When you've got a lot of weight to lose, deciding where to begin can be super-overwhelming—but we've got a good place for you to start. We've talked to dozens of women who completely transformed their bodies—we're talking shedding 50-plus pounds—and pulled together a list of the eight simple changes they made that had the biggest impact on the scale. Their tried-and-true tips might be exactly what you need to get on the path to serious results. But don't just take our word for it: These women's results speak for themselves.


After a cancer diagnosis sent her normally healthy lifestyle off-course, flight attendant Tracey Z. Dickson was heavier than she had ever been. When she was declared cancer-free, she hopped back on the treadmill and got her diet in order—and went from 158 pounds to 117. One of her diet secrets? "Instead of dessert, I'll have a baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon," she says. "It tastes like I'm eating sweet potato pie, but for a ton less calories." For more healthy ideas on how to get your sugar fix, check out these desserts with 150 calories (or less).
Swapping out unhealthy foods for nutritious ones gives you benefits beyond just losing weight. "I cleaned up my diet, swapping deli sandwiches with high-sodium meat and mayo for Tupperware containers or big butter-lettuce salads topped with carrots, walnuts, feta, and homemade dressing," says Jennifer Lasher, who lost 75 pounds. "I found that ditching processed foods left me with more energy, a clear head, and better skin, too."
Emily Ho is a fashion-lover, social media strategist, writer, and lifestyle blogger for Authentically Emmie. In 2009, Emmie’s blog began as a weight loss blog, but over the years has evolved into something so much more. After losing over 110 pounds, she shifted her focus from losing weight and seeking validation from the scale to living a healthy lifestyle with the body she has, and not hating it. Her now healthy living blog is a platform to discuss life, plus-size fashion, body positivity, and more!
However, sometimes this requires you to put on muscle mass in the first place, which can cause the numbers on the scale to go up initially. It is essential to understand that weight loss and fat loss are different. Weight loss includes the loss of lean tissue and fat, whereas building muscle to promote more fat loss over time can hep you increase definition and look leaner overall - even if you aren't losing weight. This is one of the biggest reasons not to measure your success by the numbers on the scale.
Becky Duffett is a contributing nutrition editor for Fitbit and a lifestyle writer with a passion for eating well. A former Williams-Sonoma cookbook editor and graduate of San Francisco Cooking School, she’s edited dozens of cookbooks and countless recipes. City living has turned her into a spin addict—but she’d still rather be riding a horse. She lives in the cutest neighborhood in San Francisco, spending weekends at the farmers’ market, trying to read at the bakery, and roasting big dinners for friends.
Estrogen and progesterone have significant impacts on carbohydrate metabolism. At different parts in the menstrual cycle, carbohydrates are processed either much more efficiently or with much more fat storage. This is the secret to female carbohydrate cycling. Instead of sticking to a simple regimen provided by a personal trainer or some internet forum, the best thing you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your carb cycling is sync it up with your menstrual cycle.
About: Aurora is a college student full of curiosity, including a nearly insatiable appetite to learn all she can about fitness and nutrition. She fell in love with exercising early on, while playing for a softball team growing up. That fueled a passion for nutrition as well, and eventually a blog dedicated to both as a way to inspire others to live healthy and lose weight. Aurora, who works in a veterinary’s office, also has a deep love for animals (which is always a bonus in our book). And yes, she includes many photos of cute puppies in her blog.

Trying to lose weight? Having trouble? Women often find it harder than men to shed excess pounds. In part that's because women's bodies have a tendency to "hold on" to a certain amount of fat. But in some cases the problem can be traced directly to certain habits and lifestyle traps - including many that can easily be remedied. Here are 10 weight-loss traps to watch out for:
I am not a “medicine person” AT ALL. Still to this day, I avoid it like the plague. Yet I had been thrust, by our own doing, into this busy, crazy, stressful world so quickly that I didn’t know how to cope. And literally within months, I had gained 60lbs. And that 60 was on top of the weight I had already gained from just “playing” a little too hard. Not partying or drinking or anything, just indulging, traveling and being so busy that fast food was my best friend. By the end of 2006, I topped off around 200lbs. Yes, not the easiest thing to write on a public blog. So here’s the proof…
When you want something sweet, all those fat-free, sugar-free options seem like a smart choice for weight loss. But researchers at Cornell University found that overweight people who choose low-fat versions of snack foods rather than the regular kinds consume, on average, twice as many calories. "The terms 'fat-free' or 'sugar-free' can create a green light effect, triggering people to eat more," says dietitian Cynthia Sass, RD. But many fat-free foods have about the same number of calories (or more) as their full-fat counterparts. 
Furthermore, when we studied 9 lean healthy young men and fed them first a ‘balanced diet’ for a week locked in a metabolic ward and then the exact same calories as a ketogenic diet for 4 weeks, they did not lose any body fat (only about 2 pounds of water) despite being consistently and strongly in nutritional ketosis. (Phinney 1983)  And finally, the 10 low carb runners from our FASTER Study had been following a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle for at least 6 months (average blood ketones of 0.6 mmol/L); but while thin, none of them were continuing to lose significant weight (Volek 2016).
Take a walk through the supermarket, and you’ll be assaulted with aisle after aisle of low-fat and no-fat foods, “healthy” chips and cookies and juices and sodas galore. You likely already know that if you want to lose weight, cutting out processed foods and sweets is the first and most obvious step. But those healthy-sounding options can be just as bad, too.
In fact, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that even after 8 weeks of weight loss that resulted in significant reductions in CCK, just one week of ketosis returned CCK to baseline (pre-weight loss) levels.[4] In other words, even if you use famine-level calorie restriction to lose weight, you’d better pound the butter and cut carbs at the end unless you want to crave food all the time.
Pace around your office while talking on the phone or run into the bank to cash your check instead of using the drive-thru. When researchers at the Mayo Clinic fed a group of volunteers an extra 1,000 calories a day over the course of eight weeks, they found sedentary individuals gained eight times more weight than those who fidgeted a lot during the day.
That’s because women tend to store more temporary fat in their bellies. “The fat stores are gained and lost,” says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. “By and large, belly fat comes off easier in the sense that it comes off first. That’s where a good amount of the fat is lost from.”

Most random item you'll find in my purse: a resistance band loop. 🤓#fitnessnerd I love that they're so easy to tote around, especially when you're training a client and want to take their workout to the next level. I also add them for a little *spice* in my barre classes. 🔥 🌶 Some of my fave loop exercises: Hip raises (in the pic above. Try it with one leg to make it more exciting) Low squat walks Clamshells Side leg raises Donkey kicks Hip extensions and banded burpees (<-- try it, you'll love it) 🙌🏻 Any favorite loop exercises? What's the most random thing you have in your purse or gym bag right now? 📸: @capturedbycolson
What is motivating you to want to lose weight in the first place? Starting with your why is key to keeping you on track and inspiring you to keep going when things get tough. Think about what drives you or inspires you to make a change. Some of us are motivated by family and friends, and others may get more encouragement through rewards and recognition - or maybe it just takes imagining what you will feel like once you reach your goal. Motivation is powerful. And once you find it, keep it close by. Somewhere you can remind yourself when needed.
If you have been weight stable for a period of time and you feel energetic and strong, maybe it’s time to revise your goals or at least your timeline. For now, focus on the rediscovered metabolically healthy you, feeling well and functioning well. You’ll be amazed at what can happen when you stop letting weight, especially a specific weight, be the marker of your success.
Consider if this ‘plateau’ follows a period of significant weight loss. Have you been at the same weight for less than 3 months after a period of significant loss? If the answer is yes, it may not be a true weight loss plateau and may be part of the normal weight loss process. Weight loss may pick up again shortly. This may just be your new stable weight for a period of time before weight loss continues.
Top Quote: "I’m sharing every lesson to getting there—not as a drill sergeant and definitely not as a guru—as a friend who gets it and never wants anyone else to struggle alone. I’ve learned more in the last ten years than I ever thought possible, and I’m laying it bare here, one post a time—every lesson I’ve learned on losing weight,real advice on maintenance, thoughts on depression, how I’ve moved beyond binge eating, lifestyle bits that make me feel good inside and out, and all the healthy recipes I make regularly.”
If you are on the birth control pill, it depends on which one. Some pills are just progesterone. if that’s the case then your insulin sensitivity may be a BIT hampered. If you have a progesterone/estrogen combination pill then its a bit less easy to tell how you may be experiencing hormone fluctuations and which is more dominant in you. If they are well balanced then I wouldn’t worry too much about taking care of them and would consider cycling the ‘normal’ way

“My motivation for losing the baby weight and getting back in shape is to set an example for my kids on how important it is to be healthy, strong and fit. I've known Brooke Taylor of Taylored Fitness NY LTD for many years, so when she created the five-month program, I knew I had to get on board! I incorporate my gym time into my daily schedule, like brushing my teeth, so it's part of my day. If something comes up or there's a school activity, I rearrange my schedule to fit it in. I do meal prep on Sundays so I always have healthy snacks and meals on hand in the fridge to grab and go with my busy schedule. Also, this program allows you to do workouts anywhere and gives endless recipe ideas and guidelines. Working out every day is my therapy. I believe a mother is the heart and strength of a family, and in order to run the household, you need to be healthy, fit and strong!”


Whether you've got 5 or 50 pounds to lose, beginning your weight loss journey can be daunting. Instead of tackling it all at once, start by setting small goals for yourself that you know you can achieve. To lose 174 pounds, Annabelle Goetke did exactly that. "I decided to get more active, parking farther away in lots and taking the stairs whenever possible," she says. "I was tired and breathless at first, but I worked up to an hour of run-walk intervals on the treadmill six days a week."


While the easiest and fastest way to promote healthy weight loss is a combination of exercise and healthy eating, it is entirely possible to lose weight without working out. In fact, fitness is great for burning calories and physical health, but not always great for weight loss in specific. Some studies suggest that increased activity may not be the best solution, because it can be harder to consistently cut large amount of calories through activity, and often times increasing output can increase appetite (12,13). Remember, physical activity, or TEA and NEAT, only accounts for a portion (10 to 30%) of your total daily burn.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.

Doctors recommend aiming to lose ½ to 2 pounds per week, but you'll often lose weight faster in the first few weeks after changing your diet and exercise. If you're wondering why so many diet plans promise faster results, it's because they're trying to sell you something! Extreme programs can lead to health problems, so don't try them without a doctor's supervision.
Sable of Squat Like a Lady is a self-described full-time student and part-time powerlifter, but she hasn't always been buff and tough. After suffering from anorexia as a teen, Sable gained 80 pounds. On her journey back to a healthy weight, she fell in love with heavy weight lifting. Now, her focus is no longer about losing weight—check out her post Don't Call Me Skinny! —but on gaining strength.
About: The lessons people learn when they start losing weight are important and meaningful. But it can be tough to articulate them in a way that helps other people with their own weight loss goals. That’s far from the case when it comes to Tim. About 2 years ago, Tim tipped the scales at 295 pounds. Today, he weighs in at about 220 —75 pounds lighter and a whole lot more fit. And that’s what he’s dedicated his blog to, sharing fitness tips and lessons he learned to help others achieve their goals too.
It was (and still is) important for me to have a game plan for the day. Usually I prepared the night before for all my meals for the next day. I would pack my lunch, think about my breakfast, or talk to Alan about what we would make for dinner the next day. If I was going out for a meal, I would think about healthy choices I could make. If I was going to have to work late, I would pack a healthy snack to hold me over. I found that it was really helpful for me to set myself up for success ahead of time. 
Excessive abdominal fat, or belly fat, is a serious health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having excessive abdominal fat increases your risks for developing Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and other serious health problems. No exercise, including rowing, can specifically target your belly fat. According to celebrity personal trainer Bill Phillips, the idea that an exercise targets a specific area for fat loss, called "spot reduction," is a soundly debunked fitness myth. Fat loss comes from your body as a whole. However, as rowing workouts burn overall body fat, the fat on your belly will unavoidably be part of the fat you burn.

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


Andie is a healthy recipe developer and New York Times best-selling author. She shares some of her most delectable food ideas on her blog. She’ll tell you right up front: She believes in balancing health and happiness. And it was through that balance that she lost 135 pounds — a journey that can also be found in her memoir, “It Was Me All Along.” Visit the blog.
Research shows your body also unleashes human growth hormone, which helps you burn fat and maintain muscle, after just 10 to 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise. High-intensity exercise also appears to help curb your appetite and trigger hormones that regulate feelings of hunger and fullness better than lower-intensity exercise, so you’re less likely to overeat.
Furthermore, when we studied 9 lean healthy young men and fed them first a ‘balanced diet’ for a week locked in a metabolic ward and then the exact same calories as a ketogenic diet for 4 weeks, they did not lose any body fat (only about 2 pounds of water) despite being consistently and strongly in nutritional ketosis. (Phinney 1983)  And finally, the 10 low carb runners from our FASTER Study had been following a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle for at least 6 months (average blood ketones of 0.6 mmol/L); but while thin, none of them were continuing to lose significant weight (Volek 2016).
Enough already. You've read more than enough information about The Lose Weight Diet to decide if it's right for you. If you don't think it is, fine. I don't mind. Feel free to try any of the hundreds of other weight loss plans around. Go buy their books and their products and their memberships. I honestly don't mind at all. In fact, I wish you the best of luck.
When you want to turn your diet around, don’t focus on the idea of restriction, Zeratsky says. Instead, think about the foods you can eat and how you can manage your hunger. “Eat foods that are more filling and have more water, like fruits and veggies, which will help your stomach respond to the weight to food,” she says. Plus, they’re low-cal and you still need that calorie deficit to drop belly fat.
Glad you started to work out! It took me to my mid 30’s before I started to workout! Now I do it at least 5 times a week! You feel so much better about yourself and your doing something good!! I’m glad you have a family that supports your healthy eating! Sometimes it can be hard when they don’t!!! Keep up all the great work and keep educating yourself on a healthy lifestyle!
I’ve been so inspired by you, and reading this I might FINALLY be able to nip my calorie counting obsession in the bud. I’ve been counting my calories for every meal since about April of this year, and i have become, like you explained, obsessed. And i know it’s a problem, and i shouldn’t focus on that, but everytime i eat i just think of how many calories it is, and what I’ll have left over for my next meals. Reading your story really inspired me and starting today i’m going to start trying to NOT COUNT. I deleted the counting app off of my phone, and im giving it a go!
Most random item you'll find in my purse: a resistance band loop. 🤓#fitnessnerd I love that they're so easy to tote around, especially when you're training a client and want to take their workout to the next level. I also add them for a little *spice* in my barre classes. 🔥 🌶 Some of my fave loop exercises: Hip raises (in the pic above. Try it with one leg to make it more exciting) Low squat walks Clamshells Side leg raises Donkey kicks Hip extensions and banded burpees (<-- try it, you'll love it) 🙌🏻 Any favorite loop exercises? What's the most random thing you have in your purse or gym bag right now? 📸: @capturedbycolson

"At the age of 21, while a senior at my four-year university, I found out I was pregnant and was so scared. Soon after, I also discovered I was going to be a single mother, and it was one of the toughest pills I ever had to swallow. Through the support of family and friends, I had a beautiful pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby boy named Liam in December 2013. I wanted to be the best parent I could be to him, especially since I was doing it alone, so I decided, after struggling with weight my whole life, to finally get healthy. I began by cleaning up the foods I was putting in my body and adopting an Atkins low-carb lifestyle by eating a moderate amount of healthy fats, high-fiber carbs and optimal proteins. I cut out all refined carbs such as white rice, pasta, bread and sweets. I ate lots of green, leafy veggies and fruits. I constantly gave myself a healthy variety of fun and tasty meals that never left me feeling deprived or restricted. I lost 40 pounds before I ever began working out! Once I got in the gym and began HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and strength training in addition to a healthy diet, I was able to lose the weight in just one year."
Estrogen and progesterone have significant impacts on carbohydrate metabolism. At different parts in the menstrual cycle, carbohydrates are processed either much more efficiently or with much more fat storage. This is the secret to female carbohydrate cycling. Instead of sticking to a simple regimen provided by a personal trainer or some internet forum, the best thing you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your carb cycling is sync it up with your menstrual cycle.
Tina Haupert is a Boston-based Lifestyle Influencer and the creative mind behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake, a healthy living blog that serves to help everyday people achieve more balance through fitness, nutrition, and general best practices to improve one’s holistic personal wellness. Tina’s weight loss journey began in 2004 when she decided to get serious about her health and her body image. Two years and 23 pounds later, she reached her weight loss goal all while developing healthy lifestyle habits that she’s been able to maintain to this day.
While toning your muscles is best achieved through exercise, ditching the fat that’s obscuring them starts in the kitchen. Luckily, one easy way to get the ball rolling on fat loss outside the gym is a habit you probably already have: drinking coffee. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that obese study subjects whose diet was supplemented with caffeinated coffee significantly increased their metabolic rate, and subjects of an average weight shed more pounds, too.
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