Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.
Little treats keep you from feeling deprived, so every day, allow yourself a bit of something you love (aim for 150 calories each). This kind of moderation is the difference between a "diet" and a lifestyle you can stick with forever. For salon owner Caitlin Gallagher, who lost 125 pounds, that meant replacing her nightly bowl of ice cream with a square of chocolate; social worker Brittany Hicks, who lost 100 pounds, started baking mini versions of her favorite pies.
About: Dustin spent much of his life being “slightly overweight,” never obese, but enough so that he wasn’t super comfortable in his own skin. But one day he decided to start exercising — lifting weights, crossfit and similar workouts, and slowly but surely, his body began to see the results he’d hoped. His interest in food also grew. He always liked meats, but decided to expand into baking too. These days, he’s packing his blog with clever twists on recipes — always making sure they’re nutritious and delicious — as well as fitness routines and updates on his progress. He’s just the guy if you want to take it nice and easy to lose weight.

About: Christine’s blog is something really special — and not just because she put herself out there while she works to lose weight, but because she’s overcome a lot to get where she is today. A brain stem surgery survivor, Christine’s blog started in 2012 as a way to stay motivated on her path to an emotional recovery. Recently, it’s morphed into a weight loss blog where Christine is focused on losing weight all naturally and making it a lifestyle change. As she puts it, “I am changing my life for the better, forever – not just my body.”
Nuts have a very high satiety power—meaning they make you feel fuller after eating than many other foods. And even though they’re high in calories, those calories appear to be processed differently in the body. University of Michigan researchers found that men who added 500 calories’ worth of peanuts a day to their diet gained no excess weight at all.

About: The first thing you’ll notice when you check out Adam’s blog is that he’s funny — like really, really funny (hence the name of his blog). A self-proclaimed “boring guy” and “dork,” Adam’s blog started as a way to share his thoughts on being a traveling management consultant to a place for sharing running, humor, life and more — probably one of the most interesting changes we’ve run across. Adam’s been battling some knee problems off-and-on, but still makes it a priority to live healthy, exercise (like hiking) and share it all in his traditional good-humored, naturally-engaging way.


Insulin (in-suh-lin): A hormone made by the cells in your pancreas. Insulin helps your body store the glucose (sugar) from your meals. If you have diabetes and your pancreas is unable to make enough of this hormone, you may be prescribed medicines to help your liver make more or make your muscles more sensitive to the available insulin. If these medicines are not enough, you may be prescribed insulin shots.
Since insulin sensitivity is at its lowest in the final two weeks of the cycle, and carb intake is also at its lowest, exercise should be more anaerobic (this means hard and fast, really getting your heart pumping). It should be focused more on high-intensity interval training, with short bursts of high intensity work, either from brief sprint exercises or from weight lifting. This is an excellent way to sharpen insulin sensitivity while simultaneously burning fat, increasing muscle mass, and spending calories. It also helps the body stay healthy and as stress-free as possible during this time in which the body is gearing up to menstruate and the least capable of handling stress.
Because men are larger than women on average and have more muscle to support, men can usually eat more calories while still losing weight, compared to women. Portion control may be especially important for women. In one study, women who ate smaller portions of food (and less food overall) had lower BMIs than women who limited or avoided a certain type of food.2 This approach seems to work better for women than men.3

Welcome to my blog! I do believe in trying to eat real food and I do try, key word is try to stay away from processed foods which I do most of the time. I didn’t know that about skim milk. I drink it, but not to much, just mainly in my morning coffee. It’s either that or coffeemate which is not healthy at all!! I just discovered coconut milk a few months ago and I love it!! It’s so creamy, and I try to incorporate it into my recipes. It may have more fat, but it’s a healthy fat that we all need!
Becky struggled with her weight nearly her entire life—her weight hitting nearly 250 pounds at her highest. After years of trying to lose weight, she finally had a breakthrough when she decided to change her mindset about weight loss. Before it was all about finding a quick fix—now, her philosophy is about making one small change at a time. With her new mindset, Becky was able to lose over 100 pounds! She shares healthy, and not-so-healthy recipes on her blog, along with healthy living tips and motivation.

Sugary treats, while obviously delicious, aren’t very good for our bodies—and that includes our tummies. Not only do the added calories add inches to our waistlines, but sugar overload leads to insulin resistance, which tells the body to store extra fat around the waist. But that’s long-term stuff. Sugar also bloats your tummy in the short-term by feeding the bad bacteria in your gut, leading to extra gas. When it comes to flattening your belly, nixing sugar is one of the best things you can do including these 42 other easy tips to lose weight fast!
Do you get cramp eating fruit after a meal or feel bloated after eating carbs and proteins or two types of proteins in the same meal? All is revealed as to why this happens – just go with the read and take what you need from it. I am not getting any money for this and I don’t know the authors or their family! But I am following this programme at the moment and enjoying the principles. You don’t have to cut out your favourite anything, just eat in moderation and at the right time and in the right combination. Great recipes are incorporated and easily adapted to our 2013 ingredients too (not that there’s any difference). Please forgive me Adam, and go and have a look at it yourself … The book is: Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond ISBN 0-553-17355-3
Tamsyn Smith is a triathlete, running coach, fitness instructor, and author of the weight loss journey blog, Fat Girl To Ironman. Tamsyn is currently 60% of the way to reaching her 5-year personal challenge of, you guessed it, running in an Ironman distance triathlon! She began her fitness journey as an overweight couch potato and has since lost over 35 pounds and maintains a healthy and active lifestyle. Tamsyn documents her training on her blog and continues to train for her ultimate goal, Ironman success!
Want a flatter stomach? Look in your glass—milk and soda are two major causes of tummy inflation. Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, which means that your glass of warm milk before bed may be the reason you wake up with too-tight pajamas. And when it comes to soda, both regular and diet are belly busters both from the sweeteners used and the carbonation. Try eliminating these from your diet and see if it helps flatten your tummy.
Very informative. I’m just now starting out on my weight loss journey, and have started a weight loss blog of my own. My entire family are overweight and it is a struggle dealing with them as I try to change my habits. Even harder because being around them in an environment where eating bad is easy to get away with makes me fall back. I am finding each time I go back home I end up binging.

If HIIT workouts and strength training aren’t part of your exercise routine, it’s time to add them in. Instead of just running or walking on the treadmill do bursts of high intensity running or sprinting followed by a cool down. For example, you can sprint full force for 30 seconds, slow down and walk for two minutes, then rev it up and sprint again for 30 seconds. Continue this routine for 10 to 20 minutes. If your gym offers Tabata workouts, check those out, too.
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.
Hi – well after one week I can say I lost 1 kilo – great! … BUT put it back on! Ha! With visitors in town and the spine of a lettuce that’s what can happen. Hey ho and here we go again. Cianna – your achievement is wonderful. If you can keep doing what you’re doing you’re more than likely to adopt a new lifestyle and keep your pounds off. It is wise to adopt a change in lifestyle that can be sustained. Not sure how long Adam would advocate eating black beans!
The main advantage of the low-carb diet is that it causes you to want to eat less. Even without counting calories most overweight people eat far fewer calories on low carb. Sugar and starch may increase your hunger, while avoiding them may decrease your appetite to an adequate level. If your body wants to have an appropriate number of calories you don’t need to bother counting them. Thus: Calories count, but you don’t need to count them.
Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning Sparkpeople! Last week, I came across your website after visiting Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn and reading a woman’s recipe about pumpkin pie oatmeal. She listed your Crockpot pumpkin oatmeal recipe as a recommended recipe. I’ve been having a hard time taking off ten pounds–I’m in my forties and I can’t eat like I used to! I joined Sparkpeople a week ago and have been really liking it. I don’t feel so isolated, and the tracking tools are really great (and it’s free, too!). Thanks for introducing me to Sparkpeople, Jennifer!
A recent increase in exercise using kettle bells has also increased my weight and I have heard about this before so wasn’t concerned but I am still increasing weight so thought I’d better look at what I’m eating as well. (By the way kettle bells are amazing for your core). Looking at Adam’s lists, I was horrified to see cereal had so much sugar – even the bran and fruit kind and with milk this doesn’t appear to be the good start to the day I had thought. So it’s fruit tomorrow!
Rather than a long and low-intensity cardio workout, try the HIIT method of cardio: intense, fast-paced intervals that leave you completely exhausted after only a 20- to 30-minute session. This form of cardio training increases the afterburn effect, allowing your body to continue burning calories long after your workout is over. You can rotate between 30 seconds of your favorite exercises, with rest in between, as long as they work different muscle groups—such as squats, push-ups and kettlebell swings.
But here’s a problem that many people experience.  They have been told that increasing blood ketones will speed their weight loss.  However, rather than cutting back on carbs and avoiding extra protein to boost ketone levels, they are led to believe that they can get the same effects by adding extra MCT oil, coconut oil, or exogenous BOHB to push up blood ketone levels.  As noted above, this does not enhance their body’s ability to burn fat.  It just gives them a type of fat that has to be burned (some of it as ketones) in place of body fat.  No wonder they are usually disappointed when their weight loss stalls well above the goal they want to reach.
For example, you might not realize just how much you eat when you go out to happy hour with friends. But if you take the split second to take a step back and make yourself aware of that fact, you’re more able to make a healthy decision. “The awareness and then planning and coming up with strategies for what else I can be doing—that might give me the same benefit of eating those comfort foods that make me feel better,” says Gagliardi.
You don’t have to go low-carb to ditch those extra pounds around your waist in a short period of time. In fact, opting for more whole grains might just get you there faster. Researchers at Tufts University have linked eating three or more daily servings of whole grains to as much as a 10 percent reduction in visceral body fat, the kind that ups your risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

If you’re allergic or sensitive to a certain ingredient and continue eating it, you’re likely to struggle with losing weight. The food is triggers inflammation, as your body fights against it. As you continue eating the same food that’s making you ill, the inflammation continues, making you a lot more susceptible to extra pounds and other health issues.
When Tufts University researchers studied the waistlines and diets of 459 people, they found that even in men of similar age and activity level, those who ate white bread frequently weighed more than those who didn’t. “The calories from white bread and refined grains just seem to settle at the waistline more than calories from other foods,” says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., the study author.

It’s not just the calories in your cocktail that are causing you to gain weight, when you drink and get a little buzz on you are less likely to stick to the plan, you feel happy and euphoric and think “hey, what the heck one Oreo won’t hurt” and the next thing you know you have eaten the entire box. And how about when you have one too many drinks and are like “man, I’m trashed I need to get some bread in my tummy so I’m not hung over tomorrow” yep, drinking alcohol will lead to bad choices and not just in the “after school special” kind of way.
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

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Gym memberships can be expensive, and some days you just can't make it into the gym. Or maybe, you might not feel comfortable in a gym quite yet. At the start of her weight loss journey, Suheily Rodriguez says he was too embarrassed to go to a gym. "So I built a home one," she says, "where I exercised an hour a day, six days a week." She credits this to her 96-pound weight loss.

Alice Williams created Honestly Fitness with the intention of giving an honest opinion, backed up by factual evidence, about anything and everything concerning fitness, health, and everything in between. Her passion for sharing the reality of the health and fitness world makes her one of our most inspirational blogs. She discusses important and controversial topics, healthy recipes, and provides honest reviews and feedback of all the latest trends in fitness.
Thank you so much, Lauren! Staying healthy is SO hard when you’re trying to prioritize and balance out the rest of life’s demands, but it thrills me to hear that your boyfriend likes my quinoa recipes! I got really lucky when I was testing out ways to eat quinoa. It’s one of the few health foods my husband will eat! Good luck to you and your boyfriend – keep me updated! 🙂

Amanda Brooks is an avid runner, Certified Personal Trainer, and the passionate and encouraging voice behind Run To The Finish, a weight loss blog turned healthy living blog. With over 20,000 miles logged to date, Amanda’s dedication to running has not only helped her lose 35 pounds but created an entirely new outlook on healthy living. Run To The Finish shares her personal weight loss journey, clean eating recipes, workout ideas, running tips, expert interviews, and motivation to inspire others to see running as a vehicle to “think beyond the clock” to start living a healthier life.
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