Wow, Penny. You sure have had more than your fair share of struggles! I am so impressed at how you have continued to persevere and do whatever you could to succeed, despite all of the setbacks. YOU are the inspiring one! You found a way to exercise that didn’t cause you pain, you are making the healthiest choices you can in your circumstances. I am so glad you shared your story with me!
"At the age of 21, while a senior at my four-year university, I found out I was pregnant and was so scared. Soon after, I also discovered I was going to be a single mother, and it was one of the toughest pills I ever had to swallow. Through the support of family and friends, I had a beautiful pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby boy named Liam in December 2013. I wanted to be the best parent I could be to him, especially since I was doing it alone, so I decided, after struggling with weight my whole life, to finally get healthy. I began by cleaning up the foods I was putting in my body and adopting an Atkins low-carb lifestyle by eating a moderate amount of healthy fats, high-fiber carbs and optimal proteins. I cut out all refined carbs such as white rice, pasta, bread and sweets. I ate lots of green, leafy veggies and fruits. I constantly gave myself a healthy variety of fun and tasty meals that never left me feeling deprived or restricted. I lost 40 pounds before I ever began working out! Once I got in the gym and began HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and strength training in addition to a healthy diet, I was able to lose the weight in just one year."
I would think a lot about exercise. Especially when I was watching TV.  I remember “the Bean.” The Bean was going to get me to exercise without fear of hurting my back and give me a six pack.  I made a promise to myself as I was dialing the number on my TV screen, “You are definitely going to exercise this time.” Yet the 1st time I blew up that bean (you have to fill it with air), boom -- I hurt my back. I quit. 
There’s a reason everyone harps on about protein: Not only does it help keep you full, but it’s also responsible for repairing the tiny tears caused by strength training in your muscles. This helps them grow bigger and stronger, nudging out body fat in the process. As a general rule of thumb, aim to get at least 70 grams of protein throughout the day, says Dr. Cheskin. (These high-protein foods can help you reach that goal.)

In 2011 I had enough of being fat, I hated that I was always the fattest person in the room. I started reading every blog, book and website about losing weight and found some information and a cookbook that highlighted clean eating. I started cooking 3 meals a day and enjoyed the ritual of cooking and taking better care of myself, but most of all I enjoyed the food.


The popular "flat belly diets"embrace much of the wisdom found in eating a Mediterranean diet, which helps everything from brain health to hearth health. The basic premise for both diets is eat foods rich in monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that may help reduce your belly fat storage. MUFA-rich foods include olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocodos, and fish. Eating yogurt regularly has also been found to be helpful in reducing belly fat.

Want a flatter stomach? Look in your glass—milk and soda are two major causes of tummy inflation. Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, which means that your glass of warm milk before bed may be the reason you wake up with too-tight pajamas. And when it comes to soda, both regular and diet are belly busters both from the sweeteners used and the carbonation. Try eliminating these from your diet and see if it helps flatten your tummy.

To encourage ketone production, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production. And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis.
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.
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!
“Under normal conditions, humans absorb only about 80% of the nutrients from the food they eat,” says A. Roberto Frisancho, Ph.D., a weight-loss researcher at the University of Michigan. But, he says, when the body is deprived of nourishment, it becomes a super-efficient machine, pulling what nutrients it can from whatever food is consumed. Start eating again normally and your body may not catch up; instead it will continue to store food as fat.

Cat is a vegetarian, which most people assume means she is at a healthy weight. And they’d be right. Cat is a beautiful, vibrant woman. But it wasn’t always that way for her. Cat used to tip the scales at 310 pounds. After getting surgery and subsequently discovering a deep love for running, she lost all that weight and has kept it off, all while sharing her journey with others. Her blog takes readers through tons of healthy recipes, step-by-step processes for things like home organization, fun things she finds while surfing the web and more.

When researchers at the University of Tennessee put a group of volunteers on one of two diets—one high in calcium and one not—and cut each group’s calorie intake by 500 calories, they found that the people getting calcium lost twice as much weight (an average of 13lbs) compared with people on the standard diet. Study author Michael Zemel, Ph.D., believes extra calcium helps the body burn more—and store less—fat.

I know what you mean bout struggling through weight loss/gain. My Husband is super skinny and my step-daughter is thin too and they don’t understand the issues of weight. For me, weight can come on pretty quick. I will always be one of those people that has to watch there weight, I just can’t eat anything and not gain weight. It’s a struggle. I drive my family crazy sometimes, when we go out I say no, can’t eat that, thats to fattening, no thanks I don’t need fries, ect… and than I have my Husband who says your fine, enjoy it, eat it. Than I do than I feel horribly guilty. Sometimes we have to know to let go that we are not all perfect. The main reason I started my blog was for support. If I opened up and put it out there, than I feel accountable for my actions and I wanted people to know they aren’t alone. Thanks for leaving a comment, today I was actually feeling kind of bad, but you made me feel better. Take care of yourself and please feel free to stop by anytime. – Jennifer
This high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carb fad diet sends the body into a state of ketosis, in which the body uses stored fat for energy. Research published in Clinical Cardiology suggests the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet can be an effective weight loss method, but to be successful, you must follow the plan consistently with no cheat days — otherwise, you’re just eating a high-fat diet that may be high in unhealthy fats for no reason. (1) (A pro tip? If you're planning on doing the diet, consider perusing this complete keto food list and reading up on the healthiest fats for keto diet followers.)

Mary’s blog title says it all. For her, weight loss should not be a struggle or something that is difficult all the time, but rather embraced as part of a merry life overall. After spending many years growing up as an emotional and compulsive eater as a way to cope with verbal and emotional abuse, Mary decided it was time to make a change. She lost weight, re-gained it, and decided to start her blog as a way to keep herself motivated. Now, more than 40 pounds down, Mary believes in living life to the fullest while losing weight, not after. Readers can follow along as she shares daily happenings, exciting events (like when she went bungee jumping and parasailing), recipes and workouts.
Absolutely! Doctors are supposed to consider, screen for, and treat any underlying issues that could be causing weight gain or difficulty losing weight. As above, “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.”

Our gut microbiome controls far more than we give it credit for, which is why having your gut colonized with beneficial types of bacteria is so important. One way to do this is by taking a probiotic supplement. You can also make these 12 foods that boost good gut bacteria part of your everyday diet. Not only will this help you get sick less, feel happier, and ease digestion but it can also help you de-bloat, flattening out your tummy in the process. Try these home remedies to lose belly fat.


Josie’s blog is anything but average. It’s downright laugh-out-loud funny. She uses it as the perfect platform to share all her fun workouts, recipes, tips for success and goofy product reviews with her thousands of followers - all in a comical way you won’t find anywhere else. Check out her YouTube channel too, where she posts hilarious vlogs of her workouts and product reviews.
Quite the name for a fitness blog, right? There are always some transformations happening in the world of healthcare. These forces are re-shaping the industry as it is with every passing day, and this is why all innovative ecosystems are needed in order to keep up with the ever changing models which will shape the new tomorrow. This site is your personal Health and Weight Loss Coach. It is founded by a team of personal coaches which have at a certain point in their lives fought with weight issues, and ultimately beat them. These people tried their best in order to make a change for themselves, and they succeeded in it! This is why now they are here for you, so that you will not have to be alone on this journey. They will provide you with all the information you need and finally, will motivate you so that you can stay on the right track and create a healthier lifestyle for yourself!

Two years ago, Krista lost over 100 pounds by eating right and exercising regularly - embodying what nutritionists have been saying all along about combining the two to get the results you want. Now, her passion for writing and helping others get on-track comes through every single day in her blog as she dishes about food and recipes, fun races and 5Ks, her family and her life as a pharmacist.


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.

It’s not just the dynamic website graphics that will catch your eye when you visit Krystle’s blog. Her photos are sure to draw you as they are evidence of a truly stunning transformation. Krystle dropped almost 100 pounds, and her current photos make it difficult to ever imagine her as overweight, let alone obese. Krystle takes others on a journey through her many workout choices (she likes to switch it up often!) and incorporates some healthy (and some not-so-healthy) food into her diet, showing others that it doesn’t take total deprivation and constant 2-hour workouts to lose weight and change your life.


In addition to hormones that flood the body during the menstrual cycle, some essential hormones such as cortisol and melatonin also play a significant role in packing on the pounds around the belly. When you’re stressed — be it as a result of life circumstances or even a low-calorie diet or a strenuous workout routine — your body is thrown into a state of stress too and ups the release of cortisol. If the stress is prolonged, it can actually prevent your metabolism from working correctly and make it harder for your body to burn fat. Sometimes overtraining and undereating may actually work against your efforts to lose belly fat, as cortisol can cause fat to be deposited in the adipose tissue around the belly area.

I wasn’t happy at my heaviest, but I wasn’t really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in 2004 put things in perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a “bad” photo of me. I was so depressed that I threw most of them away.


The plan promotes long-lasting, sustainable changes, and undoubtedly a bounty of research backs this up. In fact, one December 2013 study in the American Journal of Medicine shows that people following Weight Watchers were close to nine times more likely to lose 10 percent of their body weight, compared to people following a self-help diet plan. (20)
Katrin is living proof that just because you’re 50 doesn’t mean you can’t live (and love) life to the fullest. Her blog, “Go Goggy Go,” a name she chose based on a nickname her brother had for her when she was a kid, has a capricious air about it - built right into her style of writing. You’re sure to chuckle often and raise your eyebrows, impressed that a 50-something woman is able to eat such healthy and delicious-looking food on a regular basis, run a 10K and lose more than 60 pounds. Quite impressive, if we do say so ourselves.
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.

I would think a lot about exercise. Especially when I was watching TV.  I remember “the Bean.” The Bean was going to get me to exercise without fear of hurting my back and give me a six pack.  I made a promise to myself as I was dialing the number on my TV screen, “You are definitely going to exercise this time.” Yet the 1st time I blew up that bean (you have to fill it with air), boom -- I hurt my back. I quit. 


I currently track macronutrients (macros) to monitor my daily food intake which means that I try to stick to a set amount of carbs, fat and protein each day. I have been eating around 1600-1700 calories, 180g carbs, 50g fat, 150g protein and I aim to burn 500+ calories a day – meaning that I’m in a calorie deficit. My exercise routine is based on 5 weight training sessions per week, daily walks to reach my steps and 3-4 short cardio sessions a week (e.g. 15-20 minutes of interval sprints on treadmill 30 seconds sprint 30 second rest at the side). Find out more about macros including how to set your own by clicking here.
With a lot of nutrition, a bit of workout and a bit of coaching, you can get the body image you want and you definitely deserve! This page is created by a team of professionals with a lot of love and a lot of passion for a healthy lifestyle and improvement of the body image. These professionals have always been inclined to help people live a healthier and more active life, and this is what this blog is all about. They are helping other people by teaching them how to eat the proper food at the right time and combine it with a great workout. The prior intention to making this site was to battle obesity in Pakistan. Thankfully, it helped there a lot and it quickly spread all over the globe. If you want to be a part of this group and have a team of professionals taking care of your every step towards losing weight, sing up for a personal dieting plan on their site right now!
When you pull up this blog and take a look at the photos of Mary, it’ll be hard to ever imagine her as someone who struggled with weight. A personal trainer, coach and figure competitor, Mary has quite an impressive resumé. But it wasn’t always that way. Over 6 years ago, Mary lost over 40 pounds, and has been on a journey to keep it off ever since. She ditched the unhealthy habits, started running and began blogging as a way to share her daily musings and thoughts with others. 

#11 – Most importantly, set a goal and try to achieve it!  Don’t give up, even if you mess up for a day or two.  Just get back on that horse and keep going.  Along that note, you need to reward yourself!  If you reach a mini goal, then treat yourself to a pair of jeans, or something you desire.  I bought clothes at every 5lbs loss.  A little crazy, but it worked and I felt great!!
“Under normal conditions, humans absorb only about 80% of the nutrients from the food they eat,” says A. Roberto Frisancho, Ph.D., a weight-loss researcher at the University of Michigan. But, he says, when the body is deprived of nourishment, it becomes a super-efficient machine, pulling what nutrients it can from whatever food is consumed. Start eating again normally and your body may not catch up; instead it will continue to store food as fat.
It’s called a “beer belly” for a reason. Boozy bubbles are a major cause of belly bloat, as anyone who’s ever looked in the mirror after a few too many drinks can attest. But it’s not just the carbonation that is the culprit. Alcohol can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your stomach, leading to gas, not to mention all the empty calories that are going straight to your waistline. Instead, skip the alcohol altogether or limit yourself to one serving per day.
“It can take 12 minutes or longer for the signal that you’ve started to eat to make its way to your brain,” says Mark S. Gold, M.D., of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida. Quick tips: Sip some water between every bite of food you eat, or at least eat more meals with friends or family members. You’ll be more likely to talk and therefore to eat more slowly.
About: Nicole’s just a regular ‘ole girl that occasionally likes to try new fitness and, as she puts it, only gets up to work out at 5 a.m. if she’s under duress. And it’s that attitude that makes her so gosh darn appealing. She’s not the in-your-face runner, the strict “paleo-diet-only” recipe blogger. She’s just an average girl doing average things — much like the rest of us. Plus, she’s pretty darn funny and not afraid to use self-deprecating humor. Love it.
“The way that I lost my baby weight is doing P90x, Insanity and PiYo at the YMCA—they all have a great system of cardio and plyometrics. The reps are low and the intensity level is high, so when I finish one rep I feel so accomplished to do the rest. I would keep telling myself to do one more. It also helps to have a great instructor; my instructor would literally do the work with you. That’s what makes me want to do more. I am now at a level that I can keep up with our group instructor, which is amazing. I haven’t felt this alive in a long time. I’m a vegetarian, and we love our carbs, so that was a bit hard, especially after doing cardio. You feel like you’re starving. I cut the carbs—no bread and pasta—and just added more vegetables and cold pressed juices to get extra vitamins in my body. I snack when I’m hungry on cashews and peanuts, and hydrate with water as much as I can.”
Katie’s weight has been a challenge her entire life. But after having two boys, she reached an all-time high: 253 pounds. That was when she decided to make a change, but it didn’t happen right away. For the next three years, she dieted and bounced between losing and gaining 50 pounds. Her real weight loss journey began in 2009, when she used calorie counting and running to take off 125 pounds. Today, she writes about maintaining that loss, running, being a mother, and managing a bipolar diagnosis. Visit the blog.
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