Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
About: Brand new to the blogging world, Ayla’s story is a familiar one. She started out her journey at about 200 pounds and tried tons of different things to lose weight — pills, dieting, the gym, you name it — none of which seemed to work. Finally, Ayla gave it one last go using Insanity workouts and overhauling her diet, and, what do you know, it worked. Ayla lost 63 pounds, and now dedicates her time and energy to sharing tips and tricks that worked for her with others. Her blog has easy-to-follow, quick-hit guides and ideas for losing weight quickly and effectively.

While there are probably plenty of pre-made bean and veggie soup options that just need a few minutes to heat through on the stovetop, making your own soup is really easy—and a great idea for your health. Homemade soups are much lower in sodium – about 100 milligrams or less per 2-cup serving. By contrast, 2 cups of many canned soups contain a blood-pressure-busting 1,200 milligrams or more, a worrisome amount considering that health experts recommend consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium for the entire day. This is also a great way to use up all those leftover vegetables in your crisper—pretty much anything works in this soup.
Out-of-whack hormones have all kinds of uncomfortable side effects and belly bloat is one of them. There’s a reason that bloating is one of the primary complaints women have during menopause! While you can’t turn back the clock and reclaim the hormone profile of your 20’s, you can make sure you’re within the normal range—something your doctor can check for you. In the meantime, eating right and exercising are natural ways to balance your hormones.
By making just some of the dietary cutbacks mentioned and starting some moderate exercise, this individual can easily "save" the 3,500 calories per week needed for a 1-pound weight loss, leading to a healthy rate of weight loss without extreme denial or deprivation. Furthermore, her changes in diet and lifestyle are small and gradual, modifications that she can maintain over time.
^ 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.
Many diet plans cut out entire food groups, which can create nutrient deficiencies as well as health problems. For instance, if the diet is very low in carbohydrates and you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, it’s probably not a good fit. And if it’s too restrictive and you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s not a good idea, either. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not a time for weight loss. Speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Hi! I have to say 600 calories is terrible! You are going to starve your body. On average without exercise, your body burns at least 1400 calories, if you are eating only 600 calories you are not fueling your body with proper nutrition. When this happens your body goes into starvation mode and you end up gaining weight to, worse yet, end up sickly. Don’t do that to yourself, please! When I added more calories into my diet, I gradually added more, like a 200 a week. I gave myself an extra snack. I don’t recall if I gained weight at the beginning, but I do know I lost weight when I ate more. Don’t be afraid to eat!! What I would do if I were you is add more protein into your diet, like eggs, greek yogurt, lean chicken. You also need a little fat like avocado, olive oil or peanut butter. I personally found the hardest thing about dieting is not being able to stick to it. I dieted for 2 years lost weight, but then life happened. I eat healthy but what I started back when I was dieting I was eating low calorie, now I eat what normal people eat and I gained some weight back. But I realized what I was doing to my body back then, I wasn’t able to do that for the rest of my life. My advice is to eat healthy, eat what is in your calorie range and exercise for 30 minutes a day, even if it is just a walk. Doing this is a set-up for permanent weight lose and you will be healthy. I learned over the years that a healthy body on the inside, shows on the outside and even if you gain a little weight you are better off.

That’s because women tend to store more temporary fat in their bellies. “The fat stores are gained and lost,” says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. “By and large, belly fat comes off easier in the sense that it comes off first. That’s where a good amount of the fat is lost from.”

There was a time when food was just food. Humans lived off the land, eating some plants, the animals in the area and fruit, seeds and nuts when they were available. Today, the vast majority of “food” found in the grocery store are highly processed products created through modifying starch, or carbohydrate, in ways we’ve not seen in most of the history of the human race. Because these foods are the dominant foods in the places we buy our groceries, it takes a little thought before selecting an item. If meats, fish, poultry, produce, dairy, nuts and seeds were all the store sold, it would be easy to make your choices.


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).

“Most people who have been lean their whole lives have a much better understanding of proper portion size than people who are overweight,” says Deborah Riebe, Ph.D., a professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island. “If they go out to eat, they’re much more likely to ask for a doggie bag right away or to leave food on their plate rather than cleaning it up.”
HCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is a hormone produced during pregnancy by the placenta after implantation, and doctors sometimes prescribe it for fertility issues. But this hormone has also gained popularity as a weight-loss supplement — and using it as such can be dangerous. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against purchasing over-the-counter hCG, as these supplement products are illegal. (34)

In this scenario, even though Julie’s calorie levels are low, and she should be burning more calories than she eats, she still can’t access her extra fat. Without access to the stored fat for energy, the body responds by stimulating hunger and lowering metabolic rate. If it doesn’t have access to energy, it will respond by burning less energy. Though her body is a “rich” source of energy from all the fat it has stored up, it’s almost useless since Julie spends most of her day eating foods that limit the ability of her fat cells to release the stored fat.
“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.”
Insulin (in-suh-lin): A hormone made by the cells in your pancreas. Insulin helps your body store the glucose (sugar) from your meals. If you have diabetes and your pancreas is unable to make enough of this hormone, you may be prescribed medicines to help your liver make more or make your muscles more sensitive to the available insulin. If these medicines are not enough, you may be prescribed insulin shots.
About: She had us with her name, but diving a little deeper, Shawn’s creativity really sinks the hooks in. Her “about” section is written like a sad (and playful) fairytale, but it’s her very real struggle that also touches a nerve. Shawn’s always been a hard worker, but her pursuit of education and a career took a toll on her body — causing weight gain and a deep depression. Shawn started Shrederella as a way to take back her life and chronicle the journey, and she’s done one heck of a job. Follow her for an authentic person with real struggles that you will surely relate to — plus a host of delicious, healthy recipes and fitness tricks.

In my experience, most patients consider weight loss drugs or surgery only as a last resort.  “I want to lose weight naturally,” they say. Once we screen for (and treat) any contributing medical problems that could be causing weight gain (low thyroid function, polycystic ovarian syndrome, prediabetes, among others), or psychological issues (bulimia, binge-eating disorder, depression, anxiety), I encourage a diet-and-lifestyle approach for many reasons, among them my own personal experience.


About: Holly’s story starts and ends with food. Years ago, Holly spent every waking minute obsessing over every calorie, every bite and trying every yo-yo diet she could think of to shed pounds. But then one day she woke up and realized she would never find happiness living that way. She began focusing on finding a love of healthy food and cooking, a love she now shares on her blog and sees as her true purpose in life. There, you’ll find everything you need to learn to enjoy food again without all the guilt.
About: Evette’s blog is all about getting personal. She’s deeply expressive in her writing and truly moves readers with her words while she maintains accountability on her weight loss journey. Evette started the blog as a way to share her path of discovery and redefining moments while she works to raise her young daughter into a beautiful, kind woman. And she takes readers along with her as she continues to blog about her goals, attainments, fears and much, much more — all in a personal and engaging manner.

In this case, if someone chose to reduce total calorie intake while also keeping insulin levels low through nutrition choices, weight loss could occur at an increased rate. The issue is, too many people focus first on calorie reduction rather than the quality of the foods they eat. Simply lowering calories while still eating a significant amount of carbohydrates is a recipe for lowering metabolic rate, losing lean body mass, constant hunger and eventual failure on the plan.
(To clarify: At the time, I wrongly thought that the key to my happiness and “ideal life” was through a certain body type. Mentally, I regarded weight loss as a way to be happier and more attractive and all those things. It isn’t. Having gone through a transition of self-discovery and love over the past few years, I realize this is not at all the case, which I will elaborate on in the thoughts below.)
Happy Friday! 😎 The weekend is almost here, and I'm dreaming about this "Crack Coffee" that I tried at @dfgrille last week. Listen to this epic iced coffee combo: Black Barrel @mountgayrum, St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram, Chai Tea Syrup, @chameleoncoldbrew Nitro, Half & Half, and Whipped Cream. How does THAT sound as a Friday pick-me-up? ☕️🥂 #signmeup #dfgrilleVIP #happyhour #icedcoffee
Between his hilarious poetry, inspiring post-it notes, and top ten lists that make Letterman sound unoriginal, reading Jack Sh*T, Gettin' Fit can feel more like your daily dose of comedy than weight-loss advice. Of course you get that too, you're just laughing so hard you don't realize how good it is for you. Check out his post When Harry Met Salad to see what I mean.
This is Liz, and she started her blog way back, eight years ago, when she was just at the age of 24. Over the years, she had made quite a lot for herself, and this is the place where she documented it all. From moving to another state where she does not know anyone at all, to having her heart broken a couple of times, to finding her passion in life and completing her goals. But most importantly, she documented her struggle with losing and gaining and losing weight over and over again. In the meantime she fell in love with running and Cross Fit, so she managed to keep her weight upon her last weight loss process, and now she enjoys her body more than ever. From finding a career path which she loves to taking full pleasure in foods, especially cheese, this blog will make you realize how to make a balance in your life and be healthy, as well as how to set goals for yourself and seek them through until the end.
When researchers in Brazil studied 13,000 people over a three-year period, they found that men with the highest levels of inflammatory agents in their body were also the most likely to gain weight. And periodontal disease, which is caused by poor oral health care, is one of the most common sources of inflammation. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and making regular trips to the dentist are the best ways to prevent the disease. Hate flossing? Studies show that a dose of Listerine may be just as effective at reducing levels of inflammatory bacteria within the mouth.
About: Gina has the kind of success story that really touches a nerve. She started out at 298 pounds and went on to lose 168 of those pounds in 25 months. As someone who always struggled with her weight and achieved such a huge thing, she has an especially good grasp on how to help other people who have 100 or more pounds to lose achieve their goals. Her blog is a place she uses to motivate, inspire, energize and connect with others. And that’s exactly what it is.
Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning Sparkpeople! Last week, I came across your website after visiting Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn and reading a woman’s recipe about pumpkin pie oatmeal. She listed your Crockpot pumpkin oatmeal recipe as a recommended recipe. I’ve been having a hard time taking off ten pounds–I’m in my forties and I can’t eat like I used to! I joined Sparkpeople a week ago and have been really liking it. I don’t feel so isolated, and the tracking tools are really great (and it’s free, too!). Thanks for introducing me to Sparkpeople, Jennifer!
Gina Harney started The Fitnessista after she’d already lost 40 pounds. At the time, she was in maintenance mode in Georgia where, as she explains it, “healthy options were pretty scarce.” The blog was her way of chronicling how she sought out those healthy choices and often created them for herself. Today, Gina works as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and weight loss specialist. She loves sharing tips with her readers as they embark on their own journeys toward health. Visit the blog.
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