If You Hate Running but Still Want to Lose Weight, We Have Some Good News


If you've read anything about losing weight over the past few decades (and odds are, if you're reading this article, you have), then you've probably come across the conventional wisdom that cardio is necessary for burning calories and revving up your weight loss. One of the most popular forms of cardio is running; the treadmills at the gym are always packed, boutique fitness classes such as Orangetheory Fitness and Barry's Bootcamp have popularized running intervals, and half-marathons are more popular than ever.

But as much as running has been hyped for weight loss, it's certainly not the only activity you need to do to shed fat and get in shape. "Effective weight loss involves both cardio and resistance training," registered dietitian and ACSM-certified personal trainer Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, told POPSUGAR.

How to Exercise For Weight Loss

So while running is a great form of cardio, it's not the only type of cardio activity that will help you meet your goals. "Cardio would be the activities that get your heart rate up, such as walking, swimming, biking, elliptical, and jumping rope," Jim said. So as long as an activity gets your heart rate up, ideally 50 to 85 percent of your max heart rate, which is 220 bpm, it counts as a good cardio workout.

But it's not just cardio that will help you lose weight; strength training is important, too. Jim explained that resistance training is bodyweight training, lifting weights, using weight machines, or moves you would do in a fitness class, like squats. "Resistance training builds endurance and muscle," he explained. "Since muscle is the engine that burns calories when you are resting, your body can still continue to burn calories for hours after strength training."

Cardio helps you burn calories and create a calorie deficit, but it's more of a short-term activity. Strength training is more like an investment: as you burn calories during exercise, you also continue to burn more calories at rest. Armen T. Ghazarians, ACSM-certified personal trainer and CEO of Finish Fit, recommends strength training three to five times a week for weight loss, ideally at a high intensity. He added that building muscle will help you burn body fat.

How to Eat For Weight Loss

So great, you don't need to run to lose weight. But exercise is just part of the equation; weight loss requires that you eat in a calorie deficit. To find out how many calories you should eat a day to lose weight, use this formula. Jim said that while cardio may put you in a calorie deficit, it's more of a short-term solution, since strength training will help you build muscle and burn more calories at rest.

In general, your diet should also be dialed in. Scarlet Full, RDN, Director of Nutrition and Research at Axiom Foods, said that you should eat mostly whole foods and limit processed packaged foods. And while you should limit junk food, you don't need to cut it out entirely (everything in moderation!) - just make sure your diet is mostly a lot of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. She also added that protein is important for weight loss because it will keeping you feeling full and satisfied. Plus, with strength training and working out, eating protein will help you build the lean muscle to burn more calories at rest. To find out exactly how much protein you should be eating to meet your goals, use this equation.

This Expert Explains How to Exercise For Long-Term Weight Loss, and It Makes So Much Sense


You know losing weight is a concentrated effort and a lifestyle change: you have to eat healthier and in a calorie deficit, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and reduce stress. But even if you do all of the above, you still may be confused as to what type of exercise you should be doing. Isn't cardio supposed to rev up calorie burn and torch fat? But wait - doesn't strength training also build lean muscle and burn calories at rest? Which one is best?

According to personal trainer and registered dietitian Jim White, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, it's important to incorporate both cardio and strength training if you want to lose weight and keep it off for good. And while you probably knew this already, the way he explains it totally changed the way we thought about working out for long-term weight loss.

"The reason for needing both cardio and resistance training in your exercise routine is the way your body burns calories long-term," he told POPSUGAR. "Running is like a debit account (you would create a calorie deficit, but that deficit is a one-time transaction), whereas resistance training is like getting a payout from an investment account (the calories you burn during your exercise continue even after your workout ends)."

So while cardio burns calories as you do it, resistance training (such as lifting weights, bodyweight moves, or using resistance bands) helps build lean muscle in your body, which will burn more calories at rest.

For weight loss, Jim recommends 300 minutes (five hours) of cardio a week. That doesn't have to be intense cycling classes or running laps; it can be as simple as walking more or shoveling snow - anything that gets your heart rate up. You should aim to strength train at least two days a week. Looking for a good place to start? Here are our best cardio workouts and some strength-training exercises to get you on track.

These Women Each Lost 75+ Pounds by Counting Calories – Here’s How

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're trying to lose weight. With so many popular diets that people talk about or share on social media - keto, intermittent fasting, Whole30, Atkins, vegan, Paleo - it's hard to decide exactly what to do to lose the weight.

In reality, weight loss can be as simple as calories in, calories out, or CICO. We spoke to several woman who lost 75 pounds or more using this simple principle. Through tracking apps, making room for their favorite treats, and cutting out liquid calories, they were able to zero in on how many calories they should eat a day to be successful in losing weight.

Scroll through to find out some of their best calorie-counting tips. It may inspire you to start a food journal and keep track of every bite.

Get the Most Out of Your Workouts by Following This Celeb Trainer’s Advice

There are a lot of nuances that go into making a great workout. You've got to consider things like reps, sets, weight, rest time, the phase you're training in, and what the end result is. Like we said, there are a lot of nuances.

To help improve your workouts, we spoke to Gunnar Peterson, NSCA, CSCS, and MitoQ partner. Gunnar told POPSUGAR that you should train in all planes of motion to really get the most out of your sessions. He explained the three planes like this: "Sagittal, which is moving forward or backward; frontal, which is side to side; and transverse, which is rotating."

Most people tend to train in the sagittal plane - think reverse lunges and bicep curls. This isn't terrible, but Gunnar did advise doing more movements in the frontal plane with exercises like lateral lunges and lateral arm raises. He also recommends doing more exercises in the transverse plane, such as a rotational ball slam and the low to high woodchop. Why are these planes so important? Because, "Your life is in all those planes," Gunnar said.

When you rotate to put your seat belt on or grab something from the backseat, you're moving in the transverse plane. When you sit down on your couch to catch up on your favorite reality TV show, you're moving in the sagittal plan. When slide to the middle of the train (as you should!) to make more room, that's moving in the frontal plane.

The next time you hit the gym, be sure to include these three planes of motion in your workout.

These 2 Foods Curb Hunger the Best, According to This Beachbody Dietitian

Do you ever notice that after eating a big meal, you feel starving soon after? It can actually have a lot to do with what foods you eat. We asked registered dietitian and co-creator of Beachbody's 2B Mindset nutrition program, Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN, to share the best foods to eat that will make you feel less hungry.

Turns out, Mom was right: vegetables are key. "They are high in volume and weight, and fill up our stomachs, which helps us register the feeling of fullness," Ilana said. When you're hungry and sit down to eat a meal, get at least five to six bites of veggies in first. Some great choices are minestrone soup, cauliflower fried rice, baby carrots and guacamole, or roasted broccoli. It doesn't matter how it was prepared, but Ilana said that vegetables are the food group you want to be filling up on most often.

Another must for curbing hunger and helping you stay fuller longer is protein. "If you just have an apple or oatmeal for breakfast, you may feel hungry just an hour or two later. You may feel the same if you only have pasta for dinner," Ilana said. Carbs are great for giving you energy, but they won't curb your hunger the way protein does. So, have some eggs or a protein shake with your oatmeal, and add some beans or meatballs to your tomato sauce if you're having spaghetti.

Incorporating both veggies and protein into every meal and snack is a great way to keep hunger at bay. Try this for every meal for five days and see how you feel. You'll be amazed how changing what you eat, not how much, can affect your level of satiety, which can prevent cravings and mindless noshing.

If You Want to Strengthen Your Core, Try Celeb Trainer Gunnar Peterson’s 5-Move Workout

Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson - yup, the one who trains the Kardashians, Kate Beckinsale, and the Los Angeles Lakers - wants to help you improve your core workout and make it as effective as possible.

"Your core wraps around your entire body and supports you," Gunnar told POPSUGAR. He explained that when it comes to strengthening the core, most people solely focus on the rectus abdominis (commonly referred to as the six-pack) instead of the entire core (internal obliques, external obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis).

"When it comes to abs . . . there's a ton of work done in flexion and maybe at the most in extenstion," he said. According to Gunnar, this is "great" but not comprehensive. To completely work your core, Gunnar created this workout exclusivey for POPSUGAR while promoting his partnership with MitoQ. It's five moves, can be done anywhere, and will work your lower back, the top of your glutes and thighs, and obliques; what Gunnar constitutes as a complete core workout.

How to Do the "Around the World" Ab Workout

  • Toe touch: 20 reps
  • Side plank with hip dip (right side): 10 reps
  • Superman: 10 reps
  • Side plank with hip dip (left side): 10 reps
  • Plank (optional): 30, 45, or 60 seconds

Are Carbs Killing Your Metabolism? This Is What a Doctor Says

The low-carb vs. high-carb debate for anything - weight loss, athletic performance, overall better nutrition - will probably never end, but that's OK. Ultimately, it's about finding what works the best for your lifestyle, body type, and nutritional needs.

Because we know that low-carb diets like the keto diet can affect our blood sugar levels, we wanted to know how our macronutrient profile, specifically carbohydrates, can affect our metabolism. To find out more, POPSUGAR spoke to Holly Lofton, MD, director of the medical weight management program at NYU.

Related: Lose Weight and Boost Your Metabolism by Following This Doctor's 3-Step Guide

Our metabolism is a complex process that relates to how our body produces energy from fat, sugar, and protein and how it stores that energy. Usually, when people talk about metabolism, they're referring to their metabolic rate - how much energy/calories their body is able to burn in a period of time. The more energy your body is able to produce, the quicker your metabolism will be.

Foods with a smaller thermic effect (how much energy it takes for your body to burn food) require less energy to process, which means your body doesn't have to work hard to burn it. In contrast, foods with a larger thermic effect require more energy to burn and process, which means your body will work harder and burn more energy.

Related: If You Have a Slow Metabolism, an Expert Says This Is the Best Workout For Fat Loss

"A higher carbohydrate macronutrient profile likely has a smaller thermic effect of food," Dr. Lofton told POPSUGAR. Just because carbohydrates have a smaller thermic effect doesn't mean you should begin following the low-carb, high-fat keto diet right away. Eating a moderate amount of carbs won't slow down your metabolism, but "it doesn't boost it much," Dr. Lofton explained.

How many carbohydrates you need to consume a day will vary for each person and is determined by variables such as your height, weight, physical activity, and goals. Generally speaking, Dr. Lofton recommends your macronutrient split consist of a greater amount of protein and a moderate amount of carbs and fats.

If you're interested in more ways you can boost your metabolism, Dr. Lofton said to focus on building more muscle (because muscle is metabolically active and requires more energy) and to be more active in general. Here's a four-week beginner's weightlifting program you can start following to build muscle.

The Holidays Aren’t Always Happy – How to Handle Depression This Time of Year

The holiday season is supposed to be the happiest time of the year: cheery Christmas music playing everywhere you go, festive decorations on every block, holiday parties, traditions, and lots of tasty treats. But for some people, the holidays can trigger an onslaught of depressive symptoms.

Whether you struggle with depression year-round or just get blue this time of year, there are some ways you can combat these negative feelings. We spoke to mental health experts, who detailed the 11 best ways to combat holiday depression. If your mood continues to get worse or you experience any of these symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, it might be time to visit a doctor or mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or licensed therapist.

If you are depressed and need help finding help or resources, call the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (1-240-485-1001) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (1-800-950-6264).

Ever Taken an Allergy Pill to Fall Asleep? You Should Read This Important Warning

You're exhausted after a few nights of tossing and turning, yet even when you've made the effort to crash early, you just can't seem to naturally drift off to sleep. You open your bathroom cabinet and grab an antihistamine, hoping it'll make you just drowsy enough to fall asleep. Before you take it, you might think, "Should I really be doing this?"

Experts say it's actually relatively safe to take an antihistamine when you're not suffering from allergy symptoms, as long as you don't have any underlying conditions.

"Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (found in Chlor-Trimeton) can cause side effects such as rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, constipation, and urinary retention, while cetirizine (Zyrtec) may lower blood pressure," Michael Altman, MD, an associate professor of family and community medicine at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, told POPSUGAR. "These medicines tend to have a wide dosing range, so you can get into trouble if you go above and beyond a normal dose if you have underlying heart or bladder issues. If this is the case, talk to your physician before making this a habit."

You shouldn't need a sleep aid indefinitely, so work with your doctor to get to the root of your sleep issues. It's especially important to rule out conditions such as sleep apnea, in which breathing stops and starts during sleep. "Doctors don't want patients taking sleeping medications if there's an underlying condition interfering with the ability to breathe," Dr. Altman said.

This Is Why You’re Always Bloated During Travel – Here’s How to Fix It Before Your Next Trip

The process of traveling - especially during the holidays - can be extremely stressful due to traffic, flight delays, and trip cancellations. Besides testing your patience, travel can also disrupt how your body functions. Nope, we aren't talking about tight hamstrings because airlines have reduced how much leg room you have to accommodate more seats; we're talking about your digestive system.

Not exactly the icebreaker conversation you'll want to have with your seatmates, but it's important to know how travel impacts your digestion. To understand how that cross-country flight is messing with your stomach, making you bloated, gassy, and constipated, POPSUGAR spoke to Samantha Nazareth, a double board-certified gastroenterologist in New York City.

"Most people are traveling for hours on end, and not really moving a whole lot. As soon as we sit and don't move, that slows down the movements inside of us called peristalsis," Dr. Nazareth said. Peristalsis is wave-like muscle contractions that are responsible for moving the food you eat from your esophagus to your stomach and your intestines, and eventually, you've got to go number two.

Getting up throughout your flight or stopping at a rest stop to shake out your legs may help slightly, but if you really want to avoid constipation and other stomach discomfort, Dr. Nazareth recommends the following three pieces of advice - and they're easy to do.