The 5 Best Ways To Lose Belly Fat

About 12 years ago, Donna kicked off the journey of a lifetime. Weighing in at almost 300 pounds, she was tired of being overweight and not being able to fully be there for her son. So she started to slowly change her habits, and even though it took her a long time to lose the weight, she did it in a way that was sustainable and effective. Now she's a fitness trainer and a motivational speaker, and she's helping many other women get healthy and lose weight. We're amazed by her story! Read on for more.

POPSUGAR: When did you start your weight-loss journey?

Donna Elle: I began my weight-loss journey 12 years ago. My goal was not only to lose the weight, but to keep it off as well. I was introduced to D1 Training 10 years ago. At that point I had already lost 40 pounds and I was looking for something to keep me motivated. My D1 Training family helped me get to my fitness goal of losing 100 pounds.

PS: What made you decide to?

DE: I was a woman with a big personality and I was tired of being overweight. Throughout my life, food was my addiction, like alcohol or drugs are to some. I used to 'smoke a pack of cookies' every night. I believed there was more for me and other women out there. Especially as a mom of a young son at the time, I believed my son Brandon deserved the best me possible. The main thing that sparked my decision to share my journey and strive to motivate others was at the time my aunt passed from colon cancer. She gave me advice before she died that I needed to make women feel important during my classes and help them find their strength.

PS: How much weight have you lost so far?

DE: In the past I had lost weight and gained it back soon after. I have lost 100 pounds and kept it off for 12 years by taking D1 Training classes, doing half marathons and marathons, and working out with my family. My biggest motivator is my mom!

PS: How did you do it? Did you follow a specific diet?

DE: I began doing Weight Watchers. I initially needed someone to hold me accountable. I don't deprive myself of the foods I like. My motto is moderation NOT elimination. I eat what I love and treat myself with a meal and dessert once a week. I mostly focus on keeping my diet within calories and find apps like MyFitnessPal extremely helpful.

PS: Did you do a specific workout type or schedule?

DE: Of course! I work out at D1 Training twice a week, teach my bootcamp class called Donna's D.I.V.A.S. twice a week at D1 Training, train for half-marathons and full marathons, do Zumba, and complete my own workouts at the gym. I work out no less than 5-6 times a week. 

PS: What are some non-scale victories you've experienced?

DE: I have ran 10 half-marathons, one marathon, an uncountable number of 5Ks and 10Ks, and I have motivated thousands of women nationwide. I share my story and journey as a public speaker.

PS: How do you stay motivated?

DE: I move for those who can't! I move for people that might be handicapped, people going through difficult life circumstances, or people who are just not living their best life. I have been there. I do this to feel my best, and create the best life for myself and my family. My mom is my motivation. She has always encouraged me to move, and now that I love it and can help others, I stay motivated.

PS: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?

DE: I'm an active career woman on the move, so yes I do eat out, but I try to make the best choices.

Breakfast: Boiled egg and oatmeal

Snack: Belita bar and fruit

Lunch: Salad or turkey sandwich and chips

Snack: Soup and salad

Dinner: Meat and vegetable

Treats on one day of the weekend

PS: Any advice or tips for people on their own journey?

DE: Being healthy is a lifestyle. Everything you did to lose the weight you must continue to keep off the weight. For example, if you begin working out five days a week, and eating in moderation, you have to KEEP that lifestyle. If you fall off, don't be too hard on yourself! Find a workout routine that you LOVE. If you find a workout you enjoy, working out will be something you look forward to instead of dreading it. Don't rush. If you lose it fast, you can't maintain it. To keep it off do it slow and steady. Have a team or accountability partners that will keep you motivated. I found this within my D1 Training family and my biological family as well. Focus on doing this for yourself. This is your new lifestyle and you should have your family embrace it as well.

PS: Anything else you want to share?

DE: I have been successful because I love helping and motivating people to feel their best and in order for you to have a win in life you have to be your best then help others around you! I believe surrounding yourself with positive people will allow you to be your best.

Slideshow: 18 ways to change your body in 2018 (Provided by PopSugar) 

  • Slide 1 of 19: <p>If your goal is to strengthen and sculpt your muscles, lean down body fat, and just look overall toned and amazing, then <a href=follow these tips that will change how your body looks and feels.

    Related
    A 12-Month "I Am Strong" Challenge Better Than Any New Year's Resolution" data-src='{"default":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6nTI.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f"}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="If your goal is to strengthen and sculpt your muscles, lean down body fat, and just look overall ton... - POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock">
  • Slide 2 of 19: <p><a href=Strength training, whether it's with weights or with bodyweight exercises, is what will tone your muscles, but in order to see results, you need to commit to 20- to 30-minute sessions at least three times a week.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6nTJ.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=363&y=322"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Strength training, whether it's with weights or with bodyweight exercises, is what will tone your mu... - POPSUGAR Photography">
  • Slide 3 of 19: <p>Do 60-minute heart-pumping cardio workouts five times a week if your <a href="/search/goal is to lose weight">goal is to lose weight</a>. </p>
  • Slide 4 of 19: <p>Play with speed to keep your muscles guessing. Lift slowly and lower quickly, or pause in the middle of the rep. This works for bodyweight moves, too, like <a href="/search/squats">squats</a> and <a href="/search/push-ups">push-ups</a>. </p>
  • Slide 5 of 19: <p>Maybe you're itching to get a six-pack or a lifted booty, but working one area will cause muscle imbalances, which can lead to injury. Also, the more muscle mass you create overall, the more calories you'll burn, which <a href=decreases your total body-fat percentage to reveal your sculpted muscles. Work your legs, butt, abs, back, and arms equally, and try these multitasking moves that work more than one part of the body at once.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6d4q.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Maybe you're itching to get a six-pack or a lifted booty, but working one area will cause muscle imb... - POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd">
  • Slide 6 of 19: <p>Aside from <a href=reducing belly fat, doing intervals will also build endurance and increase your speed. But intervals aren't just for running! Do sprinting bursts during all types of cardio, whether you're cycling, jumping rope, dancing, or swimming - it also works for all types of cardio machines.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6i9m.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Aside from reducing belly fat, doing intervals will also build endurance and increase your speed. Bu... - POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone">
  • Slide 7 of 19: <p>Don't just stand there doing biceps curls when you could be doing squats to tone your lower body at the same time. Make your workout time more efficient by doing <a href=exercises that work more than one part of the body.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6i9p.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=426&y=345"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Don't just stand there doing biceps curls when you could be doing squats to tone your lower body at ... - POPSUGAR Photography">
  • Slide 8 of 19: <p>The <a href="/search/incline works your legs and butt more">incline works your legs and butt more</a> and makes you work harder so you burn more calories. As a bonus, <a href="/search/doing hills">doing hills</a> will also increase your endurance and speed when running or biking on flat surfaces, which will encourage longer workouts. </p>
  • Slide 9 of 19: <p>Doing the same old workouts not only gets boring, but your muscles will adapt and you'll hit a plateau. Try mixing up your routine by <a href=using different pieces of equipment, checking out new fitness classes or activities, working out in different places like in the woods or at a rock climbing gym, or even just mixing up the exercises you do or the order in which you do them. A little change will fire up your mind and also challenge your muscles in different ways, making them stronger.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6vjA.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=519&y=192"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Doing the same old workouts not only gets boring, but your muscles will adapt and you'll hit a plate... - POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock">
  • Slide 10 of 19: <p>Short on time? The average person burns 400 calories in 20 minutes when doing kettlebell exercises. Try these seven <a href="/search/kettlebell moves">kettlebell moves</a>. </p>
  • Slide 11 of 19: <p>Push yourself to go five extra minutes - <a href=you'll burn close to 50 calories more.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6nTX.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Push yourself to go five extra minutes - you'll burn close to 50 calories more. - POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart">
  • Slide 12 of 19: <p>Don't just lift dumbbells. Explore all types of equipment including resistance bands, kettlebells, stability balls, medicine balls, and barbells, as well as <a href=moves that require no equipment.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6qog.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Don't just lift dumbbells. Explore all types of equipment including resistance bands, kettlebells, s... - POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart">
  • Slide 13 of 19: <p>Save time and burn more calories by doing supersets, working opposing muscle groups back-to-back, and moving quickly from one exercise to the next without resting. </p>
  • Slide 14 of 19: <p>Get more out of your workout time by combining strength training and cardio into one workout for serious metabolic conditioning. Try this <a href="/search/30-minute workout">30-minute workout</a> that mixes jumping rope with bodyweight exercises. </p>
  • Slide 15 of 19: <p>Running is easy and popular, but if you only run, you're working the same muscles. Do different types of cardio throughout the week, or you can even mix up cardio machines within a workout to target different muscles and keep your workout exciting. This <a href=workout combines the rowing machine, elliptical, and treadmill.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6jw1.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="Running is easy and popular, but if you only run, you're working the same muscles. Do different type... - POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart">
  • Slide 16 of 19: <p>Bodyweight exercises are shown to burn more calories than moves that use dumbbells - think full-body exercises like <a href="/search/push-ups">push-ups</a> vs. bench presses. </p>
  • Slide 17 of 19: <p>Work harder by creating instability. Stand on one leg, or <a href="/search/balance on a BOSU ball">balance on a BOSU ball</a> or stability ball while doing strength-training moves. </p>
  • Slide 18 of 19: <p>Don't just stick to five-pound dumbbells. Lifting heavier weights, whether it's dumbbells, medicine balls, or barbells, will tone your muscles faster without adding bulk. </p>
  • Slide 19 of 19: <p>If your goal is to have long and lean, toned, and flexible muscles, commit to doing yoga at least twice a week. Practicing in a heated room will allow your muscles to open even deeper, but if you can't get to a studio, do this <a href=yoga sequence at home. Staying supple will also prevent injury, so you'll be able to keep up with your weekly workouts.

    " data-src='{"default":{"load":"wait","src":"//img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBF6qox.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f"}}' role="presentation" src="http:////static-entertainment-eas-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/sc/9b/e151e5.gif" title="If your goal is to have long and lean, toned, and flexible muscles, commit to doing yoga at least tw... - POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson">
>Full screen 1/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock

18 ways to change your body in 2018

If your goal is to strengthen and sculpt your muscles, lean down body fat, and just look overall toned and amazing, then follow these tips that will change how your body looks and feels.

2/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography

Strength Train 3 Times a Week

Strength training, whether it's with weights or with bodyweight exercises, is what will tone your muscles, but in order to see results, you need to commit to 20- to 30-minute sessions at least three times a week.

3/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

Cardio 5 Times a Week

Do 60-minute heart-pumping cardio workouts five times a week if your goal is to lose weight.

4/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography

Fast, Slow, and Everything in Between

Play with speed to keep your muscles guessing. Lift slowly and lower quickly, or pause in the middle of the rep. This works for bodyweight moves, too, like squats and push-ups.

5/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd

Don't Just Target Trouble Zones

Maybe you're itching to get a six-pack or a lifted booty, but working one area will cause muscle imbalances, which can lead to injury. Also, the more muscle mass you create overall, the more calories you'll burn, which decreases your total body-fat percentage to reveal your sculpted muscles. Work your legs, butt, abs, back, and arms equally, and try these multitasking moves that work more than one part of the body at once.

6/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

Mix Up Your Interval Training

Aside from reducing belly fat, doing intervals will also build endurance and increase your speed. But intervals aren't just for running! Do sprinting bursts during all types of cardio, whether you're cycling, jumping rope, dancing, or swimming - it also works for all types of cardio machines.

7/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography

Multitask

Don't just stand there doing biceps curls when you could be doing squats to tone your lower body at the same time. Make your workout time more efficient by doing exercises that work more than one part of the body.

8/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

Incorporate Hills

The incline works your legs and butt more and makes you work harder so you burn more calories. As a bonus, doing hills will also increase your endurance and speed when running or biking on flat surfaces, which will encourage longer workouts.

9/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock

Mix Up Your Routine

Doing the same old workouts not only gets boring, but your muscles will adapt and you'll hit a plateau. Try mixing up your routine by using different pieces of equipment, checking out new fitness classes or activities, working out in different places like in the woods or at a rock climbing gym, or even just mixing up the exercises you do or the order in which you do them. A little change will fire up your mind and also challenge your muscles in different ways, making them stronger.

10/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

Grab a Kettlebell

Short on time? The average person burns 400 calories in 20 minutes when doing kettlebell exercises. Try these seven kettlebell moves.

11/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

Go 5 Extra Minutes

Push yourself to go five extra minutes - you'll burn close to 50 calories more.

12/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

Don't Just Lift Dumbbells

Don't just lift dumbbells. Explore all types of equipment including resistance bands, kettlebells, stability balls, medicine balls, and barbells, as well as moves that require no equipment.

13/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

Do Supersets

Save time and burn more calories by doing supersets, working opposing muscle groups back-to-back, and moving quickly from one exercise to the next without resting.

14/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography

Combine Strength Training and Cardio

Get more out of your workout time by combining strength training and cardio into one workout for serious metabolic conditioning. Try this 30-minute workout that mixes jumping rope with bodyweight exercises.

15/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

Mix Up Your Cardio

Running is easy and popular, but if you only run, you're working the same muscles. Do different types of cardio throughout the week, or you can even mix up cardio machines within a workout to target different muscles and keep your workout exciting. This workout combines the rowing machine, elliptical, and treadmill.

16/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography

No Equipment Is No Problem!

Bodyweight exercises are shown to burn more calories than moves that use dumbbells - think full-body exercises like push-ups vs. bench presses.

17/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography

Go For Instability

Work harder by creating instability. Stand on one leg, or balance on a BOSU ball or stability ball while doing strength-training moves.

18/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

Lift Heavy

Don't just stick to five-pound dumbbells. Lifting heavier weights, whether it's dumbbells, medicine balls, or barbells, will tone your muscles faster without adding bulk.

19/19 SLIDES © POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

Do Yoga

If your goal is to have long and lean, toned, and flexible muscles, commit to doing yoga at least twice a week. Practicing in a heated room will allow your muscles to open even deeper, but if you can't get to a studio, do this yoga sequence at home. Staying supple will also prevent injury, so you'll be able to keep up with your weekly workouts.

19/19 SLIDES

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/the-5-daily-meals-that-helped-donna-lose-100-pounds-and-keep-it-off/ar-AAuUMmq

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