As she worked to get back into a postpartum fitness routine, Cloutier discovered Zumba, and fell in love with group fitness classes. Three weeks after her first class, she became a certified trainer, and started teaching classes. By 2013, the demand had gotten so large that she opened her own fitness studio, and now runs it along with her full-time job. 
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If you’re looking for a writer to follow who’s still in the midst of their own weight loss journey (and willing to admit might always be), Amy is your girl. She blogs about the ups, downs, and challenges on her path to weight loss on Not Afraid of Stripes. She doesn’t hesitate to share her insecurities or efforts to improve her own body image. Visit the blog. 
Your weight-loss goals, personality and lifestyle al impact on your potential to lose weight, so selecting a plan that fits in with all these criteria gives you the best chance of success. Avoiding fad diets and fast-track options is important as these are rarely sustainable. When choosing a weight-loss plan, it’s important to consider the following points:

I wasn’t happy at my heaviest, but I wasn’t really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in 2004 put things in perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a “bad” photo of me. I was so depressed that I threw most of them away.
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!
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.
Consider liposuction. Liposuction is a surgical option for fast, targeted weight loss, generally only recommended for people with 1-2 specific areas of highly fatty tissue but an otherwise relatively healthy body weight. Because it is a surgical procedure, it carries significant health risks and should only be performed by a licensed professional.[25]
About: Megan is a lifelong runner who exemplifies what’s it’s like to find happiness in fitness. Her blog is mainly a personal diary about her running, race trainings and occasional trim-ups, but it’s her integrity and honesty that makes you want to keep reading once you start. She’s a real person with real ups-and-downs, perfect for a person who is well on their way to their goal weight and a general healthy lifestyle, but sometimes takes a few steps back and struggles. Megan, like them, has downs, but her continuous determination is something you’re sure to admire.
I am very excited to share with you how you can stick to your weight loss goals and enjoy your vacation too! For those of you who have vacations planned between now and the end of the year, this is your chance to grab a notepad and start creating your own vacation plan today! You want to enjoy your time off and not come home disappointed and 5 digits further away from your goal.
Well as of today, I have been exactly two weeks with not counting calories. I am taking a new approach to things, I am listening to my stomach!  Yes listening to my stomach!  It was hard the first week, and I did cheat a little, but I managed not to gain weight, kept up on exercise and ate mostly healthy.  I feel free!  It’s nice not to have to calculate every meal, every bite!  I know if I eat a piece of cake I won’t gain 10lbs over night!  Moderation is the key!  I now have the all around perfect healthy life style.  You’ll just have to stay tuned to my blog to make sure I stay on the right path!
Live It! This phase is a lifelong approach to diet and health. In this phase, you learn more about food choices, portion sizes, menu planning, physical activity, exercise and sticking to healthy habits. You may continue to see a steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week until you reach your goal weight. This phase can also help you maintain your goal weight permanently.
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“I was supposed to be a leader of soldiers, and I could barely pass the Army physical test,” Cines — who weighed 200 lbs. at her highest — told PEOPLE. “I was embarrassed. My soldiers looked up to me and I had to counsel them when they couldn’t meet the standards, and yet I myself couldn’t meet the standards. I just felt like a hypocrite and a fake.”
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.
While the American College of Sports Medicine warns that women who eat less than 1,300 calories a day and men who eat less than 1,800 risk slowing down their metabolism over time. But a rev-up stage that only lasts two weeks is approved by doctors and isn’t as difficult as it seems. Our tester found the Mayo Clinic day pretty satisfying, and still had enough energy to hit the gym.

About: The truth is we all love a good success story — they show us what other people, real people that went through the same things we did, were able to achieve. They also give us ideas on how we can kickstart our own weight loss journey and succeed. The Weigh We Were is a one-stop shop for all those stories, real stories from other people who lost weight, plus how they did it. It’s just the place to get ideas from similar people to see what might work and what won’t.
For us ladies there is a dreaded week each month that we hold onto water weight (and usually a bar of chocolate) and guess what, you will be much more forgiving at the end of the week weigh in if you know once a month you just happen to be 5 pounds heavier. You’ll say to yourself, yep that’s my pattern, it’s OK and it will be gone next week. See… sometimes homework can be beneficial.
Green tea isn't known only for its cancer-fighting benefits: It may help boost your metabolism, too. People who took green-tea extract three times a day saw their metabolic rate increase by about 4 percent, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Translation: You could burn an extra 60 calories a day, which equals about six pounds a year!) It may be because green tea contains catechins, which increase levels of the metabolism-speeding brain chemical norepinephrine, says Joy Bauer, a New York City nutritionist and author of Cooking with Joy.
Squeezing in some refreshing lemon will not only help you drink more water; it also has detox benefits which are sure to help you lose weight fast. Lemons are rich in polyphenols, which are compounds that contain antioxidants. A study in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry found that mice who were fed lemon polyphenols were less likely to gain weight and accumulate body fat.
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!
With this eating style, you’re looking at a lot of menu planning and preparation. A review published in August 2017 in Nutrients suggests the diet could lead to weight loss, but the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics warns the plan could also cause certain nutrient deficiencies, such as in calcium and vitamin D. (3,4) And, therefore, according to an article published in the January–February 2016 issue of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, anyone at risk for osteoporosis should avoid it. (5)
One of the biggest differentiating factors of Weight Watchers is their famous claim that you can eat whatever you want. A points-based system allows members to select which indulgences they want to spend their calories on, and that’s also one of the secrets to its success. When people feel that they aren’t being restricted, psychologically, it is easier for them to follow a diet plan. This is part of what you’ll get from a Weight Watchers membership:

Keep your muscles guessing by cross training and trying different workouts or tweaking your usual routine. You’ll work new muscles and beat boredom while trying something new. Also, studies show that you’re more likely to stick with your daily exercise routine if you switch up your workouts. Are you a CrossFit junkie? Stretch out at a yoga class. Is running more your style? Try adding some speed intervals throughout your usual route.


This popular plan recently underwent a rebranding to create a more balanced program, changing its four-phase approach with the help of a science advisory board. The Atkins Diet is still low-carb, but you won't be chowing down on steak and eggs all the time to promote weight loss. Lean protein is still key, but there's more of a spotlight on fiber, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats.

Skimp on fluids, and your body will release an antidiuretic hormone that leads to water retention that could affect the scale, Dr. Setlzer says. While this sneaky effect is one reason why the scale is a poor measure of body mass loss, you can outsmart it by drinking more—particularly if you fill your glass with water or non-calorie alternatives like unsweetened coffee and tea.


You may think hand sanitizer will zap germs and prevent you from getting sick, but it could also be making you fat. Hand sanitizer contains triclosan, which researchers have found to be an “obesogen,” meaning it could cause weight gain by disrupting your body’s hormones. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that people who had detectable levels of triclosan in their bodies were associated with a 0.9-point increase in body mass index (BMI). If you’re really worried about germs, it’s best to rely on good ol’ soap and water.
Jillian Michaels is now a well known name in the US, providing expert workout videos and diet tips to help you to shape up. The website provides recipes, diet plans, workouts, tracking and measuring tools, as well as a supportive community to help keep you motivated. First off, it’s worth mentioning that the Jillian Michaels system is probably more exercise-intensive than other diet and...

About: The thing that’s most appealing about Alexis’ blog is its tagline: “One girl’s adventure in moderation.” It’s a testament to Alexis’s general approach to life — she knows she won’t succeed unless she balances weight loss and being healthy with living life to its fullest. Alexis’ writing style is quirky and fun. It touches serious subjects, but with a light style that will have you feeling inspired and amused by the end of each post.
So as you're planning new weight-loss-related lifestyle changes, make a plan to address other stresses in your life first, such as financial problems or relationship conflicts. While these stresses may never go away completely, managing them better should improve your ability to focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle. Once you're ready to launch your weight-loss plan, set a start date and then — start.
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.
Studies have shown that just about any diet will result in weight loss, if it’s one that someone can follow.1,2 Esteemed Yale physician and nutrition expert David Katz examined over 58 popular diets and found that the most successful in terms of both weight loss and nutrition consist of “real food.” By that he means plants, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as meat (ideally, from animals that ate plants). Basically, foods closer to nature. The other key is minimizing processed foods, including sugars and flours.3
Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, eggs, seafood, chicken and so on. Food philosophies may differ around which of these foods to emphasize, but that’s okay, since the evidence shows that there isn’t a single best way to lose weight. The goal is to select an approach that feels sustainable to you. If you can easily live without pasta, perhaps a low-carb method centered around veggies and quality proteins, like seafood, chicken, and lean beef would be a good fit. Vegans and vegetarians can lose weight by choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins. Nut lovers may do well shedding pounds with a Mediterranean-style menu. Whatever diet appeals to your appetite and way of life, focusing on whole foods is something that all plans promote.
It comes on suddenly: One minute you’re feeling great and the next you’re starving for a snack. Skip the vending machine and prepare your own healthy snacks to take to work, school or whenever you’re out and about. Why? In part, because most processed snacks are purely carbs and are the definition of empty calories, jacking your blood sugar and leaving you hungrier afterwards.
About: Jessica started blogging in 2012, but it really slowed down in 2014 and 2015. Now, she’s back at it, with a blog about all things weight loss, fitness, healthy recipes and healthy living, sure. But it’s also much, much more than that. Jessica is the kind of woman you can relate to, who will inspire you (without even meaning to) and who gets that being a mom is tough — and that it’s even tougher to fit in exercise and healthy eating. But she also shows you that it absolutely can be done. And that’s what makes her so special.
About: The best word to describe Chanden's blog is sassy. She’s not afraid to write a little rough around the edges (if you know what we mean), and she’s got a fun personality which comes through her posts as she works to get fit and change her eating habits. She does that by creating healthy recipes and offering cooking tips that she used to drop 70 pounds since she started her blog in March 2015. She also shares her own personal journey and thoughts, and her recipes are in a league of their own.
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.
“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.”
Listen up: Skipping meals will not make you lose weight faster. If a hectic day makes a sit-down meal impossible, stash an energy bar or a piece of fruit in your car or tote, keep snacks in your office desk drawer, and make a point of getting up to grab a nosh — anything that will keep you from going hungry! Going long periods of time without food does double-duty harm on our healthy eating efforts by both slowing down your metabolism, and priming you for another binge later in the day. (Think: You've skipped breakfast and lunch, so you're ready to takedown a whole turkey by dinner!) Make it your mission to eat three meals and two snacks every day, and don't wait longer than three to four hours without eating. Set a "snack alarm" on your phone if needed.
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, most commonly called the TLC Diet (Free), has a name that's about as interesting as cold broth, but experts say it's a top choice to lower cholesterol and that you will lose weight if you follow the eating and activity guidelines. The downside to this diet is that you have to figure out which foods to eat and there is no support. Guidelines are available online on the U.S. National Institutes of Health website, but they're not as specific as with fee-based weight loss programs. However, while there are no "official" community websites that accompany the TLC diet, there is plenty of information available online from dieters who have successfully followed the programs and offer their suggestions, recipes and tips.
Jen Mellor is a full-time mom and blogger for the inspiring weight loss blog, Just Average Jen. Jen has lost over 140 pounds through healthy eating and shares with us her tips for weight loss, healthy, vegetarian-friendly recipes, and the trials and tribulations of her life and journey to keeping the weight off, all while staying happy and healthy. Her weight loss journey is not only inspiring but has shown us that she is, in fact, anything but average!
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