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 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.

Advice From Women Who Lost From 20 to 130 Pounds Following WW Program

WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, has emerged as one of the most popular ways for people to lose weight, adopt healthier habits, and transform their lives. And it's no wonder why - millions of people have found success on the program. If you're thinking about joining WW, we've compiled some insider tips on how to make the most out of it and get the results you want.

All of these women have not only lost weight, from 20 to more than 130 pounds, but completely changed their lifestyles after starting WW. Although these women all used previous iterations of the program (dubbed Weight Watchers at the time), their tips and tricks are still applicable for the new WW. So take it straight from these inspiring people who prove you can get as much out of WW as you put in.

Related: The Power of Social Media Fueled This Woman to Weight-Loss Success

Want an Easy Tip For Losing Weight? A Beachbody Dietitian Says Do This Before Every Meal

In order to maximize your weight loss, when you sit down to eat a meal, do you ever think, "What should I eat first?" Registered dietitian and co-creator of Beachbody's 2B Mindset nutrition program Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN, has the simple answer.

"Rather than food right away, I recommend that each meal start with drinking water first," Ilana said. Aim to drink 16 ounces of water before reaching for your first bite of food. To help you remember, when you sit down to eat, make sure you have a big water bottle or two eight-ounce glasses. Ilana said you may find yourself feeling fuller and slimmer in just a few days.

Maya Feller, MS, RD, of Maya Feller Nutrition, who works with patients who need weight management, added that "there is some research that supports the statement that drinking water prior to a meal may result in a decrease in energy intake and therefore mild to moderate weight loss."

Related: I Drank a Gallon of Water a Day For 3 Weeks (and Why I'll Never Do It Again)

Fitness trainer Bob Harper agrees. "Water intake is, I believe, one of the best weight-loss tips that you can do," Bob said in an Instagram video as part of a series he calls #TwoCupsIn. He added that if you're feeling hungry, you should drink water first. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so while drinking water before you eat can help you feel full at meals, it's also important to stay hydrated throughout your day. It will help keep energy levels up and prevent headaches, which can be reasons people reach for extra snacks, which leads to weight gain. I'll cheers to that!

If You’ve Hit a Weight-Loss Plateau, This Could Be Why

So you're hitting the gym every day, tracking your food, and getting plenty of sleep, but the scale still won't budge - what gives? If you have been losing weight steadily but suddenly find the scale stuck at a standstill, you could be in a weight-loss plateau.

As personal trainer and fitness coach Sam Frohlich (@sam_xceedfit) explained in an Instagram post, there could be several reasons you are stuck:

  • You dropped calories too quickly or by too much: Although eating in a calorie deficit is important, if you eat too few calories or drop too quickly, it could slow down your metabolism and backfire.
  • You haven't changed your training plan: It's important to find activity you like, but if you don't mix it up, your body will become complacent.
  • You don't count sneaky calories: Every handful of M&M's, teaspoon of nut butter, and bite of your partner's food adds up.
  • You've become content: If you started your weight-loss journey with tons of energy and enthusiasm but find yourself slacking off, it could impede your progress.

Sam said to "basically do the opposite of the things in this infographic." Be mindful of everything you eat, and track every single bite. You should still be within your daily calorie target (to find out what that should be for weight loss, use this formula). If you mostly do cardio for workouts, incorporate strength training. And if you have lost your weight-loss mojo, here are some tips to stay motivated.

Keto and Intermittent Fasting Dominated 2018 – Here’s Why They Are So Damn Popular

You couldn't open up social media or attend a family function this year without someone mentioning one (or both) of the biggest diet crazes: intermittent fasting (IF) and the keto diet. But it's not just your cousin or fitness instructor who practices them; they have major celeb followings, too. Halle Berry, Vanessa Hudgens, and LeBron James all credit keto for their fit frames, while Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, and Jimmy Kimmel all swear by intermittent fasting.

And they're not just buzzwords; these approaches to eating, which each have a fervent following, have helped countless people lose weight and transform their lives. While both diets can be done simultaneously, they are wildly different. We broke down the ins and outs of each diet, including what (and when) you can eat, what to avoid, and how to do it successfully.

As of now, it looks like there's no slowing down on these crazes into 2019. If either of them appeal to you, keep reading to find out how to incorporate keto and/or IF into your life.

Related: 15 Women Whose Bodies Completely Transformed From Intermittent Fasting

Feeling Puffy and Bloated? Try These 8 Tips From Dietitians to Lose Water Weight

Your face is puffy, you can't get your rings off your fingers, and your pants feel tight. No, you didn't gain 10 pounds of fat overnight; it's probably just water weight. Our bodies can retain water for a number of reasons, including what you ate the night before or if you're on your period.

Although you may be uncomfortable, the good news is you can combat the bloat. We tapped registered dietitians who reveal their top eight tips for losing water weight and feeling lighter and slimmer in no time. If you still feel like you're retaining water after a few days, be sure to visit your doctor.

Not Into Counting Calories? Follow These 9 Tips Instead and Still Lose Fat

When you start reducing your calories to create a healthy calorie deficit, you may start to feel hungry as you adjust to your new calorie intake. You don't want to ignore physical cues of hunger such as dizziness, headaches, the inability to concentrate, and extreme fatigue, but one of the reasons people struggle to lose weight is because they don't eat satiating meals and instead allow themselves to feel hungry all day. This isn't sustainable and such restriction often ends in binge-eating or giving up.

Fitness and lifestyle coach Marci Nevin (@marcinevin on Instagram) posted nine simple, easy-to-follow eating tips to lose fat without the tediousness of having to count calories. She said that while counting calories ensures more accuracy in knowing if you're reaching your calorie goal, calorie counting isn't for everyone. Here's how you can still shed body fat "without meticulously counting every calorie."

If You Are Addicted to Sugar and Need to Lose Weight, Bright Line Eating Could Be the Answer

Do you think about food and dieting all day long? Are you the type of person who eats one brownie but can't stop thinking about them and ends up eating half the pan? Have you tried losing weight for years without success? It's so exhausting, isn't it? The goods news is, it's not your fault, and the better news is, there's a solution.

Inspired by her own issues with drug addiction, food addiction, and weight gain, Susan Pierce Thompson, a psychology professor with a PhD in brain and cognitive sciences, studied why certain people's brains block them from losing weight. From her research in neuroscience, psychology, and biology, she developed a system called Bright Line Eating.

In her book, the entire first half explains how our brains work and the science behind why people who are desperate to lose weight fail again and again. Certain people are more vulnerable to their brain sabotaging their weight-loss goals. You can take this susceptibility quiz to see how your brain is wired to respond to food (I'm a 10 on the scale!).

She explains how we can lose weight by working with the brain in three ways: building in habits to take the load off of willpower, lowering insulin levels to bring leptin (the "I'm full" hormone) back on board, and replenishing dopamine to eliminate cravings.

Susan says there is only one long-term, sustainable solution, and it's the core principles of Bright Line Eating. They include four "bright lines," which are clear, unambiguous boundaries (or lines) you don't cross, just like a nonsmoker doesn't smoke or a former alcoholic abstains from drinking. Keep reading to learn the four bright lines.