How Can I Lose my Love Handles and Belly?

18 posts in this topic

I've been frustrated with my love handles and belly for quite some time, and it seems like they're never going to go away (I look like I'm three months pregnant when I'm not wearing a baggy shirt, and even those only work when I'm sucking it in). In fact, it feels like they're getting worse, and have been ever since college (even though I feel like I eat at least a little healthier now - though the fact that I now have to eat three meals a day instead of two due to getting up before noon may be an issue). With my latest dose increase of E, it will likely be even harder to lose weight.

Here's the thing... I don't exercise. At all. Never have (I've never even remotely been in shape in my life). In many ways it's surprise that I'm only a little bit overweight instead of obese. I can't really think of any form of exercise that I like. I don't want to have to leave my apartment... or carve out time, for that matter. I have been starting to take the stairs at work to get SOME kind of physical activity in my sedentary day, but we're moving to the first floor soon, and climbing up to the sixth floor every morning IS very exhausting... I want to collapse when I get to the top. I've always wanted to try gymnastics, but until SRS, I don't think I'll look very good in a leotard (plus leotards show off fat, and I'd probably need to improve my strength/flexibility first).

Plus I'm a picky eater with little ability to cook and addictions to her favorite foods. If I try to cut something out, or even reduce portions, I start getting massive cravings.

Since diet is a major component, I've posted what I eat below, in terms of six days, since that's how often I go grocery shopping (the eggs and bagels both last six days and the bread lasts nine, so it works perfectly).

Breakfast (~7:50 AM weekdays, variable weekends): two XL (I'm going to try downsizing to L since my morning appetite seems to be gone; not sure if that's because of spring allergies, my volatile depressive state, and/or my last HRT dose increase) fried eggs, two slices of wheat toast, glass of grape juice (since orange juice gives me gas; I have water with all other meals)

Lunch (12:30 PM weekdays, variable weekends): wheat bagel sandwich with smart balance, light mayo, and three slices of turkey (or ham when I get tired of the turkey)

Dinner (~6:00 PM, +/- an hour): this one varies more, I've put the main possibilities below

-Pasta (2x/week if I do it due to grocery shopping): 1.5 cups wheat pasta, 3/4 cup peas, 1/2 package of Perdue carved chicken (~4.5 oz), alfredo sauce

-Hot dogs (2x/week if I do it due to grocery shopping): 4 hot dots (I am strongly considering reducing this to three now that my appetite is more under control, though it may unbalance my grocery shopping), 3/4 cup mixed vegetables (adding more to reduce the hot dogs probably wouldn't help... I've tried adding veggies to reduce other portions without success, probably because my body doesn't digest them properly... they just go in one end and then come out the other a few days later untouched)

-Tacos (2x/week if I do it due to grocery shopping, usually two weeks in a row to use up the package of shells): 2 tacos (1/4 lb meat each with sour cream and cheddar cheese), 3/4 cup mixed vegetables

-Pizza and wings takeout (every Saturday I'm in town, in the spirit of my parents' tradition of going to get pizza at a local restaurant every week)

-Dibella's sub (

-French break pizza with 3/4 cup mixed vegetables

-New York Breadsticks with Souffer's Chicken Parm (the breadsticks are addicting but I go through phases with this one as I don't always keep marinara sauce around)

-Kraft garlic mac and cheese, bagel bites

So basically I have four days of my regular dinner rotation and then just picking what food cravings I have in that particular week. I'm not really good with cooking, don't have a tendency to try new things, and my cravings can get powerful if not addresses (though some are stronger than others). So I'm not really sure what to do, but I know this isn't working.

I know there isn't much in the way of fruit and vegetables, but the fruit I like is mainly applesauce (which gives me gas) and bananas (which I can't have regularly due to spiro), and I'm not into vegetables much (they never appealed to me at all). And trust me, I really did manage to eat worse than this in the past.

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This may not help you Valerie but when i changed my diet to a vegetarian low fat diet due to heart disease 5 years ago i've become more sedentary but at the same time have lost 30+ pounds while eating a lot. I am active on the farm but no longer running around. Walking briskly is affecting my heart. It turns out that what the body stores as fat is from the fat we consume. Most cheeses, hot dogs, eggs and ham are mostly fat. That's one reason they appeal so much.

Maybe you could take a good look at your intake of foods high in fat and cutback on those.



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Valerie, good work on trying to get the weight off - generally the largest factor we can control in our health. I got serious about it 90 lbs ago, kept it off for 3 years, it is so worth the effort.

One thing I would note on your listing is to lose the sauces, incredible amounts of fat and calories, especially alfredo. I don't drink fruit juice anymore due to empty carbs, but I love v8 and the fruit n veggie smoothies from bolthouse or naked - just pass on the ones that are mostly apple juice.

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I can get rid of the pasta (in fact, after this week is a good time, as I'll actually be out of both alfredo sauce and pasta at the same time for once), but I'd need something to fill in. Lack of meal ideas is certainly an issue here. Anything more complicated than "buy pre-cut ingredients, heat up as needed, assemble" is out of my cooking abilities. I tried using SmartOnes/Souffers microwavable foods with a thing of chicken noodle soup paired with veggies, but the containers attract ants to the recycle bin, it didn't seem to do much of anything on its own, and I was driving myself nuts). Thankfully climbing up the stairs every morning does seem like it's starting to have an effect, though I'm not sure what I'll do when we move to the first floor.

Honestly, I'm getting bored of the sandwiches, but lack of ideas, picky eating, combined with wanting the simplicity of not having to constantly shop (as I did with salads, which are only good for a couple of days after buying, plus I got tired of them FAST), preparing something the previous night, keeping it in the fridge (or out), and not having to reheat is VERY attractive

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I'm with ya on easy cooking!

2 micro-faves are egg rolls (chicken or veggie) and ham and cheese breakfast burritos (instead of pastries).

Low fat cheese on whole wheat crackers.

I love the natural peanut butter, but dang, the fat. I pour out about half the oil from the jar.

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There are only two fundamental ways to lose weight, outside of surgical solutions.

1. Burn more calories than you eat (exercise)

2. Eat less calories than you burn (diet)

You can combine these. But there's also the kind of calories you eat. Sugar? Bread? You're bouncing your insulin levels all over and actually telling your body to store that stuff as fat.

You appear to neither want to diet nor exercise, so I don't know what to tell you. But you must respect the above two biological processes. That's how we lose (or inverse, gain) weight. It's that simple for most of us.

NOTE: This does not include discussions of separate medical issues that may cause excessive weight gain or loss, which should be addressed with a physician. But 99% of us don't have real medical issues with weight. We just eat too much or exercise too little.

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After eating breakfast today and finding that even reducing to large eggs still overwhelms my reduced appetite, I've decided to reduce from two slices of toast to just one (eliminating it entirely makes me feel like I'm starving). I can eliminate the grape juice too, but that would put me at 0 with fruit (FYI, the grape juice I use is the one labeled "no high fructose corn syrup"). I think I'll cut many of the dinners too (my reduced appetite and seemingly increasing lactose intolerance, which used to be mild enough to only preclude drinking a glass of milk every day, but is now causing more issues, is forcing me to re-evaluate some things anyways). Tacos stay in for the near term though - need to get rid of the sour cream and cheese (probably 2 weeks after this one). But without anything to replace it with, I'll have to go back to the microwavable foods. Hopefully with my reduced appetite I won't drive myself nuts this time - but karma means that then the appetite change was just spring allergies.

I honestly do need to try more foods (the amount of stuff I'm familiar with is painfully low for someone my age), but I'm not naturally inclined to do so on my own. It helps when I have someone to draw me out of my routine. But my picky eating is definitely an issue on top of that. One of the reasons why I rarely try new things is because I'm less likely than the average person to like them, much less want to eat them all the time.

And yes, getting me to change my life is very hard. Usually changes in my life are forced or inspired by a friend. Not just diet/exercise, but everything.

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Hi, ValerieD. I thought I could give me a pinch of what I know. As someone who's working on dropping from 234lb to (hopefully and at least) 175, I'll tell you something ... diet is important, but exercise is absolutely necessary - not just about losing some weight (even if it's as much as 10 pounds), but improving your health on the long run.

The thing about dieting, is that (in my opinion), you gotta change your whole world around it. Things like pasta, pizza, hot dogs and whatever are no good. High levels of fat, sodium and refined carbs, which like LizMarie said, leads to insulin peaks, which is not only bad as insulin is an anabolic hormone, but it could have more serious consequences in the long run as well. Think of fresh vegetables, fruits with low glycemic index, low-fat meats.

I've been to USA and I know it's TOUGH to diet living in there...but the good thing is, you guys have all kinds of food avaliable. And also the most amazing strawberries and blueberries XD

Consider seeing a nutritionist to help you out. And consider seriously on exercising. it WILL improve your well being, mood, will boost up your metabolism (so its tougher to gain weight) and prevent heart diseases.

Hope I've been of any help ;)

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I've been walking up the stairs at work twice a day for a month or two now. There must be some kind of difference, because it's a lot easier to get all the way to the sixth floor and my appetite has increased. Sometimes I feel thinner, but not always.

I've bought a book on 15 minute workouts... of course, actually starting them is another matter. I'm not sure when I'll overcome my inertia, but it's on my todo list.

As for diet... that's another challenge due to my picky eating and food cravings.

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I read something in the past few days. The article was geared towards females but I think could definitely ring true in most cases revolving around diets. It said that most women focus what what they CAN'T eat and men concentrate on what they CAN eat. You mentioned you didn't think you could cut out the toast completely. When I first started cutting carbs and refined sugar, that was all I craved, but the cravings do go away to a degree. I also joined Weight Watchers and as a result I haven't cut out a single thing from my diet, I just shifted when I ate it. I am olny doing the online version but after about 5 weeks (but I started losing before joining) I have lost about 19 pounds so far and I have not increased by activity level at all. I know at some point I will hit a plateau and will need to exercise to kick it back in, but so far I am about 20% to my goal of losing 100 pounds.

Please don't get me wrong, I know exercise is needed and am not trying to say it is not needed at all. As previously mentioned it is for overall better health, I am simply saying you can begin your journey without jumping right to a restrictive diet and running to the gym.

Best of Luck,


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Looking at your diet.... it is rather poor.

For the past 7 months( maybe more I have kinda lost track) I have been working out and dieting, I have lost 27lbs of body fat and gained 22 lbs of muscle mostly in my legs and butt. The thing is though I am not cutting my calories I eat some where around 2600 to 3200 calories a day every day.

The problem with low calorie diets is they burn more muscle than they do fat.When you see " based on a 2000 calorie a day diet" on food packaging. The average persons body at rest will consume about 2000 calories a day for things like breathing and pumping your blood and running your immune system. Important biological functions obviously. When you cut your diet to under 2000 cal your body will start burning muscle long before it starts burning fat and the reason being fat has a very poor nutritional value a lot of the junk in the junk food we eat is stored there. Your muscles on the other hand have evvvvvery thing your body needs to survive and survive well Protein glutamine fatty amino acids glucose lycene. Your body fat is usually saved for extreme starvation emergencies. Now here is why Calorie deficit diets usually fail. When your body uses up most of the nutrients it can safely take from your muscles it begins burning the fat in your body....since it is all junk that it is burning you begin to feel tired less motivated you start to get food cravings as your body starts seeking sources of nutrients. You step on the scale and see that you have lost 10=15 pounds mission complete diet over. When in reality you lost 10 pounds of muscle and 5 pounds of fat.


Now there is no way to spot lose body fat the human body loses fat evenly through out the body( some lose it faster in other places ) To be successful at your diet you want to right out of the gate have your body doing the goal it is you have set for it to do, in your case lose more body fat.

First packaged food, turn the pack over and look at the nutritional facts on the back where it says "amount preserving " below that it will say calories. I will use yoplait yogurt as an example on the back it says "calories 150" on the left, on the right it says " calories from fat 15" the number on the right is the far far more important calorie information, calories from fat means that those 15 calories are more likely to be stored on you body as fat  and are subtracted from the 150. Yoplait yogurt is then considered lean calories meaning it has very little diatary saturated fat. The closer those two number become the unhealthier the food is like the hotdawgs in my fridge " calories 190","calories from fat 120" that means 120 of those 190 calories are being stored on my body as fat.


Another thing most people neglect even those simply trying to lose body fat is protein... protein protein protein. One of the primary reasons your body will burn your muscle instead of body fat first is for its protein content. Protien is needed for nearly every bodily function and the average human needs 35-50 grams of it every day. which on average most only get 15 to 25 grams under normal conditions and those that crash diet usually get far less. with out it your energy levels drop your motivation drops ... your diet fails.

If I was trying to lose more body fat an average diet for me for the day would look something like this .


1/2 hass avocado with 2 slices weat toast or 2 tbps all natural peanut butter on two slices of wheat bread "iron woman" multi ,1 gram glutamin supplement 8 oz bcaa fruit punch flavored powder( I recommend the multi vitamin for any one . the glutamine and the BCAA you really only need that if you are working out )  

mid morning snack

  other half of avocado . or ( if I am at work protein bar ) If I am not at work protein shake ( look for something with at least 15 grams of protein per serving.


If I am at home large salad with shredded cheese two table spoons of bacon bits slice portabella mushrooms either two hard boild eggs,or shredded chicken and light ranch( worst salad dressing ever for weight loss... but I can't help it I LOVE IT SO MUCH) if I am at work  deli sliced turkey with american cheese and light mayo two sliced wheat bread.


Late snack I can take it or leave it . If I take it, It usually is fruits of some type, apple banana straw berries grapes. or a protein bar.


Now this can vary greatly because I make so much stuff. Salmon steaks and chiken breast shrimp are all a steeple of my diets lo fat high protein they are cheapish . If I am to tired or in a hurry 6 inch tuna sub from sub way tuna mayo letus and cheese on a wheat roll. ooooor the only pre packaged meal I condone , stouffer fit meals. They are relatively new I think but as pre packaged meals go you can't do much better most are tasty have atleast 27 grams of protein and balanced carbs and vitamins and there are usually deals 2 for 5 and such my freezer is loaded with them.

Late snack is almost always yogurt I prefer greek 100 calories 12 grams of protein.


Now I eat alot of things and this is just a sample of my diet. But this meal plan for this day has a healthly lean calorie intake off the top of my head 2300, plenty of protein and should keep you from being hungery. add in some exercise a brisk 20 minute walk and you should lose 1-2 pounds of body fat a week.


The word diet is often times seen as a bad word all diet really means is what fuel you are putting into your body. And alot of people think a diet means only letuce and carrots. which is not true. Like I said ideally for me no less than 2000 calories a day and there are many tasty ways to eat healthier look at the web for meal plans.

At work  one day me and one of my "work friends" were looking at our calorie tracking apps. She said oh I may have to skip lunch to hit my 1800 calorie limit at dinner. I said huh, I may have to eat another turkey sandwich to hit my calorie goal. She was like , Why whats yours ? I said 3000 . she was like :blowup:since then I helped her with her diet she has lost 18lbs and looks great and is still with it.

Happy dieting :)




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As a gym owner with a certification in Fitness Nutrition, I can say you are absolutely right! Too many people think low calorie is the way to go, when in all actuality getting enough of the right type of calories is more important. Food is fuel first and foremost. If you don't get enough, you can't function well on a day to day basis. The key is eating the right types of food. 1000 calories of Froot Loops and a 1000 calories of fruits are completely different and will be used differently by your body.

Eating right and exercising (yes, I mean lifting weights) will build muscle, which will in turn burn fat. Lean muscle is sexy and healthy looking and will help your clothes  fit better. Pay more attention to how you feel and how you look, than to what you weigh.

Good for you for knowing the difference!

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instead of just cutting things out, have you tried Adding certain foods instead? Coconut oil springs to mind right away, it`s been known (and tested) that adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your daily intake can lose you a good inch around that area you`re concerned with in about 2 months without you having to alter a thing! :)

here`s the first google hit for "coconut oil weight loss" :

and I think it tastes pretty yummy too.


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On 9/20/2016 at 7:49 AM, AshleighP said:

As a gym owner with a certification in Fitness Nutrition, I can say you are absolutely right! Too many people think low calorie is the way to go, when in all actuality getting enough of the right type of calories is more important. Food is fuel first and foremost. If you don't get enough, you can't function well on a day to day basis. The key is eating the right types of food. 1000 calories of Froot Loops and a 1000 calories of fruits are completely different and will be used differently by your body.

Eating right and exercising (yes, I mean lifting weights) will build muscle, which will in turn burn fat. Lean muscle is sexy and healthy looking and will help your clothes  fit better. Pay more attention to how you feel and how you look, than to what you weigh.

Good for you for knowing the difference!

There are so many myths about diet and exercise that it is no wonder so many struggle to lose weight or achieve their fitness goals. I have spent as much time dispelling myths as I have in the gym and diet is definitely the least understood by those undertaking this goal and it is the biggest point of failure or success. 


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One of my In-Laws is a dietician. As she says, everything in moderation. I do need to figure out how to exercise more though.....:rolleyes:

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Too bad you aren't just a littl closer Marcie. I would love to help. We could trade personal training for makeup 💄 tips. 🤗

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I try and get a few 30 minute walks each week, other than that it is just dancing at home when the mood strikes me. I wish you were closer too. We could hang out more!

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I'm joining planet fitness as soon as I get forty dollars, and I'm going to a newtritionist as soon asIcan reschedule my appointment.

I live iin Cali so it's free and the jym membership is monthly so I don't haveto make a commitment which is good.

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