’s signals no longer. She quit her high-paying job and left it all behind to forge a new path toward transformation and wellness.

Through trial, error, and research she found ways to identify and heal her powerful physical and emotional attachments to food. The results were nothing short of transformation. She lost 100 pounds in about a year and healed herself of her panic attacks and other health problems.

Today as a clinical nutritionist and emotional eating health coach, Stephanie helps others (especially women) break the cycle of stress and emotional eating. Her projects include the “Beyond The Food” podcast and “The Crave Cure,” which teach how to tackle food cravings holistically by aligning body, mind, and food.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • how Stephanie healed her food cravings … and lost 100 lbs!
  • the real reasons why we crave food (other than actual hunger)
  • the mind-body connection and why it matters so much
  • homeostasis: what is and why it’s essential to our bodies
  • what we really want when we crave certain foods (like chocolate)
  • why sugar makes us happy … but only in the moment
  • 7 signs of physical hunger vs. 7 signs of emotional craving
  • keys to “decoding” the body’s emotional messages about food
  • the best kind of diet for someone who struggles with emotional eating
  • why Stephanie decided to train specifically as a GAPS practitioner
  • how food labels like paleo, ketogenic, vegan, raw, etc. may actually work against healthy eating
  • realistic steps to get started today on a path to weight loss and emotional balance

How about you? Do you struggle with emotional eating? Do you think Stephanie’s advice will help?

Resources We Mention:

Podcast: Beyond the Food

The Crave Cure Program (with Free Guide)

Book: The Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Carolyn Myss

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me mention them because I have been using and loving and Instagramming their products for years. They have an amazing instant mushroom coffee.

Hear me out … I know it sounds weird! But it’s not only the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried, it’s also pretty high up on the list of best coffee I’ve tried. It has super food mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga mushrooms. And these mushrooms have some big health benefits, and especially immune benefits. I especially love them for the energy and the mental clarity without the jitters from traditional coffee. And did I mention how good it tastes?

If you aren’t a caffeine person, they also have a variety of mushroom tea and other products that don’t have the coffee so you can get the benefits without the caffeine. And I love them so much that I reached out and they agreed to give a discount to my listeners. So, go to foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and use the code “WellnessMama” to get 10% off.

This podcast is also brought to you by Thrive Market. If you live in a real food desert like I do, it can be difficult to find certain organic foods, specialty foods, or allergy-friendly foods. Thrive Market is my solution to this problem. They carry thousands of the non-perishable foods that I use most often at discount prices. I think of them as a combination of Costco, Amazon, and Whole Foods. They are online like Amazon, have a yearly membership fee to unlock discounts like Costco, and carry high quality foods like Whole Foods.

I order from them regularly and highly recommend them. Check out all of their products and grab a free jar of coconut oil here.

IF YOU WEIGH OVER 170 POUNDS, HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO LOSE WEIGHT

Struggling to shed those pesky pounds? Look no further.

If you’re not satisfied with the number you see when you step on the scale, it’s time to take action — especially if you’ve surpassed 170 pounds, an above-average weight for a woman. But make sure you’re calculating your body mass index before you start making any major lifestyle changes; taller individuals could be perfectly healthy at 170 pounds, while the same number could classify others as overweight. A BMI between 25 and 30 will give you the green light to tackle your weight loss goals with these doable daily hacks.

For those of you who have already been at it for awhile with little to no results, don’t give up yet! Take a look at the 20 Ways To Overcome A Weight Loss Plateau.

1
TURN TO TEA

woman drinking tea

Pour your way to progress by brewing mugs of green tea whenever you get a chance. Since it’s full of EGCG, a metabolism-boosting antioxidant, a daily dose of this drink will have you slimming down in no time. Researchers from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences found sharp reductions in the body weight of mice as well as improvements in their health when they consumed decaffeinated green tea and got regular exercise, even on a high-fat diet. So squeeze in one of the 5 Best Teas For Weight Loss and a little cardio every day for some serious results.

2
EAT A BIGGER BREAKFAST

omelet dishes

Yes, you read that right. It’s possible that even if you’ve never skipped a morning meal, you haven’t been eating enough of it. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, people below age 60 who consumed most of their calories early in the day were associated with a lower BMI. So keep your waist from widening by binging for breakfast and tapering off your calorie intake by the end of the day.

3
HEAT THINGS UP…

hot sauce peppers

Don’t be afraid to spice things up in the kitchen — and in the bedroom! Not only will incorporating peppers into your diet keep you reaching for that water bottle and properly hydrated, but they contain capsaicin, a metabolism-boosting chemical that burns fat. And getting busy in the bedroom can help you lose weight as well, thanks to the oxytocin hormone that is released during sex. A study by Canada’s York University and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health found that its release decreased food cravings.

4
…THEN CHILL OUT

woman in snow

Shiver your way to your success! Sleeping in colder temperatures can make your brown fat more effective, which burns through your belly fat to warm you up. In a study in Diabetes, spending the night in 66-degree temps led to almost double brown fat volumes in participants. That’s one easy way to say bye to bloat and hello to a slimmer stomach.

5
DECREASE YOUR DISH SIZE

plates and bowls

Eating less can be as easy as purchasing petite plates. Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The WellNecessities, claims that a small change like this can effectively decrease your calorie intake. “When your plate is clear, you can then re-evaluate our hunger levels mindfully before deciding if you need to dive in for seconds,” she says. That could be the difference between feeling comfortably full or suffocating in suddenly too-tight jeans.

6
GO OUT WITH A GUY

date

This one isn’t just for the ladies. Although women do order items with 15 percent fewer calories when dining with dudes, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, men follow this trend as well when they eat with other men, ordering 22 percent fewer calories. So next time you’re tempted to indulge in a cheat meal, round up a group of guy friends for dinner.

7
SKIP THE SODA

soda bottles

We’ve told you once and we’ll tell you again: cool it with the cola. Cans of soda, whether they’re diet or regular, are full of added sugars and sweeteners that wreak havoc on your body. According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, these diet-derailing drinks increase cell aging just as much as smoking does. Quit cold turkey and buy healthy seltzers and sparkling waters instead.

8
WORK THE RIGHT WAY

walking up stairs

You don’t need to have a gym membership or easy trail access to start burning extra calories — although those things do help. It’s possible to whittle them away while you’re at work with a couple quick fixes. Simply stand when you could sit or take the stairs when you could ride the elevator. It’s that easy.

9
POWDER UP BEFORE YOU POWER DOWN

protein powder

If you’ve been fasting before bed, switch things up and give this trick a try. Make a protein shake at night instead of first thing in the morning and let your body work to digest it while you sleep. Men who snacked on 30 grams of whey or casein protein before hitting the hay had a higher metabolic rate when they woke up compared to those who didn’t eat anything at all, according to research done by Florida State University.

10
GO NUTS

bowl of almonds

Whether you’re addicted to almonds or partial to pistachios, bumping up your intake of either nut can help push your BMI down. Almonds are rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that burns more fat and carbs when exercising, according to a study in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. And when researchers from the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition fed 220-calorie pretzels and 240-calorie pistachios to participants, it was the nut group that showed a BMI reduction in just four weeks.

11
LEAVE FAST FOOD IN THE PAST

drive thru

Although you might be able to dig up some healthy options at fast food chains, cooking in your own kitchen is always going to be your best bet. It’s better to grill chicken on your own than to dip mystery nuggets into ranch dressing, just as it’s better to scramble your eggs than to order a greasy egg sandwich. If you’re crunched for time and can’t resist, at the very least make some smart swaps based on this Survival Guide For 20 Fast Food Joints.

12
STOP FEARING FAT

creamer into coffee

All fats are not created equal. Yes, you should always shy away from the saturated stuff and totally avoid trans fats, but there are plenty of full-fat options that can actually benefit you. Heavy cream in a cup of black coffee, for example, keeps your blood sugar stable, according to Cassie Bjork, RD, LD. “Other creamer options, like whole, skim, and even coconut milk, can stimulate the production of your hormone insulin, which promotes weight gain and a host of inflammatory reactions,” she says. Embrace whole milk as well, which can keep you satiated longer than the fat-free cartons will.

13
PAY ATTENTION TO PROTEIN

protein spread

Not too much and not too little — trying to reach that perfect portion of protein is a fine line to walk. So instead of missing out on its calorie-burning benefits or eating so much it gets stored as fat, hit this sweet spot recommended by Jim White, RD, ACSM, and owner of Jim White Fitness Nutrition Studios. According to his fave formula, you should consume 1.2 – 1.7 grams of protein a day per kilogram of body weight, so calculate your ideal amount and get to grocery shopping.

14
GIVE IN TO GARLIC

chopped garlic

Whether you’re adding it to your pasta sauce or cooking it into potatoes, you probably need more garlic in your life. It’s far from just an anti-inflammatory bulb; according to a study in Nutrition Research and Practice, it helps lower BMI. So if you’ve got the chance, go for the garlic.

15
SUIT UP

woman red dress

Even if you’re about to eat a solo breakfast at the kitchen table, it might be a good idea to get dressed — and not just in comfy sweatpants. Clinical psychologist Katie Rickel advises weight watchers to keep their goals front and center by heading to the closet before heading to the kitchen. This simple reminder that you care about your appearance can help you eat in a way that expresses self-love.

16
STOP THE STRESS

woman stressed at desk

Working in a stressful environment isn’t just bad for your mental health, but for your physical well-being as well. According to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, people with high levels of job-related stress are 26 percent more likely to be inactive when they leave the office. This means turning on the TV, napping on the couch, and other sedentary behaviors that could lead to weight gain.

17
GET SUPPLEMENT SAVVY

supplements

Vitamins and antioxidants are naturally found in some of the foods we eat, but if you’re not taking advantage of the fresh produce at your local grocery store and stocking up on fruits and veggies, you may be missing out on the important ones. Vitamin D, for example, regulates hunger and a study in Nutrition Journal linked it to a 7 percent fat decrease; a study in the Journal of Nutrition found that a higher magnesium intake was associated with lower levels of insulin, a marker related to weight gain. Lucky for you, supplements are available to ensure that a deficiency in either area can be fixed just by popping a pill.

18
COMMIT TO CARDIO

man running

Put down the weights and pick up those running shoes. When Duke researchers had overweight or sedentary participants follow an exercise routine for eight months, the cardio group fared better and lost four pounds. The resistance training group gained two, but while those pounds showed up as muscle mass, this increase in strength didn’t lead to any significant decreases in fat. Sounds like it’s treadmill time!

19
DIAL BACK THE DRINKS…

woman wine glass

Or better yet, abstain from alcohol altogether. Just think of all the calories you’ll be cutting; when 14 New Scientist staff members attempted this for only five weeks, and their body weight decreased by 2 percent on average. Cheers to that!

20
START SQUATTING

woman squatting beach

This exercise doesn’t allow any room for excuses since you don’t have to be at the gym to drop into a squat. Carolyn Barnes, mastermind of The cLean Momma Plan, recommends incorporating them into your daily activities. You can knock squats out anytime, anywhere, but her favorite is in the kitchen while doing dishes.

21
PREP FOR PROGRESS

meal prep

If that scale isn’t budging, you might need to spend more time in the kitchen, not the gym. According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, those who spend more than an hour a day on meal prep tend to have better dietary habits. Specifically, they eat at least 8 servings of fruits and 13 of veggies every week.

22
LOOK AT LABELS

woman reading label

You can never judge a book by its cover, and you’re not supposed to judge food by its package either. Just because something says it’s “organic” or looks wholesome doesn’t mean it wants what’s best for you. The lemon chicken and arugula salad from Trader Joe’s, for example, has almost half your recommended daily dose of sodium, which you would never guess without looking at the label. Remember to check nutrition facts at restaurants as well. The Cobb Salad at Chick-Fil-A is packing over 50 grams of fat!

23
USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM

women yoga class

Don’t do it alone. Consistently going to the gym and eating clean is hard, but it could hurt a little less if you had a partner to go through it with you. And that’s not because misery loves company, but because buddying up is a fun way to stay accountable. According to Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., “Social support has been shown to help people stay on track with healthy lifestyle behaviors. You can encourage and motivate each other.”

24
HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON

woman sleeping

University of Colorado researchers found that those watching their weight ate 6 percent fewer calories when they got enough sleep, which the National Sleep Foundation defines as seven to eight hours for most adults. So stop feeling guilty about going horizontal and get some shut-eye. And when you wake up, get a move on these 15 Ways To Lose Weight Before Breakfast.