Most of the bacteria that dwell in your gut are pretty useful. They produce hormones, regulate your immune system, digest food, extract nutrients, control your mood, manage your appetite, and much more besides. That obese people tend to have higher numbers of Firmicutes bacteria is no coincidence – according to research published in the online journal Nature, these bacteria increase the number of calories your body absorbs from food.
Okay, so dried fruit won't totally derail a day of good eating but it's far from being a harmless snack. First, because the dehydrating process sucks most of the volume from the fruit, you can eat cups of the stuff, and 600 calories later, still not feel any fuller. More troubling, though, is the fact that companies almost invariably add a ton of sugar to the fruit, making Craisins closer to candy than Mother Nature's original intention. In this case, the choice is clear: Stick to the real stuff.
Like I said, all of this revamped progress started in August and the weight loss was slow. Slow like an average of 1 pound a week. Some weeks I would lose 1 or 2 pounds and other weeks I would lose nothing. For a while, I didn't notice any physical changes and if it wasn't for the fact that I was standing on a scale looking at a different number, I wouldn't have any guessed my body was changing. The biggest change for me during this time was not what my body looked like, but what it felt like. I noticed the food I ate (in combination with my work outs) left me with more energy. I felt less sluggish and more ready to take on the day. Completed workouts and nutritious choices filled me with confidence and empowerment.
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.

Julie is an inspiring woman who has created this blog just so that she can help herself lose some weight. The reason why she called this blog Beautiful Chunk is that in some pictures where she is really overweight she believes that she may just be the cutest overweight person you have ever seen. Losig weight is a subject she has given a lot of thought to, so this is why, to make her journey a bit more easy, she decided to make this blog her journal. A while ago, in the year 2011, she realized that it is the heaviest she had been inher life so far, so Julie instantly decided to do something about it. She just had to change. This blog is a great example of how you should always keep track of your small victories, one by one.
Be patient. This is very important. You’re not going to burst to a million pageviews in a month. I had only 57,000 pageviews in my entire first year of blogging and my second year I saw 636,000 pageviews for the whole year (FYI I see that in a month now). I didn’t hit around 100k pageviews a month until the end of my second year of blogging. I’m not saying it will take you that long – there’s so much more information out now – but it’s not going to happen overnight. My advice is to give yourself at least 6 months to a year to start seeing any real traffic growth. I should also say that you need to install google analytics right away on your blog. This is how you’ll keep track of your blogging statistics.
Mindy’s story is truly one of revolution. She went from being an overweight, extremely unhappy young woman who lived on mostly processed junk food, to a confident, healthy vegetarian runner who learns about herself every day as she continues to strive towards her goal of losing 100 pounds. Mindy does not write simply to document her weight loss progress - she writes for others, using her own experiences to touch others and give them real insight into not only what change can look like, but how getting there is far from impossible.
I was doing so well, getting into a routine again and eating well, and then HURRICANE MICHAEL. I had to eat fast food (no fresh fruit and vegs) for almost a month. I just got my Instant Pot, and was able to buy fresh veggies and fruit again…I didn’t realize how much I’d miss them!! I’ve always loved fresh fruit and veggies (except avocados, mushrooms, cauliflower and strawberries and blueberries). But, I also love potatoes, rice, bread, chips – anything salty.
Bran muffins are comprised of two things your body doesn't want in the morning: sugar and refined flour. Both will work to spike your blood sugar, which signals your body to start storing fat and sets you up for a mid-morning crash. And with only trace amounts of fiber, there's nothing healthy about this misunderstood muffin. The breakfast sandwich, on the other hand, is a surprisingly great way to start your day. Besides having fewer calories, fat, and carbs, it also offers about 20 grams of protein, which we really need in the morning to jumpstart our metabolism.    
I still follow an 80% 20% lifestyle but I am more strict with food (mostly because I have been good in the lead up to my holiday but also because I’m trying not to use food as a reward so I’m having less cheat meals). However, these days I don’t plan my cheat meals so much, I just have them when I fancy them usually every few weeks or so dependent on my social plans. I try to opt for ‘clean’ cheat meals where possible such as homemade burgers or protein pizza, then I save my remaining calories for puddings such as pancakes, protein bars, protein cookies or homemade protein ice cream.
You inspire me so very much. I have followed you for a couple of months because I love your style and we have so much in common. Pretty sure we have crossed paths when you were doing your bedding line. Today’s post hit home for me so much. I have been meaning to reach out to you seeing if we could ever work together in the future, but things have just been so crazy. I started RB in 2006 and it has been a very hard 10 years. I’m sure you know. I remember seeing you on Shark Tank. The industry is so small when you really look at it. Anyhow, I am rambling. You are so beautiful and I admire you so very much. I have had so many amazing opportunities with my business but honestly I passed them up due to my weight gain. I lost my first husband to cancer at 28 and have since been taking anti anxiety meds. Boy, did your post really hit home. I would love to hear from you! You inspire me like crazy and I know we could probably benefit one another with some designs! I would love to have my company do some work for you! Xoxo, Bridgette
Jennette Fulda is a writer, web designer, and weight loss blogger. Jennette used her blog (previously named Pasta Queen) as a place to stay motivated and hold herself accountable throughout her weight loss journey. At one point in her life, Jennette weighed 372 pounds before losing almost 200 pounds through a healthy diet and exercises program. In addition to her blog, she has also documented her journey in two books, a memoir titled “Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest For Relief From The Headache That Wouldn’t Go Away”, and “Half-Assed”.

About: Sara, a new mom, is all about living a happy, healthy and fun life. She’s struggled with her weight for years, and, as she puts it, can’t wait for the day when weight no longer gets in her way. Sara’s biggest appeal is that she’s all about using good ole fashioned weight loss techniques — eating healthy and exercising. And that philosophy permeates through her blog, inspiring readers and engaging fans along the way.
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.
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