#3 – Eat breakfast!  As Mom always said it’s the most important meal of the day and it is.  Your body needs fuel to speed up your metabolism and to get you going.  I like to eat yogurt with fruit and granola, or oatmeal with Greek Yogurt, and sometimes eggs and pancakes.  I like to eat about 300 calories for breakfast.  Having full hearty meals, with protein, a pinch of fat and carbs will keep me filled for 3 or 4 hours.
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.
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!
The trick here is not only to avoid all obvious sources of carbohydrate (sweets, bread, spaghetti, rice, potatoes), but also to be careful with your protein intake. If you eat large amounts of meat, eggs and the like, the excess protein will be converted into glucose in your body. Large amounts of protein can also raise your insulin levels somewhat. This compromises optimal ketosis.

Some scientists and journalists have concluded from this body of evidence that there exists a ‘metabolic advantage’ associated with ketogenic diets. In other words some believe that ketogenic diets cause a greater expenditure of energy (aka, calories) than non-ketogenic diets leading to the claim that ‘a calorie is not a calorie’ (Feinman 2003, Taubes 2007).   However this flies in the face of a standard tenet of nutrition and dietetics that in order to lose weight, we always have to eat fewer calories than we burn – i.e., ‘a calorie IS a calorie.’
Your welcome! You should really follow what Sparks tells you how much to eat, for me its about 1500 – 1700 calories a day. Thats what helped me to lose weight, I wouldn’t of been able to do it without Sparks. Not eating hinders your weight lose efforts. It’s amazing that eating helps you lose weight. Shocking I know! If you don’t eat, your body goes into starvation mode and instead of burning calories it holds onto them. Enjoy food! I do as you can see. I eat healthy 80% of the time and eat not so healthy 20% of the time. If I eat bad, it’s a small portion, so I don’t go crazy not getting the foods I love, other wise this won’t work for me. This is my lifestyle now and I stopped counting calories, and I am still maintaining. I just need to exercise more, since I started this blog, I’ll admit I’ve slacked, but I do keep my weekly weigh ins. I’m glad you stopped by my site. You made me realize that I need to get back on track, because it’s easy to fall back into old habits!! Keep in contact! If you need any support, you can count on me!!
Glad you started to work out! It took me to my mid 30’s before I started to workout! Now I do it at least 5 times a week! You feel so much better about yourself and your doing something good!! I’m glad you have a family that supports your healthy eating! Sometimes it can be hard when they don’t!!! Keep up all the great work and keep educating yourself on a healthy lifestyle!

Carb crazy? Consider this: Refined carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and rice, create a surge in insulin that in turn drives down your resting metabolic rate, explains Aronne. "It's important to keep carbohydrates in your diet, but really focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which have less of an effect on insulin levels," he explains. And when buying whole-grain breads and cereals, make sure the first ingredient listed is whole wheat, whole oat or cracked wheat.
As my middle 30’s were here, I ate better, more home cooked meals, but again didn’t do any exercise.  I was tracking calories, but I wasn’t eating enough.  I didn’t know how many calories I needed in a day, I just thought I wasn’t suppose to eat.  At work the other day, I was cleaning my desk drawer out and came across papers that had my calorie intake for the day on it and it said I was eating 800, 900 and 1000 calories on a high day!  I was shocked, well no wonder I wasn’t losing any weight, I wasn’t eating enough.  You can’t go from eating way over 2000 calories a day to practically nothing.  But back then I didn’t care, I did that for a few months and gave up.  The scale didn’t move, so I figured again, this is the weight my body is comfortable with. (image of my calorie count from January 2009)
People who get enough sleep tend to weigh less than those who don't. Additionally, researchers found that well-rested dieters lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle. "Whenever I don't sleep enough, I'm ravenous the next day," says Weil. To keep her hunger in check and help her maintain her slim figure, she tries to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
In terms of exercise, I kept working hard. Exercising was one of my priorities and so I fit it into my schedule every day, usually on my lunch break. I exercised 6 days of week, and the bulk of my exercise was focused on running with the occasional lifting or circuit (my amazing sister, Lindsay, a certified personal trainer, created lifting plans for me). It was important to me at this point in my journey to have a cardio-based plan and running seemed the most practical. I started running over the summer (it was a SLOW journey of gradually increasing the time and speed on the treadmill every day) so by the time it came around to fall I could actually go run on the roads and continue to improve my endurance. (Note: I am planning on writing a whole post about my relationship with running because it has grown into such an important part of my life. Running used to be extremely hard and I hated it but stuck with it because I knew it would be good for me, but now I love it and the way it makes me feel). 

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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.
The final possible culprit behind stubborn weight issues may be the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain. The most common cause of elevated cortisol is chronic stress and lack of sleep (see tip #10), or cortisone medication (tip #9). It’s a good idea to try your best to do something about this.

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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