Sarah Dussault is a mother, a Certified Personal Trainer, Holistic Health Coach, and full-time health and wellness blogger and YouTuber. Her mission is to help young women learn how to eat clean and get fit so they can feel confident about the way they look, without depriving themselves of a social life. She shares fitness videos, healthy recipes, mom stuff, and health and fitness for pregnancy all on her blog!
About: Two years ago, January hit rock bottom. She came to the realization that she was a food addict. A few days (and a whole lot of cookie dough) later, January joined Overeaters Anonymous and turned to God to overcome her gluttony and addiction, blogging about it to hold herself accountable. Today, January’s a champion for God and using faith to shed unwanted pounds.

Tracking your food intake is the single most important factor in losing weight - period. It is also the easiest way to calculate your calorie intake, hold yourself accountable and give yourself daily confirmation that you are sticking to your diet. And if you’re not on a diet currently, it’s the best way to see where you may want to consider making some changes.
Stand with legs wide and toes pointed slightly outward. Then, slowly sit into the squat until your knees are over your ankles. Hold for 30 seconds, then press back up. Repeat—the key is to do this exercise slowly and controlled. Lagree recommends doing three sets of 15 reps with short rests in between. Here are 10 ways to burn more calories with squats.
The most important thing you need to do is to program yourself mentally. Don't use a scale to measure your progress. If you work out with weights, you may gain a few pounds while losing inches around the waist. Instead, use that pair of jeans that you want to fit into again, or a pair that fits you now. You'll see a slight change every few weeks, and that should give you confidence.
Satisfying your sweet tooth doesn't require a refined sugar-packed snack. The key is retraining your taste buds to recognize naturally sweet foods, like fruit. "To curb my hankering for treats, I eat mangoes," says Tamyala Ezell, who lost 105 pounds by making over her eating habits and working out three times a week. "They have a natural sweetness that does the trick. Plus, they're low in calories and high in fiber." Another example? "I top berries, nectarines, and cherries with homemade whipped cream, nuts, and dark chocolate," says Goetke.
After 30 days on the diet, you’ll slowly add in one of the restricted foods — one at a time and for a few days only — to see how your body reacts. At this point, you can continue just avoiding the ingredients you suspect you’re sensitive to, or go to an allergy specialist to receive confirmation and see if there’s anything else you might be allergic to.

Kudos to you, not only for your weight loss but also for your transparency and honesty! 🙂 I too am not someone gifted with a metabolism that allows me to eat whatever! 😉 I think that weight loss can be very similar to a testimony of faith and our walk with Jesus — so very personal and very different for everyone; it truly seems ever-changing thru the different seasons of life. Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂 xoxo


At the end of the summer (August) I weighed myself again and found out I had lost 10 pounds since January. I didn’t get down on myself when it felt like I had working so hard for little progress, but instead decided I was going to kick it hardcore into gear. It was at this point that my healthy habits were formed and I could continue in the direction of a healthy lifestyle. I could work harder in the hopes of seeing results. I realized at this point going forward it would be more of a mental battle than physical battle. The habits were formed, but I needed to continue believing in myself, staying encouraged, and thinking positive. I tried my best.
About: Rachael’s got a unique combination of expertise. She’s an avid fitness lover, a health fanatic and a registered nurse. She also has to combat strange work hours to keep up her active lifestyle and exercise regimen, which is exactly why we picked her. When you’re among those who are trying to lose weight but have a hectic schedule, Rachael’s the blogger to turn to for advice. She knows how to fight obstacles like sleep deprivation, food cravings, boredom hunger and (of course) being “too busy” to get healthy.
“Under normal conditions, humans absorb only about 80% of the nutrients from the food they eat,” says A. Roberto Frisancho, Ph.D., a weight-loss researcher at the University of Michigan. But, he says, when the body is deprived of nourishment, it becomes a super-efficient machine, pulling what nutrients it can from whatever food is consumed. Start eating again normally and your body may not catch up; instead it will continue to store food as fat.
Bites of things ‘here and there.’ Sure, you’re no longer eating cereal for breakfast or pasta as a side dish (WIN!), but do you occasionally have just a little taste of the dessert at a dinner party or order the breaded chicken and ‘try’ to scrape it all off? Do these occurrences happen often enough that it could be contributing to a weight loss plateau?
Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate how honest you are! I read a lot of stories and the answer is something like “I cut out soda and started walking” and they don’t talk about the really hard work, food choices, portion control, maintenance, etc. I’m also a person who can’t just eat anything & over the course of my marriage have gained a lot of weight – there’s something about weirdly trying to “keep up” with my much taller/larger husband who has a completely different metabolism! We are about to move & I finally feel really motivated to make changes in my lifestyle. I also appreciate that you are honest about your skin removal – so many people aren’t!!
Eating a large amount of protein will leave you feeling full, thus decreasing your appetite. Protein also has the unique ability to boost metabolism by helping maintain and even build muscle mass. There has been some correlation between high protein diets and a reduction in belly fat. The best way to ensure you are getting enough protein is to eat a little at every meal. A general rule of thumb for high protein intake is to get around 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight. For example, a 130 pound person would aim to get 130 grams of protein each day. Excellent sources of protein come from lean meats, eggs, nuts, etc.

I’m not a big milk chocolate fan, and I do love dark chocolate the best. I made different kind of chocolates and things for my family. My family and I eat so different, that I try to incorporates everyone’s taste buds. 🙂 Your right, moderation of anything and you can still lose weight. That took me a long time to learn that. It’s nice to know you can eat more than carrots and celery! Thank you so much Susan for the kind words!


I do want to tell you that I think it is great that you are on a weight loss journey and that you joined Sparks People. I have been with them for 5 years and I love it! It keeps me motivated! Your doing a great job and it is wonderful that you are eating clean and healthy, just remember that in life there are some not so great for you foods, but you should never deprive yourself. Everything in moderation, just be conscience of what your putting in your body!
Because HIIT is harder on your body than steady-state cardio, you will require adequate rest to gain the most benefits, so don't feel bad for taking a day off. A good rule of thumb is to decrease the number of days you exercise as the load gets heavier. For example, HIIT using just your body weight can be done 3-5 days a week for 20-30 minute sessions.

Muscle is more dense than fat, which can make you look leaner overall. Once you reach your desired weight, you may not feel as fit and toned as you would if you lost more fat and maintained your lean mass throughout the process. In order to decrease your body fat and get toned, you would have to gain muscle mass, essentially gain weight back, and try to lean out by burning fat. It is pretty counter-intuitive to lose weight from losing muscle weight just to try and gain back more muscle weight in the end. 


Before beginning any nutrition or exercise program like this one, one must consult with their doctors or other licensed physicians and receive full clearance. The author claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material in this product.
About: Amy started her weight loss journey after she ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon at her heaviest weight ever — and realized it was time to make a change. Fast forward a couple years, she's lost 65 pounds, motivated especially by her father, who she calls her “biggest cheerleader.” Then her father passed away, and things went downhill a bit. Amy gained 40 pounds back and in 2014 started a weight loss blog to embark on the ultimate quest: signing up for races (her most recent was the Star Wars Half Marathon) and letting readers know that she feels their pain — and, most importantly, that they can get through it and make the changes and run races, just like she is.
The fat-burning equation is simple: Protein builds muscle. More muscle = more fat burning. And fish is one of the healthiest sources of lean protein—especially wild salmon, says dietitian Lauren Minchen, MPH, RD, CDN. It’s also a rich source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which fuel fat burning, block fat storage and aid weight loss, she explains. But that’s not all: “Getting enough protein and healthy fat also helps to reduce cravings and has been shown to help keep weight off for longer,” adds Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS.
Many television ads are now pitching devices that supposedly stimulate muscles to contract repeatedly without exercise. I even saw an infomercial for an "ab belt" that claimed it does the work of 700 sit-ups in 10 minutes! The ad shows people doing various abdominal exercises the wrong way, hating every second of it, versus smiling men and women going about their days with "Ab-whatevers" strapped around them. How enticing!

Water is calorie free and will help fill your stomach and keep you hydrated. In fact, hunger can often be a sign of early dehydration, since your body is using up glycogen stores more quickly, and drinking water could help calm your appetite if this is the case (70). Water also plays multiple roles in the body including supporting digestion, nutrient absorption, and aiding in bodily functions. 
You're gaining water weight. Have you been eating a lot of sodium, increasing your strength training, or perhaps it is that time of the month? Water retention could be one reason why you are gaining weight. Training hard can cause your muscles to swell, partially due to water uptake - this is a normal part of recovery and also a sign you are getting stronger! Eating a high salt diet and hormonal changes can also cause you to hold on to more water. But have no fear, this type of weight gain is different than fat and it's not permanent. To help shed some water weight, consider eating more protein and less carbohydrates and sugar, decreasing your sodium intake and increasing your potassium intake, and staying well hydrated with water. 

The amount of oxygen your body needs, and how quickly you need it, is closely related to the type of fuel you burn and the amount of calories you are burning in total. As intensity increases, oxygen become less available - think about sprinting up a flight of stairs and running out of breath. And at a higher intensity, your body needs energy faster. So when oxygen is hard to come by and quicker sources of energy are necessary, your body switches its fuel source from fat to carbs. 

Thanks for sharing Brittany! I love your honesty and could not have used this post more today. I have been struggling with weight gain the last couple of years and keep falling into this loop hole of not eating clean. I work out 5 days a week, however my diet has not changed and so I have struggled. I will be definitely looking into this book as well to give me a new outlook and starting point. Kudos to you to maintaining a busy life of family, running a business and healthy lifestyle. I am inspired that if someone like you can make the change anyone can! Hugs
Be Yourself. Not surprisingly, pretending to be someone you’re not is exhausting. And research suggests that all the energy going towards acting a certain way is draining your self-discipline, making it harder for you to stick to your goals in other areas of your life (92). This is why some people all of a sudden snap when always trying to put on a happy face. Instead, let your hair down and be your own weird, true self whenever you get the chance. It will not only build your self-confidence but can also strengthen your willpower and help you to be happier and more successful in general.
If your weight is 180 pounds and you don't want to gain or lose weight, you can calculate your TDEE and strive for your average intake to match that amount. If your TDEE is 2,300 calories a day, you should be eating about that much every day - but if sometimes you are eating more, say 3,000 calories on weekend days or heavy training days, you will need to adjust calories on other days accordingly. And don't forget to adjust your TDEE as needed with changes in fitness or calorie burn. If you were previously fairly active and now working a desk job or mostly sedentary, failure to adjust your activity factor and adjust your estimated TDEE may result in weight gain. 

While the old thinking was that long, steady-state cardio sessions were best for burning fat, we now know that intense, fast-paced cardio is much more effective, says Buckley. "For maximum fat-burning and body-sculpting results, you need varied, intense workouts that include short intervals which leave you totally spent," she says. Researchers hypothesize that this contributes to your body's "after-burn" effect, where you continue to burn calories long after your workout is finished. Hope Pedraza, an ACSM personal trainer and the creator of inBalance, a San Antonio-based fitness and wellness studio, suggests doing intervals that alternate between exercises that work different muscle groups. After a 10-minute warm-up, spend 30 seconds doing as many reps as possible of squats, push-ups, kettlebell swings, and single-arm rows. In fact, choose any of your favorite exercises—just make sure you alternate between exercises that work different muscle groups, which will help certain muscles recover while you work others, letting you amp up the intensity and minimize the amount of rest you need.

Annamarie Rivera’s weight loss transformation has been 10 years in the making. In early 2010, Annamarie weighed 400 pounds and wore a size 28 in pants. Today, she is over 230 pounds smaller and has an entirely new outlook on life. Her blog, Weight Loss With Annamarie, shares her incredible weight loss journey along with the joys and struggles that come along with it. Whether you’re just beginning your weight loss journey or trying to lose those last few pounds, Annamarie’s inspirational blog will help you persevere through the ups and downs.


About: Blogs full of heart-felt writing and deep emotions are great, but it never hurts to toss in one with a laugh-out-loud humor to it as well. Enter Running off the Reese's blogger Cely. If her blog mantra “Because no one should have to choose between their pants and chocolate” doesn’t pull you in, her creative use of gifs and humorous style of writing will. Cely was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 18 — a diagnosis she certainly didn’t let hold her back. She runs races (usually half-marathons or less), shares her experiences, has a long list of book reviews...and talks a bit about life in general in between. And it’s awesome.

Well done Jennifer. Inspirational. I also know from personal experience how hard it is to lose weight. It takes discipline to push through no matter what you’re feeling. For me it was getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning (Mon – Fri) to exercise but when I saw some photos of me while my wife and I were on holiday, that was all the motivation I needed to become laser focused to change. I followed a lifestyle challenge which pretty much is what you describe above. It does seem counter intuitive to eat more doesn’t it. Of course it’s what you eat more of that you need to watch 🙂
Known as “forbidden rice” because only emperors were allowed to eat it, black rice may be the cheapest source of antioxidants around. According to the American Chemical Society, black rice has more antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries, with more satiating fiber, more vitamin E, and less sugar. More antioxidants mean less inflammation, which means less fat storage for you.
Eating a large amount of protein will leave you feeling full, thus decreasing your appetite. Protein also has the unique ability to boost metabolism by helping maintain and even build muscle mass. There has been some correlation between high protein diets and a reduction in belly fat. The best way to ensure you are getting enough protein is to eat a little at every meal. A general rule of thumb for high protein intake is to get around 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight. For example, a 130 pound person would aim to get 130 grams of protein each day. Excellent sources of protein come from lean meats, eggs, nuts, etc.
Amanda is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Chicago who graduated with a bachelor's in Nutrition from Northern Illinois University. She completed her dietetic internship at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, IL. Amanda has a strong background in clinical nutrition, nutrition education, and experience working with specialized populations like children, acute care, intensive care, outpatients, and eating disorders. Amanda works with athletes and weight loss clients in the Los Angeles and southwestern Arizona area as a virtual Dietitian. Amanda prides herself in connecting with her audience while providing evidenced-based information and practical nutrition therapy for a complex population.
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