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.
“My dad is like a food-pushing wizard, he’s always pulling stuff out of his pockets or showing up with delicious food,” says Mary Mock. While the family tradition of surprise sweets was fun, when it came time to lose weight, she knew she had to put a stop to all that temptation. “At first, he seemed hurt when I kept saying no but when I explained it was for my health, he got on board. Sometimes I still have to remind him though!” she says.
Chronic stress may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, even altering small things – such as posture – may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight.
I played tennis from my freshman through junior year of high school and, again, really enjoyed the sport, but abhorred the running. Our coach was a middle-aged guy who could run circles around me. The entire team would have finished their laps around the field, while I was still stumbling along next to the (also middle-aged) assistant coach, who I’m quite sure they sent in as an attempt to get me to run faster.
I can’t tell you how many women come up to me and coyly ask “what about loose extra skin after weight loss?” and my answer is always “exercise babe!” Exercise will tone up your body and give you that lean look you want. If you are exercising while you lose weight it is even better, you will be tightening and toning as you’re losing the weight. But for those of you who have already lost the weight you can still get that toned body you want, and you will get it with exercise, babe!
Running watches are the easiest way to track your progress, remain motivated and keep weight off. Depending how fancy you go, you can track pretty much any metric that works for you, certainly way beyond whether you’ve achieved your 10,000 steps. Whether it’s weight, BMI, resting heart rate, calories burned or activity level, the best running watch will track it all.
Starting a weight-loss journey can be tough, especially if you're giving up a lot of things you love. Shannon Hagen’s secret to staying positive while losing weight? “I never think of it as giving things up, that makes me feel deprived,” she says. “Instead I focus on adding in one small healthy change at a time, until it becomes a habit.” For instance, instead of being bummed over not having your usual bowl of ice cream before bed, try a new healthy dessert recipe to add to your file.
"Crash diets (dramatically cutting down how much you eat) might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but they’re hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off. It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets."
But I've seen some women beat themselves up over a few extra pounds, even though this does little more than destroy their self-worth. Berating yourself will not help motivate you to control your weight and improve your health. So the next time those negative thoughts creep into your head, recognize them for what they are and replace them with positive ones.
Before I really get into the content of this post, I should note that throughout my weight loss journey, I have learned a lot about nutrition, fitness, mental wellness, and body image. There are some things that I will mention that worked really well for me that might not work as well for other people. What started out as a journey to weight loss has evolved into a journey of an overall healthy and balanced lifestyle.
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.
I loved your article. It gave me hope because I’m three weeks on Keto and lost almost 9 pounds but I know that it was just water (I’m morbidly obese so I had A LOT of water). I’m far from believing “magic” will happen but I just kind of hoped to be one of those lucky keto people with whoosh weight loss effect yet, just my luck, looks like I’m not going to be one of those… But reading your article reminded me about all the damage in my body from whole life of unhealthy lifestyle and… yeah. Patience. That’s what I need in my keto, more patience 🙂 Thanks for giving me abut of that!
I love following you guys on Twitter, which is how I came across all of these articles, and they’re normally right on the money, but this one really struck a chord with me because there are plenty of weight loss plans that don’t have warnings for short term use. And coming from a woman who has tried them all, sometimes experience speaks volumes. I once used a personal trainer who was convinced I needed to see a nutritionist, and when I finally scheduled my appointment with her, she sent me home with a note to my personal trainer essentially telling him he was crazy for thinking I didn’t have a handle on healthy eating.
Another explanation for slow weight loss… I had already been doing Paleo for two years when I switched to Ketogenic. The weight is coming off slowly because I already dropped the easy weight (over 20 pounds) from eating simply gluten-free previously. I’ve lost 10 more pounds, another 15-20 to go. And I’m fine with slow so long as I’m making progress.
Anyway, back on track: If your goal was to describe 5 of the healthiest weight loss strategies for women in the short term, maybe you could have adjusted the title to mention these are not meant for long-term use? It’s difficult to see the Dukan Diet listed as an option for the HEALTHIEST weight loss for women when you also state that it’s only designed for short term use or it can be detrimental.
If you watch TV often, you've probably seen a commercial pop up for Jenny Craig. When you do the diet, you receive a unique weight loss plan for your specific lifestyle and have a personal consultant to check in with at least once a week. And, the meals are delicious: There are more than 100 menu items to choose from for your meals, which are five a day plus one snack of your own.
While there is some evidence for the use of carnitine as a fat-burner, it isn't easy to increase your body's carnitine levels by eating foods containing this substance or taking carnitine supplements. An article published in the Journal of Physiology in 2011 found that taking carnitine supplements along with eating plenty of carbohydrates for six months may potentially increase fat burning, but this is not true for taking these supplements for a shorter time. So this supplement isn't a practical way to lose weight overall, and definitely isn't a quick way to lose belly fat, as it takes at least six months to even start working.
I believe that this cheat day is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, the science behind it suggests that if you go for too long on a limited-calorie diet (which this isn’t, however I noticed that it took me much, much less food to fill me up when I ate well, so you tend to naturally eat less on this diet) that your metabolism will shift to a lower gear in order to compromise for the lower intake of calories. By cheating one day and spiking the number of calories you consume, it will keep your metabolism from doing this – and allow you to maintain your high metabolic rate throughout the week.
Thank you so much, Cindy! You should absolutely document your journey! It makes such a big difference to have people to cheer you on and especially for you to have those pictures to look back on your journey. You can do it, one small change at a time. If you decide to document your journey on a blog or social media, please share it with me. I’d love to cheer you on!
The theory behind carb cycling and weight loss is that it optimizes your body’s metabolic needs. So the theory goes, while in a low carb period, your body sharpens insulin sensitivity, produces glucagon to help you burn fat, and becomes metabolically streamlined. These are great things. Yet if you persist in being too low carb for too long your thyroid hormone levels will drop, and your insulin sensitivity may actually worsen. In short: you may gain weight.
The fact of the matter is battling the bulge takes different strategies and approaches depending upon your genetics, your metabolism, your willpower, etc. What works for your buddy won’t necessarily be your be-all and end-all solution. To simplify things, we compiled plenty of tips to help rev your metabolism, lose your love handles, and unsheathe your abs. You’ll have to do some trial and error to deduce which ones work best for you (hey, losing weight is hard work). But if you put in the work (aka incorporate a few of these tips each week), you’ll be well on your way to a smaller waistline. Who said your glory days were in the past?
Among the potential fat-burning substances, green tea may be among the better options. A review article published in Obesity Reviews in 2011 noted that although there isn't enough evidence to recommend most fat-burning supplements, green tea and caffeine have been shown to increase fat-burning. You may want to make green tea your beverage of choice. Not only is it calorie-free, but it also appears to enhance the belly fat loss brought on by exercise, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009. The combination of antioxidant substances called catechins and caffeine in the green tea may cause increased energy expenditure and fat-burning, according to a review article published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2011.
Thank you so much, Kate! I’m not over the cravings for junk food! I try not to keep very much snack food in the house, because between-meal snacking is really my downfall, but I also don’t deprive myself. I always have Nutty Bars in my fridge, because I just love ’em. I also keep almonds, honey wheat pretzels, and hummus on hand for my salty cravings, I just really watch myself on the portion sizes. The other huge change in my eating was cutting out fast food. Those calories add up fast and I’ve found that I really don’t miss it. I prefer to splurge on an occasional nicer meal out than on more frequent fast food visits.
Good for you Joanna! I have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle too, sometimes it’s hard, but it’s always baby steps. Leading a healthy lifestyle is better than losing weight, that will come naturally and easily. I love that you don’t have a weight loss goal, because it’s really not about the weight it’s about feeling good and being healthy. I am so glad you stopped by my blog! Just remember you can do it and be proud of yourself!! You inspired me! Sometimes I need the motivation too and have a junk food Husband can be hard!!
Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product, especially if you have any unique medical conditions or needs. The contents on our website are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Wow, Penny. You sure have had more than your fair share of struggles! I am so impressed at how you have continued to persevere and do whatever you could to succeed, despite all of the setbacks. YOU are the inspiring one! You found a way to exercise that didn’t cause you pain, you are making the healthiest choices you can in your circumstances. I am so glad you shared your story with me!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AKA the top nutrition authority in America) released a revised paper this year saying that both vegetarian and vegan diets are best for people's health as well as the environment. If you're not ready to make a complete shift to meatless and cheese-less, consider "part-time" vegan and vegetarian plans, where you eat mostly plant-based at breakfast and lunch or on weekdays, and then eat fish, meat, dairy, and eggs only during designated times.
A 2014 Harvard study found that men who did twenty minutes of daily weight training had less of an increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities, and other studies have shown similar levels of success when guys hit the gym to cut down on fat. The implication: Guys can cut belly fat most efficiently with weight training.
Have you ever decided to skip a meal to cut back on your daily calorie count? Despite saving a few calories in the moment, this strategy almost always backfires. When you skip breakfast, or any meal, you'll begin to experience excessive hunger that can lead to craving unhealthy foods—and lots of them. You may also eat faster than you normally do after skipping a meal, causing you to miss the warning signs that you're full and resulting in overeating.
In almost every human study of overweight patients lasting 3 months or longer comparing a ketogenic diet to a low fat diet in an outpatient (aka ‘real world’) setting, the weight loss with the low carb diet is somewhat or significantly greater (Sachner-Bernstein 2015). And despite claims by skeptics that “most of that weight loss is water,” in fact most of the weight lost on a well-formulated ketogenic diet lasting a few weeks or longer comes from body fat. Add to this the common anecdotes of individuals who “went low carb” and lost a lot of weight seemingly effortlessly, and one could start believing that there is something about ketones or nutritional ketosis that mandates body fat loss.
I’ve been doing carb free for the last two weeks with one cheat meal per week. I did this same “diet” in high school and lost 48 pounds in 2 months (all while attending keg parties on the weekend, those were the days!) I’m not suceeding (thus far) as much as I had back then, despite being more regimented. Could this be because it’s a decade and a child later? I’ve heard your metabolism can change after childbirth. After reading through your postings I think some of my issue might be the amount of fruit I’m eating.. i:e Bananas in the morning and an afternoon snack of apples and peanut butter. Maybe I’m snacking too much on cheese? Oh I’m just so frustrated. I’m hoping after this week, now that I’m over being sick and can integrate cardio that the fat burn will pick up, but for now I’m super discouraged.
“That first day was so tough, I almost caved and reached for the vending machine at work but I remembered a quote I had on my Facebook page that said ‘The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it’ and that was enough to make me turn away from the machine,” she says.
And my motivation is people! I have a friend that goes to almost all of my gym classes with me, so I look forward to going just so I can see her! I found running buddies who go to races with me, so running a 5k is actually fun(ish) and it’s more of a social experience than physical torture. And my Fitbit helps me to be more conscious of my movement on a daily basis. I don’t know why, but those silly little flashing lights make me want to get my 10,000 steps in everyday!
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’m currently at 202 lbs and 5′ 4″ and need to lose at least 60 lbs. I usually work out 2 – 3 days a week but only do cardio (walking, the elliptical, & biking) for 1 hr 45 mins. . .I haven’t used any free weights or nautical equipment but I feel as if I have reached a plateau. Can you please help me to get motivated & back on the right path. I see you have really done well and I want to get healthy, into a smaller size, and improve my self-esteem. I am really at my wit’s end! Can you help me with a diet plan or suggest a exercise program?
Americans are getting less sleep than ever these days and it’s taking a toll on our health—most visibly on our waistlines. Losing just 30 minutes of sleep per night can make you gain weight, according to a study done by the Endocrine Society. Worse, that weight is more likely to go straight to your tummy. Instead, the researchers found, the best sleep cycle is one that follows your natural circadian rhythms, which means sleeping and waking around the same time as the sun. Here are the 7 ways to banish belly bloat in your sleep.
Get enough calcium. Adults typically need around 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day to help maintain muscle and nerve function, and it's necessary for healthy bones and teeth. But calcium may also help prevent the body from storing visceral fat in the abdomen. Though studies have not shown a drastic change in weight due to increased calcium intake, researchers suggest that it may have a small effect in some people. Calcium requires vitamin D to be absorbed into the body; therefore, be sure to get enough vitamin D as well. Sources of calcium include:
Gabel, K., Hoddy, K. K., Haggerty, N., Song, J., Kroeger, C. M., Trepanowski, J. F., … Varady, K. A. (2018, June 15). Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 4(4), 345–353. Retrieved from https://content.iospress.com/articles/nutrition-and-healthy-aging/nha170036
Love this post of your weight loss journey. Thank you for sharing. You are so real and honest and I love that about you and your blog. I too am struggling with my weight loss/gain since having my daughter in Jan 2009. I lost 80lbs back in 2000 but it has all come back on especially since having my daughter and not focusing on my well being and putting all my enegy into my daughter. This totally inspires me that I can get back on track. Congrats to you for your weight loss accomplishments. You look fabulous!
I am mid 40s and already going through perimenopause phase sinc last year. Seems like I gained suddenly body fat even exercise with HIIT, cardio and weight lifting. I eat clean, no sugar, no flour and processed food. I assume it is to do with my hormone change. I have light period and shorter now these days. Still experiencing mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating and weight gain, hungry for sweets and salty before period. I try to find any articles about carb cycling for women who go through perimenopause phase but can’t find them.
About: Jenn’s story is one we can all relate to. She’s struggled with her weight all her life, and has spent many times going up and down with winning over her food addiction — and succumbing to it. Her posts represent the deepest emotions we battle when it comes to food, and it’s her willingness to open up that really touches readers. She’s been blogging for a long time, and her constant battle is one that more people definitely should follow.
Getting healthier and losing weight is among the most popular new year’s resolutions for good reason, but sticking with it is easier said than done. If one of your goals in 2019 is weight loss, you’re in luck. There are many ways to get motivated to start losing weight and build success that can last a lifetime. Let’s make this year the best yet, by sticking to our weight loss resolutions with help from these tips:
Andie Mitchell is a writer, healthy recipe developer, and New York Times bestselling author of “It Was Me All Along”, a memoir documenting her 135-pound weight loss journey. Andie’s blog is a truly inspiring compilation of life lessons, mindset, healthy habits, recipes, and real advice on maintenance, thoughts on depression and anxiety, and how to navigate the struggles of a weight loss transformation.