About: Sometimes, it’s okay to take a helping hand when it comes to weight loss. That’s exactly what the author of Banded Carolina Girl did. In 2012, she had lap band surgery and dropped from a size 30 to a size 12 and saw her BMI drop from 62 to 32. Two years later, she started a blog to talk about “the good, the bad and everything in between.” On her blog, you’ll find quick-hit posts offering inspiration and encouragement to not just lose weight, but also to learn how to love and accept yourself.
People ate same-sized portions of regular (650 calories), reduced-fat (395 calories), and reduced-fat with spices (including onion, oregano, and paprika) meals of meatloaf, vegetables, and pasta. The eaters then rated the dishes for likability. The results: When made with spices, the reduced-fat meatloaf and vegetables scored higher than the regular versions, suggesting that spicing up food could make up for missing fat.
My body went through a slow weight gain throughout the years and because it was so slow, I didn’t really notice too much, or really, I noticed once it had already happened and the weight was there. I remember the times getting frustrated in dressing rooms, when older clothes didn’t fit, feeling terrible in my body, and the comparison of feeling like there were so many people around me that ate more unhealthy foods than me and exercised less that were somehow still so much smaller than I was. I thought that my body would stay the way it looked forever, no matter how hard I tried to change it. I wondered if I would ever accept how my body looked or be comfortable in it. For all of the years building up to this one, I was not quite hopeless, but always a little let-down in myself, specifically the choices I made, the way I felt, and the way I looked. I didn’t feel the best in my body and wanted peace.

Hi Abby! I think it’s wonderful that you want to get and stay healthy! Good for you! I wish I had some miracle advice and I do want to clarify that I’m not a doctor so this advice is purely coming from my own experience, but I’m probably just going to be repeating what everybody else already says! Eat healthy. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Try to limit the junk food, but also don’t make it off-limits for yourself, because that may just make you want to eat it more! Stay active. Try to find things you like doing, so that you enjoy and look forward to exercise, whether that’s a sport or running or yoga or going on long walks. And do things to work on your self-confidence. A lot of people believe that you gain confidence after you reach your goal of losing weight, but I found that it was when I started having a better self-esteem that I lost the most weight! Good luck, Abby! Keep me updated!
At SkinnyFit, we believe that healthy is beautiful, just like you. And no matter what phase of your weight loss journey you’re in, we are here to help you look and feel positively radiant from the inside out. We believe that self-love, body positivity, and confidence creates a necessary foundation for a sustainable lifestyle change and that our dedication to providing premium, all-natural health, and wellness products will help you get there.
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! 🙂
There are a couple of things I tried my best to remember each day. One of the biggest things was portion control. Portion control makes such a difference! What I mean is having one serving of something instead of two or three. It means that when I went out to dinner, I would eat half of my giant plate and take the other half home for lunch the next day. I think I always thought my body needed more food than it actually did. I used to eat something as soon as I started feeling hungry, but it's actually totally normal for our stomachs to feel hungry sometimes. That isn't to stay you should starve yourself by any means, but let yourself get hungry before you go in for a big meal. I remember packing multiple snacks (granola bars, pretzels, candy, etc.) for the 3 hour drive from Kirksville to St. Louis, which just wasn't necessary at all - I now pack one snack like some fruit or granola.  
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!
"Only doing abdominal-focused workouts, like crunches, won’t help you banish the bulge. Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to take a whole-body approach to tackle it. HIIT training (high intensity interval training) is a great way to burn fat and get your heart rate up. Squats, burpees and treadmill sprints are all examples to try."
Hi Ashley! Lol! I love that we could be soul sisters! Both my sister and my brother-in-law are nurses and those nursing hours are just insane…and adding a toddler to the mix makes for a crazy schedule, I’m sure! So for stupid easy but healthy recipes, I highly recommend Once A Month Meals (https://onceamonthmeals.com/?ref=soveryblessed). They have Instant Pot plans and so many of them are just dump and go recipes (and lots of other easy, healthy non-IP meals, too). And honestly? For me, frozen vegetables are a lifesaver. If I’m putting energy into cooking a main dish, I don’t want to put much time into prepping sides too, so my freezer always has a ton of steamer bags of various veggies. Also, one pot/one pan/one skillet meals are awesome. I love throwing potatoes, baby carrots (no chopping necessary), and smoked turkey sausage onto a sheet pan with a little bit of oil and garlic & herb seasoning and roasting it all. The less I have to think, the better! I’m so glad my story could give you a little inspiration. If I can do it, you absolutely can too. Thanks so much for your comment!
Fleury, N., Geldenhuys, S., & Gorman, S. (2016, October 11). Sun exposure and its effects on human health: Mechanisms through which sun exposure could reduce the risk of developing obesity and cardiometabolic dysfunction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(10), 999. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/10/999/htm

I’m newer to your blog, and all of your pictures screamed to me “effortlessly thin chick”, so imagine my open-mouthed surprise with your post today. At risk of sounding weird, i love your blog and you even more for having been so transparent! Weight is something i’ve struggled with my whole life, and in the last 8 years, i’ve also been dealing with an underactive thyroid. Some of the blogs i read have such beautifully thin bloggers pitching things like s’mores, and i think to myself, yeah right. So thanks. Thanks for being so real and relatable! Honesty is the best policy, and you will have helped so many for just laying it all out there truthfully. For many, if not most, it’s a struggle. God bless you!
Fathi, Y., Faghih, S., Zibaeenezhad, M. J., & Tabatabaei, S. H. (2016, February). Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition, 55(1), 295–304. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-015-0846-9

When your blog traffic gets to 100,ooo pageviews a month I highly (STRONGLY) reccomend applying to Adthrive to manage your ads. Hands down, without a doubt, Adthrive was one of the best things to happen to my blog and can be credited for the huge increase in ad revenue over the last couple years. The team at Adthrive is the best – the absolute best. They only work with high quality blogs so my recommendation, like I said,  is to focus on producing stellar content that people want to search for, read, and share. Once you hit 100k pageviews, and get accepted into Adthrive, the team over there will do the rest.
About: It may be tough to tell by looking at her photo (complete with a very toned tummy), but Hannah’s no stranger to gaining weight. She packed on about 50 pounds each time she became pregnant with her two kids until she eventually went from a size 4 to a size 12-14. The pregnancies also changed her body and made her unhappy with the way she looked. Ready for change, Hannah created a fitness and food plan for herself, stuck to it and noticed she slowly but surely lost weight and started to look more and more toned. Now she’s studying to be a personal trainer, and her blog is a place she shares all her fitness tips, nutrition ideas and motivation to help others lose weight too.
Tina Haupert is a Boston-based Lifestyle Influencer and the creative mind behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake, a healthy living blog that serves to help everyday people achieve more balance through fitness, nutrition, and general best practices to improve one’s holistic personal wellness. Tina’s weight loss journey began in 2004 when she decided to get serious about her health and her body image. Two years and 23 pounds later, she reached her weight loss goal all while developing healthy lifestyle habits that she’s been able to maintain to this day.

With a title like that, it’s no wonder that Kathy has amassed so many followers (651 members and thousands of pageviews to date). Kathy’s posts are about much more than her diet and fitness routines; they’re about her thoughts and emotions, interesting tidbits she finds and her personal battle with weight. Kathy connects with readers because her blog is very, very personal, but also entertaining and humorous.
Sounds like an odd statement but stay with us! With this New Year comes many new year's resolutions with weight loss being on top of the list.  However, many people start off with a bang, but fizzle oh-so-quickly out of our determined resolution spirit. Why?  Well, in order to create success with your fitness and weight loss goals, you must be unstoppable and uncomfortable.  The two go hand-in-hand and many people do not allow themselves to leave their comfort zone, therefore, their present situation never changes. 
To encourage ketone production, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production. And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis.
Make sure that you don't get hungry by eating small portions throughout the day at regular intervals. Between your meals, eat a 150-calorie snack to keep your metabolism burning and to stave off hunger. Be sure that you don't eat a fattening snack such as sweets or crisps. When you're hungry, your body conserves calories and slows down your metabolic processes.
This could be because the body increases insulin secretion in anticipation that sugar will appear in the blood. When this doesn’t happen, blood sugar drops and hunger increases. Whether this chain of events regularly takes place is somewhat unclear. Something odd happened when I tested Pepsi Max though, and there are well-designed studies showing increased insulin when using artificial sweeteners.
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