As the weight-loss process varies from person to person, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dieting. The efficacy of any weight-loss program is dependent upon your commitment to the plan and how well it fits into your lifestyle. This is why it’s important to consider your weight-loss goals and lifestyle parameters before launching into a weight-loss program.
Carrots ‘n’ Cake is written by a food and fitness blogger who also happens to be a mom. The blog provides meal plans, advice for those looking to get fit while dealing with chronic illnesses, and relatable posts about maintaining health while balancing motherhood. You can also find some great recipes, like these blender chocolate chip cookies. Visit the blog.
Coming up with successful strategies to create and stick to a weight loss eating plan or even maintaining a healthy eating pattern is the Holy Grail for many women who struggled with weight all of their lives.  I know I did and now I struggle with everything else that life offers. I don’t confuse eating for fuel and energy and vitality with examining my life and feeling my emotions. Dealing with both the amazing gifts and challenges of aging.
I found your blog through one of your SparkPeople comments. For the past few weeks, I’ve been limiting my caloric intake and eating about 900 calories a day, like you had done in the past. I’m also really limiting my carbs and exercising for an hour a day. But then I read your bio and I see that you eat wonderful things like pancakes for breakfast, so now I’m inspired to allow myself to eat good foods! You have a great story and delicious looking recipes, thanks for sharing!
Where commercial weight loss programs go hands-on, the Mayo Clinic Diet goes streamlined. The vibrant, best-selling hardback (that looks a lot like a fun middle school health textbook) is the first resource for diet information, you can also employ the sleekly designed but minimalist app, plus a full website of tips, recipes, and workouts. Those patient enough to cycle through all of Mayo’s resources will find lots of solid health information.
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: Shae is a Wichita native, and, as she puts it, she is “not skinny.” But she’s blogging about fitness and healthy eating anyway, with a few (ok, a lot) of complaints. Her blog features an impressive combination of her quirky, laugh-out-loud style and visually stimulating photos that tell the story or show the recipes as well as the writing itself does. Once you start reading, strap in. Because you’re not going to want to stop.
About: Georgina is a natural in the kitchen. She loves experimenting with new recipes, often figuring out ways to make them healthier, as well as crafting and just generally living a happy life. When she started her blog four years ago, it was for a long time only read by her mother. Now, it’s a huge part of Georgina’s life and features all sorts of yummy recipes, tips for finding happiness and wellness, beauty and crafts. Georgina’s also a very visual person, so you’ll find no shortage of photos to tell the story in an even more vibrant way.
Once you’ve completed your weight-loss plan comes the hardest part of all – maintaining your weight. Hopefully, during the course of your weight-loss plan, you’ve not only acquired some useful diet tools and exercise ideas, but you’ve also met with other people trying to achieve similar goals. Use those tools and support group to help you keep the pounds from piling back on.

About: Kelsey’s blog is packed with easy-to-follow healthy recipes and fitness routines (and they’re not just your run-of-the-mill workouts, either). They’re formulated or endorsed from Kelsey herself — a 50 pound weight loss success story. Kelsey had been pretty fit and thin her whole life, but shortly after leaving college, countless nights of eating out and drinking led to her packing on an extra 50 pounds. Unhappy, Kelsey decided to make a change. What’s especially inspirational about her story is that she did so slowly. She made small changes, slowly started eating cleaner and eventually lost all the weight. Now, five years later, she’s still fit and sharing her story on her blog and in her books, fitness routines and recipes with readers. She even hosts weight loss challenges (with cash prizes) to really cheer people on and give them incentive to keep going.
Between his hilarious poetry, inspiring post-it notes, and top ten lists that make Letterman sound unoriginal, reading Jack Sh*T, Gettin' Fit can feel more like your daily dose of comedy than weight-loss advice. Of course you get that too, you're just laughing so hard you don't realize how good it is for you. Check out his post When Harry Met Salad to see what I mean.

About: Cary has a big personality, a personality that comes through every single post she writes. She’s trying to lose 100 pounds, and she has the same kinds of ups and downs we all do when we’re losing weight, one of the many things that makes her so appealing. Her blog is her “me-place” to cry, moan and spill painful thoughts. But it’s also a place where she shares her triumphs, happy moments and steps to uncover (little by little) herself.
Fighting constantly with your S.O.? It’s time to address your issues head-on. "Research has shown that cortisol, the hormone that's released during stressful activity, is linked to fat storage,” says Gina Guddet, couples counselor and co-author of Love Metabolism. “And poor communication between couples is the most common type of stress that you tend to experience."
But a new study, published Tuesday in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.
Keeping track of what you eat is a great way of forcing yourself to focus on your diet and assess exactly what you’re eating. Without it, the calories can start creeping up without you noticing so a journal of some other means of tracking your calorie intake can be the difference between maintaining your weight or being forced to start dieting all over again.
Christina Russell is a Celebrity Trainer, author, and the writer behind the healthy living blog, Body Rebooted. Christina lost over 60 pounds in just 5 months incorporating a gluten-free diet and fitness routine and created her blog as a place to share her gluten-free recipes along with the ins and outs of her weight loss journey. Her blog has since evolved into a full-blown healthy living website that provides resources for you to reach your goals.

21. Keep it simple. "I take a minimalist approach to nutrition: My diet consists of lean protein (chicken breast, egg whites, ground turkey), complex carbs (quinoa, sweet potatoes, oatmeal), healthy fats (coconut oil, almonds, avocados), and leafy green veggies. I eat as clean as I can—locally-grown vegetables, organic when possible, and minimally-processed everything."

Grazing is a surprisingly good idea because it helps you avoid metabolic slowdown. "Your body will be tricked into thinking it's constantly eating, so it will never slow your metabolism down," explains Bauer. Aim for five small meals (200 to 500 calories) a day rather than three large ones. Also try not to go more than four hours without eating — if you eat breakfast at 7am, for example, have a snack at 10am, lunch at noon, another snack at 3pm and dinner at 7pm.
1 Reference for 5%: Blackburn G. (1995). Effect of degree of weight loss on health benefits. Obesity Research 3: 211S-216S. Reference for 10%: NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf Cdc-pdf[PDF-1.25MB]External
Dr. Angela Duckworth, author of GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, has spent her career looking into what it takes for children and adults to succeed.  She has investigated our mythology around talent or giftedness and effort. She is passionate about working with young students and teaching them to apply her strategies towards developing grit. Her work targets students who are considered talented and those who are considered not so talented.
In addition, the healthy habits and kinds of foods recommended on the Mayo Clinic Diet — including lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and healthy fats — can further reduce your risk of certain health conditions. The Mayo Clinic Diet is meant to be positive, practical, sustainable and enjoyable, so you can enjoy a happier, healthier life over the long term.
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.
Shaping is a behavioral technique in which you select a series of short-term goals that get closer and closer to the ultimate goal (e.g., an initial reduction of fat intake from 40 percent of calories to 35 percent of calories, and later to 30 percent). It is based on the concept that "nothing succeeds like success." Shaping uses two important behavioral principles: (1) consecutive goals that move you ahead in small steps are the best way to reach a distant point; and (2) consecutive rewards keep the overall effort invigorated.
Loads of research demonstrates people who log everything they eat — especially those who log while they're eating — are more likely to lose weight and keep it off for the long-haul. Start tracking on an app like MyFitnessPal when the pounds start sneaking up on you. It'll help you stay accountable for what you've eaten. Plus, you can easily identify some other areas of your daily eats that could use a little improvement when it's written out in front of you.
Studies show that eating breakfast plays a part in successful weight loss — almost 80 percent of people who successfully keep weight off chow down on this meal, according to a study published in Obesity Research. "Your metabolism slows as you sleep, and the process of digesting food revs it up again," explains Heller. Aim for a 300- to 400-calorie breakfast, such as a high-fiber cereal (another metabolism booster) with skim milk and fruit.
About: Courtney’s been overweight since second grade, and it’s taught her many valuable lessons (lessons she shares on her blog with nearly every update). Between 2010 and 2011, Courtney dropped an impressive 75 pounds, but then gained much of it back after giving birth to her son. Courtney’s been up and down in her weight loss journey, but with the start of her blog, she’s going to keep it off for good this time as she learns to be happy, healthy and finds financial freedom — taking us all along with her.
It has a strong emphasis on consistent exercise and encourages dedication to daily workouts. You can also log physical activities such as sports participation, walking and even cleaning. By browsing activities in the program’s fitness tracker and logging how much time you spent exercising, you can estimate and record the calories you’ve burned. Michaels promotes a diet high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates. While her program provides instruction on healthy eating habits, it doesn’t give you much information about portion sizes or ingredient substitutions. However, it does provide a detailed weekly meal plan, and complete nutritional information is included with every recipe. For support in achieving your goals, the program’s online member community includes message boards and blogs where you can interact with other participants.
About: Yes, it’s true Julie is not exactly a “new” blogger (she’s been doing it since 2011). But when you look at her blog, it’s easy to see why we added her here — she’s got the same caliber as the big guns, and deserves even more recognition than she’s already had. Julie decided some time back that she was going to make better decisions when it came to her health, but progress with weight loss, as she puts it, has been “S-L-O-W.” Determined and just happier with the way she feels, Julie carried on until she reached her goal weight. Today, she hovers between 150 and 170 pounds, blogging about what she eats, what inspires her and how she hopes to inspire others, too.
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!!
Very good article. Many of the people I work with have health issues related to type 2 diabetes so this article gives excellent direction for those struggling to manage their health condition with an appropriate diet that they can sustain. Counting calories is not necessarily the answer. Often times, people cannot understand why they just cannot lose weight or how they became diabetic or what to do about it. Thanks a lot.
There is always a lot of controversy when it comes to evaluating diets. Many people are firmly in one camp or another over the "right" way to eat. Studies are often contradictory in their findings, and many critics charge that government recommendations are influenced by the food industry. We present the controversies and cross-opinions, when relevant, but we do not take sides; in our opinion the best diet is the one you feel best on and can stick with.
Biz is a healthy recipe developer and creator of the blog, My Bizzy Kitchen. For years, she struggled to maintain a healthy weight after working a desk job for close to ten years. When the time came to get serious about her health, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and has since been learning to navigate her weight loss while being an insulin dependent diabetic. She shares her weight loss journey and her healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as a healthy dose of humor, on her blog.
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