As summer is right around the corner, numerous beings may be would be interested to shed a few pounds. Unfortunately, losing weight isn’t all that easy. In fact, most of the time the more difficult component is going motivated. Which is why we here at Bored Panda have put together this motivating register of before and after weight loss pictures. Boasting people who lost 160 lbs, 200 lbs, and even 325 lbs — these pics are bound to get you motivated! Prevent on moving to check them out, detect free to share your own pics, and don’t forget to vote for your favourites!

Contents

# 2 110 lbs Loss In 7 Times. Worst Shape To Best Shape, I’ve Been Loosing It Slowly In Chunks

# 7 New Mom Lost 100 Lbs After She Procured Out Her Husband Was Cheating On Her And Calling Her A Cow Behind Her Back

#10 This Homeless Man, Who Gorged On 10,000 Calories A Day While Devouring Simply Fast Food, Lost 140 Lbs And Found Love

#13 This Girl Was An Alcoholic, But Managed To Lose 165 Lbs After Quitting Alcohol

#16 My Sister Before And After Losing Over 168 Lbs In 11 Months

#18 This Is What Losing 160 Pounds Looks Like

#23 All Me, No Trainer, No Creams, No Pills, No Quick Fixes! Just Time, Patience, Consistency, Dedication, And A Mix Of Crazy

#27 Obese Bride Lost 200 Lbs And Now, on Her 16 th Wedding Anniversary, She Can Wear Her Wedding Dress Together With Her Husband

#30 125 Lbs Lost — A Year And A Half Of Running And Lifting

#33 63 Lbs Down In 8 Months. Reached My aim!

#36 The Moment You Recognize Your Old T-Shirt From Last Year Could Almost Be A Bedsheet. 50 Kg Down So Far

#40 I Have Called So Far Mentally, Physically And Emotionally That I Can Happily Say I Barely Recognize The Girl On The Left

#43 One Time Ago Today I Decided To Change My Lifestyle

#45 For The Pst 2.5 Years I’ve Dedicated Every Single Day To Generating A Better Me, The Kid To The Left Was Not Healthy Not Happy And Most Importantly Not Living To His Full Potential

#48 10 Few months ago I Promised Myself I’d Lose 100 Pounds By My Birthday. Today’s My Birthday And I’m Down 115 Pounds

#53 I Started My Weight Loss Journey So I Could Constitute Sure To Be The Best Mom I Could Be For Her. And Since Then I Have Lost 5x Her Current Weight( She’s Around 30 lbs, I’ve Lost 150 lbs)

#58 Reading The Advancement Like This Is Pretty Phenomenal — Now To Maintain

#65 This Woman Weighed 413 lb At Her Heaviest And Would Eat Eight Portions Of Mcdonald’s Every Day. After A Mini Stroke, She Lost 240 lb And Now Weighs 175 lb

#67 I Weighed Around 199 Pounds In The Left Picture And This Is Me Now

#72 I Remember Taking Before Pictures& Hiding Them In A Folder On My Phone. At The Time I Detested Searching At Them! Now I’m So Glad I Can Examine Back At Them& See How Far I’ve Come

#75 Today I Feel Okay Eating That Grilled Cheese That I Adoration. Today I Find Okay Wearing A Tight Tank Top. Today I Seem Okay That My Belly Isnt Flat. And For Me, Thats A Win

#77 My Friend Ran Three Miles A Day For Two Years And Lost 140 Lbs. He Now Accompanies His Dream University And Has So Often More Confidence

#80 Appreciating All The Other Pics Induced Me To Post My Own. Before And After Losing 100 lbs

#84 135 lbs To 99 lbs After A Time Of Fat Loss And Muscle Gainz

#86 Before Weight: 307 lbs Now Weight: 183

#90 Sometimes The Best Way To Motivate Myself Is To Remind Myself How Far Ive Come. From 171 lbs To 117 lbs

#93 This Is When I Weighed The Most About 305 Pounds And After I Lost 150 Pounds

#96 My Before& After Weight Loss: 7 Months Total. Heartbreak Can Drive You To Do Anything. But Now I’m All Smiles!

#100 146 Lbs Down Now I’m Slim, Fit And Confident, My Skin Glows And I Detect Astonishing With Unrelenting Energy

#104 Lost A Shit Ton Of Weight( 77 lbs)

#108 Before And After. 344 Pound And 205 Pounds

<img src=”http://static.boredpan

The post 10+ Breathtaking Before-And-After Weight Loss Pics You Won’t Feel Show The Person or persons appeared first on loseweightreviews.org.

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True story: “I gained 20kg to please my fat-loving boyfriend”

Image: 123rf.com

“I’ve dated several guys throughout my late teens and most of my twenties. Although I was never really short of admirers, I found it hard to maintain a relationship with many of them because they couldn’t stay faithful. It bothered me even when they checked out other women or flirted with my girlfriends, so I’d cut them loose the second I suspected that they were untrustworthy. As I neared the end of my twenties I started to lose all hope that I’d ever find a man to commit to me and only me. And then I met Matthew*.”

ALSO READ: True story: “My husband turned out to be a fraud”

The love of her life

“I met Matthew online on one of those matchmaking websites. He contacted me first, and when I saw his smiling photo staring back at me, I knew it was love.

“Matthew and I talked on the phone for a few weeks before finally arranging a date to meet at a café in town. When we eventually laid eyes on each other my heart literally skipped a beat. Matthew was more gorgeous than in his photos, and he told me that I was more beautiful than he expected.

ALSO READ: True story: “I’m terrified of the consequences of hiding this dark secret from my hubby”

“The more time we spent together, the more open we were with our feelings. After a few weeks of being a couple, Matthew told me that he loved me and could see a future with me, but there was just one thing that bothered me – my weight. At first I was taken aback. I had the perfect figure so what on earth was he talking about? He then shared that he had a thing for chubby women and he asked me if I would put on weight for him. He added that he loved me as I was but that piling on several extra kilos for him would make him happier. If I’d been anyone else I probably would have felt insulted or even turned off by that request. But I truly loved Matthew and wanted to please him. I certainly didn’t want him cheating on me with some chubby woman!”

The weighting game

“I thought long and hard about changing the way I looked for Matthew. I liked my body and enjoyed eating well and being active, but now I’d have to change my exercise routine and eating habits. I didn’t know where to start.

“The majority of our dates were spent eating somewhere, so I would just order more food than usual and take my time to finish it all. It did take some getting used to, not only because I wasn’t a big eater but also because I enjoyed healthy food. Now I was gorging on high-calorie foods, and large amounts of it, too.

ALSO READ: Women are rushing to get surgery for ‘Barbie’ vaginas (and it is NOT cool)

“My weight gain was gradual – it took me nearly two years to put on close to 20kg. I definitely felt it, because my clothes grew increasingly tight and I had to shop for new clothes more often than before. My family and friends noticed how much weight I’d put on, too, and they made fun of me for it. But every time they warned me that Matthew might leave me for getting bigger, I’d tell them that he still loved me, and that he, in fact, preferred me a little heftier. They always laughed at me in disbelief.

“Even when my weight soared to 70kg, Matthew still told me I looked gorgeous. He wasn’t ogling other women in front of me or cheating on me behind my back, so I knew that he was attracted to me. If he loved me big, why would I want to go back to my petite size?”

No regrets about putting on weight

“There’s no doubt that I don’t feel as comfortable in this 70kg body as I did when I was lighter. I get tired more easily and my face always looks bloated. I also find that I don’t look as good in photographs anymore. I think this is the biggest I can go, though, so even if I ate more I don’t think I’d put on more weight. What I do miss more than anything is exercising. I miss my Zumba and yoga classes, and I miss playing netball with my friends on weekends. I’m thinking of going back to the gym because it makes me feel happy.

“My family members have expressed their concern about my health. They’ve said that it’s not how I look, but rather the danger I’m putting myself in, since obesity carries with it all kinds of long-term health risks, like diabetes and high blood pressure. I understand their worry but I’m not exactly obese. I’m overweight, yes, but I don’t think I’m in the danger zone.

“Matthew is happy with my body and so am I; and that’s all that matters. But there’s no need for me to explain myself to anybody. If Matthew can look at this body and say that I’m the sexiest woman in the world, and that there’s no other woman he’d rather be with, then I’d say that putting on this extra weight was well worth the trouble.”

*Names have been changed.

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  • changing appearance to please your man
  • Eid al-Fitr 2017
  • men who love fat women
  • relationship true story

What’s Considered Normal Weight Fluctuation?

If you’re taking on a new weight loss goal, your instinct might be to hop on the scale twice a day and hope for a consistently lower number each time. Thing is, daily weight fluctuation is normal; Just because you see that number go up or down from one day to the next doesn’t mean you aren’t on track to weight loss or gain over the long term. Here, the complete lowdown on normal weight fluctuation.

Why Does My Weight Fluctuate So Much?

Since most of us can’t eat enough in a day or two to actually gain 5 or 10 pounds, if you notice a dramatic increase on the scale, chances are it’s due to water, says Anita Petruzzelli, M.D., doctor for BodyLogicMD.

“Eating, drinking, urinating, having a bowel movement, and exercise can all impact your body’s water composition and therefore weight,” she says. For example, high-carb and high-salt foods can cause water retention and a boost in poundage, while exercise can lead to temporary water and weight loss.

Image zoom Tetra Images/Getty Images

So don’t get too excited–or freak out–if you notice weight fluctuation in a day. “Weight gain due to water fluctuation should normalize in a day or two when you resume exercising and eating a healthy diet that’s low in salt, refined carbs, and simple sugars,” says Dr. Petruzzelli. All the more reason to take an overview of your weight changes rather than weighing yourself constantly. (Related: 6 Sneaky Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight)

However, if those extra pounds keep showing up on the scale after you’ve returned to your regular routine for about a week, it may be due to another lifestyle factor. A daily weight fluctuation range of zero to five pounds won’t prevent you from hitting your goals, according to Joseph Colella, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at Magee Women’s Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Most people can recover five pounds rather quickly with minor tweaks to their calorie intake and physical activity.”

And if the scale shows a seven-pound jump for longer than a day or two, alcohol consumption could be one cause. “Alcohol stimulates your appetite and wrecks your self-control regarding the amount of food that you consume,” explains Dr. Colella. Keep in mind that in addition to diet, some medications and health conditions can also lead to weight fluctuation.

How to Track Your Progress, Accounting for Daily Weight Fluctuation

Despite the fluctuations, you can use a scale to your advantage to track and meet your weight goals.

If you want to drop just a few pounds, jump on every day. “That will give you a regular barometer and, over time, a trend line that you can use to reflect back on what you ate and what you weighed,” says Dr. Colella.

When you’re aiming to lose more weight, though, daily check-ins can make or break your whole day. Avoid unnecessary stress by checking in once a week, and keeping tabs on what you are eating, he says. (Related: Experts Reveal: 15 Small Diet Changes for Weight Loss)

However often you face the scale, be consistent. Dr. Petruzelli suggests weighing yourself naked first thing in the morning after using the bathroom and always using the same scale.

Consider other methods of progress measurement, especially if your weight-loss goal is more than a few pounds since not all positive changes can be recorded by a scale. Regularly having your body composition checked can determine your body’s exact fat, muscle, and water content, and the way your clothing fits can also be helpful, says Dr. Petruzelli. If your clothes fit or are too loose but the scale says you’ve gained weight, the gain is probably muscle, she explains. (Related: 5 Smart Scales That Tell You More About Your Body Than Just Your Weight)

The bottom line: Weight fluctuation is normal, but if the scale rises five or more pounds for longer than a day or two, chances are it’s more than simply water weight.

“Lots of people have ‘calorie amnesia’—they’re eating more calories than they tally up in their head, or it’s not that they’re exercising any less during the week but maybe they’re sitting more,” Jampolis says.

Once you’ve determined that’s not the case, your doc can get to the bottom of whether any of these lingering health issues might be messing with your waistline.

If you’re also exhausted…it could be hypothyroidism

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When a young woman walks into a doc’s office with unexplained weight gain, the thyroid is the first place most physicians will investigate, says Jampolis. And for good reason: a whopping one in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder in her life, according to the American Thyroid Association.

That butterfly-shaped gland in the neck is responsible for secreting a hormone that regulates the metabolism, and if you’ve got an under-active thyroid (called hypothyroidism) the metabolism may slow down, triggering weight gain.

Women with hypothyroidism may also suffer from low energy levels or fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, hoarseness, or constipation, says Jampolis. Notice any of them and you should book a chat with your doc who can check on your thyroid with a simple blood test if necessary.

If your periods are also abnormal…it could be PCOS.

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Research shows that as many as one in five women have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)—an endocrine disorder that throws off the balance of reproductive hormones estrogen and testosterone, and can trigger a number of unpleasant symptoms like wacky periods, facial hair growth, and migraines.

PCOS can also muck up the way your body uses insulin (the hormone that helps turn sugars and starches into energy), which means (womp, womp) unexplained weight gain around the mid-section is common, says Jampolis.

If your menstrual cycles are off, a gyno will likely take a peek at your hormones to diagnose this one.

If you’re also super-stressed…it could be depression or anxiety.

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When you’re chronically stressed, you’re thrown into fight-or-flight mode and get a surge of adrenaline, along with a heavy dose of the hormone cortisol, which is supposed to help you restore energy reserves and store fat. Because, hello, you just sprinted three miles from a tiger—you’re starving.

The problem? Lots of us get stressed sitting at our desk, says Jampolis.

If you’ve persistently felt down in the dumps or anxious, have trouble sleeping, feel fatigued, or you’ve lost interest in the stuff that used to make you tick, talk with an M.D. or mental-health pro who can make suggestions for getting back on track, which (bonus) should help you drop those extra pounds.

If you’re also restless at night…it could be insomnia.

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There’s nothing like a busted night of sleep to make a girl crave sugar and fat (anything to survive at work the next day, right?). That’s because missed shuteye does a number on your hunger hormones and metabolism: Sleeping too little raises ghrelin, the hormone that signals it’s time to eat, while lowering your levels of leptin, the hormone that conveys the “I’m full” feeling, says Jampolis. The result: a totally unsatisfying chow-fest the next day.

Putting off sleep to watch just one more episode? That hour could be contributing to weight gain. A 2018 study in the journal Sleep found that people who slept just one hour more per week lost more fat than those who slept an hour less. The people who slept less lost less—even though everyone in the study ate the same number of calories, proportionate to their weight at the start of the study.

If you’re constantly bloated…it could be SIBO

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The gut relies on good bacteria to function well (probiotics, anyone?), but there’s also bad bacteria chilling in your digestive tract. When that balance of good to bad gets thrown off, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO, for short) can take place, triggering extra gas in your GI tract along with bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and—you guessed it—sudden weight gain.

Docs aren’t entirely sure how SIBO may trigger those extra pounds, says Jampolis, but treatment for SIBO typically includes antibiotics to treat the bacterial overgrowth, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

If you’re also in your 40s…it could be perimenopause.

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The transition period to menopause (a.k.a., perimenopause, which can start in women as early as their mid-thirties, but usually starts in your forties) triggers hormones like estrogen to rise and fall unevenly, which can cue weight gain in some women, says Jampolis. (Other signs of perimenopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings, and a change in your libido—symptoms your doc can usually suss out with her eyes closed.)

Compound perimenopause with the other inevitable body changes that happen with age (like a loss of muscle mass and increase in body fat), and it may feel like the scale’s tipping fast. Talk to your doctor to manage “the change” in stride.

If you’re also taking a new pill…it could be your meds.

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There’s a laundry list of both prescription and over-the-counter meds that can trigger sudden weight gain or water retention that shows up on the scale as extra poundage. “Antidepressants—most commonly the selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Paxil, Lexapro and Prozac—may affect the appetite center in the brain,” says Rocío Salas-Whalen, M.D., an endocrinologist at the Medical Offices of Manhattan.

Meanwhile, beta-blockers (meds that reduce blood pressure) can slow your metabolism, and certain steroids (like prednisone—an anti-inflammatory that causes water retention and an increase appetite) can add on pounds. Even OTC antihistamines like Benadryl, which can disrupt an enzyme in the brain that helps regulate food consumption, can trigger noticeable weight gain, says Salas-Whalen.

A word to the wise: Don’t stop taking any pills cold-turkey—chat with your doctor, who may be able to find a more waist-friendly substitute.

If you’re also noticing abnormal fatty deposits…it could be Cushing’s disease.

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A super-rare condition called Cushing’s disease (only 10 to 15 people per million are affected, but 70 percent of those diagnosed are women) causes excess cortisol production and can trigger excessive weight gain just around the abdominal area (legs and arms usually stay lean) and the back of the neck, says Reshmi Srinath, M.D., assistant professor of diabetes, endocrinology, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“Cushing’s typically presents with significantly low energy and complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. But the telltale sign is very large, red stretch marks on their belly,” she says. If this sounds eerily familiar, talk to your doctor asap.

If you also feel extra bloated after eating…it could be dehydration

Claudia Miranda / EyeEmGetty Images

There’s a reason behind the bloat, and it may have just as much to do with the water you forgot to drink as the food that you ate.

Kristen Neilan, R.D., a dietician at University of Florida Health, says most of us aren’t drinking nearly enough water. That’s because many of us mistake the feeling of thirst for the feeling of hunger. “Confusion, tiredness, and lightheadedness are all signs of even mild dehydration,” she says. Sounds a lot like how we feel when we’re hankering for a snack.

Mixed signals aren’t the only only possible culprits behind your unexplained weight gain. “Adequate hydration increases mitochondrial function—what that basically means is that it increases your metabolism,” says Neilan. Without enough water, your cells can’t do their thing (namely, convert your food into energy) quickly and efficiently.

If it seems like your belly just won’t budge…it could be an ovarian tumor.

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In rare cases, an expanding belly is the result of an ovarian tumor and fluid buildup associated with it, says Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh, M.D., Ph.D., a gynecologic cancer surgeon at UCLA Health.

“Patients come in with abdominal bloating, and their usual pants are not fitting,” she says. “Sometimes the tumor is so large, it can cause dissention of the abdomen,” says Memarzadeh.

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer after menopause. But it’s important for women at every age to look out for this symptom, as well as feeling full too quickly, pain in the lower stomach area, and extra pressure on the bladder. See your doc if the bloating persists, especially if your family has a history of ovarian cancer.

Kristen Dold Kristen Dold is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Ashley Mateo Ashley Mateo is a writer, editor, and UESCA-certified running coach who has contributed to Runner’s World, Bicycling, Women’s Health, Health, Shape, Self, and more. Carly Breit Carly Breit is a freelance writer who loves to write about health, wellness, and strong women.

I always marvel at the reports I get from men and women who claim to have gained 10 pounds over a weekend. In truth, this is next to impossible.

So despite how much weight you worry you are going to gain this Easter weekend, the truth is, it’s tough to actually gain pounds of fat in a weekend.

Take for example the traditional notion that there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat. To even gain 3 pounds of fat over a weekend, you’d need to consume an extra 10,500 calories. Now that’s tough. In fact, that’s about the number of calories in 19 Big Mac’s.

Now please tell me you don’t eat 19 Big Mac’s in a weekend?

Also, take a look at this study. Researchers from Virginia State University gave men an extra 1000 calories per day for 8 weeks. For most people, that would be a tough challenge to eat that many extra calories unless they were eating all types of junk food.

By the end of the 8 week study, the men gained an extra 11 pounds. That’s 11 pounds after 8 weeks of “pigging out”, not just a weekend where they went to the Outback Steakhouse and had a “Blooming Onion”.

Reference:
Obesity 15:3005-3012 (2007)

What most people see on the scale after a weekend of “road trip eating” is just an increase in fluid retention due to the high-sodium and high-carbohydrate diet, as well as some fat (but certainly not 10 pounds of it in only 48 hours).

So the next time you get off track with your weekend eating and are shocked to discover that you’ve gained 10 pounds, just take a deep breath and realize that is not an accurate measurement of the real damage.

If you get off track, just focus on getting back in charge of your nutrition, sticking to whole, natural foods, and cutting out the high-sodium, high-carbohydrate processed snacks. This shouldn’t be too hard, because you’ll probably feel terrible from the weekend’s junk food.

In addition to returning to fruits, vegetables, nuts, and protein for your meals during the week, make sure to add three total body resistance training workouts (like the Belly Off program or Turbulence Training for Fat Loss) and 3 interval cardio workouts to help you burn fat and return to your normal weight.

Happy Easter,

CB

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, is a Men’s Health Fitness Advisor and author of Turbulence Training for Fat Loss. For more of Craig’s fat burning workouts, fat loss tips, and free report on the “Dark Side of Cardio”, go here

How Do You Find Your Feel Great Weight?

From Health magazine
In a recent New Yorker cartoon, a man says to his buddies as he chows down on a steak, “I want a woman whos not afraid to have a few extra pounds—but doesnt.”

Classic. Men can pack on pounds and still be considered sexy, but a woman has to be the perfect weight and act like she doesnt care. But hold on, just what is that healthy weight? We can help you sort it all out. Our mini-quiz and calculators will help you find the weight thats best for you.

Follow the steps below to determine a healthy goal weight for your body and lifestyle—and then check out the rest of our Feel Great Weight diet and exercise plan for ways to make that number a reality.

1. Whats your BMI? How tall you are, obviously, has a lot to do with whether your weight is healthy—and thats always frustrating for the vertically challenged. At, say, 150 pounds, your weights just right if youre 5 feet 8 inches tall, on the high side of normal if youre 5 feet 6 inches, considered overweight if youre 5 feet 4 inches, and near obese at 5 feet. To figure out if your weight is healthy for your height, calculate your body mass index (BMI). BMI isnt a perfect measure (see question 2 below), but its a great place to start your calculations.

Calculate your BMI

Healthy-weight bonus: The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for diabetes. But lose just 7 percent of your body weight (thats about 10 pounds for a 140-pound woman), and you can cut your risk by 60 percent.

2. Whats your build? Line up 10 women who are all 5 feet 4 inches tall or who each weigh 150 pounds, and youll quickly see why height or weight alone—or even BMI—doesnt always reflect whats healthy. The differences in muscle strength, body shape, and frame size can be astounding.

If youre muscular, your BMI can easily fall into the so-called overweight range because muscle weighs more than fat, says Steven Blair, professor of exercise at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. “By BMI classifications, most football players are obese, Arnold Schwarzenegger is obese, and Serena Williams is overweight. See other surprising celebrity BMIs. The categories of normal, overweight, and obese are useful for research but not always when it comes to the public.”

Consider your frame size, too. Insurance companies typically divide their weight charts into small-, medium-, and large-frame categories. At 5 feet 4 inches, wearing 1-inch heels, and fully clothed, whats classified as a healthy weight can range from around 115 to 150 pounds, depending upon your frame. Based on your build, you and your doctor can decide if a too-high BMI is OK for your frame or musculature or if its a sign that you need to burn some fat—pronto.

Frame-size calculator: The distance between the two little bones on either side of your elbow is used to determine frame size. Hold up your arm at a 90-degree angle with your palm facing your face. Put the pointer finger of your other hand on the bone on one side and your thumb on the other. Then measure the distance between them. Frame sizes are for a women in the 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-7 range.

Distance between elbow bones:
2 2/8 inches and below—Small frame
2 3/8 inches to 2 5/8 inches—Medium frame
2 6/8 inches and above—Large frame

Next Page: How much weight have you gained since middle school?
3. How much have you gained since high school? Its not goofy to want to fit into your old prom dress—its healthy. But that dress wont fit if you gain even 10 pounds after high school, a number that experts say is a weight-gain warning point. “Weight gain after about age 20 is really important because most of the weight gain is typically unhealthy fat,” says Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “If your weight goes up even 4 to 5 pounds, thats when you need to make adjustments. A 10- to 15-pound weight gain, for instance, increases the risk of diabetes appreciably.”

Some women who were fit in high school may be able to add a little padding—5 to 10 pounds—without consequences, says JoAnn Manson, MD, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Womens Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. But pick up 20 more, and most of that is fat tissue, not Serena Williams–like muscles.

Keep in mind that genetics may play a role in how much weight you put on, too. If your parents are heavy, gaining weight may be that much easier for you—and you may have a predisposition for becoming obese. And its not just one gene playing with your waistline; different genes determine levels of hormones that affect hunger and fullness when you eat. Researchers at the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York, found that people with genetically lower levels of dopamine find food more rewarding than people who genetically have higher levels, so they tend to eat more. Genetics can also play a role in where fat settles—on your belly, butt, or hips. Being aware of genetic tendencies helps you work with them.

Keep tabs on your weight by stepping on a scale every day and by cutting calories to either maintain a healthy weight or to drop a few pounds. Shaving 50 calories a day is a good maintenance move; cutting 500 calories a day should help you lose a pound a week.

4. How big is your belly? Waist circumference isnt a weight measurement, per se, but it is a good indicator of whether you have a healthy shape. Being on the upper end of the healthy-weight range for your height may be just fine if, for instance, you have a flat belly. Just as being on the low end may not be enough to offset the risks of carrying a lot of weight around your middle.

Why does waist size matter? The fat that makes your middle resemble an apple is bad news, upping the risk of metabolic syndrome—a combo of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, and prediabetes, Willett says. A 1- or 2-inch increase in waist size should be a signal to cut back on calories and add some physical activity to your routine. Bottom line: Womens waists should be no larger than 35 inches; mens, 40 inches max. In fact, experts worry that anything bigger than 32 is bad for you. If you dont like your number, you can target belly fat with the great ab-busting moves in “Your Strength Plan.”

Healthy-weight bonus: Reduce your belly fat, and you may reduce your odds of getting cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund linked excess weight to seven cancers—breast, esophageal, pancreatic, colon, rectal, endometrial, and kidney.

Next Page: How old are you?
5. How old are you? Although youll still want to stay within healthy weight and BMI ranges as you get older, you may experience a little creep—and thats OK within reason, experts say. In the healthy-weight table used by the Weight Watchers organization, for instance, 134 is the maximum recommended weight for a woman up to age 25 who is 5 feet 4 inches tall. For ages 25 to 45, its 140. When women hit 45-plus, they need to be extravigilant because they start to gain fat and lose muscle due to hormonal changes. If you hit 145 pounds or higher, youll start edging into overweight BMI category, and you dont want to go there.

Healthy-weight bonus: If youre 40-plus and at a healthy weight, youre much less likely to get heart disease as you get older. Pack on the pounds, though, and even if your blood pressures healthy, your heart disease odds go up.

Waist-size calculator: To measure your waist circumference, place a tape measure around your belly an inch above your hip bones. Keep the tape snug and parallel to the floor.

Waist size:
32 inches or below—Healthy
33 to 34 inches—Worry zone
35 inches and above—Danger zone

6. Is your lifestyle healthy? Even if you still eat Twinkies, exercise will lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and risks for several cancers. It helps clear blood clots and sets a healthy interval between heartbeats. Plus, it increases muscle contractions, which help regulate blood sugar levels, keeping diabetes at bay.

Youll also be healthier—and probably thinner—if you eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Its as simple as that. “People get too hung up on sticking to the exact details of a diet or finding the right diet,” says Deirdre Leigh Barrett, PhD, assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Waistland: A (R)evolutionary View of Our Weight and Fitness Crisis. “It becomes an excuse for delay. If youre not losing weight, its usually because youre not following the diet, not because its the wrong diet.”

Yunsheng Ma, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who studied eight conventional diets, found Ornish, Weight Watchers, and the New Glucose Revolution plans among the healthiest: “The winners emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low levels of trans and saturated fats. But you dont really have to follow a plan, just that outline.” And you do need to get moving.
More Feel Great Weigh

  • By Dorothy Foltz-Gray
  • By Beth Dreher

After years of mindless eating and enjoying frequent drinks with coworkers, Jamie Lanigan realized her weight had ballooned and she carried almost 400 pounds on her 5-foot-9-inch frame. But thanks to a lunch club and an exercise routine, she’s lost 145 pounds and expects to shed more.

“My end goal is to be fit, whatever that looks like on the scale,” Lanigan, 33, told TODAY. “I am not looking at a number I want to hit. It’s overall fitness and it is a lifestyle.”

Woman loses 145 pounds thanks to lunch club

Dec. 20, 201600:51

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Lanigan, who lives in Toronto, has always been overweight, but a high-paced career in advertising contributed to a big gain. Crushing deadlines meant she noshed on what was fast and convenient, and often loaded with calories. After long days, she frequently joined her coworkers at the bar.

After five years of watching her diet, participating in a lunch club, and working out almost every day of the week, Jamie Laingan lost 145 pounds.Courtesy of Jamie Lanigan

“I would eat a lot at my desk mindlessly and then I would go out a lot with colleagues and drink beers,” she said.

When her weight increased to more than 370 pounds, she considered weight loss surgery. But then she realized she had never even attempted to lose weight on her own. So she decided to see what would happen if she tried.

“I cleaned up my eating habits, started working out, and drank a ton of water,” she said.

Today, Lanigan is all smiles!Courtesy of Jamie Lanigan

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Getting a new job five years ago helped in ways she never anticipated. Her new office hosted a lunch club: Each day, a different person brought in a homemade healthy meal for everyone in the club. Suddenly, Lanigan was scouring blogs and social media for healthy, tasty meals.

“Lunch club helps you expand your own cooking repertoire,” she said. “When I am cooking for lunch club, I garnish it, I make sure I plate it properly. It is fun. It shows that you care.”

Lanigan shared these tips on how she lost weight and has maintained a healthy lifestyle:

1. Cook for others

Because she wanted to make lunches her coworkers also enjoyed, Lanigan challenged herself.

“It has to look good and be healthy. It has to be tasty. I don’t want to feed people bad food. That’s what made me really start cooking.,” she said. “You kind of get stuck into a rut when you are cooking for one. When you start to expand it out for people you care about, you go the extra mile.”

Her coworkers enjoy her zucchini noodle lasagna, bowls with brown rice and black beans, and lemony chicken soup. All of her recipes are low fat and loaded with vegetables and whole grains.

Just one of the many lunches she made for her coworkers.Courtesy of Jamie Lanigan

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2. Cook with others

Lanigan and a coworker cook together weekly as they make the meals together. They portion out what they make and freeze it, creating lunches and dinners for the week. Having someone to cook with keeps Lanigan accountable and makes cooking fun.

3. Ask for help

After rapidly losing 50 pounds, Lanigan’s weight loss stalled. That’s when she turned to a trainer to jump start her workout routine. She felt she needed the guidance to fine-tune her form. Years of being overweight meant that her knees hyper-extended; a trainer helped her correct that.

The extra boost encouraged her to make exercise a part of her life. Now, she works out five to six times a week for an hour and a half, boxing, lifting weights, and doing yoga.

Five to six days a week Jamie Lanigan works out for over an hour.Courtesy of Jamie Lanigan

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4. Give yourself a break

Last week, coworkers brought cookies into work and Lanigan ate one. She didn’t beat herself up for it because she knows it’s OK to have one cookie. It’s when she eats too many cookies that it becomes a problem. But she reminds herself overeating leads to weight gain and makes her feel bad.

“I switch back my mindset to think of nourishing myself with proper fuel,” she said.

5. Pay attention

When Lanigan eats, she takes her time, drinks plenty of water, and chats with friends. Paying attention means she knows when to stop eating.

“I learned the trigger of being full and that I never knew before,” she said.

For more inspiration, check out our My Weight-Loss Journey page. For more diet and fitness advice, sign up for our One Small Thing newsletter.

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