Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and de-puff by counter-balancing salt. Stick to brown rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, millet, farro, sorghum, and amaranth for the biggest benefits.
You don’t need to bust out the measuring cups to properly portion out your food: A serving size of meat is roughly the size of a deck of cards or the size of the palm of your hand. Your entire fist should be the size of a serving of veggies (although the more, the better!). A serving of fat, such as butter or coconut oil, should be the size of your thumb. Your carb serving should be no bigger than what can fit in your cupped hand. For other ways to eyeball your proper serving sizes, check out what portion sizes actually look like.

Your parents weren’t kidding about how important veggies are for a healthy body. What they probably didn’t tell you, however, was that snacking on veggies is also one of the easiest ways to shed unwanted belly fat, too. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, opting for non-starchy veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumber, as snacks helped overweight kids shed 17 percent of their visceral fat while improving their insulin sensitivity over a five-year period. Think snacking on veggies will leave you hungry? The 20 Most Filling Fruits and Veggies will have your belly satisfied in no time.
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.
Sometimes, you might need an external motivator—like a race or a competition—to keep you on track. After a slow start to her slimdown, Maribel Contreras decided to sign up for a 12-week body transformation contest at her gym. She swapped out her fast-food trips for healthy homemade meals and revved up her workouts, which ultimately helped her win the competition. She now maintains a 77-pounds-lighter frame. 
Thanks Jen! When you get down to the last 10 – 15lbs., it’s so much harder to get it off. Sometimes I think when you can’t lose weight and your doing all the right things,it maybe because it’s your bodies way of tell you it’s at it’s happy weight. I just keep plugging away and see what happens. As a long as your exercising and eating right that all that counts because your doing something good for your body!
You inspire me so very much. I have followed you for a couple of months because I love your style and we have so much in common. Pretty sure we have crossed paths when you were doing your bedding line. Today’s post hit home for me so much. I have been meaning to reach out to you seeing if we could ever work together in the future, but things have just been so crazy. I started RB in 2006 and it has been a very hard 10 years. I’m sure you know. I remember seeing you on Shark Tank. The industry is so small when you really look at it. Anyhow, I am rambling. You are so beautiful and I admire you so very much. I have had so many amazing opportunities with my business but honestly I passed them up due to my weight gain. I lost my first husband to cancer at 28 and have since been taking anti anxiety meds. Boy, did your post really hit home. I would love to hear from you! You inspire me like crazy and I know we could probably benefit one another with some designs! I would love to have my company do some work for you! Xoxo, Bridgette
Avoid fad diets, diet pills, and "quick-fix" diet plans that severely restrict calories or food groups. Fad diets and techniques for rapid weight loss are not always effective, and some may be dangerous. Pills, powders, and diet programs that require extreme calorie restriction, total avoidance of entire food groups, or excessive exercise can be very hazardous to health. Pills and supplements are not monitored by the FDA and may not be safe. Unless you have a medical reason for avoiding a particular type of food, a balanced and varied diet is essential for adequate nutrition and healthy, steady weight loss. Diet pills and restrictive diet plans can cause nutrient deficits, organ damage, high cholesterol, and many other dangerous health problems.
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.

I am fasting for Ramadan. Can I do this diet? Yes, but you will have to spread your meals out. Drink cold water at 4 a.m. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and eat a big meal with the foods on that day's menu. Then at 7 p.m. when you can break your fast, drink another glass of cold water and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Eat another meal. Repeat through the evening, eating small meals until bedtime.

ANYWAY, as far as the beginning of college goes, I thought a lot about nutrition and fitness and really wanted them to be incorporated into my life. For exercise, I joined the women’s ultimate frisbee team.  I honestly joined because the team was a built in community of really amazing people who were great friends but even better accountability partners that kept me coming to practice and pushing myself while I was there. We had practice for 2 hours about 3 times a week, and I never exercised outside of those times. On the topic of nutrition, I never thought I ate that bad. However, college dining halls can wreck your body. Unlimited buffets with more unhealthy than healthy options was not in my favor. Of course I ate salads, chicken/fish, and veggies on a regular basis, but I also ate my fair share of french fries, frozen yogurt, cookies, and whatever desserts were available. So many weekly activities and meetings had free food, and late night study snacks were a regular occurrence.


But just because belly fat comes off a bit more easily doesn’t make it less dangerous. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “Belly fat is unfortunately the most dangerous location to store fat,” says Dr. Cheskin. Because belly fat—also known as visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs—is more temporary, it’s more active in terms of circulating in the bloodstream. That means it’s likely to raise the amount of fat in your blood (known as blood lipid levels) and increase your blood sugar levels, which as a result raises your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Can a food-loving chef lose weight? Tony of The Anti-Jared said yes, to the tune of more than 200 pounds. When he started coughing up blood and having other severe health problems in 2008, the chronic yo-yo dieter decided that he was finally losing the weight for good. And he's made good on that promise to himself. But his primary motivation for the weight loss and for keeping it off was so he and his wife could have another baby. Unfortunately the baby did not survive, but the poignant lessons he learned&mdas;and wrote about in his post The Butterfly—go far beyond losing weight for a loved one.
Great question. Do you like any kind of bean – kidney, black, pinto, white, etc.? You could try adding a little spices to them to make better. I had a really hard time with them when I first started, but I now just toss them in a small frying pan with a little bit of butter and some minced garlic – I had a bit of pepper for taste and they are quite delicious this way.
Losing with Polycystic ovarian syndrome has been a challenge. I haven’t been eating as clean as I should on account of money issues. Salmon and lean meats are so pricey as well as fresh produce :/ if you could help me out in a eating routine that is cheap but still works I’d appreciate it. I’ve lost ten pounds from running a lot and some weight lifting. I plan to join the national guard so I have to have my two miles down to 18 minutes. I also have to lose 30 more pounds to qualify. I’m at 170 now need to be at 140.
Amanda Brooks is an avid runner, Certified Personal Trainer, and the passionate and encouraging voice behind Run To The Finish, a weight loss blog turned healthy living blog. With over 20,000 miles logged to date, Amanda’s dedication to running has not only helped her lose 35 pounds but created an entirely new outlook on healthy living. Run To The Finish shares her personal weight loss journey, clean eating recipes, workout ideas, running tips, expert interviews, and motivation to inspire others to see running as a vehicle to “think beyond the clock” to start living a healthier life.
While you may be tempted to eat as few calories as possible to lose weight more quickly, as mentioned above, it’s important that you don’t cut more than 1,000 calories from your daily diet or eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day — even if that means your energy deficit is smaller than 1,000 calories. Eat too little and you’ll slow down your metabolism and put yourself on track to regain the weight — often with a few extra pounds.
Stress skyrockets your levels of cortisol, often called “the belly fat” hormone because it signals to the body to store fat around your waist. Add the daily stressors of living our modern lifestyle and you can see how cortisol can be constantly coursing through your veins. This perma-stress mode isn’t good for a lot of healthy reasons, your tummy being just one of them, so it’s important to take time every day to de-stress. Yoga, meditation, walking, journaling, doing a hands-on hobby, or playing a musical instrument are all great time-tested methods. (Hint: Know what isn’t? Watching television. The boob tube actually increases your levels of cortisol!)
Jen Tallman never thought she would have the courage to pursue a career in fashion due to her size...until she dropped 110 pounds by reducing her caloric intake and picking up running. Now she works at Chanel. How does she resist the temptation to deviate from her newfound healthy habits when eating out with friends? She checks out the menu beforehand so she always knows her healthy options. Just make sure you know how to spot what's actually healthy—restaurants can have a knack for trying to make you think things are healthier than they are.
About: The truth is we all love a good success story — they show us what other people, real people that went through the same things we did, were able to achieve. They also give us ideas on how we can kickstart our own weight loss journey and succeed. The Weigh We Were is a one-stop shop for all those stories, real stories from other people who lost weight, plus how they did it. It’s just the place to get ideas from similar people to see what might work and what won’t.
Break out the lemon wedges: Regular fish eaters tend to have lower levels of the hormone leptin — good because high levels of leptin have been linked to low metabolism and obesity, says Louis Aronne, M.D., an obesity specialist at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Try to consume three to four servings of a fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel, each week.
“Don’t buy low-fat dairy products. They’re usually loaded with sugar. Besides, an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that the more high-fat dairy products a person ate, they lower their risk of diabetes; the more low-fat dairy products, the higher their risk. — Mark Langowski, celebrity trainer and author of  Eat This, Not That! for Abs

"It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet. But be realistic – you won’t see the affect overnight. Your brain’s wiring plays a huge part in resisting changes in lifestyle, and it takes time to establish new habits – up to 12 weeks. Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change."
"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."
Be choosy about carbs. You can decide which ones you eat, and how much. Look for those that are low on the glycemic index (for instance, asparagus is lower on the glycemic index than a potato) or lower in carbs per serving than others. Whole grains are better choices than processed items, because processing removes key nutrients such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins. They may be added back, such as in “enriched” bread.

I tracked everything from fat, carbs and protein.  I was eating what I was suppose to and within 5 months, I dropped the remaining 10lbs.  I did it, I met my goal!  As of today, I am trying to maintain my weight, which in my opinion is harder then losing it.  I get so afraid of putting the weight back on, since it’s so easy to lose motivation.  Just because you meet your goal doesn’t mean you can go back to the way it was.  That’s when I decided I needed to make this my lifestyle.  I started reading up on healthy foods, different exercises, and I kept calculating my calories.  I was a true calorie counter, every bite I ate, I tracked it.  If I didn’t know the calories, I wouldn’t eat it.   I was having allot of fun.  I was exercising and maintaining my weight!  Then it happened.  Something was brought to my attention from my friends and family, I was obsessed they told me!  Obsessed with what?  Eating right and exercising?  It was the calorie counting!  People told me I’m not enjoying life if I calculate every bite.  Can I do this forever?  Well, maybe,I am pretty dedicated after all, but who wants to?  I have learned so much over the past couple of years, about eating, exercising and most importantly myself.  I have a lot of will power and I know how to be healthy, so I should be able to do this!!!!  


While it will help, it’s not going to eliminate your sleep deprivation. That apart, doing this will throw off your natural sleep-wake cycle so it could end up doing more harm than good. Not only can the right food aid sleep, it works the other way too — better sleep promotes weight loss. Lack of sleep, however, has been found to stimulate production of hunger hormone ghrelin, which makes us overeat.
This is a medical clinic providing weight loss surgeries. But their blog also has a lot of helpful information about losing weight and maintaining that weight loss without surgery. You can find posts about the types of conditions that contribute to weight gain, posts about personal weight loss journeys, and yes, tips and advice for those who might be considering surgery. Visit the blog.
Jennifer Drummond is health food blogger for Peanut Butter & Peppers where she shares healthy, and sometimes not-so-healthy, recipes that help you maintain your weight loss by taking everyday foods and making them healthier without sacrificing the flavor. Jennifer has lost 30 pounds through proper nutrition education and shares her healthy lifestyle tips on her blog.

So at age 20 my weight started to climb, but I didn’t notice or care because I was having fun.  At about age 24, I still didn’t workout at all and just partied and enjoyed my time with my friends.  I had an asthma attack, and went to the Doctors and that is when he told me, if I keep going this route I would die! (Thanks Dr. Becker) Pretty abrupt, but it’s true.  I was hitting near 200lbs and heading down the road of disaster.  I don’t think I ever made it to 200lbs, but I came pretty close.  (That’s me with the brown hair and bag in the picture, gross huh?)


Most people who want to lose weight have more than 12 pounds to lose. That’s why even the best weight loss drug in the world can only be an optional complement to other treatment. That’s why this piece of advice is number 18 out of 18. It may be a helpful addition for some people, but the advice higher on the list is what can make the biggest difference, by far.

I found your blog through one of your SparkPeople comments. For the past few weeks, I’ve been limiting my caloric intake and eating about 900 calories a day, like you had done in the past. I’m also really limiting my carbs and exercising for an hour a day. But then I read your bio and I see that you eat wonderful things like pancakes for breakfast, so now I’m inspired to allow myself to eat good foods! You have a great story and delicious looking recipes, thanks for sharing!
I’ve been so inspired by you, and reading this I might FINALLY be able to nip my calorie counting obsession in the bud. I’ve been counting my calories for every meal since about April of this year, and i have become, like you explained, obsessed. And i know it’s a problem, and i shouldn’t focus on that, but everytime i eat i just think of how many calories it is, and what I’ll have left over for my next meals. Reading your story really inspired me and starting today i’m going to start trying to NOT COUNT. I deleted the counting app off of my phone, and im giving it a go!
I’m not a big milk chocolate fan, and I do love dark chocolate the best. I made different kind of chocolates and things for my family. My family and I eat so different, that I try to incorporates everyone’s taste buds. 🙂 Your right, moderation of anything and you can still lose weight. That took me a long time to learn that. It’s nice to know you can eat more than carrots and celery! Thank you so much Susan for the kind words!
Refined white breads are simple carbohydrates that your body processes as sugar, and can really hinder your weight-loss efforts. Whole grain bread, on the other hand, is chock-full of slimming fiber and can help you feel fuller, longer. Just be sure to read your labels. “If the ingredients at the top of the ingredient list read sugar, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, white or wheat flour, these foods contain mostly simple carbs and should be limited,” Rebecca Lewis, RD, told us. “A food is only considered a whole grain if the first ingredient on the packaging says, ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat.’”
Fighting constantly with your S.O.? It’s time to address your issues head-on. "Research has shown that cortisol, the hormone that's released during stressful activity, is linked to fat storage,” says Gina Guddet, couples counselor and co-author of Love Metabolism. “And poor communication between couples is the most common type of stress that you tend to experience."
In fact, anything that is white or can be white. So no pastas, no rice, no breads, no oatmeal, no potatoes, etc. However, I still ate a ton of carbohydrates. I just ate better high-fiber carbs such as black beans, kidney beans, and lentils. The latter I didn’t really enjoy, so most of my meals were made up of beans. The picture to the left is an example of what I would eat for supper. This night I had a spread of black beans, cooked frozen veggies, and sliced ham. I basically substituted the ham for any other meat – chicken, beef, or pork mostly – and alternated between black and kidney beans. Note – if you find your food getting bland, try using mustard and pepper. For lunch, I’ll often take 1/2-1 can of tuna, 1-2 cups of frozen veggies, and a big scoop of bean, cook in the microwave, add a couple squeezes of mustard and pepper and shake.
Carbohydrates are considered to be the body's main source of energy and are quickly utilized by the brain and muscles. Carbs come in two forms: simple & complex. Processed and refined sugars are simple carbs, which are digested and absorbed quickly. Complex carbs pack in more nutrients and are digested more slowly, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Keep a food diary. Write down every meal, snack, and drink you consume as well as the approximate quantities for an entire week. Writing down what you consume actually helps us to remain mindful of what we put into our bodies and acts as a motivator to stay healthy. If you can, write down the number of calories that go along with each meal or snack you eat.
About: Courtney’s been overweight since second grade, and it’s taught her many valuable lessons (lessons she shares on her blog with nearly every update). Between 2010 and 2011, Courtney dropped an impressive 75 pounds, but then gained much of it back after giving birth to her son. Courtney’s been up and down in her weight loss journey, but with the start of her blog, she’s going to keep it off for good this time as she learns to be happy, healthy and finds financial freedom — taking us all along with her.
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: 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.
Reading Stefani’s take on intermittent fasting was the slap in the face I needed to actually start listening to what my body was telling me. Her WLU Program has utterly and completely changed my relationship to my body and how  I treat myself. I owe Stefani an unbelievable debt of gratitude for showing me the way not just to self love but also to being able to fit into my favorite leggings. 
Since insulin sensitivity is at its highest in the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, and carb intake is free to be at its highest, exercise can be more aerobic (long, moderate heart-rate-elevating cardio exercises). It is at this time that you can do your best high performance cardio training. Here you can challenge yourself with longer-term exercises that may be more “stressful” for your body, like long bike rides, tabata sprints, night-long dance sessions, and the like. It is at this time in your cycle that your body can handle the most aerobic stress.
This could be because the body increases insulin secretion in anticipation that sugar will appear in the blood. When this doesn’t happen, blood sugar drops and hunger increases. Whether this chain of events regularly takes place is somewhat unclear. Something odd happened when I tested Pepsi Max though, and there are well-designed studies showing increased insulin when using artificial sweeteners.
About: Rachael’s got a unique combination of expertise. She’s an avid fitness lover, a health fanatic and a registered nurse. She also has to combat strange work hours to keep up her active lifestyle and exercise regimen, which is exactly why we picked her. When you’re among those who are trying to lose weight but have a hectic schedule, Rachael’s the blogger to turn to for advice. She knows how to fight obstacles like sleep deprivation, food cravings, boredom hunger and (of course) being “too busy” to get healthy.
Biz is a healthy recipe developer and creator of the blog, My Bizzy Kitchen. For years, she struggled to maintain a healthy weight after working a desk job for close to ten years. When the time came to get serious about her health, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and has since been learning to navigate her weight loss while being an insulin dependent diabetic. She shares her weight loss journey and her healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as a healthy dose of humor, on her blog.
It’s possible that your training is getting in the way of weight loss. I’m a true believer that you should eat for your goals. It sounds like your goal right now is the Ragnar Relay. Getting your body ready for that AND losing weight might be a challenge. This is especially true with the amount of training you’re doing right now. Your body may not want to give up that stored energy source if you’ve been pushing it to its limits on a weekly basis.
If you follow the slim-fast program by the book it will work. There is no way out since the major meals are composed of slim-fast products that guarantee the amount of calories you consume. Now, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach. First it is costly because you will have to order all those slim-fast products and second there is a chance that you will get bored quickly and quit. On the other hand it is a perfect solution for the working woman who does not have the time to cook or organize her meals in advance. If you want a quick solution that is healthy and can generate good results then the slim-fast solution is for you.
I’m just wondering, how can you say these are the best approaches when they’re fad diets? Slim fast may work for someone looking to lose a few pounds, but if you’re looking to lose 50-100+ lbs., no one is going to be able to survive on substituting a meal for a shake. A good “diet” should put a large focus on learning how to eat properly, which includes ALL food groups, and exercising regularly.
Try not to think that you can't eat certain foods because you're "too overweight." According to the National Eating Disorder Association, dieting, drive for thinness, and body dissatisfaction can become internalized at a young age and lead to an eating disorder. Change your mindset to celebrate the healthy foods you're eating because they're helping your body stay healthy and energized.

5. Start with one small change. "I realized that a lot of sugar and calories that I consumed came from drinks, so I challenged myself to drink only water—no sugary drinks!—for 30 days. After just one successful week, I decided to add another challenge: to cut back on the carbs I was eating. When I did eat bread, I switched to wheat bread and when I wanted rice, I used brown rice."
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