Gina Harney started The Fitnessista after she’d already lost 40 pounds. At the time, she was in maintenance mode in Georgia where, as she explains it, “healthy options were pretty scarce.” The blog was her way of chronicling how she sought out those healthy choices and often created them for herself. Today, Gina works as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and weight loss specialist. She loves sharing tips with her readers as they embark on their own journeys toward health. Visit the blog.
"Your body needs a healthy balance of exercise and rest. Doing too much prevents the body from shifting excess fat. Exercising without rest can impact our levels of the steroid hormone cortisol and cause an increase of stubborn fat stored in the belly. Not allowing your body to recover can increase the risk of injury too, so make sure you factor in rest days to your plan."
I also think its important to note that having portion control is not the same thing as being on a diet. I never considered myself to be on a "diet." I remember a few co-workers asking me what kind of diet I was on and I didn't know how to answer because I never thought of myself of dieting because I still ate all foods that I loved. It was more just eating all foods in moderation. I could still eat a good burger and sweet potato fries if I went out to dinner, drank wine on special occasions, ate dark chocolate and ice cream, etc. I never stopped eating the foods I enjoyed, I just ate them less. 

We’re almost up to speed, but still rewind a little bit back to the early years of college. In the fall of 2012 I started school at Truman State University in good old Kirksville, Missouri. If you’re in college or have been to college, you know that it’s the time to form independence and truly make decisions, on your own, for how you wish to live your life. For a lot of people this means starting over, turning over a new leaf, making new habits, developing a new lifestyle, etc. Honestly college is crazy and weird and I don’t want to ramble on it too much because this post is focused more on the fitness/nutrition journey I’ve experienced (though I now realize its all connected.)


hey wow this is inspiring! im in my mid 20s and although have been slightly over weight here and there i usually stay within a BMI of 24-26. coming from a family that eats relatively healthy yet can eat what ever they want and still struggle to gain weight i am definitely the black sheep. i figured this was just my body since my parents have put me on diets since the age of 1 (doctors orders). This past February i decided to get fit for the summer after looking at a terrible photo of me on the beach and decided to count calories to see where i was going wrong. although i was eating my suggested calories a lot were bad (overdoing things with olive oil, cheese, salad dressing- all things i thought were good). so i recently decided to stick to a 80% clean plan, which is easy for me since i love my veggies. except cutting out oils and cheese made me realize i was slightly and mostly eating vegan 60-70% of the time. after losing 10 pounds i hit a plateau for a few months until i cut another 100 calories. as i am in health care i worry about enough nutrients, calcium, protein ect so i spoke to my doctor who told me to eat more! he sent me to both a dietitian and nutritionist who both told me not to worry as my BMI was now 22.8 and that calorie shouldn’t matter but i know theres something wrong. im not going to count calories for the rest of my life but i do believe it is important at beginning stages. im currently consuming 600 calories per day! i know its scary when i say it but its mostly raw veggies and im actually full but my energy level is still low so ive had to stop exercising as much. i now struggle to eat more without felling stuffed or bloated, did you have this issue too? was it hard to eat more and was it a gradual increasing of calories? and when you went from 900 to 1500+ did you gain weight initially with the added calories and then start losing or did you just start losing from where your current weight was?
The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical activity, generally in the form of exercise. The World Health Organization recommended that people combine a reduction of processed foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt[11] and caloric content of the diet with an increase in physical activity.[12]
When you pull up this blog and take a look at the photos of Mary, it’ll be hard to ever imagine her as someone who struggled with weight. A personal trainer, coach and figure competitor, Mary has quite an impressive resumé. But it wasn’t always that way. Over 6 years ago, Mary lost over 40 pounds, and has been on a journey to keep it off ever since. She ditched the unhealthy habits, started running and began blogging as a way to share her daily musings and thoughts with others. 
Anything worth having is worth working for even if that means sometimes the work maybe be hard or uncomfortable you are taking one giant step forward in achieving the success you have always wanted with your new years resolutions. Always remember that when in doubt, seek out a professioanl. It is the job of a good personal trainer or nutritionist to help you set goals then motivate you and guide you toward achieving those goals.
Yes whey: the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-protein shakes are a vital part of a weight loss plan, so don’t hold back – especially at breakfast. According to research from the University of Bath, eat 700 calories before 11am and you’ll have better blood sugar levels than those who skipped the most important meal of the day. It’s the best excuse you’ll have of sticking with a morning fry-up and avoiding a costly Starbucks lunch.
With fitness, just get active. Find an activity you enjoy, and stick with it. Progress will come with time. If you’re a student, try walking to class or taking laps around buildings for study breaks. If you work full time, take a lap every hour or two, use your lunch break to work out, and just find something that works. One of my favorite things was taking walks when I talked on the phone to people – that’s at least a 30-60 min time to get moving.
About: Jenny always knew that she wanted to be a motivational speaker one day — she just wasn’t sure about what. Then one day it hit her, people are the most inspired by people who understand what they’re going through. For Jenny, that had always been her compulsive overeating, body image and food addictions. Four years ago, she decided to change. She transformed her way of thinking and her blog was born, complete with recipes, tips and posts that are truly inspirational from a woman that gets what you’re going through.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios — at GH, we're nuts about nuts! People who snack on nuts may have lower abdominal fat than those who munch on carb-based treats, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, a heart-healthy (and more satisfying) pick than their grain-based counterparts.

While it will help, it’s not going to eliminate your sleep deprivation. That apart, doing this will throw off your natural sleep-wake cycle so it could end up doing more harm than good. Not only can the right food aid sleep, it works the other way too — better sleep promotes weight loss. Lack of sleep, however, has been found to stimulate production of hunger hormone ghrelin, which makes us overeat.
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?
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.
Thanks for sharing:-). I find myself in a difficult situation. I had a slip and fall accident back in 2009. My injury was misdiagnosed and the physical therapy made things worse. To the point were I cannot even do aqua therapy. I suffer with chronic pain and was always an energetic, healthy, exercise driven person. I used to weigh in at 102-105 lbs. Now due to inactivity I’m about 137lbs. I am so happy to have found your website. I need help, I am home all the time due to the fact that I cannot sit for long because of a coccyx injury. I am so unhappy with my weight gain. Do you have an encouraging word for me today? I’ve tried everything I know to do. My dr told me ” I’m stuck”. But I don’t want to give up. Looking forward to your reply.
About: She had us with her name, but diving a little deeper, Shawn’s creativity really sinks the hooks in. Her “about” section is written like a sad (and playful) fairytale, but it’s her very real struggle that also touches a nerve. Shawn’s always been a hard worker, but her pursuit of education and a career took a toll on her body — causing weight gain and a deep depression. Shawn started Shrederella as a way to take back her life and chronicle the journey, and she’s done one heck of a job. Follow her for an authentic person with real struggles that you will surely relate to — plus a host of delicious, healthy recipes and fitness tricks.
Last January, I started the year off training for a big kickass squat PR. 💪🏼⠀ ⠀ This year, my weights are lighter. My body looks and feels unfamiliar. My training is different, but I’m still thankful for the days I can move and feel strong. Something tells me the end result will be better than a squat PR. In fact, it’ll probably the best accomplishment of my life. 🤰🏻💗⠀ ⠀ #birthfit #babybuilding #movementislife #squats #fitpregnancy #secondtrimester
Visceral fat—a type of fat that lies deep inside your abdomen and surrounds your internal organs—is linked to a whole slew of terrifying health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Even scarier: According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), your risk of those health issues increases even more if your waist size is greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.
About: Andie’s well-known for her New York Times bestselling memoir “It Was Me All Along” where she chronicles how she lost 135 pounds 10 years ago. But it’s her blog that drew us to her for this list, especially considering that she’s managed all this time to KEEP that weight off. Andie also wrote a cookbook, “Eating in the Middle,” featuring (mostly) healthy recipes. Plus, Andie’s blog is chock full of healthy recipes too (and the occasional indulgence), lessons she learned while losing weight and how she transformed her relationship with food and her body.

Dr. Angela Duckworth, author of GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, has spent her career looking into what it takes for children and adults to succeed.  She has investigated our mythology around talent or giftedness and effort. She is passionate about working with young students and teaching them to apply her strategies towards developing grit. Her work targets students who are considered talented and those who are considered not so talented.
Over 3 years ago, Lori decided she had had enough and that it was time to change her life. Lori opted to get fit the right way, by eating right, exercising and blogging to keep herself accountable. Today, with over 105 pounds down, Lori’s not just your run-of-the-mill fitness enthusiast. She’s competed in a triathlon, shares fun photos and daily happenings, and incorporates whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies, less sugar and the occasional Reeses Peanut Butter Cup into her diet (hey, everybody’s got a weakness, right?).
Snack on portion-controlled fruit, seeds and nuts. One study found that snacking on 42g of almonds per day (instead of munching on something high-carb with equal calories) helped to reduce belly fat and improved cholesterol levels. “The high levels of fibre are proven to combat excess calorie consumption later in the day,” says registered dietitian Lucy Jones.
The calorie restriction diet myth suggests you will win the fight against flab. While losing weight does come down to how many calories you consume, it’s the types of foods you eat that will determine how you feel as you lose weight and the kind of weight you will lose. If you have a poorquality diet — counting calories but eating junk food — chances are you’ll lose muscle rather than fat, and thus, suffer from slow metabolism.

Other diabetes medications. Insulin-releasing tablets (e.g. sulphonylureas) often lead to weight gain. These include: Minodiab, Euglucon, Daonil, and Glibenclamide. Tablets like Avandia, Actos, Starlix and NovoNorm also encourage weight gain. But not Metformin. The newer drugs Victoza and Byetta (injectable) often lead to weight loss, but possible long-term side effects are still unknown. More on diabetes
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