When you want something sweet, all those fat-free, sugar-free options seem like a smart choice for weight loss. But researchers at Cornell University found that overweight people who choose low-fat versions of snack foods rather than the regular kinds consume, on average, twice as many calories. "The terms 'fat-free' or 'sugar-free' can create a green light effect, triggering people to eat more," says dietitian Cynthia Sass, RD. But many fat-free foods have about the same number of calories (or more) as their full-fat counterparts. 
Scrolling through your social media one last time may be most people’s pre-bed ritual, but it can seriously mess with your sleep cycle. The light from your screen can suppress melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep. And getting plenty of shut-eye is important for your waistline; a study published in the journal Sleep found that people who didn’t get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night were more at risk for weight gain. Try to put your phone away 20 minutes before your bedtime to avoid the light distraction.
There are hundreds of healthy living apps that can help you lose weight. Find one that aligns with your goal, whether it's to get stronger, get faster, get off the couch, or eat healthy. Cyr found that using MyFitnessPal helped her get a better grip on what she was eating every day. "Once I started logging my meals, I realized I was scarfing 1,700 calories a day," she says. 
About: Yes, this is another one with plenty of followers, but it really is the best for one group: mom. Let’s say you are a mom. We’ll bet finding time to exercise and eat healthy seems damn near impossible, yes? Then Brooke’s blog is for you. It’s armed to the tee with quick fitness routines, easy-to-make recipes, heck, even stuff you can do with your baby. And if that’s not enough, you can also use it as a go-to resource to get the skinny on things like baby names, connecting with your loved ones and activities to do with the kiddos.

Dairy products such as cream and cheeses. They work well in cooking as they satisfy. The problem is if you’re munching a lot of cheese in front of the TV in the evening… without being hungry. Be careful with that. Or lots of cream with dessert, when you’re actually already full and just keep eating because it tastes good. Or another common culprit: loads of heavy cream in the coffee, many times per day.
First, as women near midlife, their ratio of fat to body weight increases rapidly. Second, many women see that new fat mostly around their bellies. This is “visceral fat” and it can change the entire shape of your midsection. Visceral fat cells are like miniature endocrine organs that are especially active, setting off inflammation and increasing insulin resistance. Third, visceral fat gets a huge boost from lifestyle issues like depression and stress, poor sleep, smoking (proven to increase belly fat ), irritability, and drinking fructose-sweetened beverages (leads to more visceral fat and decreases insulin sensitivity).
To transform your body, to get fit, to be healthy and to feel great you gotta exercise. Just like the air you breathe, your body needs physical exercise. And it needs exercise in a way that is so far-reaching that scientists are only just starting to unravel some of the amazing effects exercise has on our bodies. Did you know, that exercise can actually reprogram your DNA? And while you may think that by not doing exercise you’re not doing any harm, lack of exercise itself can alter your DNA – but unfavourably!
Stephen Colbert may be on to something. UCLA Center for Human Nutrition researchers divided study participants into two groups, each of which were fed a nearly identical low-cal diet for 12-weeks. The only difference between the groups was what they were given to eat as an afternoon snack. One group ate 220-calories of pretzels while the other group munched on 240-calories worth of pistachios. Just four weeks into the study, the pistachio group had reduced their BMI by a point, while the pretzel-eating group stayed the same, and their cholesterol and triglyceride levels showed improvements as well.
There's a pretty dizzying amount of research backing up this regime as a solid option to enhance your health, lower cholesterol, and encourage healthy, lasting weight loss. DASH (the acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has you loading up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (surprise!) and removing foods high in saturated fat from your diet. Research also shows that this diet may even ward off the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Julie’s blog is more than just impressive - it’s downright awesome. Really awesome. Why? Julie’s creative, and her mission to go from 314 pounds to 180 is just the beginning. She also seeks to love herself and find confidence - all while writing in her typical make-you-smile, make-your-day fashion. Julie has already lost over 50 pounds, and the fact that she sets rewards for herself (such as 5 inch Christian Louboutins when she loses 100) keeps her going. Readers will root for her as she works to get there.
My weight was pretty consistent throughout middle school, high school, and into college. As a middle schooler, there was so much going on in just trying to develop as a human that fitness, nutrition or creating a healthy lifestyle was never going to be a priority. I exercised by figure skating (I used to be a competitive figure skater!), track and field, and soccer (I played goalie for one year so honestly I shouldn’t even count that.) I also remember many sleepovers spent eating pizzas, candy, and soda. I specifically have one memory of me and a friend challenging each other to eat entire medium pizza from dominos by ourselves…and we both succeeded…so that’s where I was as a 7th grader. I remember feeling bigger than a lot of girls and embarrassed about my weight sometimes, but I had super great friends, kept busy with activities, and overall was supported and I think that is why my weight never got me down too much. Overall, I probably lived a generic middle school life.

Additionally, many women have to face one lifestyle change before getting to another, such as overhauling eating habits before taking on exercise. For example, Michelle DeGennaro got a handle on her diet and soon after found that she was more inclined to exercise. "Feeling lighter on my feet was thrilling, and it gave me the confidence to start walking every day," she says. And as Blanca Valdez noticed, "Eating right made my energy soar, which I channeled into exercise." She has kept off 78 pounds.
About: Caitlin’s approach to healthy living is three-pronged: mind, spirit and body. She believes that finding true health means finding balance in all three, and her mission with her blog is to take people along the way as she figures that out. She’s a self-taught yogi with a passion for natural, balanced food and fitness — all things she shares exponentially in her blog to help others figure it out too.
“Age does impact weight loss for both women and men, and that’s because metabolism slows down, hormone levels decline, plus there is a loss of muscle mass,” says Amselem. “But that doesn’t mean that losing weight over age [the age of] 50 is mission impossible. Diet and exercise are key; however, the common mistake I see is that people eat and work out in the same exact way [that] they [did] when they were younger and wonder why they don’t see results. Those over [the age of] 50 cannot eat and train in the same way they did when they were 30. You have to shift to get results.”
Jen is a pillar of inspiration in the weight loss blogging community. She started a blog called “PastaQueen” in 2005 to document her journey. After losing nearly 180 pounds and sharing all about it on PastaQueen, Jen decided it was time for a change. While she knew that she should always cherish her weight loss, her life (and blog) now focus on weight management and a host of other wellness topics. She continues to encourage others as they start their own passage into fitness.
Rather than a long and low-intensity cardio workout, try the HIIT method of cardio: intense, fast-paced intervals that leave you completely exhausted after only a 20- to 30-minute session. This form of cardio training increases the afterburn effect, allowing your body to continue burning calories long after your workout is over. You can rotate between 30 seconds of your favorite exercises, with rest in between, as long as they work different muscle groups—such as squats, push-ups and kettlebell swings.
When it comes to food, there is evidence that men and women’s brains are wired differently. In a study published in the January 2009 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, even though women said they weren’t hungry when asked to smell, taste, and observe treats such as pizza, cinnamon buns and chocolate cake, brain scans showed activity in the regions that control the drive to eat (not the case for men).
Some women have trouble losing weight because of a hormonal problem. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, pumps out hormones that control body metabolism. If the gland's output isn't high enough, a condition known as hypothyroidism, the pounds can pile on - and stay on. If you think thyroid trouble might underlie your weight-loss difficulties, a doctor can test your hormone levels via a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, effective treatment is available.
Beth has struggled with her weight for nearly her entire life. Overweight since puberty and then obese throughout high school and college, Beth tipped the scales at 250 pounds. In early 2009, she resolved to take better care of herself, which included quitting smoking and running for exercise. Initially, Beth didn't drop weight as quickly as she would’ve liked, so she took a look at her eating habits. She joined Weight Watchers where she learned how food should be measured and weighed, and how much she should eat in a day.
Monica is a runner through and through. Her blog documents her many 5K’s, half-marathons and marathons, as well as her love of food. Monica applies “intuitive eating,” to help her with weight loss, and she lives by it. Her blog is chock full of race recaps (that will easily have you wishing you were running them with her), recipes, food outings, travels, tips and more.
Losing weight is no small feat—it often requires a complete lifestyle overhaul, and with so much information out there, it can be tough to know what strategy might work for you. And to top it all off, all the weight loss myths that just will not die threaten to throw you off track. That's why it's helpful to know what has worked for real people—in their own words. Here, we've gathered advice from 28 women who have lost between 26 and 174 pounds—and kept that weight off for good.
If you’re not drinking green tea with your workouts, you might be wasting your time at that barre class. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that after just two weeks, exercisers who sipped four to five cups of green tea each day and logged 25-minutes at the gym lost more belly fat than their non-tea-drinking counterparts. What makes the drink so powerful? It contains catechins, an antioxidant that hinders the storage of belly fat and aids rapid weight loss. And that’s not the only weight loss elixir out there: Discover more details and drop two sizes with these 4 Teas That Melt Fat Fast.

It’s not about the fancy tricks or fast fixes. It’s not about losing 20 pounds in two weeks. It’s about the slow, day-by-day actions that turn into sustainable habits. It’s about learning how to develop sustainability and consistency. With nutrition, instead of thinking of foods in terms of yes/no lists and strict rules, it’s more about eating wholesome foods, cooking nourishing meals, and developing sustainable habits. I love cooking, exercising, and learning about living a balanced lifestyle. I am prioritizing lasting wellness.
Hi Gary! Thank you for the nice comment, Sorry it took so long for me to reply. I understand about seeing pictures of yourself and it’s wonderful that it motivated you. For a lot of people it doesn’t. It didn’t for me for years. Until one day, I was digging in my drawer and I found a picture of me and I couldn’t believe my eyes! My family said it wasn’t me, well it was me! I recognize my shoes and handbag anywhere! I keep that picture on my fridge, and when the urge to eat hits, I look at it, breath and ask myself,am I really hungry?
Nicole Morrissey is Registered Dietitian (RD) and author of Prevention RD. By day, Nicole is a coordinator and manager of an outpatient diabetes education department. By night, she is a home cook, blogger, cookbook author, wife, and mommy to two little girls. After being overweight nearly her entire life, she decided to make a change and lost 75 pounds in a year’s time. 15 years later, Nicole’s weight loss journey continues as she strives for a more balanced life, that includes good-for her foods, and her favorite things like craft beer and all things carbs! Her weight loss blog is an inspirational guide to a practical, straightforward, and maintainable approach to a healthy lifestyle.
I have been following the slow-carb diet for nearly 3 weeks with no significant weight loss. I will admit I have made a few tweaks to fit my lifestyle. I go to the gym at 5:30am and do not have time or the desire to eat a big breakfast before going. So I normally make a whey protien shake with water and about 1/4 cup frozen berries (I know fruit is a no-no) when I get home from the gym at 7. I then eat breakfast – eggs, black beans and spinach at 10. Lunch is either a salad with beans or slice of deli turkey or chili. I have not eaten any grains, sweets etc… I do use milk in my coffee instead of heavy cream. Why is heavy cream a better choice? I do have a glass of red wine at night and an occasional serving of sugar free gelatin. I take a spin class 2-3 days a week and run 20 miles per week as I am training for a Ragnar Relay.
Like I said earlier, I want to share my experiences because I feel it’s important to give back. Plus, as a true blue blogger I feel I can offer a different type of wisdom and perspective than someone who has only blogged for a couple years and only talks about blogging. I’ll provide a snapshot below of my blog income streams but please head over to Big Boss Moves for a much more in-depth look into my personal blogging experience.
Well as of today, I have been exactly two weeks with not counting calories. I am taking a new approach to things, I am listening to my stomach!  Yes listening to my stomach!  It was hard the first week, and I did cheat a little, but I managed not to gain weight, kept up on exercise and ate mostly healthy.  I feel free!  It’s nice not to have to calculate every meal, every bite!  I know if I eat a piece of cake I won’t gain 10lbs over night!  Moderation is the key!  I now have the all around perfect healthy life style.  You’ll just have to stay tuned to my blog to make sure I stay on the right path!
That’s where these tips come in. We talked with eight women over 40—all of whom have lost 40 or more pounds!—about the tools and methods that helped them make lasting healthy changes. And we've got to admit that they’re pretty darn genius! Try incorporating a few into your weight loss plan, and you just might find yourself on the fast track to getting into those skinny jeans. (Looking for even more slim-down secrets? Don’t miss these 6 things you must do to lose weight over 40.)
"Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly."

You can’t skimp on sleep. Losing weight for good calls for a total lifestyle change -- and that includes getting more Zs. Missing the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye has been linked repeatedly with increased obesity rates. “When you don’t sleep enough, it certainly affects your brain,” explained Dr. Arad. “What we’ve learned is that people who don’t sleep well are making poor choices — eating more unhealthy diets, and they are obviously more fatigued, so they become less physically active.” In fact, people who sleep six hours or fewer per night on average consume about 300 extra calories the following day.
Nicole Morrissey is Registered Dietitian (RD) and author of Prevention RD. By day, Nicole is a coordinator and manager of an outpatient diabetes education department. By night, she is a home cook, blogger, cookbook author, wife, and mommy to two little girls. After being overweight nearly her entire life, she decided to make a change and lost 75 pounds in a year’s time. 15 years later, Nicole’s weight loss journey continues as she strives for a more balanced life, that includes good-for her foods, and her favorite things like craft beer and all things carbs! Her weight loss blog is an inspirational guide to a practical, straightforward, and maintainable approach to a healthy lifestyle.
About: Aurora is a college student full of curiosity, including a nearly insatiable appetite to learn all she can about fitness and nutrition. She fell in love with exercising early on, while playing for a softball team growing up. That fueled a passion for nutrition as well, and eventually a blog dedicated to both as a way to inspire others to live healthy and lose weight. Aurora, who works in a veterinary’s office, also has a deep love for animals (which is always a bonus in our book). And yes, she includes many photos of cute puppies in her blog.
Blood samples (5 mL) were collected at the beginning and at end of the study during the 12-hour fasting condition. The samples were centrifuged at a low level and serum was separated. Biochemical measurements were performed immediately after sampling. Fasting blood sugar (FBS), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), triglycerides (TG), and TC were measured by an auto-analyzer (Hitachi, USA). The Friedewald formula was used to calculate LDL levels. Fasting serum insulin concentration was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits (Mercodia). The homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) was calculated with the formula: HOMA-IR = [FBS (mg/dL)*FINS (μU/mL)] / 405. (23). Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) was calculated on the basis of suggested formulas: 1 / [log (Insulin μU/mL) + log (Glucose mg/dL)]. (24). The HOMA-B (pancreatic beta cell function) was computed as follow: 20 × FINS (μIU/mL)/fasting glucose (mmol/mL)-3.5. Insulin sensitivity was derived using the formula: HOMA-S (insulin sensitivity) = 22.5/(insulin (mU/L) × glucose (mmol/L)). All biochemical assays were performed in duplicates and the mean was calculated for each subject.
Have you ever noticed that a couple hours after a big greasy (yet delicious) meal you feel hungry again? That’s because you have not turned off your hunger receptors, and as soon as your body starts to process that food your brain will start up again with “we need nourishment”… because you guessed it, that carton of kung-pow did not give you nourishment, just a full belly. Next time go for more veggies, you’ll stay fuller longer and thus eat fewer calories.
It’s rare for me to be able to contribute something relevant here, but I actually have been losing weight for the last year or so and I do have something closely related to a blog about it. The thing is, It’s been extremely inactive because I have no idea what to write about. The process of weight loss can be hard for a lot of people, but it’s not complex in any way. I guess my blog can be an example of how to not really do it? Any tips?
“Going public with my weight loss goals helped me lose 91 pounds. I joined the 61 Day Health Challenge, a program sponsored by my employer, the Detroit Medical Center. Suddenly, I was accountable to all of my colleagues, not just myself. And the amount of support I was shown was enough motivation to propel me into a new world of healthy eating and healthy living.” —Mo Minard, 43, MSN, RN, EMT-P, Director of Emergency Services for Detroit Medical Center
You don’t have to go low-carb to ditch those extra pounds around your waist in a short period of time. In fact, opting for more whole grains might just get you there faster. Researchers at Tufts University have linked eating three or more daily servings of whole grains to as much as a 10 percent reduction in visceral body fat, the kind that ups your risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
My body went through a slow weight gain throughout the years and because it was so slow, I didn’t really notice too much, or really, I noticed once it had already happened and the weight was there. I remember the times getting frustrated in dressing rooms, when older clothes didn’t fit, feeling terrible in my body, and the comparison of feeling like there were so many people around me that ate more unhealthy foods than me and exercised less that were somehow still so much smaller than I was. I thought that my body would stay the way it looked forever, no matter how hard I tried to change it. I wondered if I would ever accept how my body looked or be comfortable in it. For all of the years building up to this one, I was not quite hopeless, but always a little let-down in myself, specifically the choices I made, the way I felt, and the way I looked. I didn’t feel the best in my body and wanted peace.
Another popular mainstream diet, Dr. Barry Sears's plan is considered to be one of the first in the recent wave of "anti-inflammatory" plans. It sets you up for success by calibrating your plate to be a third protein and two-thirds carbohydrates (not starchy ones like potatoes, think colorful vegetables instead) with a little bit of MUFAs, or monounsaturated fatty acids (the good-for-you kind ) in the mix.
Wow, Penny. You sure have had more than your fair share of struggles! I am so impressed at how you have continued to persevere and do whatever you could to succeed, despite all of the setbacks. YOU are the inspiring one! You found a way to exercise that didn’t cause you pain, you are making the healthiest choices you can in your circumstances. I am so glad you shared your story with me!
At SkinnyFit, we believe that healthy is beautiful, just like you. And no matter what phase of your weight loss journey you’re in, we are here to help you look and feel positively radiant from the inside out. We believe that self-love, body positivity, and confidence creates a necessary foundation for a sustainable lifestyle change and that our dedication to providing premium, all-natural health, and wellness products will help you get there.
“Eat vegetables before or with meals. Whether you are hungry on your way home or right when you walk in the door, snacking on veggies can help you keep your portions in check once you sit down to a meal. I also recommend starting your dinner with a vegetable salad or vegetable soup to fill you up and prevent overeating. — Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, author of  Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?
Want to blow away your belly without logging months of mind-numbing hours on the treadmill? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will kickstart your metabolism like no other workout, burning more than twice the calories as a lighter and longer session, according to a study from Southern Illinois University. And the total amount of time you need to dedicate to HIIT: 20 minutes. It really is the least time exercising for the biggest results.
"Sleep is a cornerstone of weight management because of the impact it has on your hormones that control how you burn fat, how you store fat, and how you're maintaining muscle. The better your hormone balance, the better your weight management. I work my butt off to get eight hours a night, but right now I'm at six—the show is murdering me! Even if I go to bed early my son wakes up."
When you open up Lynn’s blog, the first thing you will notice is an absolutely stunning transformation - a severely obese woman that now looks like she has never been obese. And then you’ll start reading, and you’ll realize Lynn is special not just because she lost 150 pounds, but also because she did it by changing her overall mindset. Lynn was simply tired of losing and gaining and losing and gaining again through diet after diet. Lynn’s writing style will suck you in. It’s easy, flowing and intimate, and she’ll immediately have you coming back again and again.

About: The primary purpose of Amanda’s website may not be to share fitness tips (she’s a virtual personal trainer), but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some amazing ideas on how to exercise in her blog. Amanda’s proven methods are the perfect balance of active training and rewarding results. Here, you’ll find fitness tips, training plans, healthy recipes and tons of health & nutritional information.

Real talk: It could take weeks or months to see the metabolic effects of exercise on the scale, and even then, building muscle, which is denser than body fat, could lead to weight gain. "Do what you like because it’s good for you," Dr. Seltzer says, noting the way exercise is awesome for your heart, mental health, and more—and that not all measure of progress can be seen on the scale.
The calorie restriction diet myth suggests you will win the fight against flab. While losing weight does come down to how many calories you consume, it’s the types of foods you eat that will determine how you feel as you lose weight and the kind of weight you will lose. If you have a poorquality diet — counting calories but eating junk food — chances are you’ll lose muscle rather than fat, and thus, suffer from slow metabolism.
About: Misty’s more than just a “fat girl,” as she puts it. So much more. Misty started blogging about her weight loss about four years ago after she experienced a pulmonary edema and several pulmonary embolisms following the birth of her fourth daughter — all caused by excessive fluids in her body and all nearly killing her. She also found out she has a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden, something she was born with. Since starting her original blog “I Am Not Just a Fat Girl,” Misty’s weight loss journey has had ups and downs, but ultimately she accepted her body and now blogs to inspire others who are looking to lose weight, too.
Take a walk through the supermarket, and you’ll be assaulted with aisle after aisle of low-fat and no-fat foods, “healthy” chips and cookies and juices and sodas galore. You likely already know that if you want to lose weight, cutting out processed foods and sweets is the first and most obvious step. But those healthy-sounding options can be just as bad, too.
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