“Don’t skip breakfast—it really is the most important meal of the day. Eat breakfast within 90 minutes of waking, and then have something healthy to eat every three to four hours after that. When we skip breakfast or wait too long to eat in the morning, our bodies start to conserve energy and our metabolism slows down. Skipping breakfast also leads to overeating throughout the day.” — Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, author of  Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?

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Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.

However, do understand that it may seem harder to gain muscle as you age, says Dr. David Greuner of NYC Surgical Associates, due to hormone changes, age-related illness, and even social factors like a busy schedule. In his opinion, cardio will burn off fat, but to build sturdy muscles, choose heavy weights with a small number of reps or lighter weights with more reps. Also, remember diet and exercise go hand-in-hand for overall health and strength, especially as the years tick by.
Weight loss (WL) in obese patients, in addition to improving clinical conditions, will increase the recognition and quality of life (6, 7). In order to lose weight, various methods, such as diet, physical activity, drug therapy, and surgery have been suggested. Given the potential side effects of drug therapy and surgery, dietary interventions for WL have always been the first priority for the subjects (8). However, a variety of diets for WL have been suggested.

Sable of Squat Like a Lady is a self-described full-time student and part-time powerlifter, but she hasn't always been buff and tough. After suffering from anorexia as a teen, Sable gained 80 pounds. On her journey back to a healthy weight, she fell in love with heavy weight lifting. Now, her focus is no longer about losing weight—check out her post Don't Call Me Skinny! —but on gaining strength.
It is possible to do more in less time — at least when it comes to your workouts. By incorporating interval training — that means bursts of high-intensity moves — you’ll give your metabolism a huge boost, says Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., director of the Kinesiology Program at the University of Virginia and author of The Spark. If you usually jog at a consistent pace, try adding a 30-second to one-minute sprint every five minutes, or, if you’re on a treadmill, change up the incline for one-minute intervals.

Mason, A. E., Epel, E. S., Aschbacher, K., Lustig, R. H., Acree, M., Kristeller, J., … Daubenmier, J. (2016, May 1). Reduced reward-driven eating accounts for the impact of a mindfulness-based diet and exercise intervention on weight loss: Data from the SHINE randomized controlled trial. Appetite , 100, 86–93. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4799744/
dChanges between groups, for normally distributed variables, paired-samples t test and independent-sample t-test were used to investigate the differences within and between groups, respectively. For non-normally-distributed variables, the Wilcoxon signed ranks test and a Mann -Whitney U test were used to assess differences within and between groups, respectively.
Oh and Sara and I actually connected thanks to Pinterest! She had seen one of my posts on Pinterest and when she saw my website and read my weight loss journey, she saw that we had a lot in common. We emailed a bit, then talked on the phone, and we clicked instantly. It was, without a doubt, a God-led meeting and we have both been so blessed by every part of our friendship and business partnership!
Teaching a classroom full of excited children day after day takes a special person, someone with patience and finesse. So does losing 100 pounds - which is why elementary school teacher and blogger Jennifer is such an impressive success story. Jennifer’s blog has a tendency to draw you in because she’s not afraid to put it all out there. She shares her weekly weigh-ins, along with personal thoughts on her weight loss journey, and even hosts giveaways and reviews.
Gina started her blog after losing 40 pounds, although you’d never know it looking at her. She is as fit as they come, which is why her blog title “The Fitnessista” fits the content so perfectly. Her posts are chock full of fun (and often easy) exercise routines, healthy recipes, fashion and what life is like being married to a military man. Gina is also quite the photographer, with numerous photos of yummy-looking food and easy-to-follow photo guides of her newest fitness routine.

If you get enough protein and fat, your total calorie intake should take care of itself. Because you feel full, you won't binge on a can of Pringles and blow your calorie count for the day. The remaining 45 percent of calories in our plan comes from carbohydrates — enough to give your palate a full range of tastes and your body a combination of fast- and slow-burning fuel.
Hi Abby! I think it’s wonderful that you want to get and stay healthy! Good for you! I wish I had some miracle advice and I do want to clarify that I’m not a doctor so this advice is purely coming from my own experience, but I’m probably just going to be repeating what everybody else already says! Eat healthy. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Try to limit the junk food, but also don’t make it off-limits for yourself, because that may just make you want to eat it more! Stay active. Try to find things you like doing, so that you enjoy and look forward to exercise, whether that’s a sport or running or yoga or going on long walks. And do things to work on your self-confidence. A lot of people believe that you gain confidence after you reach your goal of losing weight, but I found that it was when I started having a better self-esteem that I lost the most weight! Good luck, Abby! Keep me updated!
Fermented foods: These enhance the function of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso all contain good amounts of probiotics, which help to increase good bacteria. Researchers have studied kimchi widely, and study results suggest that it has anti-obesity effects. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir may help to promote weight loss in overweight women.

Mary started her blog as a way to regain faith in herself. For Mary, weight is a constant battle, losing and gaining and losing some more, Mary intends to make this her last time seeing the numbers on the scale climb. Mary is quite creative with her blog. She even has a section devoted to the rewards she gets when she loses weight, such as a charm bracelet and a manicure (a lesson we could all learn from), as well as a bucket list that includes things like publishing a children’s book and running a 5K. Mary’s blog is one of self-discovery, from questioning why she is a people-pleaser to rejoicing in her own accomplishment - a blog you’ll want to check out for tips on how to do your own inner-reflection.
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Why does this popular plan work? For one thing, it pushes wildly healthy staples to the forefront (think: nuts, vegetables, fruit, olive oil). For another, it's simply delicious, thanks to it's focus on fresh, simply prepared dishes like grilled fish with lemon and whole wheat pita with hummus. Science agrees: One meta-review of 16 studies, found the eating M.O. helped those on it lose an average of 8.5 pounds.
About: Lindsey’s real. That’s it. Her blog, her writing style, her topics...they’re from a real person who shares her real experiences in a way that’s anything but dull. Lindsey’s posts are always chock full of photos to tell the story better, and range from fitness, to eating, to life lessons and more. Lindsey started her blog as a way to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle while remaining full and happy, but it has over the years morphed into a funny mashup of recipes, reviews, travel, pets and healthy living. (Be sure to check out her “best of” section — which includes titles of posts like “The Time I Almost Got Arrested.” You can figure it out from there).
Hi! I have to say 600 calories is terrible! You are going to starve your body. On average without exercise, your body burns at least 1400 calories, if you are eating only 600 calories you are not fueling your body with proper nutrition. When this happens your body goes into starvation mode and you end up gaining weight to, worse yet, end up sickly. Don’t do that to yourself, please! When I added more calories into my diet, I gradually added more, like a 200 a week. I gave myself an extra snack. I don’t recall if I gained weight at the beginning, but I do know I lost weight when I ate more. Don’t be afraid to eat!! What I would do if I were you is add more protein into your diet, like eggs, greek yogurt, lean chicken. You also need a little fat like avocado, olive oil or peanut butter. I personally found the hardest thing about dieting is not being able to stick to it. I dieted for 2 years lost weight, but then life happened. I eat healthy but what I started back when I was dieting I was eating low calorie, now I eat what normal people eat and I gained some weight back. But I realized what I was doing to my body back then, I wasn’t able to do that for the rest of my life. My advice is to eat healthy, eat what is in your calorie range and exercise for 30 minutes a day, even if it is just a walk. Doing this is a set-up for permanent weight lose and you will be healthy. I learned over the years that a healthy body on the inside, shows on the outside and even if you gain a little weight you are better off.
Thanks for sharing:-). I find myself in a difficult situation. I had a slip and fall accident back in 2009. My injury was misdiagnosed and the physical therapy made things worse. To the point were I cannot even do aqua therapy. I suffer with chronic pain and was always an energetic, healthy, exercise driven person. I used to weigh in at 102-105 lbs. Now due to inactivity I’m about 137lbs. I am so happy to have found your website. I need help, I am home all the time due to the fact that I cannot sit for long because of a coccyx injury. I am so unhappy with my weight gain. Do you have an encouraging word for me today? I’ve tried everything I know to do. My dr told me ” I’m stuck”. But I don’t want to give up. Looking forward to your reply.

We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low-carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again.
About: The first thing you’ll notice when you check out Adam’s blog is that he’s funny — like really, really funny (hence the name of his blog). A self-proclaimed “boring guy” and “dork,” Adam’s blog started as a way to share his thoughts on being a traveling management consultant to a place for sharing running, humor, life and more — probably one of the most interesting changes we’ve run across. Adam’s been battling some knee problems off-and-on, but still makes it a priority to live healthy, exercise (like hiking) and share it all in his traditional good-humored, naturally-engaging way.
On a traditional diet, rapid weight loss is the loss of more than 2 pounds in 1 week. According to the Mayo Clinic, 1 pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, so losing more than 2 pounds in 1 week would require a calorie deficit through some combination of dieting and exercise of over 1,000 calories each day. If you create the deficit through diet, it can be very difficult to get the nutrients you need. If you create the deficit through exercise, you risk over training. Cutting 250 to 500 calories from your diet each day and burning an additional 250 to 500 calories through exercise can lead to a safe, healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds each week.
But the information that researchers are unearthing about the differences in the way that men and women lose weight inspires hope that the next generation of weight-loss advice will be more tailored and effective than the generic tips that have gotten Americans no closer to sliding into their dream jeans. (More than a quarter of Americans are obese, according to a May Gallup poll, a number that has been ticking upward for years). Although experts have long insisted that losing weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume, they now say that it’s much more complicated than that.
If you’re allergic or sensitive to a certain ingredient and continue eating it, you’re likely to struggle with losing weight. The food is triggers inflammation, as your body fights against it. As you continue eating the same food that’s making you ill, the inflammation continues, making you a lot more susceptible to extra pounds and other health issues.
“Research continues to support the role of a high-protein diet and weight loss, however, we don’t want to reach those protein needs exclusively with animal proteins. Plant proteins found in beans not only help us feel full and stabilize blood sugar but beans are associated with longevity. Who cares about being skinny if you die young?” —Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, food and nutrition expert
Remember that in order to keep the pounds off and maintain your happy weight, you need to develop a healthy lifestyle. That means forming a routine and keeping up the habits so you can hang on to them for life. "I forced myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. four to five times a week to run," says Erin Bowman who has kept off 69 pounds. "My first few were horrible. But I stuck with it, eventually trading my run-walk intervals for steady 45-minute jogs," she says.
Since June of 2012, John Smith (and we call him John Smith not because that’s his real name, but because he never gives it) has been keeping an online food diary, complete with daily meals, calorie counts and even a “Yummy to My Tummy” rating - a 1-10 rating John assigns for food taste and quality. In his captivating manner of writing, John explains that he started his blog to take himself out of a deep depression that being 700 pounds had caused him. John is a self-confessed recluse who doesn’t work and doesn’t get out much. A shame, because if John’s manner of writing is any indication of his personality, then he is definitely a person worth knowing. Check his blog out for some insight into what a picture of a person trying to escape morbid obesity looks like.
Think of each almond as a natural weight-loss pill. A study of overweight and obese adults found that, combined with a calorie-restricted diet, consuming a little more than a quarter cup of the nuts can decrease weight more effectively than a snack comprised of complex carbohydrates and safflower oil—after just two weeks! (And after 24 weeks, those who ate the nuts experienced a 62% greater reduction in weight and BMI!) For optimal results, eat your daily serving before you hit the gym. A study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that almonds, rich in the amino acid L-arginine, can actually help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts. Fill up, but don’t fill out: Use these Eat This, Not That!-recommended 10 Daily Habits That Blast Belly Fat.
Second, add “fermentable fibers” to your diet, which are also called prebiotics (sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.) and eat a lot of fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and certain types of yogurt (but most yogurts found in your grocery store are simply milk with sugar and are NOT healthy) You can also supplement with probiotics, but make sure to start slow and build up.
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story…I would have never guessed you had dealt with such a thing. I”m in the process of losing over 75 lbs gained due to anxiety medicine. I too just woke up and had an epiphany that the medicine had turned me into someone I was not and I had to get off of it especially before having children. It’s definitely been a struggle, but I’ve seen the commercials on tv too and do not want to chance affecting my future children in any way and I want to be a better version of myself. For me personally, exercise, eating better, and therapy have worked to reduce my anxiety and panic attacks enough to stay off medicine.
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.
About: Brian’s struggles with weight are some we can all relate to — the need to get healthy, fit, you name it. But what makes his blog particularly interesting is that his studio apartment doesn’t have a kitchen. That forces Brian to get creative, and all he has to work with is a mini-refrigerator and a Big Boss Rapid Oven. His blog is a way to stay accountable and share recipes that are about as creative as you can get.
If you want to lose weight you should start by avoiding sugar and starch (like bread, pasta and potatoes). This is an old idea: For 150 years or more there have been a huge number of weight-loss diets based on eating fewer carbs. What’s new is that dozens of modern scientific studies have proven that, yes, low carb is the most effective way to lose weight.

Steady-state cardio (referred to as simply “cardio” on the weight loss plan below) means you’ll be exercising (e.g. power walking, jogging, running, cycling) at about the same level of intensity for the duration of the workout. Steady-state cardio workouts tend to be longer. Cardiovascular interval training (IT) and high intensity interval training (HIIT), on the other hand, are a shorter workout, but alternate between higher levels of intensity and recovery intervals.  Interval training is a proven technique to massively boost metabolism and torch body fat. HIIT (short bursts of all out exercise e.g. sprinting) is a more intense form of interval training, so beginners should start with regular interval training.


About: Georgina is a natural in the kitchen. She loves experimenting with new recipes, often figuring out ways to make them healthier, as well as crafting and just generally living a happy life. When she started her blog four years ago, it was for a long time only read by her mother. Now, it’s a huge part of Georgina’s life and features all sorts of yummy recipes, tips for finding happiness and wellness, beauty and crafts. Georgina’s also a very visual person, so you’ll find no shortage of photos to tell the story in an even more vibrant way.
David says that many people over the age of 50 go out to eat more frequently because there’s less of a need to cook due to children being grown and out of the house. However, this leads to higher consumption of processed foods and high-fat foods, so it’s much better to cook and eat at home whenever possible. Tip: Rely on meal planning as a tool each week will help you stay on track with your diet.

It’s time to focus on your lentil health. In one four-week Spanish study, researchers found that eating a calorie-restricted diet that includes four weekly servings of legumes aids weight loss more effectively than an equivalent diet that doesn’t include beans. Those who consumed the legume-rich diet also saw improvements in their “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and systolic blood-pressure. To reap the benefits at home, work lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans into your diet throughout the week.

A diet that’s low in fat and carbohydrates can improve artery function, according to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins researchers. After six months, those on the low-carb diet had lost more weight, and at a faster pace. But in both groups, when weight was lost—and especially when belly fat shrank—the arteries were able to expand better, allowing blood to travel more freely. The study shows that you don’t have to cut out all dietary fat to shrink belly fat. For heart health, simply losing weight and exercising seems to be key. 
134 pounds down during several major life upheavals may be what Erika of the Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss is known for, but what she is loved for is her sense of humor, tell-it-like-it-is style, and tenacity. Whether you're looking for exercise ideas or healthy recipes, she's there for you. She also covers more difficult subjects like sexual violence, body image, and racism. Her post What a Victim-Blaming World Looks Like to a Victim will really make you think.
Do you mindlessly sprinkle salt on your food without even tasting it first? Stop it! Seriously. Extra sodium can lead to water weight gain and bloating, which will make your pants fit tighter (and the number on the scale tick up). Be sure to read your labels, too; sodium is typically lurking in in processed foods, even “healthy” ones like frozen dinners and canned soups.
Katie never thought of herself as overweight, but after graduating college and weighing in at over 195 pounds, Katie realized she had no clue how to eat right and live a healthy life. She dedicated herself to change, lost over 50 pounds and continues to maintain a healthy lifestyle that focuses on how she feels, rather than the number on the scale. Katie’s blog is not just about weight loss, either. Readers who stop by will get to immerse themselves in her daily happenings, read great recipes and, of course, smile at her array of food and family photography. It’s a delight.

Red wine can actually be good for your health, thanks to the antioxidant resveratrol, which studies have shown is good for your health and could help you lose weight. But any more than one glass, and you’re opening yourself up to extra sugar, empty calories, and a boozy buzz, which may inhibit your ability to make healthy food choices. If you’re out to happy hour, stop at one glass and opt for club soda (which is calorie free) or water with lemon instead.


Because men are larger than women on average and have more muscle to support, men can usually eat more calories while still losing weight, compared to women. Portion control may be especially important for women. In one study, women who ate smaller portions of food (and less food overall) had lower BMIs than women who limited or avoided a certain type of food.2 This approach seems to work better for women than men.3
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