Cocoa butter hasn’t proven effective at stretch mark reduction, but Vitamin E, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, elastin and menthol can aid in the prevention of stretch marks in muscly athletes and pregnant women.
Be diligent and patient with ointments or creams on stretch marks and scars. Pick ones that promise scar tissue reduction and collagen synthesis, such as retin A, retinol and vitamin A. Massage the area to encourage blood flow.
Dieters often ditch dairy. If you go that route, however, remember calcium is essential for healthy fat management.
Step off the scale and away from the crash diets. Your emotional stability and nutrition have a huge handle on healthy weight. Weigh yourself once a week, max, and consult a dietitian before cutting foods or calories.
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. And a couple of healthy snacks.
If you don’t need it, your kids don’t need it. Don’t use children as an excuse to buy foods you shouldn’t, but will, eat an entire bag of on a bad day.
Track your nibbles, tastes and snacks, remembering to eat a healthy snack before indulging a craving. Eating healthy snacks first may ward off that Ben & Jerry’s craving, or at least leave room for less.
Don’t drink your calories. Fruit juices, even 100-percent juice, are high sugar and low fiber. Eating your fruit prevents sugary calorie pile-ups and is better for your digestive system. Sugary coffee drinks and syrupy cocktails aren’t ideal, either. Implement healthy, tasty options until they become your new norm.
Stretch Marks: For people who don’t find creams and ointments effective, laser and/or light therapy can help, but often take several treatments. Laser therapy (fractional skin resurfacing) breaks down scar tissue and encourages collagen and epithelium production. Light therapy promotes normal melanin stores. Endermologie repairs damage by increasing circulation to effected areas. Check with your spa for endermologie options, or visit Boulder’s Mountain View Dermatology, Lafayette’s Aesthetic Solutions, or Longmont’s Institute of Aesthetic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for laser treatments.
Toning: According to the American Council on Exercise, the bicycle exercise (on the floor, not a bike), the captain’s chair leg raise (at the gym), and any dozen variations of a crunch are the healthiest approaches to tummy toning. Think crunches with your arms outstretched, your legs overhead, a balance ball and heel digging. Add a little planking on your elbows and toes to the mix and count on a more toned belly.
“By resting and taking care of ourselves and eating when we are relaxed instead of when we’re on the run and in the car, we can actually somewhat avoid that holiday weight gain. That’s one of the ways to get rid of that stubborn belly fat is to get out of that fight or flight mode and relax and start digesting and resting and that belly fat’ll just melt away.” —Cathy Hayes-Daly, nutritionist, Boulder
“To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease. The government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) snagged the top spot. … It’s heavy on produce and low in saturated fat and salt.” —U.S. News & World Report