And maybe a new mattress, because it’s not just the amount of time you spend sleeping that keeps you lean, it’s also the quality of your sleep. Fat cells in your body produce a hormone called leptin that helps the body keep track of how much potential energy (i.e. fat) it has stored. But leptin is only produced during certain stages of sleep. Miss out on those stages because you’re not resting soundly enough, and you’ll disturb levels of the hormone, leaving your body with no real idea of its energy reserves. Consequently, you’ll end up storing calories rather than burning them.
When researchers at the University of Tennessee put a group of volunteers on one of two diets—one high in calcium and one not—and cut each group’s calorie intake by 500 calories, they found that the people getting calcium lost twice as much weight (an average of 13lbs) compared with people on the standard diet. Study author Michael Zemel, Ph.D., believes extra calcium helps the body burn more—and store less—fat.
So, we’ve scoured the internet, researched hundreds of blogs, and of all the incredible women we came across, these 35 inspirational blogs stood out the most. Not just because they’ve been through a weight loss transformation of their own, but because they have completely changed the way they see themselves throughout the process, the impact they have on their audience, and the fact that they are truly badass women who have a purpose, a message, and the vulnerability to lay it out on the line, in hopes that their journey will help just one person on theirs.
A few years ago, I embarked on a personal weight loss journey. I had had two pregnancies back-to-back, and had gained considerable weight, to the point where my own body mass index was over 30 (obesity range). I was many months postpartum, and realized that the “baby weight” wasn’t going anywhere. As a matter of fact, I had gained even more weight since my daughter was born.

I try my very hardest not to compare myself to others. Everyone is going to have a different journey. It’s hard when I can look at people that seem like they can eat whatever they want and not have to work hard to look great. I get that. But my journey is about the progress I an making and discovering my best self. I found a community to celebrate accomplishments together, which was a game changer. It is helpful, fun, and encouraging having buddies to journey with.
Perform cardio on most days of the week to achieve weight loss. Using a machine for a few minutes every now and then will not do much in the way of thigh reduction. You must be willing to exercise long enough and often enough to promote weight loss. The Centers for Disease Control recommends at least 30 minutes a day of moderately-intense aerobic exercise. Meet these guidelines for the best results.
‘Do it for a couple of minutes in bed and you’ll actually be able to wind down and fall asleep more easily. But it’s a skill, so it requires a commitment to practice it, as with anything. Think of it a bit like dating – the first time you do it it’s terrible, it’s uncomfortable, nobody knows what they’re doing, but the more dates you go on the better it gets.
Hi! I have to say 600 calories is terrible! You are going to starve your body. On average without exercise, your body burns at least 1400 calories, if you are eating only 600 calories you are not fueling your body with proper nutrition. When this happens your body goes into starvation mode and you end up gaining weight to, worse yet, end up sickly. Don’t do that to yourself, please! When I added more calories into my diet, I gradually added more, like a 200 a week. I gave myself an extra snack. I don’t recall if I gained weight at the beginning, but I do know I lost weight when I ate more. Don’t be afraid to eat!! What I would do if I were you is add more protein into your diet, like eggs, greek yogurt, lean chicken. You also need a little fat like avocado, olive oil or peanut butter. I personally found the hardest thing about dieting is not being able to stick to it. I dieted for 2 years lost weight, but then life happened. I eat healthy but what I started back when I was dieting I was eating low calorie, now I eat what normal people eat and I gained some weight back. But I realized what I was doing to my body back then, I wasn’t able to do that for the rest of my life. My advice is to eat healthy, eat what is in your calorie range and exercise for 30 minutes a day, even if it is just a walk. Doing this is a set-up for permanent weight lose and you will be healthy. I learned over the years that a healthy body on the inside, shows on the outside and even if you gain a little weight you are better off.
Cut out ‘fat-bombs’ and bulletproof coffee. These are okay to consume for satiety, but if your goal is weight loss, too much fat will prevent your body from using its own fat stores for energy (refer to point above for more information). Just one bulletproof coffee may contribute nearly 50 grams of fat and almost 500 calories to your day. Imagine what a few cups of coffee, or several fat bombs, might do to your weight loss.

“After reaching my highest weight of 240 pounds in July 2014, I decided to make a life change. I was on Facebook and saw my sister was looking thinner and thinner in each picture. She introduced me to Take Shape For Life and it transformed my life! It combines the personalized support of a health coach to give you the resources and skills you need to live healthier for the long term. I was on the plan that consists of eating five healthy "fuelings" throughout the day, along with one healthy meal of lean protein and low carb vegetables. I continue to eat six small meals throughout the day. Additionally, I’ve found a new hobby and began working out. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would say to my husband before leaving the house, ‘I’m going to work out.’ Now I work out four times a week!”
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Some popular trends like the apple cider vinegar diet, green tea, coffee or cayenne pepper have been touted as special fat burning superfoods. The mechanisms behind a majority of these claims are not well understood, but typically involve optimizing absorption and digestion rates or increasing RMR temporarily through thermogenesis (100,101). And sometimes the positive effects are due to these foods decreasing appetite. 
Thank you for your response. I do agree the Mediterranean diet & Dash are healthy & sound, but I also think it’s important for people to change their habits, vs. “going on a diet” — whether you eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, with a small amount of healthy fat, plenty of protein and good, whole grains, OR you eat McDonald’s value meals four times a day, they are both considered someone’s “diet.”
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. 
3. Be realistic about which habits need to go. "When I was heavy, I'd eat French fries every single day, plus carbs at almost every meal—like a sandwich for lunch or bread with pasta for dinner. A diet so heavy in fried food and carbs just isn't conducive to weight loss. To lose the weight, I went from three large meals a day to six small meals, mostly made of fresh vegetable salads with lean meats and nuts. And no more bread!"
I’d love to know what shakes you use. I’m a pretty picky eater who struggles to find the healthy options I can have that fit my tastes. I need a shake (protein/veggie/fruit/healthy) that I can suffer through to help me get some nutrients and fill me up when I’m wanting to grab those crackers or chocolate chips instead 🙂 I also need to give up diet soda because I know that enhances my salt/sugar cravings.
Portion size matters and it’s easy to fall into the habit of overeating and underestimating protein portions. An extra egg for breakfast, an additional ounce of nuts as a snack, or perhaps one more ounce of cheese on your salad–it all adds up. Too much dietary protein can drive down ketone production (Marliss 1978) when consumed in excess of our body’s needs. Read more about this in our deep dive on protein.
Hi Jennifer! I just spent about an hour looking over your blog and I love it. I especially love your weight loss story. It’s very motivational and informative. I just opened a Yogurtland in Brentwood a few days ago. Our grand opening is July 8th and I would love it if you came. Yes there are a ton of toppings that are not the best health choice, but we also have a lot of fresh fruit and other toppings that make frozen yogurt a good dessert choice for those that are trying to keep it healthy but also have a sweet tooth. Let me know if you would like to come on the 8th and please feel free to bring friends or family! Hope to meet you soon!
Nutritional ketosis induced by carbohydrate restriction is often associated with major weight loss, which raises some important questions. Do ketones cause weight loss? Do ketones promote a metabolic condition whereby fat melts away to a greater extent than a non-ketogenic diet of equal energy content?  Alternatively, can a person maintain or even gain weight while in nutritional ketosis?  To explore the answers to these questions, we need to venture into the complex inter-relationships between keto-adaptation, appetite, energy balance and weight loss.
About: Alicia is no stranger to blogging. She’s had a few in the last decade, including “Girls Just Wanna Be Healthy,” where she shared her struggles and triumphs as she sought to drop from 190 to 159. But she just recently launched her new blog, where Alicia has morphed from someone who spent her entire life being embarrassed and ashamed of her body into a confident young woman ready to share herself — and maybe help a few others along the way.
There are a couple of things I tried my best to remember each day. One of the biggest things was portion control. Portion control makes such a difference! What I mean is having one serving of something instead of two or three. It means that when I went out to dinner, I would eat half of my giant plate and take the other half home for lunch the next day. I think I always thought my body needed more food than it actually did. I used to eat something as soon as I started feeling hungry, but it's actually totally normal for our stomachs to feel hungry sometimes. That isn't to stay you should starve yourself by any means, but let yourself get hungry before you go in for a big meal. I remember packing multiple snacks (granola bars, pretzels, candy, etc.) for the 3 hour drive from Kirksville to St. Louis, which just wasn't necessary at all - I now pack one snack like some fruit or granola.  
“Weighing myself every day helped me track my progress, but what helped the most was comparing myself to photos from before I lost the weight. It was like, 'Oh my goodness; I can't believe the difference from a 50-pound weight loss!' The most memorable moment was when I was out to dinner with a good friend, and he took a selfie of us. When I saw the picture, I was like, ‘Damn! I have lost weight!’ I put that picture next to one from a few months earlier and was so proud of my progress. Looking at those photos daily definitely served as motivation and helped me stick to a healthy lifestyle.” —Jennifer Carroll, 41
And at the gym, that difference just gets exacerbated. Women, worried about bulking up, tend to lift lighter weights and focus more on cardiovascular fitness, while men tend to gravitate toward the kind of heavy lifting that boosts muscle composition and metabolic rate, says Jim White, a Virginia Beach-based nutrition expert and certified personal trainer.
Your welcome! You should really follow what Sparks tells you how much to eat, for me its about 1500 – 1700 calories a day. Thats what helped me to lose weight, I wouldn’t of been able to do it without Sparks. Not eating hinders your weight lose efforts. It’s amazing that eating helps you lose weight. Shocking I know! If you don’t eat, your body goes into starvation mode and instead of burning calories it holds onto them. Enjoy food! I do as you can see. I eat healthy 80% of the time and eat not so healthy 20% of the time. If I eat bad, it’s a small portion, so I don’t go crazy not getting the foods I love, other wise this won’t work for me. This is my lifestyle now and I stopped counting calories, and I am still maintaining. I just need to exercise more, since I started this blog, I’ll admit I’ve slacked, but I do keep my weekly weigh ins. I’m glad you stopped by my site. You made me realize that I need to get back on track, because it’s easy to fall back into old habits!! Keep in contact! If you need any support, you can count on me!!

Could I ask a question (or two?!)? I’m just starting to design a blog that’s around weight loss and fitness (it is specific and not as vague as I’ve made it sound!). When I see even genuine blogs you always see the person when they’ve reached physical perfection (which is great) but what do you do if you’re blogging at the beginning of that journey? I don’t know what image to put on my home page at this point – I kinda am more happy the starting point being on a My Journey page but I’m a bit lost as to what to put on the home page or having running through the blog as a consistent image (until I reach my goals)? What do you think? Also, is there a best format/way to construct the chronological record of your journey – what’s the best blog-site architecture for this type of routinely updated journey??
"After gaining 70 pounds during my pregnancy, my weight had escalated to 245 pounds. Before I knew it, Tye was almost one. I hadn’t exercised or watched what I ate the entire year and my weight hadn’t budged. I was standing in a grocery store checkout line and picked up a copy of People Magazine’s, “How They Lost 100 lbs” issue. Inside, I found the story of Dawn Bryant who was also from Minneapolis. She had hired Jason Burgoon, owner and lead trainer at Bodies by Burgoon, as her personal trainer the year before and he helped her lose 130 pounds. I thought if this gym and this man could have such a profound impact on this woman’s life and health ... then maybe he can help me too. So I made the call. I began training with Jason three days per week. I started logging my food in My Fitness Pal, drank a gallon of water every day, and ate small meals, consisting of lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats, every two to three hours. One year later, I had lost 100 pounds. It inspired me to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach and help others define what strong means to them."

I’d love to know what shakes you use. I’m a pretty picky eater who struggles to find the healthy options I can have that fit my tastes. I need a shake (protein/veggie/fruit/healthy) that I can suffer through to help me get some nutrients and fill me up when I’m wanting to grab those crackers or chocolate chips instead 🙂 I also need to give up diet soda because I know that enhances my salt/sugar cravings.
Part 1 — this post — details exactly how top fighters like Georges St. Pierre rapidly lose 20-30 pounds for “weigh-ins.” To refine the method, Nate performed this on himself, losing 20 pounds in 5 days. The unique part: Dr. Berardi and team measured key variables throughout the entire process, including the last “rehydration” phase. As Berardi put it:
I do agree with you 100% that the best way to lose weight is to learn how to eat healthy without excluding any food group from your meals and in essence to follow a balanced diet, but not all people have the patience and willingness to do that. From the hundreds of commercial diets in the market today we consider these 5 to be among the healthiest and most effective for people who want to go for a commercial solutions. Having said that, for those who want to avoid commercial programs they can start by reading: http://www.weightlosshelpandtips.net/2011/04/healthy-weight-loss/
While calcium is generally thought to be primarily beneficial for bone health, it’s also crucial for building strong muscles. Calcium is essential for encouraging muscle contraction, which promotes muscle growth. Fortunately, for those who need to shed fat on their legs, calcium-rich foods can also help them feel the burn; research published by the American Diabetes Association reveals that increasing calcium intake promoted fat loss among overweight diabetic study subjects on a calorie-restricted diet.
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