After losing 40 pounds, certified personal trainer Gina Harney was on the hunt for guides on weight maintenance. But at the time, her options were limited. So she started The Fitnessista, which is focused on fitness advice and healthy recipes that only sound indulgent (think: pecan pie oatmeal, pumpkin pie protein smoothie bowl, and chocolate protein donuts).
Anecdotally, many people say they feel great on the Paleo diet -- losing weight and lowering health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol. However, like most programs, many simply don't stick with this way of eating over the long term -- they keep lapsing and going back -- the same issue we see with all eating plans. Again, there is no formal "Paleo" diet, but there are plenty of books and online resources for anyone interested in exploring the idea.
Leah Campbell is a writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. She’s a single mother by choice after a serendipitous series of events led to the adoption of her daughter. Leah is also the author of the book “Single Infertile Female” and has written extensively on the topics of infertility, adoption, and parenting. You can connect with Leah via Facebook, her website, and Twitter.
"Self-monitoring" refers to observing and recording some aspect of your behavior, such as calorie intake, servings of fruits and vegetables, amount of physical activity, etc., or an outcome of these behaviors, such as weight. Self-monitoring of a behavior can be used at times when you're not sure how you're doing, and at times when you want the behavior to improve. Self-monitoring of a behavior usually moves you closer to the desired direction and can produce "real-time" records for review by you and your health care provider. For example, keeping a record of your physical activity can let you and your provider know quickly how you're doing. When the record shows that your activity is increasing, you'll be encouraged to keep it up. Some patients find that specific self-monitoring forms make it easier, while others prefer to use their own recording system.
The largest study ever to compare the obesity rates of those eating plant-based diets was published in North America. Meat eaters topped the charts with an average body mass index (BMI) of 28.8—close to being obese. Flexitarians (people who ate meat more on a weekly basis rather than daily) did better at a BMI of 27.3, but were still overweight. With a BMI of 26.3, pesco-vegetarians (people who avoid all meat except fish) did better still. Even U.S. vegetarians tend to be marginally overweight, coming in at 25.7. The only dietary group found to be of ideal weight were those eating strictly plant-based (the “vegans”), whose BMI averaged 23.6.
About: The Failed Dieter is a newly-launched website from Jessica, who formerly was the owner of Jessica’s World, a personal blog she used to chronicle her weight loss journey. Now, her blog has morphed into so much more — a place where Jessica gives tips and recipes for stopping yo-yo dieting, and choosing to live healthy. Jessica lost 50 pounds making small lifestyle changes and giving up bad habits. Now her mission is to help you do the same.
In August of 2010, one of my members of Getting in Shape 2010 group recommended I joined Sparks People. I thought what the heck, since my virtual trainer was giving me issues. Well I set up my profile, entered how much exercise I do a week, and what my goal was and guess what? It calculated how many calories I needed to lose 1.5 lbs a week. Don’t forget I was eating only 1200 calories a day. Sparks told me I needed to eat 1550 at the low end and 1700 on the high end. I was so happy, I could eat!!!! It was like a new world opened up for me.
About: Annamarie’s weight loss story is nothing to sneeze at. She lost a staggering 180 pounds, and she did it all naturally, by eating right and exercising. These days, Annamarie’s in two modes: maintain her healthy weight and lifestyle...and share her personal tips and victories along the way. She’s the kind of blog you’ll want to follow if you want to tap into the day-by-day challenges (and empowerment) of a young woman who made it happen...and wants you to as well.
Be conscious of increased risk of injury. Though you may be eager to start shedding pounds as soon as possible, if you are obese (a BMI of 30 or higher) or have not exercised much in the past year, jumping right into an intense exercise regimen can lead to injury, which could derail your efforts to get fit. Be careful not to do too much too soon.
Basically every diet that we cover in this report is low carb to some extent in that they discourage processed foods and foods made from white flour, and most assign higher caloric/points values even to foods that contain whole grains than to other types of food. However, many experts are leery of any diet that eliminates entire food groups -- in this case grains and many starches. However, plenty of others point out that vegetarians and vegans do not receive this type of criticism even though those diets also eliminate several food groups.
“I never imagined this would all come from me scribbling notes to myself on a website. I not only get to share my story with others and empower them to make it happen for themselves, but I also get to read and learn from the community, too. This has become a place where people can come, read, share, feel protected, and learn from one another. It’s a safe space for not just them, but for me, too. We all truly love what we’ve built here, and it shows in our collective hard work.”
We have been reviewing online dieting services since 2006. In our most recent testing, we assigned a volunteer to each of the dieting services and tracked their experiences to see how effective and motivating each plan was. The best online weight loss programs help you maintain healthy habits over a long period, so we considered systems that don’t force you to make changes so drastic that they lead to dramatic weight loss and subsequent weight gain to match it. When you need to lose weight, a good diet plan can help you achieve your goals for improved health. The best online weight loss programs offer various diet and fitness options as well as a multitude of trackers, which is why we looked for programs that provide a variety of tools and tracking abilities.
Stress may contribute to abdominal fat, according to several studies, including a recent one at the University of California, San Francisco. "When you're stressed, hormones like cortisol stimulate your appetite, slow your metabolism down and encourage fat storage inside your abdomen," explains Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Clinic at the University of Utah. So what's a frazzled girl to do? "Find an activity that reduces stress for you, whether it's listening to soothing music or taking yoga, and do it daily," advises Talbott.
About: Meg’s blog is a primary example of the two sides of online blogging: the challenges of knowing what to share (and how much of it to share), mixed with the benefits (the inspiration and encouragement bloggers get from their readers). Meg used to blog in private, but eventually morphed into a public blogger, where she shares not just her progress losing weight, but also recipes she’s tried, fitness that worked (and didn’t work) for her, stories, rants and so much more. Plus, her cat is really cute.
Not in an extreme, Atkins sort of way, but having a little protein at every meal fires up your metabolism. "Your digestive system uses more energy to break it down, so you burn more calories," explains Lisa Dorfman, R.D. However, keep protein levels to between 20 and 35 percent of your diet; eating too much of it can cause kidney strain and may cause your body to store too much fat.
This principle involves eating low-energy-dense foods and can help you lose weight by feeling full on fewer calories. Healthy choices in each of the other food groups in moderate amounts make up the rest of the pyramid — including whole-grain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein such as legumes, fish and low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
About: If we had to sum up Helen’s blog in two words, they would be “creative” and “hilarious.” Because that’s exactly what the blog is...a blend of Helen’s witty writing combined with her pursuit of all things new in the dieting, fitness and weight loss realm — be they inspirational or out in left-field … and everything in between. Helen, a once “healthy living” blogger who gave it up years ago and then recently returned to the world with a new theme — is obsessed with what’s “new,” and she’s the queen of trying it out and letting her readers know if it worked well, or if it didn’t work at all. And that whole “new” theme doesn’t just mean trends...she also loves helping people who are new to weight loss and healthy living succeed.
“The alkaline diet often has a focus on eating lots of fresh produce and unprocessed foods, which could be a good thing,” says Hultin. “However, keep in mind that this is not an evidence-based therapeutic diet. When people take it too far — for instance, drinking baking soda — or become too restrictive or obsessive over food choices, it can definitely turn negative.”
Dairy products contain varying amounts of lactose (milk sugar), which slows down weight loss. What’s more, part of the protein in milk generates a significant insulin response, which can have the same effect. Consequently, cutting back on dairy products may accelerate weight loss. This applies especially to dairy products typically lacking in fat, such as regular milk and various yogurts, but be careful with full-fat dairy such as cream and cheese all the same. And don’t forget whey protein powder, which is pure milk protein.
Real talk: It could take weeks or months to see the metabolic effects of exercise on the scale, and even then, building muscle, which is denser than body fat, could lead to weight gain. "Do what you like because it’s good for you," Dr. Seltzer says, noting the way exercise is awesome for your heart, mental health, and more—and that not all measure of progress can be seen on the scale.
Basically, the effect of exercise on our weight is vastly overrated. That’s why it’s only number 15 on this list. There are other things you need to take care of first. It’s not a good idea to eat bad food, drink sugar water (so-called “sports drinks”) or be on medications which force you to exercise for hours daily just to compensate. Metaphorically that’s like digging a hole, into which you put your ladder, on which you stand and paint the basement-level windows of your house.
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.