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This is a guide for losing weight for health reasons. This assumes a few things:

  1. You already know that you need to lose weight
  2. When you say “lose weight,” what you mean is “I have too much fat, and I want to lose that fat, even if I lose some muscle”

For most people in western countries, both of these will be true. There are four basic ways to approach losing weight. They can be approached simultaneously, but it’s important to distinguish starting points:

  1. Exercise of some form (cardio, resistance training)
  2. Change how much you eat (reduce calories)
  3. Change what you eat (e.g. keto diet, vegan diet)
  4. Change when you eat (e.g. intermittent fasting)

Exercise

Overall, if your goal is to lose weight, exercise is not where you should start. I strongly recommend exercise, and it’s a good thing to do. In particular, resistance training can help you build muscle which can improve overall health and assist in long term weight loss. But assuming you have limited time, energy, and will power, this is not going to give the best result.

How much you eat

This is in line with standard diet advice: eat less, move more! This advice has failed for decades. 95% of people who “diet” end up gaining back all the weight within a year. It’s for a simple reason: eating the same foods in the same way, but just eating less of it, requires a huge amount of willpower. You spend every minute of every day fighting hunger and cravings. You sit down to a meal, try to eat a small amount, and eventually give in, consume everything in sight, and gain the weight back.

There are lots of hormonal issues at play that make this happen, but the most important thing most people need to hear is:

  • Standard dieting advice is almost always doomed to fail
  • It is rarely, if ever, the fault of the dieter
  • Do not let medical professionals make you feel bad about this; they’re the ones providing bad advice!

What you eat

The first rule of thermodynamics says that energy can’t be created or destroyed. Some people take this law of physics to say that “it doesn’t matter what you eat, it’s all about calories.” This is wrong, shortsighted, and idiotic. The type of food you eat affects you hormonally, mentally, and even emotionally. What you choose to eat can increase or decrease your appetite, change how much you want to exercise, and alter your body’s metabolic rate.

There are a few simple rules for “what to eat” that are fairly universal:

  • Avoid sugar and refined grains
  • Try to eat “real foods”. If someone in the 1800s would recognize it, it’s real food. If it’s produced in a factory, it’s a food-like product. From there is gets much more nuanced, and this is where people lose hope. Should I be vegan? Should I eat keto? Is fat going to kill me? Are carbs?

My personal recommendation is low carb. It helps fight cravings the best in my opinion. That said, any diet that sticks to real foods, and doesn’t overwhelm you with too much of the combination of both carbs and fat will be successful. You can lose weight on both a carnivore and vegan diet. Just choose one and stick with it!

When you eat

Modern medical advice includes insanity like “eat 6 small meals a day.” This is dumb. “Eat more often so you eat less.” No, that’s dumb. I’ll prove it to you. I know a method that every person on the planet agrees will result in weight loss. You know what that is: stop eating for a few days. Therefore: you don’t need to eat 6 small meals a day to lose weight.

There are lots of points in favor of restricted eating windows, where you have certain times of the day or the week when you don’t eat at all. It affects you hormonally, letting insulin levels drop, for instance. Will you eat more at the next meal? Probably. But it’s OK, because overall you’re eating less and losing weight.

I find that a 12pm-8pm eating window is really easy to incorporate. Start the morning with a cup of coffee or tea if you like, with a small amount of cream if desired, and then don’t eat until noon. Then try to keep your eating to two meals (lunch and dinner), finishing before 8pm. Add in 1 snack if you need to, ideally something like nuts.

Recommendation

You want to get started, and just get told what to do? OK, follow these steps, which are optimized to avoid demanding a lot of willpower:

  1. Identify the junk food you binge on, and remove it from your house. Give it away, throw it away, burn it and dance around the bonfire. It requires 0 willpower to eat food that isn’t there.
  2. Introduce a 12pm-8pm eating window. Allow yourself 1 day a week to be flexible on it, but otherwise stick to it solidly. You’ll be hungry the first few days, and then you’ll get used to it. Very little willpower necessary.
  3. Reduce carb intake. Sugary beverages should be the first to go. Do not make any meals based around breads, pastas, etc. This one is more complex, but low carb food is really delicious. It takes effort to pull this off, but you’re not fighting hunger and cravings on a daily basis.
  4. If you’re adventurous, try out a multiday fast. It’s best to spend some time eating a low carb diet first, but you can jump right in. The first time you do this will be hard, don’t expect otherwise. But I believe the mental freedom you get from realizing that you are not dependent on a constant food drip is worth the effort.

Advanced

There are lots of more advanced topics. I mean, a lot. “How do I improve my lipids?” “How do I gain muscle while losing fat?” And so on. Don’t think about those now! Prove to yourself you can lose some weight, keep the weight off, and not suffer in the process. Don’t worry about the long term effects of what you’re doing. If you’re overweight or obese, and you bring down your body fat levels, you’re almost certainly making yourself healthier in the long term.

4 Inspirational Weight-Loss Blogs

By Tina Haupert

In February, I wrote about some of my favorite fitness blogs that inspire me to exercise regularly, which keeps me sane and helps me maintain my Feel Great Weight. I’m always curious how others stay motivated to maintain or lose weight, and I love learning new tips and tricks, so here are some weight-loss bloggers who inspire and motivate me.

Roni’s Weigh
I first met Roni in 2009 at the POM Harvest Blogger Tour. She’s one of the “big” bloggers in the health blog community; I was really nervous to meet her in person. All my fears were put to rest the second I met Roni. She was warm, friendly, and fully committed to living the healthy and active lifestyle that she blogs about every day on Roni’s Weigh.

Roni starting blogging in 2005 as a way to stay accountable on her personal weight-loss journey. Six years later, she still blogs, but her mission is to inspire others and share her ideas to live a lighter, healthier life. Roni does this through openly and honestly chronicling her weight loss, health, and fitness goals. Roni also founded FitBloggin’, a conference to bring new and seasoned health and wellness, fitness, and weight-loss bloggers together for knowledge, personal growth, and networking. It’s clear that Roni is committed to living a healthy lifestyle and sharing her passion with others. I’m so glad to know her professionally and personally.

Image zoom

Getty Images

Beth’s Journey
Beth has struggled with her weight for nearly her entire life. Overweight since puberty and then obese throughout high school and college, Beth tipped the scales at 250 pounds. In early 2009, she resolved to take better care of herself, which included quitting smoking and running for exercise. Initially, Beth didn’t drop weight as quickly as she would’ve liked, so she took a look at her eating habits. She joined Weight Watchers where she learned how food should be measured and weighed, and how much she should eat in a day.

I had the pleasure of meeting (and rooming with!) Beth at FitBloggin’. In person, she is just as sweet, down-to-earth, and motivated as she seems on her blog, which she launched to document her weight-loss progress online. Beth also shares what she’s learned along the way, including healthy recipes she creates at home. In two years, Beth has dropped 90 pounds, reached her goal weight, and run two half-marathons, among other road races.

Learn Fitness
If you need inspiration, look no further! Sean is a fabulous weight-loss blogger who has lost 200 pounds! His blog follows his journey toward “improved health and fitness, one sport, goal, and day at a time.” Sean’s goal is to lose 225 pounds through eating healthy foods and exercise. I love his approach to weight loss. Sean writes: “It’s taken me years to put this weight on so I guess I’ve always just known it was going to take time and motivation to get it off. I also wasn’t looking for a quick fix…instead I wanted to find a permanent and intelligent way to live and be healthy while still enjoying life along the way.”

Through his blog, Sean is showing his readers that slow and steady weight loss coupled with livable lifestyle changes wins the game!

Skinny Emmie
Skinny Emmie is a new blog for me, but I got sucked in right away and read a ton of posts! Skinny Emmie is a twentysomething weight-loss blogger who lives in Kentucky. This happily married marketing professional is on a 255-pound weight-loss journey, after being morbidly obese a large portion of her life. Becoming “Skinny Emmie” isn’t about being thin—it’s about being happy, healthy, and confident. Emmie explains: “The Skinny Emmie behind this blog is the person who always thought, ‘If I were skinny, I could do X,’ or, ‘If I were skinny, people would like me.’”

Emmie’s blog is about her journey to find her “Skinny Emmie,” the person inside her who feels healthy and great and doesn’t let external appearances slow her down. Emmie is open and honest with her readers and engages in conversation with them in the comments section of her blog. You can tell that she really cares about her readers and how her blog affects them.

Weight Loss

I love food and I love eating. But, I don’t love dieting. Although I have always been a mostly healthy eater, I’m not one to turn down a piece of birthday cake or a glass of wine during cocktail hour. But indulging a little too much and a little too often resulted in a slow gain of 25 pounds by my early 20s.

When I was younger, I’d managed to maintain my weight of 130 pounds by being active. I belonged to the dance team and played intramural sports, so it wasn’t difficult for me to motivate myself to exercise. After college, I started a desk job, and with that came long hours, pizza lunches, and plenty of happy hours. I continued to exercise almost every day, but it wasn’t enough and my weight climbed to 153 pounds, which was too much for my 5-foot-4-inch frame.

My Tipping Point

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.

Soon after the ski trip, I left my desk job to pursue graduate school and took a part-time job working at the front desk of an upscale health club. One of the perks was a free membership, which was the motivation I needed to take control of my weight. I started exercising at the health club most mornings, taking Body Pump and spinning classes on a regular basis. Finding workout buddies helped too. I made some new friends who were avid runners and I began training for and participating in road races with them.

Even though I was burning plenty of calories through exercise, I knew my eating habits were preventing me from losing weight. I wasn’t eating unhealthy foods – I stuck with salads, turkey sandwiches, and stir-fry dishes – I was just eating too much of everything. I started tracking my daily calories online. Counting calories really helped me understand my overblown portion sizes and just how many calories I was consuming.

A New Life

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.

Now I’m committed to maintaining my weight without missing out on any fun, like birthday celebrations or nights out with friends, which is the main philosophy behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Hopefully, my tips and tricks are helpful to you and you’ll share some of your own secrets and successes with me, too.

BEFORE

December 2003

August 2003

AFTER

July 2008

July 2010

April 2011

October 2012

August 2013

July 2015 – How I lost the baby weight in 4 months

May 2018

What Worked for Me: My Weight Loss Tips

Make an appointment to exercise

Every Sunday I jot down my exercise goals on my Google calendar. Sometimes last-minute plans get in the way, but I generally stick to my schedule once I’ve put it in ink.

Track calories —> macros

I didn’t realize just how many calories I was consuming, so tracking what I ate helped keep me aware of what I was putting in my mouth. I don’t count calories anymore, but I track macros (protein, carb, and fat grams) to keep my diet balanced and in check. Macros allows me to have my carrots and cake, too! If you’re interested in learning more or want to work together, check out my macro plan options!

Eat fresh fruit with breakfast

It’s such a small thing to do, but it sets a healthy tone for my whole day. Plus, fruit is low in calories and good for you!

Reduce portion sizes

This might seem like a “duh” tip, but just eating less of my usual servings helped me lose weight.

Meal plan every week

I love meal planning so much, I started a nutrition business. Every week, I sit down a plan a week’s worth of meals to keep myself on track. I find that if the food is already prepped and ready to go, I’m much more likely to stick to my plan instead of grabbing take-out or eating 5 bowls of cereal for dinner.

Ask yourself: Can this fit into my lifestyle?

A lot of people try to change too much at once when they want to get healthy. For me, making one small change and seeing how it fit into my life (before adding another) was what ultimately made them stick. If something didn’t work, I tried something else.

Keep truckin’

Maintaining my weight is all about balance. If I overindulge at a weekend barbecue or mindlessly munch throughout the afternoon, I don’t throw in the towel. I make sure my next meal is healthy and move on.

Want Even More Motivation?

How I Beat My Sugar Addiction

How to Stay On Track During the Weekend

Instagram Live (Weight Loss)

Join the private Carrots ‘N’ Cake Community Group

My Fitness Journey from Fat to fit

Hello readers,

Sharing you my fitness journey from Fat to Fit, 2 years I was overweight about 84 kg. Now I have lost 20 kg. But it’s without a gym, no diet, no weight loss pills, completely adapted healthy lifestyle and of course workout. Since childhood, I was overweight even in college days. I can say I have very bad genes. Two years ago on Rakshabandhan, I went with my family to celebrate that day, sister took one photo of mine when I saw that photo, I was shocked by what had happened to me, I never looked like this earlier.

So from that day, I decided that I have to do something for my health. Initially was very difficult for me but I didn’t give up. Earlier, I went to the gym but when I stopped workout I gained so much weight. Because of some work schedule, i didn’t’ know what to do, so decided I will start at home. My morning routine start with my alkaline water that is lemon water and honey with pinch of turmeric.

Started cardio training for 50 min daily for 1 week. I cut off every bad food like sugar, refined flours, oily food, street food etc. I was also doing functional training, kick boxing, resistant band workout then started with weights. Climbing stairs is also the best workout. I did the workout for 6 days a week and rested one day. Resting is also as important.

Do not use lift if it is not required. I followed the 80-20 rule i.e. 80% diet and 20% workouts. Drink 3-4 liter daily. Also the most important is to use minimum salt. My interest is in food also, so did not purchase any sweets and desserts. I make cakes and cooking and desserts at home. Still making. l started loosing weight but very slowly. Still not losing my hope. My fitness role model is Jillian Michels, Shivoham sir of Cross Fit and I like videos of Mr.Luke Coutinho, they inspire me towards fitness. They are the best in the field of fitness and health.

I also believe that the best motivation is you, no one can understand better than you. I have uploaded many posts regarding nutritional food on Instagram account nehapatni13. For working people, I would say just give half an hour from your work schedule just go for walk whenever you have time. Have some nutritional food in your daily diet like salad, home made food, fruits whatever you like. If you drink tea or coffee don’t take sugar and consume less. I would suggest never go crash diet and weight loss pills, you will loose your weight but will not work for a longer period. Remember diet doesn’t mean you can consume in large amount. Your breakfast, lunch and dinner you should take less portion don’t take very big plate you will automatically fill it with large volume. I mostly buy an organic product which is the best option. Avoid plastic as much as possible.

For me fitness is not only loosing weight it gives you confidence, strength. For working mothers, the best thing is to go for a long walk, give at least one hour for yourself.

Earlier it was my goal to loose weight but now fitness is part of my life style. Connect with your nature. I am not a fitness expert but what I shared here is my experience.

I know there is a question always for those who are trying to loose weight, “why I m not loosing weight?”

1)You to make a goal that I want to lose weight.

2)Cut down all processed food, junk food, sugary food, drinking, smoking.etc.

3)Homemade food is the best.

4)Have some seasonal fruits.

5)Do workout which ever you like for 45 to 50 min. Take less proportion of food, chew slowly, increase your metabolism.

6)Remember nothing will happen overnight, you have to work hard, have faith in you and have patience.

7)Do annual check ups but under prescribe by a doctor only. last but not least,

8)Never waste a food.

Stay Happy And Stay Healthy.

I have just returned from a trip to Fuerteventura to the second sports resort, within the Canary Islands, I have been to, Playitas Resort. The other is Club La Santa in Lanzarote.

Naturally I was posting on social media during the trip – my husband was running the Half Marathon Des Sables so was away for four days and this left me with time on my hands!

Following my posts I received a lot of questions as to which resort I thought was better. I added a story to my instagram asking which people thought I preferred and the result was quite heavily weighted to Playitas Resort. I then added a post to my story with the voting result and a note to say my favourite was Club La Santa. Here I will explain why.

I have been to Club La Santa three times now with my tri club, Havering Tri. I have been to Playitas just this once and it was booked as part of the HMDS package when my husband signed up.

Accommodation:

On every trip to Club La Santa I have stayed in the villas so I cannot comment on the apartments. However, the villas are great – always clean, toiletries in the bathrooms, clean towels and bedding with spare pillows and blankets, loads of storage in all rooms. As a group the majority travel with bikes and we tend to leave the bike boxes on the outside patio and this has never been an issue. I have never been in the same villa but they have always been easy to find when we arrive.

View from villa at Club La Santa Lanzarote

For our trip to Playitas Resort we stayed in the hotel and it took us over 30 minutes to find it. This was our first encounter with the cable car/funicular. We were advised to go to the 3rd floor in the funicular and our block was right there, only after waiting for over 15 minutes for the thing we got out and there were no signs just a corridor to another lift for block 7 (we were block 6) and another set of stairs. We ended up going round in circles until we finally found it. The room was dated but clean, toiletries in the bathroom with clean towels.

Staff:

At Club La Santa they have a ‘green team’ who are the staff that take the classes and who you will see around the resort. These guys are super helpful and always encouraging, asking if you are ok and helpful when needed.

I can’t say the same for some of the staff at Playitas Resort and after talking with some of the other guests they had experienced the same rudeness. The reception staff were very blunt, the staff in the buffet restaurant were always lovely but in the restaurants were often rude with one waiter telling a guest that he just needs to wait and then repeating for him to wait and on another occasion after the event telling some participants they couldn’t eat in the restaurant with the post event food even though their family was eating in there and the restaurant were providing the other food anyway!

Bike Hire:

I have never hired a bike at Club La Santa though I have been down to ask for help when I had a mechanical and they could not have been more helpful. Some of my tri club have hired bikes and always been happy with them.

I hired a bike at Playitas Resort and was emailing in advance corresponding with some of the staff there who were really helpful. On arrival we went to see them and again they were more than happy to run through all options including loading a route to my bike computer. Again on the day of the hire although it was different staff they couldn’t have done more for me. I had taken my own helmet, shoes and bike computer though forgot my computer mount and they found one that fit and set it all up for me. The bike was really comfortable too. I had a BMC SLR 2 Di2 and it was 45 Euros for a day hire with an additional (optional) 3 Euros for insurance for the day. The prices differ depending on the duration of the hire. There are also sessions for guided bike rides though these are not free and range from 25 to 35 Euros.

Cycling out from Las Playitas resort Fuerteventura

Restaurants:

When we go to La Santa we are self catering and have the option of cooking in the villa, using the restaurants or the buffet. The buffet is generally our last option and our preference is the restaurant. You only need to be there a few days for the waiters to remember your drink and they are always cheerful.

At Playitas Resort we were half board so had our breakfast and dinner in the buffet and the food was always great. Fish and meats cooked in front of you with loads of choice including protein and carb corner, loads of fresh breads and deserts although they all tended to taste the same. Staff here were very friendly also as well as in the main bar near the buffet restaurant.

Classes and the gym:

Classes are included when staying at Club La Santa – you are allocated a certain amount of points to use to book classes. I have used both the classes and gym and like the outdoor area for large classes and never had an issue getting on any equipment in the gym.

Outdoor pilates class at Club La Santa

I was disappointed that the majority of classes were charged at Playitas Resort and although most are only 4 Euros this soon adds up and some sessions like stand up paddle board yoga in the pool was 25 Euros. I also found the classes of a lesser quality – they were less professional and more fun is the best way I can describe them.

Both resorts offer runs that are free of charge and something as a tri club we make use of is the mini tri at Club La Santa that is again free of charge and always popular with guests. Both also have apps though the main difference is that you can book on for classes on the Club La Santa app but on the Playitas Resort app it is more for viewing and you need to go to Sports Booking to actually book on.

Swimming facilities:

There are three 50 metre pools at Club La Santa and lanes can be booked in advance though I have never had an issue getting a free lane. There is a timetable by the poolside which shows who has what lanes for the week you are there. The resort also has a lagoon that can be used for open water swimming. There is also a leisure pool on the resort.

Unfortunately we arrived at Playitas Resort on a Saturday and they have one 50 metre pool though it was closed for cleaning until the Wednesday. In addition to this as the resort is on the sea front you have the option to sea swim. There are also two leisure pools on the resort.

Other facilities:

Something else our triathlon club make use of at Club La Santa is the 400 metre running track and the run around the resort and lagoon is a nice loop with the option of a trail path off the lagoon also. I have also used the spa on every trip.

There is no 400 metre runing track at Playitas Resort but the resort is right next to a mountain for hiking or running trails (this is actually the final descent on the HMDS). There is also an golf course, climbing wall and obstacle course on site though I only saw a handful of obstacles myself. There is also a spa on site though I didn’t use this so cannot comment.

My overall conclusion was that although Playitas Resort claims to be ‘europes best sports resort’ which is quite a bold statement, Club La Santa for me has better facilities, accommodation and staff. I would return to Club La Santa but I wouldn’t to Playitas Resort. I should note I have paid for all trips mentioned in this post and any opinions are my own.

Cycling out from Club La Santa Lanzarote

There will be a guest blog post from my husband with his race report of the HMDS.

So I am not going to lie. This is absolutely a post that I never in one million and one years thought I would share on my blog. What started as an interior design blog quickly became a “follow our journey” blog and now I just chat about anything and everything that I love or am going through or just feel like sharing. I’ll blame it on the fact that I get bored easily or maybe that there are only so many room reveals one can do each month. Whatever the case may be, I still never ever planned on sharing THIS. I mean who searches through bins and bins of old photo albums to hunt down the worst images taken of themselves in their entire life? Well that would be me. And then on my blogger girl’s trip several weeks ago, someone spotted the image on my driver’s license (yes it is forever old but who wants to wait in the DMV line to simply change their photo?!?) and so the weight loss conversation ensued. The story of how I once weighed about 100lbs more than I do today…

Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.

Our Engagement May 2001…

UGA Graduation May 2005…

I am not a “medicine person” AT ALL. Still to this day, I avoid it like the plague. Yet I had been thrust, by our own doing, into this busy, crazy, stressful world so quickly that I didn’t know how to cope. And literally within months, I had gained 60lbs. And that 60 was on top of the weight I had already gained from just “playing” a little too hard. Not partying or drinking or anything, just indulging, traveling and being so busy that fast food was my best friend. By the end of 2006, I topped off around 200lbs. Yes, not the easiest thing to write on a public blog. So here’s the proof…

December 2006…

February 2007…

November 2007…

January 2008…

In proofreading this I decided to add a little side note. This is MY personal story and personal experience with anxiety medication. Maybe it just isn’t for me, maybe it just wasn’t the right one or maybe I just had a bad experience. Whatever the case may be, I completely understand that everyone has different situations and different stories. For me, anxiety was induced by our life situation and was something that I have been able to since manage on my own. But I completely understand and acknowledge that this might not be the case for everyone and I completely respect that.

I still remember the day that I visited my OBGYN in December 2006 and asked if it was “safe” to continue my medication while I tried to get pregnant. Without hesitation, she said “absolutely!”. Yet for some reason, I will call it God, I literally just woke up one day. In January 2007, I looked in the mirror and was like “holy crap”. Who is this person and what have I been thinking?!? That day I decided to quit cold turkey. Unfortunately the medication was so strong that I had intense withdrawal for several days. Everything on Earth told me to keep taking it but something inside of me told me to stop. And then March of that same year, I got pregnant! Having only lost maybe 10lbs that I had gained, I started gaining AGAIN with my pregnancy. Addison was born December 2007 and after several months of no sleep, no energy and zero motivation I decided that today was the day. I was literally OVER IT. I honestly cannot even remember how I heard of this book, but I bought it and I read it cover to cover (this is the newest version)…

YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management

I’ve always been one of those “all or nothing” kind of people. That combined with zero will power led to me taking every single item out of our pantry and refrigerator and giving it ALL away. I remember having boxes and boxes of food in our butler’s pantry. Following his “ingredient guidelines”, I loaded our house with only food in line with his program. I didn’t need to lose like ten pounds. I needed to lose one hundred. It wasn’t going to be one of those “let’s ease into this” kind of diet. I needed a complete overhaul.

So here’s where I have to say that I AM NOT a dieting or fitness professional. Even having to write that is humorous. I am absolutely NEITHER of those. And that is one huge reason that I was so reluctant to share my story. Yet as my sweet friends told me over our trip last month, my blog is to inspire and to them, my weight loss story could be inspiring. So once again, I am not a professional so please DO NOT take anything I say as advise. This is just my story and if it motivates one single person to change their lifestyle, I would be absolutely thrilled to have shared these glorious images 😉

With our pantry seemingly empty and our refrigerator busting at the seams with all things healthy and natural, I started my weight loss journey. Although I will not completely lay out the guidelines from his book I will share several things I learned that will stick with me forever. One major aspect of weight loss and overall health that I still honestly think about every time I go grocery shopping is to shop the perimeter of the store. If you think about it, the center is filled with boxes and cans and bottles of “food” filled with sugar, unhealthy oils and preservatives. It’s a great concept to remember and keep me in line. I took meal ideas from his book and would eat the same exact thing every single day (especially for breakfast and lunch) for a week or two at a time. It sounds incredibly boring but it made grocery shopping and meal planning so much easier. I can honestly say that for most all of my weight loss, I did not count calories. I ate when I was hungry and did not crash diet what so ever. I think that is HUGE in creating a weight loss journey and to changing your lifestyle. I learned the simplest things from how much sugar is in spaghetti sauce and how to make my own to what to look for in the ingredient list of boxed goods when you do want a quick and easy snack.

Several months in, I finally found the energy to start moving. I call it moving because it was hardly intense exercise. Addison was an extremely difficult baby from 0-15 months and I got very little sleep for as long as I can remember. She literally cried all night and all day. It was all I could do to get out the door and make myself move. But I did. I walked the 1.2 mile super hilly loop around our neighborhood pushing Addie in a stroller at least 4 days a week. I eventually graduated to two and then three continuous loops around the neighborhood but that was about the extent of my workout routine. Although it was super difficult at times, I stuck to this routine of eating good and walking the hood (hehe that rhymes) and in approximately eight months I had lost close to 80lbs.

When Addison was not even one year old, I saw this commercial one day. I still remember it like it was yesterday. She was taking a nap and it came on the television. It was about this anxiety medicine that had begun to be linked to so many birth defects. It was a commercial for a law firm asking you to call this number if you had taken the medicine and gave birth to a child with a defect. I was in shock. It was the medicine that I had literally gotten off of two months before Addison was conceived. I cried and cried at the thought of what could’ve happened to Addie had I not “woken up” that day in January 2007.

Fast forward several years later, I had another baby (Winter) and came out of that pregnancy about 40-50 lbs over my end goal weight. I had always had this dream to finally hit the big “100” in weight loss. By 2013 I had begun to take some classes at the gym and count calories a little more but I in NO WAY did anything extreme. And I honestly believe that is the key to weight loss and to keeping it off. It was NO quick journey to that final number but by July 2013, I hit 120 lbs and had officially lost 100 lbs…

July 2013…

November 2014…

July 2014…

These days I am definitely not a hard core eater like I was back then. I have determined that to stay sane and happy and thin-ish, I have to give myself realistic expectations. The empty pantry and laser focus was not something that I could personally keep up with forever and ever. I have also learned that controlling my stress and anxiety is crucial for me. I am such a stress eater that recognizing my weak point has helped me so much in maintaining my weight loss. I still try and shop the perimeter of the store, I do not keep treats or chips in the house if I can help it because I recognize the fact that I have zero will power and I try and move at least a little every day. I give myself a weight gain-loss range rather than a set weight that I need to maintain forever. That way if I get off track I don’t sink back into feeling like I have failed and just give up on staying thin. To be completely honest, I am not 120 lbs anymore. I have gained about 10lbs since 2013 but am hoping to get back down a little over the Summer. And one last SUPER honest confession, after getting down to my goal weight of 120 lbs, I did have a full abdominoplasty in August 2013. It was literally my only option given the amount of extra skin I had from the weight loss.

Although I am not tiny or super duper in shape, I feel that I am finally at a comfortable and healthy weight that I can maintain while being busy and always on the go. My routine over the last year has been to try and eat fairly healthy during the week and then cheat a little on the weekends. If I splurge at one meal, I try and drink a healthy shake or a plate of veggies at the next to “make up for” the last meal. As I said before this is NOT health advice, just how I maintain my weight without counting every calorie. I am not one of those people with a crazy metabolism who can eat whatever they want so I have to be conscious about it all the time. Boo to any of you who are that way. I am forever jealous. One thing that has really helped me to start losing some again recently has been an alkaline diet. I honestly FEEL so much better too!

I hope that if you are someone struggling to get motivated this will inspire you in some small way. It is no easy journey but it is SO worth it in the end. And I can promise you that if you focus on losing the weight in a healthy way, maintaining it is much easier than losing. Just stay focused and celebrate in little milestones.

XOXO, Brittany Hayes

All Out Effort Blog

“The Biggest Loser” Season 3 runner-up Kai Hibbard

By Sam Yang – Get similar updates here

Get Rich Quick Scheme VS Lose Weight Quick Scheme

When you go on a “get rich quick scheme” and you make some money then lose all of it, you consider it a failure and warn people not to trust it.
When you go on a “lose weight quick program” and lose weight then gain it all back, you tell people “it works,” and you’ll try it again and say, “it’s worked for me in the past.”
Somehow the results can be similar but the way we evaluate either method is different. In a “get rich quick scheme” if we end up back to square one or can’t sustain the money we made, we consider it a failure. Yet somehow with weight, we’re more lenient. Maybe because making money makes sense, but losing weight is so confusing that we take any temporary change as a sign of hope.

The Paradigm of Rapid Weight Loss

The idea is this: you lose weight quickly, you see the weight you lose, it motivates you to lose more weight, and you get to your goal in no time. That’s the paradigm, it makes sense, it sounds like it should work, but it doesn’t work. We know it doesn’t work because if it did, we wouldn’t try this over and over. It needing to be tried more than once is a sign that it doesn’t work, it works temporarily but anything works temporarily.
Even the need to see a large amount of weight loss to gain motivation is an inherent problem. Meaning willpower is so taxed and cravings so strong, the only way you can overcome that is to see a large amount of weight being dropped. If the caveat to motivation is large amounts of weight being dropped, how can you keep going when there is no more weight to be dropped? People don’t. People stop.
The other idea is this: that your body can handle an unlimited amount of weight loss. Actually this is part of the equation no one even thinks about. They want to drop weight but don’t ever question if their body can handle that amount of strain. It’s taxing to put weight on, and it’s taxing to take weight off. We may have taken our time putting it on and spent a lifetime doing it, we want to lose it all in a matter of months or sometimes weeks. There’s many professional fighters who have caused irreparable damage due to constant weight cutting.
Let’s start with the simple stuff, dropping weight that quickly, your body will rapidly get rid of muscle. Why? Because muscle is the thing that uses the most energy, since you’re expending so much energy, it’s most efficient to get rid of the thing that demands the most. Your body is always looking for equilibrium where it is in a state of least amount of energy expended. Best way initially is to lose muscle; you may end up skinny fat with a high amount of visceral fat. Now with very little muscle, maintaining the weight loss will seem impossible. Trying to lose weight the second time around even more difficult. Weight and calories are the wrong thing to focus on, we need to focus on fat loss and types of calories. Focusing on weight loss and total calories sounds the same as focusing on fat loss and calorie types, but the methods will be extremely different. There’s also a lot less self criticism involved. Weight and calorie counting is based around shame which will diminish your mental stamina, the thing you’ll need to be diligent and consistent.
The other more dangerous issue is your organs. We’re only born with one set of organs and everything we eat, do, and weight we lose is all processed by these organs. When we lose weight, it doesn’t just evaporate into thin air. We sometimes think sweat represents the weight we lose. Sweat has nothing to do with weight loss and is not a sign of anything other then your body being hot. Yet so many people focus on sweat because they believe it’s “fat crying,” or that weight somehow gets burned up into the atmosphere. No, all the weight you burn turns into a sludge inside of your body that funnels through your organs and you process it and it evacuates out your body. One of the organs that does this processing is your gallbladder and is the reason why rapid weight loss is a major cause for gallstones. The sludge thickens the more weight you lose, eventually hardening into stones. That’s not the scariest part, the stress it puts on the liver, pancreas, kidney, gut, cardiovascular, and metabolic system may be beyond repair. Not to mention what it does to the elasticity of your skin.

Your brain also uses a large sum of energy and such a rapid reduction of energy can be very damaging to the brain.

The story of a Big Loser

I spoke previously about Rachel Frederickson and how she used game theory to win “The Biggest Loser.” Much like Arthur Chu on Jeopardy, she played by the rules to win. It’s a weight loss contest, doesn’t matter what kind of weight, how you got there, or how healthy you are at the end. The rules are just solely based on percentage of weight lost. Frederickson used those rules to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. She did highlight a point though, losing weight and getting healthy ARE NOT the same thing. Health and beauty overlap but are two different animals and often people are willing to sacrifice health for the chase for beauty.
You’re probably wondering, if she’s skinnier, isn’t she healthier? Not necessarily as skinny people with poor internal health are sometimes twice as likely to die in comparison to their obese counterparts.

Kai Hibbard on season 3 of “The Biggest Loser.”

Season three finalist of “The Biggest Loser,” Kai Hibbard, spoke with Cracked and revealed some disturbing details about life after the show.
That on top of the work outs you saw on the show, there were 6 or more hours of work outs a day with other trainers.
The weigh ins weren’t once a week, they were spaced out based on shooting schedule. It could range from 5 days to 3 weeks. The scale itself was fake.
They sometimes showed “nutritious and healthy” foods you can eat to show that weight loss doesn’t mean deprivation. When they cut the cameras, trainers yelled for them to spit it out.
For the women, when they were still “fat,” they only got to wear a sports bra and spandex shorts to accentuate their weight during the weigh ins. When they lost enough weight they got to wear tank tops to highlight their transformation.
On Hibbards season, they made the contestants run out of horse stalls for a race. Fat shaming tactics make for must see TV.
Hibbard said:
“Losing that much weight in such a short amount of time is not healthy, especially for morbidly obese people. The healthy way to do it is to lose weight slowly by eating well and exercising. But turning down the second slice of pizza and going for a walk doesn’t exactly make for dramatic TV, does it? So we did things the other way:
They frequently filmed us vomiting because they wanted the viewers to think that working out until you threw up was somehow admirable.
It makes good TV, but it can also seriously harm you.”
All the contestants got injured on the show. When you take de-conditioned morbidly obese people and put them into extreme workouts for rapid weight loss, injuries are a guarantee. Hibbard has permanent damage to her knees that she didn’t have prior to the show.
Hibbard’s immune system shut down due to losing too much weight too quickly. It was too much for her body. Even her hair fell out.
“– doctors told me that everything I did to my body on the show was a physician’s nightmare.”
The mental damage was the worst part. That if you’re obese, and you don’t lose a massive amount of weight quickly, you’re a failure. If you don’t work out until injury and puking, you’re not pushing hard enough. You associate health with torment. Working out all day, having no personal time, being deprived, feeling like a failure unless you hit a goal, puts a lot of stress on you and is a miserable way to live. Your happiness is based on your results and contingent on a new body. Happiness then also becomes unsustainable. If you’re constantly thinking about how you’re so far away from your goal and how you’re not good enough yet, how will you create the right mental environment to sustain health? The body is ready when the right mental environment appears.

Throw away the cliche of “go big or go home” or “no pain, no gain”

We glamorize big results. Lottery winners, overnight successes, and biggest losers. But what’s good for TV is not good for real life because Hollywood is not reality. We want to believe it can be done fast, big, healthy, and permanent. It’s not impossible but the Vegas odds are severely stacked against you.
It’s bad for your body, your brain, your organs, your health, your self image, your psyche, and probably your pocket book (spending money on one scheme after another).
It’s why weight loss shouldn’t be a race but a game of strategy. Because it is a game of strategy. Go slow, focus on size and body fat, and most of all we need to focus on permanence rather than speed.
Next time you get seduced by one of these ideas (and believe me you will even after reading this), ask yourself does this even work? And secondly, how has this worked for you in the past?
Hint: If you’ve already done it in the past and have to ask yourself about weight loss again, you know it didn’t work.
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Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

2019’s Top Weight Loss Blogs

At HealthyWage, we are all about inspiring stories of weight loss success, tips and ideas for weight loss motivation, and actionable plans, whether through recipes, workout plans, and/or emotional strategies. That’s why we’ve rounded up this list of the Top 50 Weight Loss Blogs we’ll be following in 2019.

The blogs on this list were selected because both the HealthyWage team and our community of weight loss challenge participants turn to them over and over again for inspiration and motivation. We encourage you to check out everyone on this list; we know you’ll find some new favorites.

2) Eat, Drink & Be Skinny

4) Double Chin Diary

8) Grace Got Healthy

10) The World According to Eggface

13) Authentically Emmie

15) just a one girl revolution

19) The Running In Pink Project

21) My Bizzy Kitchen

23) A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss

25) My Journey to Fit

29) Back at Square Zero

33) Livin’ La Vida Low Carb

38) Running Off the Reese’s

41) Trading Cardio for Cosmos

44) Coach Mindy Weight Loss

50) The Nourished Caveman

One of our Top Bloggers, Goal of Losing, participated in a Jackpot Challenge and documented her HealthyWage review and weight loss journey on her blog. You can read all of her posts here.

Blogs about weight loss

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