In August of 2010, one of my members of Getting in Shape 2010 group recommended I joined Sparks People.  I thought what the heck, since my virtual trainer was giving me issues.  Well I set up my profile, entered how much exercise I do a week, and what my goal was and guess what?  It calculated how many calories I needed to lose 1.5 lbs a week.  Don’t forget I was eating only 1200 calories a day.  Sparks told me I needed to eat 1550 at the low end and 1700 on the high end.  I was so happy, I could eat!!!!  It was like a new world opened up for me.
I think another great thing about having a blog and being a part of the community of health blogs is how open people are with weight loss/gain. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and never had a lot of people to talk to because people around me weren’t going through it or felt ashamed to admit guilt over gaining a few pounds or that they secretly knew all the over exercise was actually a bad thing. It can be very isolating and reading other people’s journeys is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story!
What the expert says: ‘Like with atkins, you will lose weight quickly. The ketogenic diet is used in medicine, but under strict supervision and for set periods of time, so with appropriate support it can be safe in the short to medium term. The brain does use glucose as its fuel of choice, so ‘brain fog’ lethargy are common side effects. You’ll known when your body is running off ketones by your breath – it’s known as ‘keto breath’, and it’s bad. It also can affect your ability to exercise by due to a lack of quickly accessible energy.
For example, you might not realize just how much you eat when you go out to happy hour with friends. But if you take the split second to take a step back and make yourself aware of that fact, you’re more able to make a healthy decision. “The awareness and then planning and coming up with strategies for what else I can be doing—that might give me the same benefit of eating those comfort foods that make me feel better,” says Gagliardi.

^ Brand-Miller, Janette Cecile; Thomas, M.; Swan, V.; Ahmad, Z.I.; Petocz, P.; Colagiuri, S. (2003). Written at Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. "Physiological Validation of the Concept of Glycemic Load in Lean Young Adults" (PDF). The Journal of Nutrition. USA (published September 2003). 133 (9): 2728–32. doi:10.1093/jn/133.9.2728. PMID 12949357.
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Very informative. I’m just now starting out on my weight loss journey, and have started a weight loss blog of my own. My entire family are overweight and it is a struggle dealing with them as I try to change my habits. Even harder because being around them in an environment where eating bad is easy to get away with makes me fall back. I am finding each time I go back home I end up binging.


About: If the title of the blog alone doesn’t get you (it sure did for us), Neale’s hilarity soon will. When he started losing weight, Neale weighed in at 425 pounds. Now, he’s down 190 pounds — and he did it with no pill, shakes, short cuts or surgery. As Neale puts it, he’s had many people ask him the secret to his success — hence, the blog. Oh, and did we mention he’s a professional ventriloquist? So cool.
I have been heavy my entire life, at my largest I was 275 lbs and a size 20. I hated how I looked and how I felt. I have tried every diet out there, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Atkins, sugar free, fat free, calorie counting, you name it I’ve tried it. I read all the weight loss blogs. Sometimes I would lose a little weight, but inevitably something happened, I gave up and gained it back plus more.
Who says you shouldn’t eat less than 1800 kcals? Under normal circumstances, the minimum is 1200 for women, 1500 for men, and height and weight have no bearing – these are what the body requires to avoid starvation. This diet is, however, for 7 days only, it is not intended as a long-term weight-loss strategy, so 6 days at less than 1500 won’t do you any harm. You don’t say how tall you are, or what you do for a living, which would also have a bearing on your long-term weight-loss plans. Good luck with it, anyway – it’s not easy
About: Their blog may be described as just “another” runner, but it’s anything but. The blog is chock full of tips, advice, nutrition information — and lots of personalized posts — from “mothers” who banded together to run, and realized just how much they loved it. The blog also works as a personal cheerleader, a way to connect with moms and women who started running (grumbling), tolerated it, started to like it (there are moments) and ultimately fell in love (addiction level).
^ Thomas, Diana; Elliott, Elizabeth J.; Baur, Louise (31 July 2006). Written at University of Sydney, Children's Hospital at Westmead, CEBPGAN (Centre for Evidence Based Paediatrics Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Thomas, Diana, ed. "Low glycaemic index or low glycaemic load diets for overweight and obesity" (PDF). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. USA (published 18 July 2007). 3 (3): CD005105. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005105.pub2. PMID 17636786.
About: My Fat Friend Blog mixes two total opposites: Alex, the “fat friend” who is trying to lose weight and get fit. Sarah is the “not-fat friend,” the one who is really into fitness and healthy eating and who is on a mission to help Alex learn to love it the way she does. The blog is very, very new (just started in March), but so far, so good. The posts are entertaining, have fun photos and will have you laughing out loud.
Physical activity helps burn abdominal fat. “One of the biggest benefits of exercise is that you get a lot of bang for your buck on body composition,” Stewart says. Exercise seems to work off belly fat in particular because it reduces circulating levels of insulin—which would otherwise signal the body to hang on to fat—and causes the liver to use up fatty acids, especially those nearby visceral fat deposits, he says.
^ Thomas, Diana; Elliott, Elizabeth J.; Baur, Louise (31 July 2006). Written at University of Sydney, Children's Hospital at Westmead, CEBPGAN (Centre for Evidence Based Paediatrics Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Thomas, Diana, ed. "Low glycaemic index or low glycaemic load diets for overweight and obesity" (PDF). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. USA (published 18 July 2007). 3 (3): CD005105. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005105.pub2. PMID 17636786.
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)

Whether the body perceives a shortage of available energy is determined by the type of diet an individual follows more than the amount of calories in the diet. As you will see below, an overweight individual may have a metabolism that thinks it’s starving, simply because it cannot access the tens of thousands of calories worth of energy stored in its fat cells.

The most important thing you need to do is to program yourself mentally. Don't use a scale to measure your progress. If you work out with weights, you may gain a few pounds while losing inches around the waist. Instead, use that pair of jeans that you want to fit into again, or a pair that fits you now. You'll see a slight change every few weeks, and that should give you confidence.
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.

I drink a fuckload of water. Duh, right? I know. Don’t you roll your eyes at me – weight loss or not, it’s good for you. Drink water before you eat — it reduces hunger. In fact, more often than not your hunger pangs are actually signs that you need more water/you’re dehydrated. Bookmark these fruit-infused H20 recipes — they’re good for weight loss, digestion and more.
Fibrous foods are as close to a “miracle belly flattening pill” as we have. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, particularly those high in soluble fiber, have been proven to reduce fat around your midsection. In addition, these foods fill you up so you eat less, flattening your stomach over time. Try one of these 5 easy ways to turn off your fat genes and keep the weight off for good.
Spending more time in the kitchen can help you shed belly fat, as long as you’re cooking with the right foods, according to one 2017 study. After analyzing data from more than 11,000 men and women, UK researchers found that people who ate more than five homemade meals per week were 28 percent less likely to have a high body mass index, and 24 percent less likely to carry too much body fat than those whole only downed three meals at home.
^ McMillan-Price, J.; Petocz, P.; Atkinson, F.; O'neill, K.; Samman, S.; Steinbeck, K.; Caterson, I.; Brand-Miller, Janette Cecile (2006). Written at Human Nutrition Unit, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. "Comparison of 4 Diets of Varying Glycemic Load on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in Overweight and Obese Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial" (PDF). Archives of Internal Medicine. USA (published 24 July 2006). 166 (14): 1466–75. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.14.1466. PMID 16864756.
In the summer of 2009, I was stressed out with life!  So after dinner, every night, no matter what I went for a short walk around the block, and within 1 month I lost 10lbs.  My body must of went into shock with actually moving around.  That was the push I needed.  I was so excited to lose the weight that I actually started to watch what I ate.  I didn’t calorie count, I started out with portion control.  By November I dropped another 10lbs.  I was sitting around 150lbs.  That’s when I took notice of calories in food.  I was shocked to find out how many calories there were in my favorite foods.  I thought ordering a salad from Baja Fresh was a good idea!  Nope!  Having reduced fat desserts from Starbucks was ok,nope.  So I started to track calories on a website, my Virtual Trainer.  I was sticking to around 1200 calories a day, because that is what the magazines would tell me.
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!
Thank you so much for your sweet words! I definitely understand that feeling where you just don’t know that you can do it, especially when you have bigger things going on in your life. I am so thankful you have a job! I’m not sure if you are able to, but not having a vehicle may be the perfect way to lose weight while doing practical things – walking to work, the grocery store, friends’ houses, etc. I know sometimes that’s not possible, but you CAN do it! Let me know if you need more specific suggestions and we can talk through some possibilities that may fit your life. Good for you, fighting through the struggles of life. In Him, we are overcomers, and you are living that out daily!

Agreed, the body slows down to balance the energy income and still preserve the “emergency reserves” (Fat) for a just in case situation. Fasting is used to reduce accumulated fat and this can only HAPPEN WHEN INSULIN IS BELOW A CERTAIN THRESHOLD, which only Fasting can achieve, at which stage it opens the doors (so to speak) to the body’s fat stores. This only happens 8 hours AFTER YOUR LAST MEAL – so you need 8 hours to clear the blood sugars at which stage the body opens the doors to Fat Burning, and then it is your own decision how many more hours you allow for Fat Burning. Yes, there probably is some Ketogenesis in this process but that is the way it works. I have a feeling that you may have overlooked the importance of INSULIN in the scheme of things, and that is why I was


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.

As a rough estimate, an average woman 31-50 years of age who leads a sedentary lifestyle needs about 1,800 calories per day to maintain a normal weight. A man of the same age requires about 2,200 calories. Participating in a moderate level of physical activity (exercising three to five days per week) requires about 200 additional calories per day. More strenuous exercise programs, such as those with cardio focus, can burn even more.
About: Bonnie’s been sharing her life — and family of 7 — with readers for years. But the reason she found her way onto our list is because of what she started Jan. 2 — a full-on commitment to cut out the junk food, soda and other unhealthy habits and lose weight. More than three months later, and she’s more than succeeded. Her daily struggle is the kind of thing anyone who’s stopped and started and stopped and then started again can attest to. But what really makes it special is that this time, she not stopping.
“For some people, it’s knowing, ‘Typically I eat a whole sandwich,’” says Gagliardi. “‘Now, I’m going to make the decision to eat half a sandwich at lunch and save the other half for my dinner and essentially cut my calories in half. And they feel good about that. They’re not having to do math.” To get started, check out these 25 simple ways to cut 500 calories a day.
I chose a well-rounded, nutritious diet plan consisting of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats (and also very low in carbohydrates). It was a popular commercial diet, which I modified to suit my preferences (most of the diets out there are fairly similar). I never bought any of their prepared foods, and used their menu only as a guide, substituting what I liked or had in the pantry where necessary.

If you like eating meat and want to lose weight, you might be tempted to try this recent extreme diet fad that proponents have made some pretty outrageous claims about. One: that eating nothing but meat can cure you of autoimmune diseases. The problem is that there’s no good research to support that notion, or any other health claim, for that matter. Indeed, omitting foods known to be good for you — fruits and veggies among them — can lead to a bunch of unwanted side effects, including constipation and potentially dangerous nutrient deficiencies. Still, since you’re cutting out so many food groups, there’s a decent chance you’ll lose weight, experts say. Regardless of any possible benefits you might see, this restrictive approach is definitely one you’ll want to ask your doc about before you even consider diving in.

“The secret to dropping the baby weight while working full-time was eating real food—no shakes or supplements, preparing meals in advance, and going slow. I balanced all of my meals to have a mix of protein, fat and carbs. As for meal prep, that was critical! After my kids went to bed, I would roast some veggies and meat in the oven with olive oil and seasoning like garlic, rosemary, oregano and bake for 425 degrees at 25 minutes. Then I would prep egg muffins, flourless banana muffins or snacks like roasted chickpeas. The whole prep would take from 30 to 60 minutes. I did this meal prep every two to three days instead of all day on Sunday. That allowed for greater variety and fresher ingredients, plus I could grab and go during the crazy busy morning rush for my meals the next day at work. Also, I incorporated both HIIT and strength training to get the most bang for my 5:30 a.m. workouts on weekdays, using my home equipment of dumbbells, resistance bands, a core ball and kettlebell. You don't need to sacrifice time with your family or from your career to lose weight. I'm proof of that.”


Unless increasing muscle mass is your fitness goal, the main reason many people start (or restart) their health and fitness journey is to learn how to lose belly weight. Stomach fat can be the most immediate and noticeable area of fat accumulation, but it’s worth noting that we can’t spot-reduce fat from parts of the body – when we lose fat, it happens holistically, and we can’t pick and choose where on the body we see results (sorry, but it’s true). This is why we always recommend a holistic shift to better health and exercise habits rather than trying to “hack” your way to your ideal body.
About: Jackie, a 26-year-old English professor, is not exactly new to blogging. She’s been doing it since 2013. But recently, she moved her posts from Tumblr to their own website — and with an 80-pound weight loss, why not? Jackie’s the kind of writer who draws you in not just with her words, but with her use of photos and links, too. She’s snarky and quick-witted, and her posts are a blast to read. Factor in the continuing journey to shed pounds and reach her goal weight of 132, and the blog is really something special.

Chronic stress may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, even altering small things – such as posture – may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight.
You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.
With potatoes, leave the skin on (with baked or mashed potatoes) or if you peel them, make snacks of them. For example, drizzle olive oil, rosemary, salt, and garlic on the peels and bake at 400 F (205 C) for fifteen minutes for baked Parmesan garlic peels. Keeping the skin on potatoes when cooking them helps keep more vitamins/minerals in the flesh (just don't eat any parts of skin that are green).
About: Jenn’s story is one we can all relate to. She’s struggled with her weight all her life, and has spent many times going up and down with winning over her food addiction — and succumbing to it. Her posts represent the deepest emotions we battle when it comes to food, and it’s her willingness to open up that really touches readers. She’s been blogging for a long time, and her constant battle is one that more people definitely should follow.
Another factor that may be hindering you from achieving a flat stomach may be your menstrual cycle. Most women experience bloating as they as menstruation approaches and can put on up to 2-6 pounds in water weight. Even the most slender and toned among us will look a little puffy and bloated a few days to a week before their period starts. Once the menstrual cycle begins, you will probably notice your “belly” shrinking as well.
Alexis Eggleton is the creator of one of our most inspirational blogs, Trading Cardio for Cosmos, where she shares positive and inspirational messages, lessons in emotional wellness, healthy recipes and also features weight loss success stories, including her own! She has lost more than 100 pounds with Weight Watchers and exercise, all without losing her sunny disposition! Alexis’ weight loss journey reminds us that you can be healthy without having to sacrifice your favorite foods, and you can do it all with a smile!
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