I also think its important to note that having portion control is not the same thing as being on a diet. I never considered myself to be on a "diet." I remember a few co-workers asking me what kind of diet I was on and I didn't know how to answer because I never thought of myself of dieting because I still ate all foods that I loved. It was more just eating all foods in moderation. I could still eat a good burger and sweet potato fries if I went out to dinner, drank wine on special occasions, ate dark chocolate and ice cream, etc. I never stopped eating the foods I enjoyed, I just ate them less. 

And they say you can’t eat like a pig and slim down. Scientists at Kyoto University found bacon is a great source of the hormone coenzyme Q1, which spikes up your metabolism when combined with a brisk walk. And here’s the best bit: the study showed eating six rashers of bacon an hour before your stroll to the office will double the fat burn. There’s no need to ration your rashers.


Thank you for offering a simple diet plan and sharing your results. I have been on a personal journey to lose weight and have been unsuccessful for many years. I am making a 2 week commitment to stick to the diet plan you have outlined. My biggest problem is night time eating and very low self-esteem. I am looking forward to starting this. Any suggestions for me? Thanks!
Wow! I truly believe that I read this post today for a reason! I have been taking anxiety medication for the past 5 years and have gained almost 70 lbs in these 5 years. I’ve literally gone to doctor after doctor about my weight gain and no one could determine why I’ve gained so much weight. I’ve literally gone back and forth about quitting cold turkey and was so fearful about the withdrawl side effects. I feel like my weight gain is causing more anxiety than why I’m on the medicine to begin with. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story and motivating me. Thank you!!

Stress may contribute to abdominal fat, according to several studies, including a recent one at the University of California, San Francisco. "When you're stressed, hormones like cortisol stimulate your appetite, slow your metabolism down and encourage fat storage inside your abdomen," explains Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Clinic at the University of Utah. So what's a frazzled girl to do? "Find an activity that reduces stress for you, whether it's listening to soothing music or taking yoga, and do it daily," advises Talbott.

You already know that a perfect diet doesn't exist, but many of us still can't resist the urge to kick ourselves when we indulge, eat too much, or get thrown off course from restrictive diets. The problem: This only makes it more difficult, stressful, and downright impossible to lose weight. So rather than beating yourself up for eating foods you think you shouldn't, let it go. Treating yourself to about 200 calories worth of deliciousness each day — something that feels indulgent to you — can help you stay on track for the long-haul, so allow yourself to eat, breathe, and indulge. Food should be joyful, not agonizing!
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?
“Weighing myself every day helped me track my progress, but what helped the most was comparing myself to photos from before I lost the weight. It was like, 'Oh my goodness; I can't believe the difference from a 50-pound weight loss!' The most memorable moment was when I was out to dinner with a good friend, and he took a selfie of us. When I saw the picture, I was like, ‘Damn! I have lost weight!’ I put that picture next to one from a few months earlier and was so proud of my progress. Looking at those photos daily definitely served as motivation and helped me stick to a healthy lifestyle.” —Jennifer Carroll, 41
Focused strength workouts 1-2 times a week- First, focus on building muscle with straightforward strength workouts.  This can be a total body workout twice a week or split routines for upper and lower body.  And 'straightforward' workouts doesn't mean you have to do boring exercises.  There are great kettlebell exercises that can increase your strength just as well as regular dumbbells and don't forget you can also use resistance bands as well.  Just make sure you're lifting enough weight.

Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

About: Emma’s blogging personality is emphasized in her blog name. She’s a health and fitness junkie who uses her own life experiences to inspire others. For Emma, fitness is a release, and she wants it to be the same for her readers. Emma provides multiple recipes, weight loss tips and is an avid believer in “macro-counting,” eating the right kind of calories to maintain a healthy body weight.
Lisa Cain is a mother and writer for the healthy living blog Snack Girl. After learning from her doctor that she needed to gain control of her weight, Lisa was devoted to finding a new strategy and approach to weight loss that would help her make a long-term lifestyle change. Her blog is dedicated to creating healthy versions of her favorite snack foods and providing helpful tips for enjoying the process.
“Consuming a well-balanced diet and eating regularly throughout the day will help with keeping your metabolism high and aid in weight loss,” says David. “Eating more whole foods, such as high fiber vegetables and fruit, and limiting processed foods will help your body slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which decreases the risk of accumulating extra fat. Remember, you can’t eat like you are 20-years-old anymore! So, get rid of the junk food in your pantry and make small changes to add more whole foods to your diet. The fewer ingredients a food contains, the better it is for your health and weight.”
Jennifer, I am a little different than you. I have always been a big girl and right now, I am near 200 pounds. I am about 5’3 and I’ve always had trouble losing weight. I’m actually very athletic. I love to play sports and I’m good at them, but I hate running. I also splurge a lot. it’s a bad habit of mine to snack when I’m bored. I’m a recent college student and eating healthy is difficult, not to mention exercise. since I live on the fourth floor, I try to take the stairs only. I’m pretty good about that. I have a slow metabolism and I have no sense of calorie counting. I’m desperate for help, but I need to concentrate on my studies. what advice can you give me?
I do want to tell you that I think it is great that you are on a weight loss journey and that you joined Sparks People. I have been with them for 5 years and I love it! It keeps me motivated! Your doing a great job and it is wonderful that you are eating clean and healthy, just remember that in life there are some not so great for you foods, but you should never deprive yourself. Everything in moderation, just be conscience of what your putting in your body!
In December 2011, Lori started her blog to document her weight loss journey. Within a few days, her blog had seen hundreds of views. That encouraged Lori to keep going, and years later she still continues to give readers daily doses of recipes, thoughts on being healthy, exercises and more. Her post on “Emotional Eating” is a definite must-read; it takes you deep into the inner thought processes of a person who uses food to not only celebrate, but to overcome sadness, loneliness and any other emotion in life - as well as tips on how to overcome it.

At over 330 pounds and gaining, Erika was on a path of self-destruction that she knew she had to stop. Erika recognized herself as an emotional eater, and knew she had to come to terms with it if she wanted to make a change. Erika began to analyze herself, and had what she refers to as a “fitness moment,” where a trip to the gym and the subsequent number on the scale served her a huge reality check. Now, Erika has lost well over 100 pounds and keeps going, on a mission to become a personal trainer. Erika’s certainly not afraid to put it all out there. Her website is creative and engaging, with trendy sections you can visit such as, “Celeb watch,” “Exercises,” and even “Sex.”
Heather Gannoe-Hart is an avid runner, adventure seeker, Exercise Physiologist, and writer for her blog Relentless Forward Commotion. For Heather, running started as an attempt to shed some pregnancy weight after having her first baby—eventually, it turned into a passion that kick-started a new outlook on life. Relentless Forward Commotion is a place where she shares her passion for fitness, the outdoors, and the newest adventure she encounters, whether its trail running, mud runs, obstacle courses, cycling, or hiking. Her fitness journey will inspire you to step outside your comfort zone, try something new, and see the world in an entirely new way.
"Crash diets (dramatically cutting down how much you eat) might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but they’re hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off. It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets."
Also some research shows that the human body is primed to consume most of its calories during daylight hours. But the lifestyle is problematic for many: Because family meals and dinners with friends often are scheduled for after sunset, "people who try to stop eating after 7pm can’t do it every day for the rest of their lives," says Dr. Seltzer, who supports an alternative strategy: Eating a hearty meal at your regular dinnertime.
Almost a year and a half later, in the summer of 2006, I finally reached my goal weight of 130 pounds. My weight loss didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took a pretty long time – but that was because I wasn’t “dieting.” Through trial and error and figuring out what worked best for me, I made lifestyle changes, which have stuck with me to today. For example, I almost always have oatmeal with nut butter and some fruit for breakfast. It helps set a healthy tone for my whole day, plus it keeps me full until lunchtime.
“You can’t just say, ‘I want to lose weight…someday.’ It’s that kind of loose talk, without a fence or guideline, that discourages you from getting started and prevents you from succeeding. The way I did it was by tying it to an upcoming event in my life. I never focused on a number and I didn’t set out to lose a certain number of pounds per week or overall. I merely found a target date a year away and I proclaimed to myself that I’d be in better shape by then. — Maria Menounos, author of  The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness, on how she lost 40 pounds

About: Andie’s well-known for her New York Times bestselling memoir “It Was Me All Along” where she chronicles how she lost 135 pounds 10 years ago. But it’s her blog that drew us to her for this list, especially considering that she’s managed all this time to KEEP that weight off. Andie also wrote a cookbook, “Eating in the Middle,” featuring (mostly) healthy recipes. Plus, Andie’s blog is chock full of healthy recipes too (and the occasional indulgence), lessons she learned while losing weight and how she transformed her relationship with food and her body.
Probably. If you have overweight or obesity, your risk for many health problems is higher than that of women who are at a normal weight. Even a small amount of weight loss can lower your risk for or even prevent health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) to see whether you’re at a healthy weight. If you have overweight or obesity, start by making small changes to your eating habits and getting more physical activity.
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