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All Entries For weight loss

hCG Injections for Weight Loss: Do They Really Work?


What if I told you that we've discovered the secret to weight loss—something so amazing, easy, and effective that it can help you drop several pounds a day, lose that stubborn belly fat for good, and finally "fix" your metabolism so that you'll never suffer from weight problems again? Sounds great, right?

All you have to do is never eat any brand name foods from big food companies, eliminate all artificial sweeteners, white sugar and flour (and a handful of other things), switch to a 100% organic diet, eat big salads at lunch and dinner, consume no more than 500 calories a day and inject yourself with a special "solution" each day while you do it. Your reaction to that should be "no thanks, I'll pass," but many others think it sounds like the weight-loss breakthrough they've been waiting for.

It's called the hCG diet. If you haven't heard of it, it's not your fault. Proponents of this diet claim that it's so effective that the government has worked hard to cover it up for years because it would solve obesity and health problems that would put pharmaceutical companies out of business.

That may seem plausible. I love a good conspiracy theory myself. But the deeper you dig, the more red flags you'll find about the hCG diet and its infamous injections.
Posted 7/24/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 203 comments   402,218 views
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Sparking Others Helped Her Lose 142 Pounds


Barbara June (ARKPLE)
Weight Lost:  142 pounds
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
 
What was life like before your weight loss?
I gained the weight by not paying attention to my food choices, not weighing in, not moving my body, not putting myself first, not dealing with clinical depression, inviting temptations into my home and totally neglecting the wisdom that is my body for many years. I felt depressed. I relied on a cane to walk even a short distance. I could not climb stairs at all. I had difficulty completing daily tasks with ease.

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
When my weight climbed over the 360-pound mark, I vowed to lose weight. Enough was enough! I wanted to put myself first--that was my biggest motivation for weight loss. Putting others ahead of me led to clinical depression and weight gain. I was tired of remaining on the sidelines. I wanted to participate more fully in life.  I knew I would not have a perfect journey, but I vowed to start where I was and to make slow changes in my eating patterns and gradual changes in movement.

Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey:
To lose the weight, I relied on SparkPeople.com. I weighed in weekly, enjoyed my food choices, savored every bite, competed against myself, engaged in joyful movement, and more!

I believe in the Arthur Ashe quotation, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." I also believe that we are each capable beyond our imagination and that we need to be compassionate toward our bodies; right where they are, even carrying excess weight. It's so important to stop feuding with our bodies and to thank our thighs and grab those hips to express gratitude versus wishing them away.  Also, I heartily believe that calories don't always account for everything. Outlook counts too!

And, as Maya Angelou says, "Nobody, but nobody, can make it alone." So the journey is best accomplished by buddying up, sharing knowledge, jointly inspiring yourself and others, joining a new SparkTeam, sparking today and sparking often!

I have been very active in the Biggest Loser Challenge SparkTeam (completing nearly a dozen rounds) and I am also a co-captain of a private team. My success was enhanced by my role in encouraging others to eat mindfully, to not seek perfection and to lose pound by pound, inch by inch, bite by bite and step by step.
Posted 7/21/2013  5:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 139 comments   21,151 views
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'I Became a Fitness Instructor in My 50s'


Sue Carson (BCARSON11)
Weight Lost: 71 pounds
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Occupation: fitness instructor

What was your “a-ha” moment that made you decide to lose weight?
I gained the weight over the years by overeating and not working out. I was tired all the time. I felt like I was getting really old while I was still only in my 40s.  By the time I turned 50, I weighed 175 pounds.  Not long after, a friend of ours had a massive heart attack when he turned 50.  He was a few months younger than I was.  My husband is a couple years older and also has a history of early death from heart problems in his family.  We both had borderline blood pressure and were both overweight and out of shape.  We decided if we wanted to have a longer life we should try to correct our eating habits.

Can you tell us about your weight-loss journey?
My husband and I started slowly trying to eat better.  I used SparkPeople.com to track my food intake and learn more about healthy eating.  Then, our son was home for the holidays and pointed out that we needed to work out if we wanted to really be healthy.  My comment was "I'm too old to start that!"  However, we joined a gym, and we both went every day.  My husband liked to use the machines, and I preferred group exercise.  It was about 6 months before I started doing strength training, and I saw an amazing difference. I had already lost quite a bit of weight, and adding weight training really toned things up.  It took over a year to reach my first goal, which was just at the upper end of my "normal" weight range.  I continued to work out and eat healthy.   Now, at age 66, I weigh just a little more than I did in college and am much more toned.
Posted 7/14/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 52 comments   13,197 views
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WATCH: Tracy's Weight-Loss Story Featured on TV!


Many of you will remember Tracy (TRACY31502), the stay-at-home mom from South Bend, Ind., who lost 200-plus pounds (100+ shed using SparkPeople). We shared her story a couple of weeks ago, and the outpouring of support was incredible!
As a result, Tracy, who had "always been obese," has been featured on her local news. A journalist who is friends with another SparkPeople member reached out to her to ask her to share her story with her hometown after reading about her on the SparkPeople Blog. Tracy made her TV debut recently, and we wanted to share it with you:

"I'm still pinching myself from all of this," she said. And Tracy has lost another three pounds, bringing her total to 215 pounds gone!
Posted 7/3/2013  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 67 comments   22,255 views
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50 Pounds Down, Kristen Feels Good about Herself


Name: Kristen Webster (KRISTEN_SAYS)
Weight Lost: 50 pounds
Hometown: Oneonta, NY
Occupation: Sales associate at a local furniture store

What was life like before losing weight?
I was always overweight--all throughout my childhood, high school and into college. I grew up on mac & cheese, chicken nuggets and big, fat bagels. I steadily gained weight throughout high school and into my first three semesters of college. I was always extremely insecure about my appearance and how out of shape I was.
I dreaded going to classes that were on the third floor of the buildings. I refused to take the elevator because I didn't want other people to look at me and think that I couldn't make it up three flights of stairs because I was fat and out of shape. But by the time I got to the second landing, I was exhausted and by the time I got to my classroom, I could barely breathe, and I would try to hide it. It was embarrassing.

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
When I was 19, I was at my heaviest weight (160 pounds on a 5'1" frame; 30.2 BMI). My grandfather, who is very overweight himself, told me I was too heavy and that I had no excuse for it. He wasn't voicing his concern for my health; he was simply judging me on my appearance. My own grandfather! I was used to kids teasing me about my weight throughout my childhood and adolescence, but my own grandfather?

I was upset but finally, about a week later, it clicked. I was, in fact, too heavy. I let myself go, and I had to put a stop to it before I got any bigger. I finally realized that I was done being the fat girl.

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey.
Posted 6/30/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 49 comments   16,324 views
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Down 212 Lbs, Tracy Had 'Always Been Obese'


Name: Tracy Meuschke (TRACY31502)
Weight Lost: 212 pounds
Hometown: South Bend, IN
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

What was life like before losing weight?
I have ALWAYS been obese! At the age of 12, I was 255 pounds and on the Jenny Craig program. I stayed on for about four weeks, losing about five pounds, and then quit. I just kept going up and up from there. I was 325 pounds in high school. I was around 300 pounds when I got married and then gained 73 pounds within the first two years of our marriage.  I had lost two pregnancies and just hit an all-time low and didn't take care of myself. I'm sure my weight played a big role in having my miscarriages.

At my highest weight, I was happy with everyone around me, but not happy with myself. I honestly didn't realize I was as big as I was and I didn't realize all the things from which my weight was holding me back.  I mean, shaving my legs or even putting on my shoes was a chore. Walking just a half mile was huge for me. I would breathe heavily even when doing nothing.

What was your "A-Ha moment" that made you get serious about losing the weight?
One morning, I just broke down. I felt like no diet was working and I didn't know what to do. I actually contemplated surgery. But after some praying about what to do, I just started cutting down on what I ate and started moving!

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My biggest motivation was that I wanted to have a healthy pregnancy and baby not just for myself but also because my husband wanted to be a dad so much. Our losses were the toughest thing we had ever been through, but they made us grow as a couple and got me on the track to healthy living! 
Posted 6/23/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 288 comments   203,349 views
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Should Obesity Be Classified as a Disease?


Yesterday, at their annual meeting, the American Medical Association decided to classify obesity as a disease. They hope this change will help doctors to better treat the complex condition and aid in the fight against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. While The New York Times reports that the AMA's decision has no legal authority, some medical professionals think the outcome will result in sweeping changes. 
Posted 6/19/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Megan Patrick : 137 comments   20,656 views
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Surprising Ways to Lose Weight and Feel Great


Hormones have a bad reputation. Feeling bloated? Cranky? Craving carbs? Blame it on that time of the month. But hormones provide a host of health benefits and can help you lose weight, sleep better and stay sharp. Click through to learn five ways they can help you be your best—and how to harness their positive power. 
Posted 6/10/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 13 comments   18,356 views
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Success Story: 'It Was a Really Dark Place for Me'


Chrissy Kellems-Silvas (CHRISSY-50)
Weight Lost:  55 pounds
Hometown: Blaine, WA
Occupation: Human Resources/ Workforce Planning Specialist

How did you gain the weight?
I am an emotional eater. During my 30s, I lost my father to hepatitis C and got married to a person that was emotionally and physically abusive to both my daughter and me. My daughter subsequently got involved with drugs, dropped out of school and left home by the time she was 17. In 2008, I left all my possessions and my ex-husband behind and moved 2,000 miles across the country for a fresh start near my biological mother, who had also been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

My daughter, who was 16 at the time, further rebelled once we moved and spiraled out of control. Subsequently, my biological mother ended our relationship.  In that stress-filled year, I put on at least 25 pounds. At my highest weight, everything felt uncomfortable, including my own skin. I had never weighed that much in my whole life. I hated myself and what I had become. It was really a dark place for me.

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My biggest motivation to lose weight was to heal. I just wanted to be a happy, healthy person again.  I quit smoking, took a firm stand with my daughter and took responsibility for my actions.  I had a lot of guilt for what my daughter was going through because I allowed her to be exposed to someone as awful as my ex-husband. I hated myself for what she was doing to herself. I had to start loving myself again. I had to show her by my actions that a healthy, happy life is a choice, not some random thing. 
Posted 6/9/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 118 comments   19,151 views
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Want the Body of a Fitness Model? Find Out What it Really Takes


My good friend Kelly Booth is a NSCA-certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. We met in college (since we had the same major) and worked together as trainers and fitness instructors during school. Kelly has always been fit. She has toned arms, a trim waist, and can kick my butt in the weight room. She even trained for a marathon and ran it all by herself. Obviously, she's dedicated to fitness.

A few years ago, Kelly shocked her friends and family when she decided to compete in a women's figure competition. Unlike female bodybuilding, figure competitors aren't as muscular—they're strong but feminine. But according to most people's standards, they're still pretty ripped. Kelly looked great and was already fit, so I wondered why she wanted to change her body so much. Even though they look like the epitome of fitness, male and female body builders alike do some not-so-healthy things—food restriction, dehydration, overtraining and more. Luckily, Kelly is a smart girl and an experienced trainer. She also had her best friend on board to train with her, as well as an experienced coach to guide her through it.

Over the course of several months, I watched as her body transformed—she developed larger, stronger muscles; reduced her body fat; increased her definition; and suffered through some major dietary restrictions (I've never felt to guilty about eating in front of someone!) to reach her goals. I'll never forget when she told me, "I have abs now; it's kind of disgusting," she laughed. After seven months of hard workouts and diligent dieting, she placed sixth in her class during her very first competition! Go Kelly!

I realize that most of you probably don't want to be body builders or land the cover of a muscle magazine. But most of you DO want to drop body fat, increase muscle tone and look better. I think we often compare ourselves to the women on magazine covers and then lament about our fat thighs or belly rolls in comparison. But what does it really take to look like THEM? And more importantly, is looking like that worth the suffering it takes to get there? I decided to interview Kelly about her experience, and she told me straight up, without sugarcoating it, exactly what how hard it was to stick to her strict diet, what her workouts were like, and how she felt about her body before and after her transformation.
Posted 6/7/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 396 comments   305,822 views
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Success Story: 'I Wanted to Be a Better Role Model'


Name: Roxanne Carrier (ROX5CAR)
Weight Lost: 69 pounds
Hometown: East Syracuse, NY
Occupation: Health Teacher

I gained my weight steadily starting in ninth grade.  I was 14 going on 15 and remembered seeing 150 pounds on the scale. I gained weight because I just wasn't paying any attention to controlling it.  My mom would encourage me to eat--she said I was thin. I had a lot of emotional issues going on in my life at the time.  Exercise was never encouraged, but gaining weight was. Being thin was looked down upon in my family, so my weight continued a steady climb all through high school. When I graduated, I weighed 186 pounds, and by the time I got married about four years later, my weight was 189 pounds  Soon after, I hit 195 pounds. 

I couldn't blame my weight on having kids; I only gained 25 pounds with each pregnancy, and I lost all the weight with each one. I maintained 195 pounds for a few years until my second daughter was 4 years old. At that point, it seemed as though I started putting on weight for no reason.
I had pain every morning getting out of bed. I was only 30 years old when I first noticed that it was difficult to walk. It hurt to stand on my feet and I'd feel this awful pain every morning.       

My biggest motivation and the biggest turning point in my life was when my doctor found a borderline cancerous ovarian tumor.  On my medical record he wrote "morbidly obese."

I thought: How in the world did I come to that?  I'm a health teacher, and morbidly obese is written on my record? What kind of an example is this?  What am I teaching my students: eat healthy and exercise, but the teacher doesn't have to? 
I decided I needed to be a better role model, not only for my students, but for my own children as well.
Posted 6/2/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 109 comments   17,789 views
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The 8 Best Habits to Ensure Lasting Weight-Loss Success


We talk a lot about giving up bad habits and starting good ones, but which ones are the most important? Which will have maximum impact on your life?

Here, we've rounded up eight habits we believe to be the most powerful you can adopt, gleaned from the survey we did of our "success stories." These are the essential and proven truths that will lead to sustained weight-loss, and health. These habits helped our successful members keep their motivation levels high throughout the first two weeks and beyond. Here they are, in no particular order of importance.
Posted 5/20/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 35,728 views
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Do You Have 'Quick Fix' Dieters In Your Life?


When it comes to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle, everyone has to do what works best for them.  I can give all kinds of reasons why a balanced diet and regular exercise is the way to go.  But in the end, everyone has to find a style of eating and activity that they can live with for the rest of their lives.  It’s not my place to judge whether or not someone is right or wrong if they choose to go about weight loss in a different way.
Posted 5/16/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 80 comments   12,378 views
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Do Packaged Diet Foods Really Result in Better Weight Loss?


A recent study published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity examined whether people would lose more weight on their own (sticking to a prescribed calorie goal) or by eating pre-packaged diet foods that totaled the same number of daily calories. The story was picked up by news outlets with eye-catching headlines like "Packaged diet foods may spur more weight loss," (Reuters).

Sounds pretty good, right? We thought so, too. So we dug a little deeper to bring out the real truth. 

Posted 5/11/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Megan Patrick : 38 comments   13,631 views
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Should You Keep your Weight Loss Plan a Secret?


Most people who decide to make a lifestyle change will tell at least a few others about their intentions.  All of a sudden you’re buying more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and you’ve dusted off those gym shoes to go for a walk a few times a week.  Something is up, but how many people do you tell?  Do you tell anyone at all, or just let them figure it out for themselves?  New research shows that sharing your goals could negatively affect your behavior and success. 
Posted 5/9/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 189 comments   30,393 views
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