Ask a crowd to raise a hand if they’ve ever tried to lose weight and you’re going to see a whole lot of arms waving. After all of these attempts at dieting, you’d think that would make it easier to get started. In reality, the contrary is usually true.

Beginning a weight-loss journey, especially when you’ve had multiple failures in the past, can be overwhelming … and even flat out daunting. Here are five tips to help get you on your way.


10 women on what it’s like to start a weight-loss journey

Sept. 13, 201701:09

1. Look into your past.

Most of us have a diet history. We know what works and doesn’t work. We know if we’re a carbs-in-the-morning or a skip-breakfast-all-together person. Don’t attempt to make changes that you know won’t match your lifestyle and preferences.

In other words, if breakfast is your favorite meal of the day and you know you overeat later in the day when you skip it, intermittent fasting probably isn’t the way to go for you.

If an afternoon snack is what you need to get you through your evening workout, then trying to take out snacking isn’t the best route. Be realistic. Come up with three or four healthy on-the-go snacks you can put into rotation.

2. Don’t give yourself a deadline.

It’s the journey that counts right? I’m all for goals, but when you give yourself a specific date to reach a goal, it often sets you up to fail for a couple of reasons.

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One, if you don’t see progress being made fast enough, you may say “scrap this plan!” even though you’ve actually made excellent progress.

Second, the stress of the date may work against you. Having a deadline may only put extra pressure on yourself and cause your stress hormones to actually start working against you and your weight-loss goal. Instead, stay calm and healthy on.

How stressed do Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie get over 24 hours?

April 11, 201808:31

Enjoy the life that you’re living and enjoy being in the best health and weight you can be, even if that means being off a certain weight goal by a couple of pounds. Remember patience and consistency are key, and enjoy the process of reaching better health each day.

3. Think about your sleep habits and stress levels.

It’s not all about the food. Even if you’re focused and eating “perfectly,” other lifestyle factors may be working against you. Sleep and stress are two pillars of a nutritious life that I discuss regularly.

The good part is that if you’re not managing these well, making a few necessary changes can show up on the scale. Create a new sleep routine and stick to it. It’s just as important as diet!

Look for a daily activity to reduce stress.

4. Work on one change at a time.

Think about a not-so-great habit you have, that you do daily. Is it adding sugar to your coffee? Going for afternoon chocolate as a pick me up? Whatever it is, change it up with a new healthier alternative.

Since it is only one change, it won’t be so overwhelming to adjust, and since it is something you do daily, that one improvement may have a great impact.

A change as simple as swapping out the syrup from a daily coffee saves you 80 calories, and 20 grams of sugar, each and every day!

5. Reward yourself.

Be good to you! Celebrate small goals with small rewards. Skipped soda all week? Feel good about that and reward yourself with a manicure.

Sometimes these rewards are enough to push us forward and up the motivation.

For more tips on how to live a Nutritious Life, follow Keri @nutritiouslifeofficial on Instagram. If you’re looking for more advice on how to get started, join our Start TODAY newsletter.

One of the biggest struggles people have with losing weight is simply just getting started. There is so much diet and weight loss information available it can become quickly overwhelming. What to eat? What not to eat? When to eat? When to exercise? The options are seriously endless. Now combine that with today’s busy lifestyle and I can see why people throw in the towel before even getting past the first day. I understand because I have been there many times.

To successfully lose weight and sustain that weight loss you need to look at the first 24 hours very differently than you have before. For many people – including myself at one time– a typical first day would include a list of extreme changes. Perhaps you’d join a gym and exercise for a couple hours. Then, on top of that, you’d drastically change your eating habits removing all carbs, sweets, salt, and every other food you love. After a day or two you realize this is not sustainable and you order a pizza and go back to the couch. Yep, I understand.

Of course changing your eating habits and prioritizing exercise needs to happen in order to lose weight but you’re not going to change DECADES of bad eating habits in 1 day. Not going to happen. And if you try to then most likely you’ll just become frustrated. Changes will come over time as you start to slowly creating sustainable healthier habits.

So, if I shouldn’t work out like a mad woman or throw out all the pasta and ice cream then what should I do in the first 24 hours of my weight loss journey?

Great question. I believe the first 24 hours or so is all about laying the groundwork to start rebuilding your foundation.

You want to take this time to really think about and plan out how you will make time and prioritize your healthier lifestyle. Lifestyle changes are the hardest to make and they don’t happen “just because”. You need to make them happen by becoming intentional with your actions and planning.

Below are 5 things I highly recommend doing during in the first 24 hours of your weight loss journey.

This can happen in the next 24 hours or maybe wait till the weekend when you have more time. Personally, I don’t think there needs a be a perfect time to start so don’t wait for one. However, there are better times than others. I suggest taking a day where you have some extra time to focus and really think about the changes. If you are trying to do this in the midst of your busy week or on a day you have a couple birthday parties you might find yourself overwhelmed. However, don’t procrastinate either. You need to make this a priority.

Now don’t get worried or stressed out if you can’t get all these actions done within 24 hours. The whole point is to create a realistic plan and strategy to make your healthier lifestyle a priority. If that takes 2 or 3 days then that’s fine. Just don’t try making any big changes until you have thought it through first.

Get on the scale, take measurements, and a picture

I know getting on a scale is scary and so is taking measurements. But you need to know this information to get started. Without it you won’t be able to set goals, measure progress, and/or identify any issues. Don’t be scared. You can do this. Plus think of it this way – after today – you will never see that number again. YAY!

Also, I HIGHLY recommend taking a before picture along with monthly progress pictures. This is something I did not do and wish I did. I have some random before and after pictures but I really wish I was more intentional with this. As you begin to lose weight your body will transform and it’s awesome to see that progress through pictures. So learn from my mistakes and take pictures.

This entire action should only take about 10 minutes maximum.

Sign up for My Fitness Pal

Many people ask me how to figure out the number of calories they should eat to lose weight. My Fitness Pal does all that for you. After you sign up plug in your height, weight, activity level, and some other information then My Fitness Pal will give you the number of calories you should eat a day to lose weight. You can also use this to sustain weight or gain weight.

Once you sign up play around with it for a few minutes and start getting familiar with the functions. This online tool was a complete game changer for me. It was the one thing that finally helped me get my portions under control.

Signing up for MYP should only take about 10 minutes. Don’t spend more that 20 minutes playing around with it cause you have other things to get done today.

Here are some other resources/links you might find helpful.

How to start and stick with an online food journal

Combine your food journal and menu plan

Getting the most out of My Fitness Pal

How to figure out nutritional information using My Fitness Pal

Write out a two week menu plan with grocery list

Creating a menu plan and becoming intentional with your food is key to weight loss success. Take some time in the first 24hrs to write out 2 weeks worth of meals with a grocery list. This way you don’t have to think about what to eat every single day because you will already have it planned.

Menu planning can get overwhelming so I suggest keeping it simple. Don’t try filling your menu plan with a brand new recipe 3 times a day every day for 2 weeks. Heck no. Use the recipes you already know and maybe throw in a couple new ones to try. Once you get into the habit of menu planning you can add in more new recipes.

Creating a menu plan might take some time on your first day. I suggest setting aside 1-2 hours to focus on your menu plan. Once you get the hang of it you will be prepare them more quickly.

If you really hate the thought of planning out meals then I recommend checking out eMeals which is an online meal prep service. eMeals offers many different meal plans to fit every eating style. You can sign up for free 2-week trial and see if it’s a good fit. Or if you simple want healthy meals delivered to your door then check out the meal kit delivery companies I recommend for losing weight.

Look at calendar and schedule in time for grocery shopping, meal prep, and exercise

I don’t know about you, but if it is not in my calendar it doesn’t exist. In order for new habits to form you need to make them a priority. Which means you need to make time for them. The only way to do that is to look at your calendar and physically put in the things that need to get done. It might sound silly to put exercise or grocery shopping into your calendar but with busy schedules if it’s not in there as a reminder then other things can easily take precedent without you even thinking about it. Plus, once it is in your calendar you can set reminders to help remember when something needs to get done.

I really try to use my calendar in this way each week. I find it very helpful and motivational to see the reminders pop up on my phone telling me to lay out my exercise clothes or to take out dinner that morning to thaw. Things that I would easily forget about I don’t when I put them in my calendar.

This action should take about ½ – 1 hour to complete.

Clean out and organize fridge, pantry, and freezer

I saved this for last because it most likely will take the longest. Now I am not suggesting you throw out every last piece of junk food – that might be a little too drastic for the first day. What I am suggesting is you start to clear out and make room for the healthier foods you’ll be filling your kitchen with.

Of course, don’t try to organize all three at the same time because that’ll get very overwhelming. Start with one, finish, and then move onto the next. As you create a healthier lifestyle you’ll be spending more time cooking healthier meals. You want a kitchen environment that makes it easy to cook and eat healthy.

Plus, once you have your kitchen clean out and organized you will just feel revived and ready to start your new lifestyle. I know I was.

Another (bonus) tip I recommend is to sign up for my free 7 day Jump-start Your Weight Loss Journey Email Series. In this series, you’ll receive a daily email covering the strategies I use to lose weight, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, along with action steps to get you started immediately. Learn more and Sign up here.

What are some suggestions, tips, or actions you have for people who might need a little help getting started on their weight loss journey?

Get Instant Access To The Free Organize Yourself Skinny Daily To-do List and Weekly Goal Setting Worksheets!

Sign up now to receive the free workbook I created exclusively for email subscribers! That’s you! It includes a daily to-do list worksheet, weekly goal setting worksheet, and 3 different healthy habit checkoff lists! Exactly what you need to get started!

How I Learned My Weight-Loss Journey Wasn’t Over Even After Losing 170 Pounds


The first time I became aware of my weight, I was in fourth grade. At the time, it was common for schools to weigh students and I remember feeling completely shocked when I learned I weighed 130 pounds.

Based on my appearance alone, I knew I was different and heavier than the kids around me, but it didn’t really start affecting my life until I was a freshman in high school. My weight skyrocketed and the first thing to go was my confidence. Not necessarily because it bothered me, but because I was constantly being judged and teased for my weight.

I went from being a social butterfly to being incredibly reserved. I felt like my weight defined me. It got to the point where I began pushing away my friends because I felt like even they were talking about my weight behind my back. Soon enough, I’d dug myself into a deep dark hole where I felt completely and utterly alone.

The two years I spent in high school, I never went to homecoming or prom and missed out on a lot of other typical teenager experiences. Eventually, that environment became so unbearable that my parents decided it was best for me to drop out and focus on my mental health.

The Struggle with Yo-Yo Dieting and Diet Pills

Over the next couple of years, my goal was to lose weight no matter what it took. I spent a lot of time in therapy, which helped me cope with my feelings of depression. But I was still desperate and impatient to lose weight. I decided to take matters into my own hands and began dieting.

I tried every diet—and I mean every single thing out there. From Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers to the 7-day diet and the cabbage soup diet, I did it all. But my weight didn’t budge. (Related: How to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting Once and for All)

During this time, I was working on getting my GED. When I turned 18, I got a job at Sephora as a makeup artist to help pay for college. While working there, I had to wear a uniform and found out that I could only fit into a size 24. My desperation grew and I finally decided it was time to turn to a professional for help.

I sought out a nutritionist but, unfortunately, I learned the hard way that not all nutritionists are registered dietitians, which is who I should have turned to given the circumstances. (Follow this checklist before visiting a dietitian yourself.)

This particular nutritionist recommended that the best decision for me was to go on diet pills, which I did. Here’s how the meds were supposed to work: You take the pills for two weeks and then go off of them for one week. All the nutritionist told me was that they would curb my appetite, but they didn’t give me any guidelines on how to improve my diet or eat better in general. (Related: My Lupus Diagnosis Was the Wake-Up Call I Needed to Stop Abusing Diet Pills)

After the first two weeks, I lost 30 pounds, which was the most weight I’d lost at the time. I felt great, but during the week that I didn’t take the pills, I found that I gained almost half the weight back. After several rounds of going on and off the pills, I ended up weighing more than when I first started taking the medicine.

Undergoing Weight-Loss Surgery

By July 2015, I weighed 320 pounds. I was 20 years old and only 5 foot 3. My doctors classified me as morbidly obese. My depression deepened and I started looking toward weight-loss surgery as a solution. After months of going over my options, I decided to undergo a laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy or “gastric sleeve.”

The procedure itself removes approximately 75 to 80 percent of the stomach and limits the amount of food you’re able to eat. It’s also considered a metabolic surgery since it removes the majority of the cells responsible for secreting a hormone called ghrelin, which is responsible for making you feel hungry.

Now, many people think that weight-loss surgery is the “easy way out.” But I’m here to tell you it’s quite the opposite. Here’s the thing: There is no easy way out when it comes to extreme weight loss. Yes, I’ve had surgery, which is something I’m very transparent about. But, like most women who undergo these kinds of procedures, I learned the hard way that surgery only works if you do. (See: The Ripple Effect of Weight-Loss Surgery)

Going into the surgery, I knew that the procedure wasn’t going to fix my attitude toward food. Just because they cut my stomach, didn’t mean my brain was going to rewire to not like the taste of cookies. I still walked out of that surgery obese and had a long road ahead of me.

The Aftermath

The first two weeks of recovery were absolutely miserable for me. While I wanted to binge-eat, I wasn’t hungry and couldn’t physically consume a lot, which took a toll on me mentally. I realized for the first time that my eating habits were based almost entirely on my emotions and not as much on my actual need for food. That epiphany led me to heed my surgeon’s advice and see a therapist again so that I could figure out why I was using food to cope with how I was feeling.

Over the next year, I worked hard to undo the unhealthy habits I’d spent my whole life building. I started to really understand my triggers and learned that when I was sad, I’d go for a bag of chips. When I was anxious, junk food made me feel better. And when I felt helpless, my outlet was to just eat whatever I could get my hands on. So I decided to cut all of these crutches out of my life. (Related: Are You Really An Emotional Eater?)

Yes, some people might label that as restrictive, but for me, it was necessary—at least for a period of time, so I could start building healthier habits. My goals were to start eating super healthy, regulate my meals, and ditch the binge-eating mentality once and for all.

A year after my weight-loss surgery, I lost 180 pounds, which was the lightest I’d been in my adult life. I also started going to college during this time and found myself easing up on restrictive eating. I knew that I’d gain some weight, and after a couple of months, I put on 10 pounds. For the most part, though, I brushed it off.

A few more months went by and I started to become even more relaxed with my eating, quickly falling back into old, bad habits. By the end of my freshman year, I’d put on 30 more pounds and felt like I’d failed myself.

Regaining that weight even after weight-loss surgery finally made me realize that changing my attitude toward food was something I needed to work on not for weeks, months, or years, but my whole life. I needed to learn how to focus on what I want most versus what I want now.

I also had to learn that when I “messed up” (because we all mess up), it didn’t have to become a pattern; I could get right back on track. Like any other person going through extreme weight loss (surgery or not), I had to practice my new healthy habits every single day to finally lose all the weight and keep it off. (Related: 25 Experts Reveal the Best Advice to Achieve Any Goal)

Along the way, I’ve undergone two plastic surgeries to remove loose skin around my stomach, breasts, back, arms, and thighs. While aesthetic reasons played a part, I also had a lot of loose skin in those areas that made me extremely physically uncomfortable. If I really wanted to restore my body to its original shape, I could undergo several more surgeries, but I’m perfectly okay having that extra skin, and cellulite as a reminder of what I’ve been through. (Related: 10 Women Who Seriously DGAF About Their Stretch Marks and Cellulite)

Looking Ahead

Today, I don’t follow a diet, but I’ve become a huge advocate for eating what you want in moderation. To date, I’ve lost 170 pounds and still feel like I have 25 pounds to lose. My next goal is to establish a fitness routine and build that into my lifestyle. Recently, I started going for long walks with my dog almost every day. But in the future, I’d like to get into the gym and work on my overall strength.

I’ve made peace with the fact that my journey is continuous and that every day will have its ups and downs. But at the end of the day, without weight-loss surgery, I would have never regained the weight, and never made the changes I needed to regain my health.

So, for anyone who thinks that weight-loss surgery is a cop-out: I fought to be where I am today, and that’s something I’ll always feel proud of.

  • By Tina Minasyan as told to Faith Brar

On this page:

  • Is weight reduction right for you?
  • Physiology of weight reduction
  • Reject a diet mentality
  • Tips for safe weight reduction
  • Serving sizes
  • Mindful eating
  • Physical activity
  • Plateaus
  • Maintaining your new weight
  • Less safe methods of losing weight
  • Campus Resources

Is weight reduction right for you?

Safe weight reduction takes time and effort, but by making lifestyle changes that incorporate proper nutrition and physical activity, you can lose and maintain your weight for the long-term.

Before making changes, it is a good idea to think about several important questions:

Why do you want to lose weight? If you have made a clear, sound, decision to lose weight and have support of a physician, it is important to understand that permanent, safe weight reduction takes time.

Do you really need to lose weight? We weren’t all born to be thin or conform to society’s definition of the ideal body. Your body size and shape depend on multiple factors, including your genes, eating patterns, Resting Energy Expenditure (see definition below) and exercise. The ultimate goal is to accept and Love Your Body while trying to improve your health.

What is a realistic amount of weight for you to lose and maintain? Every individual is different, however studies show that it is safe to lose approximately 1-2 pounds per week for success in maintaining weight loss. Consult with a physician or registered dietician.

Physiology of weight reduction:

To lose weight you must burn more calories than you eat. Basic body functions (e.g. breathing, manufacturing cells and maintaining body temperature) use 50-70% of your calories. The rate at which your body uses calories for basic body functions is called the Resting Energy Expenditure (REE).

Your genes, age, gender and body composition largely determine your REE. In this way, much of your energy use is predetermined. However, the amount of energy you burn each day also depends in part on how much exercise you get, which you can affect.

For safe weight loss, it is recommended that you lose no more than 1-2 pounds per week. To lose one pound of fat per week, you would need to burn and/or reduce your intake by about 3500 calories, or about 500 calories per day.

Reject a diet mentality:

If you adopt restrictive, negative thinking that accompanies diets, you may feel deprived and ultimately defeated, and this can actually trigger overeating or the development of an eating disorder. To reach a healthy weight, don’t diet. Instead practice eating well and moving your body to serve you best long-term.

Tips for safe weight reduction:

  • Keep a food and exercise diary. People who log their intake and activity tend to be more successful at weight loss. Here are some free tools:,,, MyFitnessPal (use the phone app to access information about foods in Residential Dining)
  • Eat a variety of plant-based foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. At each meal, cover one-half (or more) of your plate with vegetables, cover one-quarter with whole grains, and cover one-quarter with protein.
  • Eat regularly timed meals (especially breakfast) and snacks because skipping them can lead to overeating later in the day.
  • Attempt to stop eating once you feel satisfied, but before you feel uncomfortably full.
  • Often cravings disappear, so if you still feel hungry or unsatisfied after a meal or snack, wait at least 10 minutes before you have more food.
  • Plan meals and prepare snacks ahead of time. Snack on fresh vegetables for crunch and fresh fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol (beer, wine and liquor) that you drink.
  • Try to limit screen time (computers or television) to two hours or less per day. Increase physical activity instead.
  • Sleep 8-8.5 hours per night. Studies show that lack of sleep is linked to weight gain.
  • Eat your favorite high-calorie foods like desserts less frequently and in smaller portions (you don’t have to eliminate them altogether).
  • Know your daily calorie and serving size “budget.” Any weight reduction plan should include more than 1400 calories per day. Take care when eating out, because restaurants are notorious for large serving size. Get customized nutrition information at

Grains: Serving size is 1 slice bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta

Fruits: Serving size is cup fresh fruit, 1 cup fruit juice or 1/2 cup dried fruit

Vegetables: Serving size is 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked

Protein: Serving size is 1 egg or 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup cooked dry beans or tofu, 1 tablespoon nut butter, 1/2 ounce nuts or seeds, 1 ounce cooked meat, poultry or fish

Dairy (calcium-fortified foods and beverages can be substituted): Serving size is 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1.5 ounces cheese (choose low-fat or fat-free products)

Fat: 1 teaspoon oil, 2 tablespoons light salad dressing, 1 tablespoon low-fat mayo, 1 teaspoon soft margarine

Drink: 6-8 (8-ounce) cups per day

Mindful eating:

  • Make a conscious effort to be present during meals.
  • Honor your hunger. Hunger pangs are your body’s way of saying that it needs energy. If you are hungry, eat. Ignoring your feelings of hunger often leads to overeating later.
  • There are ways to cope with uncomfortable emotions without using food, and some options are: going for a walk outside, listening to music, drawing/coloring, or talking with friends & family. However, it is important to acknowledge that stress eating is very common, and can be an opportunity to practice self-compassion and forgiveness.

Physical activity:

Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help with losing and maintaining weight; increasing Resting Energy Expenditure (REE); strengthening, growing muscles; and improving mood. Three types are recommended:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Strength-training
  • Flexibility

For more information, see Exercise.


Even though you are eating well and exercising, you may reach a plateau where your weight stays the same. Plateaus are mainly due to decreased resting energy expenditure (REE). When you consume fewer calories, your REE decreases, thus your body’s need for energy decreases. Keep exercising and eating well to help you get through periods with no weight loss. Sometimes a plateau is the body’s way of saying that you may not need to lose more weight. Weight loss is not linear, and has complex biological consequences. If you are experiencing physical or emotional distress because of weight loss efforts, reach out to friends, family, or a clinician.

Maintaining weight:

Once you have lost weight, maintaining your weight might be difficult. If you wish to maintain your weight it is important to prioritize physical activity and making nutritious choices.

To maintain your new weight you need to make sure that you are utilizing as many calories as you are consuming. You may need to experiment with the amount of food you need to maintain your current weight. Make sure to keep exercising regularly and eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods.

Less safe methods of weight loss:

Before trying a new diet, consult a clinician or dietitian.

Low-calorie diets: It is harmful to reduce your daily calorie intake lower than 1400 calories per day, because your body adjusts to a semi-starvation state and looks for alternative sources of energy. In addition to burning fat, your body will eventually burn muscle tissue. Because your heart is a muscle, prolonged starvation will weaken it and interfere with its normal rhythms. Low-calorie diets don’t meet the body’s nutritional needs, and without nutrients your body cannot function normally.

Appetite-suppressant drugs and other diet pills:”Wonder” products that permanently reduce weight do not exist. Products that promise immediate or effortless weight loss will not work in the long run. Appetite suppressants, which often contain a stimulant like caffeine, are associated with side effects including nausea, nasal dryness, anxiety, agitation, dizziness, insomnia and elevated blood pressure. With any product, side effects may be worse if you exceed the recommended dosage.

Fad diets: Many fad diets emphasize eating a lot of one kind of food rather than a variety of foods, and can be very dangerous. These types of diets are often used to trick people into spending money on ineffective and unproven products. The safest way to eat involves consuming a variety of foods, which ensures that you can obtain all the nutrients your body needs.

Liquid diets: Liquid diet drinks or shakes that provide less than 1000 calories per day should only be used under close medical supervision. These diets can be unsafe and are not nutritionally beneficial due to high sugar content. There is a very low amount of fiber, which causes a sugar rush and crash. Additionally, liquid diets may not alleviate hunger, resulting in overconsumption of other foods.

Campus resources:

  • UHS Nutrition Clinic offers individual nutrition counseling.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services provides free, confidential counseling and workshops to students. Call 734-764-8312. Free and confidential for UM students.
  • U-M Department of Recreational Sports offers a wide variety of exercise and recreation opportunities at multiple locations on campus.
  • U-Move Fitness sponsors exercise classes.

The 12 Best Weight Loss Tips, According to a Nutritionist

I’ve been writing about weight loss for years. But I have also counseled real people for decades, and here’s what I know: What makes headlines, generates buzz, or becomes trendy doesn’t always pan out in everyday life. I’ve talked to countless clients whose attempts with cleanses, extreme diets, and popular weight-loss tactics completely backfired, leaving them right back where they started (or worse).

While I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to losing weight, the reality is that there are a few truths that apply to nearly everyone. For one, if your weight-loss method leaves you feeling hungry, cranky, run-down, or socially isolated, it’s probably not healthy or sustainable. Losing weight should enhance your health, not come at the expense of your health. Also, if your weight loss approach doesn’t become a lifestyle, you’ll likely slip back into old habits, and the weight will creep back on.

So, what does work? Here are a dozen strategies that truly hold up in my experience working in the trenches. Each has the power to support healthy weight loss, while simultaneously enhancing health (the ultimate win-win), and they all have an essential criterion: stick-with-it-ness.

RELATED: What to Eat for Dinner if You’re Trying to Lose Weight, According to a Nutritionist

Eat real food

A calorie isn’t a calorie. Three hundred calories worth of cooked oats topped with blueberries, cinnamon, and nuts isn’t going to have the same effect on your body as a 300-calorie blueberry muffin made with refined carbs, sugar, and artificial additives.

In addition to offering more overall nutrition, whole foods are more filling, satiating, and energizing, and they create a different impact on blood sugar and insulin regulation, digestion, and metabolism. I have seen numerous clients break a weight-loss plateau or start losing weight simply by switching from processed foods to whole foods—even without eating fewer calories. The effect is backed by research, but it also just makes sense. If you do nothing else, upgrade the quality of what you eat, and make this goal the foundation of your weight loss (and ultimately weight-maintenance) plan.

Eat more veggies

According to the CDC, just 9% of adults eat the minimum recommended intake of two to three cups of veggies per day. In my practice, I see that even health-conscious people often miss the mark. But for both weight loss and optimal health, consistently eating more veggies is one of the most important habits you can foster.

Non-starchy vegetables—like leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and onions—are incredibly filling and nutrient rich, yet they provide just 25 calories or less per cup. Their fiber, prebiotics, and antioxidants have been shown to reduce inflammation, a known obesity trigger, and alter the makeup of gut bacteria in ways that enhance immunity and improve mental health.

I advise my clients to build meals around veggies, so they’re never an afterthought. Aim for one cup (about the size of a tennis ball) at breakfast, two cups and lunch, and two cups at dinner, with the portions measured out before cooking if cooked (such as spinach, which shrinks way down). At breakfast, whip greens into a smoothie, fold shredded zucchini into oats, add veggies to an egg or chickpea scramble, or simply eat them on the side, like sliced cucumber or red bell pepper. Go for salads or bowls at lunch, instead of sandwiches or wraps, with a large base of greens and veggies. At dinner, sauté, oven roast, grill, or stir-fry veggies, and make them the largest component of the meal.

There is no downside to this goal, and it has a healthy domino effect on nearly every other aspect of wellness, from healthy sleep to beauty benefits—in addition to truly working for sustainable weight loss.

RELATED: The 20 Healthiest Foods to Eat for Breakfast

Drink more water

You’ve probably heard this one a million times, and it helps. But in my practice, I find that most people don’t follow through. Water is needed for every process in the body, including healthy circulation, digestion, and waste elimination. Studies show that water does indeed help rev metabolism, and while the effect may be slight, it can snowball to create a greater impact over time.

Drinking water before meals has also been shown to naturally reduce meal portions, which may help prevent slight overeating, which inhibits weight loss. According to the Institute of Medicine, women 19 and older need 2.7 liters of total fluid per day (over 11 cups) and men need 3.7 liters (over 15 cups). About 20% of your fluids come from food, but that still leaves 8-12 cups based on the IOM guidelines, not including additional needs due to exercise.

As a minimum I recommend eight cups a day. Think of your day in four blocks: 1) from the time you get up to mid-morning; 2) mid-morning to lunchtime; 3) lunchtime to mid-afternoon; and 4) mid-afternoon to dinnertime. Aim for two cups (16 ounces) of water during each of these blocks. Set your cell phone alarm as a reminder if you need to. And if you’re not a fan of plain water, spruce it up with healthful add-ins, like lemon or lime, fresh mint, sliced cucumber, fresh ginger, or slightly mashed bits of seasonal fruit.

Eat on a regular schedule

This is a biggie. In my experience, a consistent eating schedule helps to regulate appetite and better support metabolism, energy, and digestive health. My clients who eat at erratic times tend to be more prone to over or undereating. Both are problematic, as undereating can stall metabolism and lead to rebound overeating.

For most of my clients, a good rule of thumb is to eat within about an hour of waking up, and not let more than four to five hours go by without eating. This may mean something like breakfast at 7 a.m., lunch at noon, a snack at 3 p.m., and dinner at 7 p.m. Once you get into a groove with meal timing, your body tends to respond with hunger cues at expected meal/snack times and crave balance, meaning a drive to stop eating when full. I also recommend allowing at least two to three hours between the last meal and bedtime. This provides time for digestion, and averts eating during your least active hours, when your body is preparing for sleep and unable to burn an unneeded surplus of fuel.

RELATED: What Is Veganuary? Everything You Need to Know About This Trendy Food Challenge

Be strategic about meal balance

The bulk of my last weight loss book, Slim Down Now, was based on the idea of building your meals like you build your outfits. When you get dressed, you need a top, bottom, and footwear. You can get away without wearing socks, but you wouldn’t wear two pairs of pants and no top, and you can’t wear two pairs of shoes at the same time.

In the same way, there are three core pieces that make up the foundation of a healthy meal: non-starchy veggies (think top); lean protein (think bottom); and good fat (think shoes). These foundation foods provide the building blacks that support metabolism, and the ongoing maintenance and repair of cells in your body—from immune cells to hormones, red blood cells, enzymes that digest food, hair, skin, and organs.

To this core trio, add what I refer to as an “energy accessory” (aka healthy carb), which you can think of as an add-on to a meal, like putting on a jacket over your top, carrying a bag, or wearing a hat or scarf. These good carb foods, which include whole grains, starchy vegetables, pulses (the umbrella term for beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas), and fruit, provide energy to fuel the activity of your cells and help them perform their roles. Cutting them out completely can lead to fatigue, and rob your body of important nutrients, including fiber, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But overdoing it on carbs can result in overfueling (over accessorizing), which interferes with weight loss.

To strike the right balance, match your carb portion to your body’s energy demands, much like putting on a heavier jacket when it’s cooler out, and a lighter hoodie when it’s balmy. This outfit analogy can help you see where you’ve been out of balance, and how to tweak meals that allow for weight loss while still nourishing your body. For example, the alternative to a burrito isn’t veggies and protein only—it’s something like veggies and protein along with avocado and a small scoop of brown rice.

Contrary to what many people believe, balanced meals do result in weight loss (albeit more slowly), and extremes aren’t necessary in order to shed pounds. This kind of sensible meal balance is also far more sustainable long term.

RELATED: What Is Keto 2.0—and Is It Any Healthier Than the Standard Keto Diet?

Time your meals sensibly

Intermittent fasting is currently a huge trend. While the research is young, it does look promising. However, in my practice, I still see a consistent pattern. People who eat most of their food during their more active hours, and eat less or fast during their least active hours, get better results than those who do the opposite. In other words, the timing of your “eating window” matters.

If you decide to try intermittent fasting and limit your eating to eight to 10 hours a day, eat when you’re up and about, moving, and exercising, not when you’re resting and winding down. Over and over I have seen clients lose weight by simply shifting the timing of their meals. For example, for clients who do practice time-restricted eating, those who eat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. typically get better results than those who eat between noon and 8 p.m.—if they’re sedentary in the evening, that is. And I think it’s worth noting that I’ve seen many, many clients successfully lose wright and keep it off without practicing intermittent fasting or time-restricting eating at all, if they implement many of the other principles laid out here.

Cook at home more often

This one may be pretty obvious, but it’s tried-and-true. Takeout and restaurant meals are notorious for oversized portions and a generous use of starch and sugar. And it’s really difficult to not eat too much, whether that’s due to the tastiness, or not wanting to waste food—even if it’s more than your body needs.

The caveat to cooking at home is that it generally needs to be fast and easy, especially when you’re tired and hungry! I advise my clients to select a few staple meals, and keep the ingredients on hand. When you know what to make, how to make it, how long it’s going to take, what it will taste like, and how you’re going to feel afterward, you’ll be a lot more likely to get in the kitchen.

Healthy shortcuts and minimal ingredients are encouraged. A few go-tos my clients like include: ready-to-eat leafy greens tossed with salsa fresca, topped with a crumbled veg burger patty, sliced avocado, and a scoop of black beans; or a scramble made with veggies, extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, black pepper, eggs, or chickpeas, and a side of fresh fruit. Find a few meals you enjoy that leave you feeling simultaneously full, satisfied, and energized, and that aren’t too time intensive.

In addition to supporting healthy weight loss, you can also save a considerable amount of money, and you can use your cooking time to unwind, listen to a podcast, or catch up with your partner.

RELATED: 7 High Fiber Keto Foods

Re-evaluate alcohol

In addition to providing calories, alcohol tends to lower inhibitions and stimulate appetite. I think we’ve all experienced eating foods we wouldn’t touch sober, and/or overeating with abandon while tipsy. So alcohol is a bit of a double whammy when it comes to weight loss. Many of my clients who cut out the two glasses of wine or cocktails they typically sip with dinner have dropped a size without making any other changes.

But if cutting out alcohol altogether doesn’t suit your lifestyle, consider committing to a specific drinking strategy. Some of my clients limit alcohol to weekends only. Others curb their consumption to a one drink max per day. In some cases, finding new ways of socializing helps considerably. My clients that typically spend time with friends by eating and drinking have had success by expanding their activities to include outings that don’t heavily revolve around drinking like meeting for coffee, going to a museum, play, or doing something active, such as going for a hike or bike ride.

Develop a splurge strategy

It’s not realistic to go the rest of your life never having treats, including both sweet and savory favorites. Repeatedly I have seen that trying to do so causes people to give up, abandon their weight loss goals, and slide back into old, unbalanced habits.

Instead, build can’t-live-without goodies in a balanced way. First, identify your very favorites. I ask my clients to rank foods using a 0-5 scale, with 0 being ‘meh’ and 5 a special food they can’t imagine forgoing forever. If something doesn’t rate at least a 4, you’re probably going to be OK passing it up.

But make room for those true faves. For example, if French fries are your thing, combine them with a lettuce wrapped veg or turkey burger, along with salad, veggies, or slaw. If you’re craving a decadent cupcake, eat a generous portion of veggies and some lean protein for dinner, and savor every morsel of your dessert. This is not at all about willpower, diet “rules,” or restriction—it’s about balance, and it feels good.

Most of us have been programmed to live in the all or nothing, but the in-between is a much happier, healthier place to be. And trust me, you can do this and still lose weight. Let go of the notion that weight loss requires extreme limitations. The real key is consistency, and this approach, although seemingly unconventional, is highly maintainable.

RELATED: 8 Foods You Need in Your Kitchen for a Healthier New Year

Don’t starve yourself

I’ve eluded to this a few times, but let me be blunt: In my 20 years of counseling clients, I have never once seen someone lose weight and keep it off by starving themselves. Have I seen people lose weight this way? Yes. But, in every case they either got sick or became physically, emotionally, or socially unable to keep it up—and regained all of the weight (sometimes plus more).

As a health professional, my goal is to help people lose weight in a way that feels good, optimizes wellness, and reduces the risk of immediate and long-term health problems. Starvation checks not one of those boxes. I’ve seen clients pay tons of money to go to spas that underfeed and overexercise their bodies, try cleanses, extreme fasts, or adopt severely limited diets, and the side effects have been disastrous.

I completely understand the pull these types of methods can attract, but chances are you’ve already tried some version of this in your life, and it didn’t end well. If you’re tempted again, listen to your gut, and remind yourself that a quick fix is ultimately a dead end.

Differentiate mind hunger from body hunger

Many of my clients are surprised how much time we spend talking about this, but in my experience, it’s fundamental for both weight loss and a healthy relationship with food. Body hunger triggers signs that are physical in nature, like a slightly growling tummy and a need for fuel. Mind hunger has nothing to do with your body’s needs. It may be driven by habit, emotions, or environmental cues—like seeing or smelling food, or watching other people eat.

I use breathing, guided meditation, and mindfulness to help my clients differentiate between the two, and the results are profound. I’ve had many clients tell me they’re hungry one hour after eating a perfectly balanced meal. And when we drill down, they realize that it’s not hunger they’re experiencing, but anxiety, boredom, or maybe the desire for reward or comfort. We are practically programmed for birth to use food to meet non-physical needs. We celebrate with food, bring food to loved ones when something bad happens, use it to bond, show love, and even pass time. We also learn to self-soothe with food, and we pair eating with other activities, like watching TV or reading, which then become uncomfortable to uncouple.

Delving into your personal relationship with food, and the whys behind your eating choices, can provide a wealth of knowledge. If you keep a food journal, add your thoughts and feelings to it, including why you chose to eat when and what you did, and what body signals you were experiencing. Until you really understand your patterns, they’re nearly impossible to change. If you find that you often mistake hunger for emotional eating, test out some alternative coping mechanisms that address your feelings. You cannot transform overnight, but as you begin to replace food with other ways of meeting your emotional needs, you will alter how you eat forever. And for many people, this is the final piece of the weight loss puzzle.

RELATED: The Best (and Worst) Diets of 2020, According to Experts

Seek support

All of the previous tips focus on forming different habits, letting go of approaches that haven’t served you well, and developing a new normal. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And you may even have people in your life who are unsupportive or disruptive to your goals.

Find support from somewhere. It can be a professional like me, a friend, co-worker, neighbor, even an app, website, or a like-minded person you’ve connected with through social media. I’ve had so many clients get talked out of healthy approaches because someone in their life convinced them it wasn’t necessary or wouldn‘t work. It’s difficult to see that happen when the approach in question felt right to the client and was helping them feel well. But this is bound to happen whenever you go public with any type of lifestyle change.

To counter it, find your person or people who will listen, allow you to vent, support your healthy choices, and even gently interject if your choices don’t line up with wellness-focused goals. Healthy weight loss is a journey, but it shouldn’t be a solo expedition. Find at least one resource to keep you from losing your way.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a private practice performance nutritionist who has consulted for five professional sports teams.

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How to Start the First 30 Days of Your Weight-Loss Journey

Eat this. Don’t eat that. Do this. Don’t do that. When you’re looking to jumpstart weight loss, sifting through online advice and narrowing a plan of attack down to several actionable steps can be the hardest part. This is especially true for those who lead busy lives. You have work, family and other obligations to worry about. A major life overhaul just isn’t in the cards.

To make it easy, we offer three simple tweaks you can make for the next 30 days to help you start your weight-loss journey.

While making several changes to your lifestyle all at once may sound overwhelming, research shows that shifting diet and exercise habits at the same time can lead to better results. One study conducted at Stanford University compared four groups of people: One that changed diet and exercise simultaneously, one that started with diet and then worked on changing exercise habits a few months later, another that changed exercise habits and then diet, and a fourth group, which was schooled in stress-management techniques with no advice on diet or exercise.

At the 12-month mark, it turned out that those who changed things about their diet and exercise at the same time had a greater likelihood of success when it came to meeting the government’s physical activity guidelines (150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity) and eating 5–9 servings of fruits and veggies a day (with saturated fat comprising less than 10% of daily calorie intake).

With that said, trying to take on too many changes at once can derail your success. Commit to the following three habits for the next 30 days to get the ball rolling on weight loss without majorly interrupting your daily life.


It turns out that the “written word” can be powerful when it comes to shedding pounds. In a study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that people who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t track anything. Another study conducted by researchers in California revealed that people who wrote/logged their goals were significantly more likely to achieve them than those who didn’t. These studies hint at the fact that tracking things can help you reflect on your actions, both healthy and unhealthy.


It’s no secret that soda isn’t a great drink option if you’re looking to adopt healthier habits. Studies have long demonstrated a significant link between sugary drinks and weight gain. In fact, recent research discovered that even diet soda leads to weight gain, particularly abdominal fat. To be sure, the recent San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging found that over the long term, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had their waist circumferences increase a whopping 500% more than those who didn’t drink diet soda.

Long story short: Consuming soda and other sugary drinks in any form has the potential to sabotage your weight-loss goals. Reducing or eliminating it from your diet has the potential to impact your weight significantly.



While we often think that cardiovascular exercise is the key to weight loss, it turns out that strength training might be just as important. A study published this year by researchers at Harvard University found that participants who committed to 20 minutes of strength training a day experienced a smaller increase in age-related abdominal fat than another group of participants who did 20 minutes of daily aerobic exercise. While doing both weight training and aerobic exercise on a regular basis is ideal, this study points to the fact that strength work alone can have a major influence on your waistline.

What’s more, you can’t beat the simplicity of strength or resistance training. It can be done at home in a small space with limited equipment. Even bodyweight moves, like planks and push-ups can aid weight loss. While committing to daily strength training is a lofty goal, consider adding it into your routine 2–3 days a week to help prompt the loss of belly fat.

My Honest Weight Loss Journey (With Progress Pictures)

Osha KeyFollow Sep 27, 2016 · 9 min read

I thought being fat was in my genes

I grew up in a family where all women were more or less overweight and I was also taught that being fat was “in our genes” and sooner or later I would also become heavy.

Yes, many overweight people are influenced by their families but they are more a product of their environment rather than any genetic coding. When your parents are heavy and you are brought up eating the same diet, then you will be heavy also.

The new science of epigenetics shows that genes do not control us, but instead the environment affects gene expression.

Various studies with identical twins have confirmed that environmental factors and habits lead to different weight gain, independent of genetic background. So even if you’re genetically predisposed to carry extra fat, you can take action, like exercising and eating healthily, and influence your gene expression.

The food you eat, and your attitude and lifestyle, affect which genes will be expressed and which ones suppressed. So you have the power to shape your body and destiny.

It took me years to realize it and get rid of this detrimental belief that “being fat was in my genes”. While I still believed this lie, it was sabotaging me big time.

How my weight problem started

My difficult relationship with food started in my teenage years as I gained weight compared to my friends. My attempts to control my weight led to disaster. After one heavy spell of dieting at the age of 17 (on a cabbage soup diet) I had no periods for about 6 months and found myself too weak to function. I actually fainted one day but, even then, did not see that this was not working.

My weight fluctuated dramatically depending on my mood, the time of year and whether I had a boyfriend. My weight was a constant noise in my mind and undermined my confidence. I tried everything to control my weight and became almost obsessed. I took up smoking and would drink as much coffee as I could stand to control my appetite. It seems so ridiculous now.

Hit the bottom

The situation got worse when I moved to work in a big city. Long hours and the constant demands of city life left me tired most of the time. When my body needed a healthy, balanced diet more than anything, I was seeking a quick fix through more coffee, sugary snacks, highly processed food and fast food. I ate a lot of meat and dairy products due to convenience, habit and even addiction (cheese and ice cream were my guilty pleasures). These foods were making my body sick and low in energy.

My skin was clogged and dry, I developed premature wrinkles (at the age of 23!) and was relying on lots of makeup to look good. I always knew how to dress, so I managed to hide my huge weight gain with smart clothing tricks. But the makeup and clothes could not hide my poor health, low energy and disappointment with myself.


Me in May 2009. Bad skin, low energy, always stressed out and tired.

My body started the alarm signals and I suffered back pain, bladder infections, regular colds, headaches and sore throats. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome which, as a friend said to me, really means “STOP”.

Me in July 2009. Overweight, stressed, tired and aging prematurely!

The ‘AHA’ moment

A friend suggested doing an exercise to determine my core values in life. To my surprise my health was number one. However, I realized that I was doing my best to destroy my number one priority in life. I was shocked and had a moment of clarity.

This exercise is so powerful, that I decided to share it with other people in my FREE ebook “Mastery in Weight Loss”, which you can get for free on my Become the Best of You website.

Doing that exercise has planted a seed. The changes didn’t happen overnight, but my journey to better health and life has started. It has led me to a new career that I absolutely love — helping others to change their habits and become a better version of themselves.

My first step towards health was quitting my job and moving to the Philippines in the hope of getting my life back, in 2010. In these pictures you can see me at my heaviest weight. (75kg/ 165lbs)


February 2010. At my highest weight. Already left my corporate job and moved to the Philippines. March 2010. April 2010. May 2010.

Losing the weight

I lost almost 40 lbs in 3 years. So how did I achieve this? I’ll be honest — it was not easy and there were many slip-ups along the way. If I knew as much as I know now, the journey could have been so much easier. That’s why I love sharing my knowledge with other people and seeing them achieve the results quickly. I’ve written an ebook “Mastery In Weight Loss” which you can get for free here.

In 2010, I started improving my diet and diving into research about nutrition, weight-loss and health. I read every single book about raw foods and nutrition I could put my hands on. I watched hours of documentaries and tutorials and searched for success stories online. I also enrolled to school to study holistic nutrition.


31st December 2010. February 2011.

In 2011 I switched to a plant-based diet that was 70–99% raw, depending on the season and fruit availability. I have tried different raw food approaches, including gourmet raw, high fat, low glycemic and high carb raw vegan.

I had to learn how to make food taste good because I was one of those people who couldn’t eat bland and tasteless food. Through hours and hours of researching and experimenting in the kitchen, I found the tricks on how to make healthy meals taste absolutely delicious. You don’t need to sacrifice a flavour or your health. You can be both healthy and enjoy the mouthwatering food. I share these tricks in my ebook ‘No More Bland Food. One Easy Trick How To Make Your Raw Dish Taste Great Every Single Time’ which you can get for FREE. Enter your email below to get access NOW.

December 2011.

Most of the time I was balancing between all these approaches, and incorporating some cooked foods in my diet. My energy and health improved dramatically. I no longer suffered from Chronic Fatigue, infections or illness. My weight settled at 65 kg/ 143 lbs. I was happy and finally beginning to enjoy what life had to offer.
During my independent research and studies at school I have gained invaluable knowledge which I felt I had to share with the world. What I went through inspired me to become a Nutritionist and Health Coach so that I could help others.
It also motivated me to step up to new challenges.

Taking health and fitness to the next level

As I had started working as a nutritionist and helping others, I decided that I should lose some more weight, clean up my diet even more, tone my body and inspire others to get healthier and lose weight. I set myself an exercise regime (6 days a week) and committed to a 100% raw food diet for 90 days, and stuck to it.


January 2013. The first day of my 90 day challenge.

Three months later I had dropped 8 kilograms (almost 18 lbs). That was in early 2013 and I kept the weight off.

After The Challenge

After the 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge. April 2013. After the 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge. April 2013.


I lost another few pounds in the next couple of years, and I felt light, beautiful and healthier than ever.

2016 — The Weight Came Back!

You might think that once you transform, it stays with you for the rest of your life, and from that moment there are no more struggles.

It’s not how life usually works.

Unfortunately, I had to face a lot of challenges this year and as a side effect — I gained weight again.

Being a health and weight loss coach added the extra pressure. Gaining weight again triggered so many feelings and emotions, and now I see it as an opportunity to heal at a deeper level and let go of the subtle things I was holding onto.

The “Fallen Guru” Gets Back On Track

I finally surrendered, faced myself and decided to address the elephant in the room.

I am the “fallen guru” — a weight loss coach who has gained weigh again.

I decided to do a 90 day challenge again, and show publicly how I get back on track!

The challenge starts on the 3rd October and ends on the 31st December 2016! Yes, I’m going to start 2017 being the hottest and fittest version of me.

I’ve just filmed the video for the challenge, and I’m going to release it on Monday (3rd October).

September 2016. Just filmed a video for my new challenge.

I Expose Myself Because We Need More Honesty

I’m not only going to tell my story, but also undress in the video and expose myself fully! (In a bikini in the beach 😉 ).

It’s so scary! But I feel that there are so many women out there who are struggling with their weight and body image, and they’re tired of hearing these stories that all you need to do is just eat clean, exercise a little bit and it’s enough to get and stay in shape!

Well, it may be true for some people, but for most regular women it’s not the case! And I’m going to show that it’s normal to face challenges in life sometimes, it’s OK to stumble and fall, and that no matter what, you can get up and glean incredible wisdom from your failures.

About the Author

Osha Key is a Transformation Coach and Business Mentor who helps women revolutionize their lives by using unique tools to change their identity, tap into their limitless potential and connect to their purpose in life.

Find more at

So Where Should I Send Your Free Ebook?

Hey, if you loved this article, you will also probably love my free ebook, where I share more of my personal life stories + 3 incredibly powerful secrets to transforming your body and life.

Head over to and get your FREE copy today.

Side effects might include: finally achieving your goals, feeling beautiful, abundant, connected, sexy, and seen. Yes, it’s 100% available to you.

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