Successful Weight Loss & Long Term Weight Management

One of my greatest passions in the world is to inspire people to choose truly vibrant health for themselves and their loved ones.  I spent 6 years personal training and writing nutritional programs for my clients, and witnessing life-changing results from increased energy & confidence to decreased (or disappearing) health conditions and everything in between.  With 8 out of 10 adult Americans being overweight, there is much work to be done, and we really need to educate ourselves and take a proactive approach to our health.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a fan of diets.  Sure they are of benefit if you have an event you want to quickly shed a few pounds for, but they are not supportive of long term weight management and optimal health.   Not only are most diets processed, but they are simply not sustainable over time, which is why most dieters are self-described “yo-yo” dieters.

First and foremost, I want to instill in you that it is ESSENTIAL that you decide from the very beginning that you are embarking on a life change and not a diet.  This will make ALL the difference in the world.

You must not view diets as a way to LOSE weight, but as a way to GAIN health. Why set a goal where you’re trying to lose something when the goal can revolve around gaining something?

Top 10 Rules for Successful Weight Loss & Long Term Weight Management:

1.  Eat Real Food.  Bottom Line.

Shop the outer edges of the grocery store ~ this is where the whole, natural foods are.  Aim to fill your basket with fruits and vegetables from all colors of the rainbow (aka. The Rainbow Diet), and if possible, choose organic, especially if the pesticides touch the part that you will be eating.

This also goes for choosing meats and fish.  Choose quality over quantity.  Select organic, free-range meats whenever possible.

When shopping in the aisles, minimize what you buy from a box, bag or can.  READ LABELS.  These items are loaded with salt and/ or sugar that will cause you to retain water, feel bloated and hold on to weight.   Choose low-sodium options when you do make selections from here.

This one step alone, of eliminating processed, refined carbohydrates, sugars and unhealthy oils (ie. fried food) will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.  Your energy will skyrocket, your skin will look more radiant, your immunity will improve and your mind will be alert and clear.

2.  Keep a food journal for 14 days.

I PROMISE, 2 weeks will not kill you!  The value you will get from this process is worth FAR more than any inconvenience that accompanies this process.

The most important things to record are the time, the food, the calories, what you’re doing and your mood.   Yes, this process requires reading labels, measuring portions and adding up calories!  If you are eating out and don’t have the calorie count, you can find a lot of information online.  Be proactive, this is YOUR health!

Overall, the goal is to learn about REAL portion sizes and to create conscious awareness of where you stand and what patterns you have so you can tackle them once and for all!

3.   Create a plan to serve as a solution to the obstacles you discovered in your food journaling.

Did you discover that you overeat when you’re bored or reach for junk when you get home from work and are ravenous, but it’s an hour before dinner?

Solution: Munch on some veggies and hummus and then head out for a brisk walk pre-dinner.

Did you discover that you overeat because you waited too long and are ravenous, or worse, because you skipped breakfast?

Solution: First, DO NOT skip breakfast.  EVER!  This fires up your metabolism AND your energy ~ and studies show that people who eat breakfast consume far fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.  I highly recommend planning your meals the night before or even better, on a Sunday for the entire week.   Remember, this is about being PROACTIVE!  Also, be sure you plan snacks ~ eating 3 meals plus 2 small, healthy snacks in between your meals will prevent these unhealthy binges.

Did you discover that you mindlessly eat when you’re watching TV?

Solution: Either make a no food in front of the TV rule, or if you know that won’t work, limit it to fruit, veggies or a handful of heart-healthy nuts.  Harsh?  Studies show that people eat significantly more while watching TV, particularly something that is very engaging, because your mind is distracted and misses the signal that you’re full.   Not to mention the borage of advertisements on TV that signal to your brain you’re hungry even when you’re not!

4. Do NOT drink your calories (unless it’s a smoothie)!

Yes, this means no more super caramel macchiato latte extraordinaires!  Do you realize those drinks are around 300 relatively empty calories?  Just say no!  Seriously! J And while studies show a benefit to one drink a day for women and 2 for me, if you have weight to lose you obviously need to re-think the drink!

The very best thing you can do is to drink A LOT more water than you probably are now!  You should be drinking 50-75% of your body weight in ounces.  (50% for a sedentary person….which should NOT be you if you are looking to lose or maintain your weight loss!  75% for an active person).  If you aren’t drinking enough water, perhaps you aren’t aware of the consequences. By not drinking enough water, virtually every aspect of your physiology will suffer, including muscle tone, joints, digestion, toxicity levels, organ functioning, water retention (yep, the irony!) and inability to lose excess fat.  And if you are one of the people who says water tastes bad ~ my best advice is to add lemon, mint, or even cayenne pepper depending on your palette ~ all three of those will actually aid in regular elimination (which is also an essential component of successful weight loss).  I use a gentle cleanse that is safe and effective for daily use, which again, I believe is much better than sudden jolts to the system.  Harmony and homestasis within the body are very good things! J

Now to be super savvy about your liquid intake, I highly suggest juicing or blending a meal a day.  You get SO much goodness in one meal!   You can create highly nutritious meals for less calories that will be more filling ~ and they taste delicious!  Even my husband who is unfortunately very resistant to fruit LOVES smoothies (even with hidden spinach!) 😉

5.  Omega 3’s are an absolute must for fat loss.

Omega 3’s have been shown to not only nourish and protect your brain and nervous system, but to also decrease inflammation and help control diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure, but have also been shown to inhibit tumor growth.  Great options are salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts and herring, but I believe we should all be taking a high quality Omega 3 supplement as part of our daily health plan.  While I am a huge fan of quality fish, the truth is our oceans are increasingly polluted and to get sufficient Omega 3’s really requires supplementation.

In terms of weight loss, a study in the International Journal of Obesity reported that the number of fat calories burned was 26% higher in those on an Omega 3 fish oil supplement  than those not on it.  Apparently the insulin levels were 50% lower in those using the fish oils, and insulin is a hormone that reduces the use of fat for fuel while also promoting fat storage.

6.  Never forget that you can’t out exercise bad nutrition.

Your workouts are 20-30% of the fat loss equation and nutrition is 70-80%!  If you’re exercising regularly and not seeing fat loss results, you must make an adjustment to your nutrition.  However, in regards to exercise, it is worth noting that exercise is about a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, not just a workout at the gym.  If you can’t get to a gym, put on some music and dance with your kid, spouse or friends, take the dog for a walk and enjoy the beauty of spring coming to life or just get busy around the house!

7. When you are exercising, include interval training and strength training for maximum fat loss.

For your cardio interval training, do short bursts of higher activity than you would normally do (30-60 sec.) alternating with an easier recovery (60-90 sec.).  You can work out for ½ the amount of time and get twice the workout!

I also HIGHLY recommend strength training ~ not only because a pound of muscles burns TWICE as many calories as a pound of fat (which alone is hugely significant!), but also, starting at the age of 30 we lose about .05% muscle mass each year, and that rate doubles to 1% around age 60, and doubles every 10 years thereafter!    Are those dumbbells starting to look more appealing yet?

Of course, cardio & strength training intervals add a great dynamic to the mix for those of you more advanced!

8. An “off day” (aka. Cheat Day) is absolutely essential to the fat loss equation.

Finally, right!  Can I hear a WOO HOO!  Yes my friends, it is A VERY good thing to take one day out of the week and eat whatever you like (without gorging yourself of course).  It will not only give you a metabolism boost but it is a great mental break on the path to long term weight management!  I’m more of a fan of the 90/10 rule than the 80/20 rule ~ but do what will work for you, LONG TERM. 

9.  Work on your mindset.  The thoughts you have play a HUGE role in fat loss and long term success!

You must know your REASON ~ this is your competitive edge ~ your internal motivation and driving force.   Is it to be active for your children?  To be AROUND for your children?  To hike Machu Picchu?

Always use positive language and don’t be too hard on yourself when you fall off track.  Definitely don’t ever give up!  It is NOT going to throw you off to have a weekend off ~ when people say they gained 5 lbs. in a weekend that is just crazy talk!  You would have to eat around 30 big macs BEYOND your caloric needs to gain 5 lbs (to gain 1 lb., you have to consume an extra 3500 calories)!

A great way to stay focused on what IS working is to put a reward system in place.  I’ve written about this in past blog posts, because I think we are too hard on ourselves as a society….and the more reasons to CELEBRATE, the better!

10.  Find a support system.  Whether that be a buddy, a group or an online community, it almost doubles the rate at which you will see fat loss results that last.

The truth is, you have to think of fat loss as a game between you and the outside world. Whether on purpose or not, the truth is, everyone from family to friends to co-workers to restaurant owners to TV advertisers is conspiring against you to make you eat more and exercise less. We are a society that gathers around food, and the temptation will ALWAYS be there.  So focus on getting social support and setting up routines to overcome the myriad of obstacles thrown at you!

Let them know your specific goals, and together create an accountability program that works for everyone involved.   Personally, I have a community I plug people in to that is free and fabulous, and I’m happy to chat about it with you anytime.   So if you are looking to lose weight or learn more about keeping the weight off, then definitely get in touch with me!  Connect with me on facebook (there is a link at the top in the right sidebar) or send me a message through the Partner with Beth section and we’ll go from there!

I hope this information has been insightful, and if you feel it would benefit anyone you know, please Retweet and share on Facebook.  This is truly one of my greatest passions, and I’m here to help however I can!

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62 Responses to “Successful Weight Loss & Long Term Weight Management”

  1. Beth, I love this. Your view is so practical and you provide very real concrete things people can do now to make a difference. Some people make you feel overwhelmed by the task at hand – you inspire! Go Beth go….and thanks!
    .-= Amy Posner´s last blog ..Business Development – Are You At It? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Amy, it was a lot of information so I’m glad it wasn’t overwhelming! 🙂

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  2. Beth,
    Your post is full of great tips and advice to help anyone wanting to improve their health and lose some additional weight. Once again we are in sync with our thinking. I haven’t got the background in this that you do but I have done a lot of my own research over time to get to where I’m at in my life with my health and fitness goals. Many of your tips are in my life already and the ones that aren’t I will add. Thanks.
    .-= Don Enck´s last blog ..Celebrate Your Victories…Even If They’re Silver =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    That’s awesome that you’ve been proactive about your own health, Don, and I’m glad I could offer a few new tips!

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  3. Beth has anyone ever told you leaving your commenters with nothing left to say doesnt help them write good comments? 😉 LOL!

    Seriously, you covered every major base here I can think of! Wow!

    Number 10, the support system is one of my absolute favorites because in everything we do, we do FAR better when we have others to share in our journey and provide accountability. Partners in the journey provide us so many things that aid us on success, be it in weightloss or in business!

    Great post hun!
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..How To: Change Your Twitter Name Without Losing Followers =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Kim, you’re too kind ~ and I can say the same for you! 😉 And yes, support is essential in weight loss, business….in life! Alone it’s a struggle….a tribe moves mountains!

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  4. Beth,

    I mirror kimberlys comments, there is absolutely nothing you have missed out. This is a true value packed post and you never stop amazing me.

    I love smoothies and I should definately commit to making more. Have you got a favourite recipe you can share with us?

    Beth 🙂
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Successful Email Marketing. =-.

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  5. Beth,

    Thanks so much for such a detailed and doable plan!I have fallen off the work out wagon and then I got sick and have been down for 6 days. I really do want to get back on track and realize I am going to just have to make myself do it! Thanks for these really helpful tips.

    Live a Juicy Life,

    Susan
    .-= Susan Davis´s last blog ..30 Day Free Trial Approach to Goal Setting =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Susan, just remember to not beat yourself up when you do fall off. It is human ~ and it does NOT mean failure. I like to think of the 2 steps forward, 1 step back in reverse……when you take 1 step back, take 2 steps forward! 🙂

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  6. Beth,
    You are so right on here! There is such a need for this information right now in our country, keep it coming! I love how you mentioned Mindset here as it is critical in achieving your goals!
    Take care,
    Becca

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Becca. Yes, not only do I mention mindset, but I’d go as far as saying it’s the most important part of the equation!

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  7. Beth! You read my mind girlfriend! you read my mind! People think that if it’s healthy it doen’st taste good….good whole food is SOOOO yummy..but again that goes back to mindset!

    Thank you for sharing such critical knowledge!

    Eleni
    .-= Eleni Liapakis´s last blog ..Here’s the Secret! =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Being a mind-reader is a special talent of mine! 😉 No really, glad that you resonated with this post ~ thanks for visiting my blog, Eleni!

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  8. Beth,

    I am so happy I found you Beth. This is exactly what I believe in and know to be true. I have a similar story with health issues as you with my family and I commend you for spreading the word of health and fitness. Thank you Beth. I look forward to re tweeting you!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Matthew ~ I’m sorry you can relate to family health issues, but glad that we can spread the word of health & vitality together!

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  9. Great Tips and Information to follow! Dieting is so hard and it never lasts for long after you have invested a lot of time and heartache. You are so right that it is a lifestyle change:)
    .-= Glyna Humm´s last blog ..You’re Doing What With Network Marketing? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Glyna, nice to see you here! Yes, it HAS to be a lifestyle change for it to work. I think most everything goes that way! 🙂

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  10. Beth – all I have to say is, “Bullseye!”

    And I had no idea that #5 – Omega 3’s helped w/fat loss. Thanks for putting together this great post.
    .-= Brandy Price´s last blog ..Must Have SEO Plugins – Unless You’re OK Losing Precious Traffic =-.

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  11. Wow, you covered all the bases on this one! Clear, easy to follow steps to improve your health and weight.

    Wonderful post,
    Val
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Meet Malin Berdette, World Traveler Extraordinaire =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    I’m so glad that you found my steps easy to follow ~ happy to provide this essential information! Thanks for visiting, Val!

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  12. Beth thank you so much for this information. This post is full of great information that anyone can follow. I am going to start taking Fish Oil immediately! I just started an exercise program and have been following (dare I say it? lol!)- a low carb diet. I have to say that starting to be healthy at age fifty is a lot harder then living healthy when you are twenty something!

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    bethallen Reply:

    OH Jan my friend, let’s talk one of these days via skype. You can be healthy at any age, and I’d love to support you on your journey! 🙂

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  13. Wow, Beth, that’s the whole complete plan for a brand new you. fantastic!
    .-= Jodi Lee´s last blog ..Take back your life =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks for your support Jodi!

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  14. #7 really stood out for me. This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there about weight loss and health. I see people who do not understand that there is a huge difference between the kinds of calories in, say, a Big Mac vs a slice of home made Turkey Meat Loaf. The quality of your calories counts and no amount of exercise can change that fact!
    Great post. You really know your stuff about fitness and nutrition!
    ~Mary Lou
    .-= Mary Lou Kayser´s last blog ..5 Rules for Succeeding in the New Economy =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Mary Lou ~ Based on what you wrote I’m thinking you meant #6 ~ that you can’t out-exercise bad nutrition. So true! But I have to admit, the personal trainer in me was thrilled to hear that #7 stood out for you! 😉

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  15. This is a great roadmap for something that I have been struggling with for a long time, health and fitness is too low on people’s list of priorities and this needs to change if we are going to live long,healthy lives. The happiness is up to you.

    Thanks for sharing
    .-= Jose H. Caraballo´s last blog ..Forget Your Why…Begin With Your Purpose! =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    You are right about that, Jose ~ I bet you could ask any really wealthy person with failing health how much they’d pay to be healthy and they’d say every penny they have. Our health is priceless!

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  16. Hey Beth, terrific post! Living a healthy (and active) lifestyle is something that I have been working on for several years now. I have been on great track for about 6 months now and am excited to say I have lost 25 pounds in that amount of time and I am half way to my goal weight.

    I bet you were a fantastic trainer and nutrition consultant. Your passion and enthusiasm truly jumps off of the screen. This is a topic that I can really relate to as most of my family is overweight. It is so hard to watch the people you love continue to voluntarily shorten their lives because of what they choose to eat.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge! You have so many great tips here!
    .-= Melissa Wright´s last blog ..What I have learned from the Olympics =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Melissa, and a big congratulations to you! 25 lbs…that’s awesome! Keep it up, and let me know if I can support in any way!

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  17. Beth,
    Wow! Great way to view it…”gaining health”. This puts a positive spin on a traditionally negative mindset. Awesome “ah-ha” moment for me. Being one that has struggled with this for a LONG time, I am very appreciative of the tips that you have provided here. Look forward to learning more from you!

    Krista

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Kirsta, I’m happy to know that an “aha” moment came from that mindset shift…..I know it has been a pivotal point for many I’ve worked with. Blessings to you as you continue to “gain health” on your journey!

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  18. Hey Beth,

    Great job on detailing the steps to a healthy diet and lifestyle. I am a believer in monitoring what we eat and how much activity we do or don’t get. Life can get in the way really quickly and our health will suffer if we aren’t always on watch. Thanks for getting us back on the right track!

    Renee
    .-= Renee Chase´s last blog ..My Boy of Summer – Update =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Renee. Yes, life can easily get in the way ~ that’s why in my opinion, health has to be at the top of the list! 🙂

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  19. Hey Beth,
    You have some great tips on how to lose and manage your weight. Your ideas are focused on having positive attitudes and they can really help people!
    Debbie Turner

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Debbie ~ I certainly hope that these tips can help people ~ it is my greatest passion to inspire long-term, sustainable health!

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  20. Rachel Blower 24. Mar, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Hello Beth,

    You have a lot of great tips and good reminders. Thank you for focusing on real food! Most dieters turn to boxes for there convenience, ugh! I agree with Debbie, I like the perspective of gaining health rather than losing weight.
    Thanks,
    Rachel Blower

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by, Rachel! Yes, the perspective of gaining health not losing weight is a powerful mindset shift that can transform the entire process of healthy weight loss. You are most welcome!

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  21. Beth! I LOVE this post! It’s just so right on. I love how you break it down. I would add to also put an emphasis on portion control and to make sure to chew your food as well as eat slowly. The food diary is such an important and effective part as well. You can’t lie to yourself and you are much better at holding yourself accountable.

    Thanks for spreading the word in something i think is SOOO important for everyone to understand.

    Your awesome!
    Eleni
    .-= Eleni Liapakis´s last undefined ..Response cached until Tue 13 @ 19:06 GMT (Refreshes in 23.89 Hours) =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Eleni, you’re pretty awesome yourself! 🙂 Thanks for sharing those great tips ~ portion control is essential, and chewing food is not only key for optimal digestion, but brings an element of mindfulness to an often mindless task!

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  22. Some great points to work on. Love the idea that you promote the mindset and of course not beating your self up when you fall off the new lifestyle program. It isn’t a diet, that is for sure. And it really does help when you have a support group. Never knew I couldn’t exercise out bad nutrition that much! Good to know! I look forward to learning more from you. Thanks!
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..5 Self Doubt Eliminators =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    I’m glad you found this post valuable, Holly. One step at a time, standing in faith, and anyone can get there!

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  23. Nowadays we go on DIET, but were not so sure if it is really good to our health.If were going to commit something lets always asked advice from the health experts at least from it we know the proper ways for healthy living and the proper diet.

    Thanks for sharing this information with us! A GREAT help to everyone!
    gift basket reviews´s last blog post ..What is it about the basket

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, working with a health professional that can help you figure out what’s best for you will always serve you best. My opinion is that diets don’t work ~ you need to find a way of eating and living that is long-term sustainable, not based around deprivation or fake foods ~ and you’ll be good to go! 🙂

    [Reply]

  24. Beth, I am so excited to have come across your post!

    You impress me yet again with your words of wisdom, knowledge, and guidance.

    What I enjoyed the most out of reading this specific post was you sharing with us that diets must be looked at as GAINING health as opposed to LOSING something (weight).

    It’s so valuable to know that the PURPOSE of thinking THAT way is for us to be in the most abundant mindset so that our subconscious can be awakened in a positive light in spite of us constantly thinking we are ‘fat’ ‘not good enough’ etc…

    Always appreciate all of your teachings Beth!

    I cannot wait to come back again :-D.

    -Jaclyn Castro

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks so much Jaclyn! I am so glad you found this post as well, my point about gaining health is a really profound one that can be transformative when people really get it. Sounds like you are well on your way…. 🙂

    [Reply]

  25. “You must not view diets as a way to LOSE weight, but as a way to GAIN health”

    Words of wisdom Beth!

    [Reply]

  26. Many of us diet to loss weight but we should watch out that we do not overdo it since it can harm our health in many ways. It should not be an obsession to look great. The golden rule for me has always been to eat moderately, eat healthy, do the right exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.

    [Reply]

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