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Bell Smith Lost 67 Pounds – “I’ll Never Be Skinny But I Can Still Carry Weight and Be Healthy”

Bell Smith is a belly-dancing beauty who embraces her curves because she knows they belong to a healthy body. For a time in her life, Bell let stress and grief take hold and she forgot to focus on her own well-being. Not anymore. After a 67-pound weight loss and mind-shift, Bell has transformed her life and her body.

More from Bell in her own words -

Bell Smith collage

Tell me when your weight struggles began. As a child, I could eat what I wanted and get away with it, but when I lost both my parents in the span of two years and then job stress piled on, so did the weight.  I experienced out-of-control eating, excess carb intake and I really overdid the fast food.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I saw a family picture of myself in 2009 and thought, “I’m fat.” Since my dad’s side of the family carried a lot of weight and both parents had high blood pressure and diabetes, I knew I had to take charge.

How did you lose the weight? I knew I had gained weight, yet I had been belly dancing since 2001 and my troupe accepted me as I was. I didn’t realize how much weight I’d gained. I started off by walking in the early morning with friends while it was dark so no one could see me, then signed up for a gym membership.


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Jillian Michaels Overtakes Weight Watchers on the 2013 Most Popular Diets of the Year List

The most popular diet of the year is none other than the incomparable Jillian Michaels. It’s not entirely surprising when you consider she’s been one of the most consistent players on our list since 2008, with her online brand, detox product, and earliest workout DVD ranking each year. In fact, the latter two were both on last year’s top ten list. We expect to see Curves, ranking for the first time since 2008, as the Biggest Loser trainer just announced a new partnership with Curves.

jillian michaels

What is most surprising is how Jillian Michaels knocked the giant that is Weight Watchers out of the number one position. That’s only been done once before, by 17 Day Diet in 2011. Even that year Weight Watchers held on to number two, but this year they slipped in to the fifth most popular spot.

And 17 Day Diet grabbed ranking number four, hardly losing any ground since its overwhelmingly popular release in late 2010. Its position on our annual Most Popular lists, ahead of Weight Watchers once again, will no doubt help with the release of 17 Day Diet: Breakthrough Edition on the 31st.

The only constant between last year’s list and this – Medifast. They’ve got number 3 on lock, with the meal delivery diet staying strong in the top ten since 2010.

Another staple of our list fell pretty hard this year, with hCG falling down to number 14. No, the supplement boom isn’t over, as its disappearance only made room for brands like Skinny Fiber (a shocking number 2) and Plexus Slim (at number 6) to move on up the list. Dr. Oz-endorsed Raspberry Ketones (17) and Green Coffee Bean Extract (20) were other weight-loss-by-pill categories that did especially well this year.

Check out the 25 Most Popular Diets of 2013* as determined by you, our readers.best diets 2013

1. Jillian Michaels

2. Skinny Fiber

3. Medifast

4. 17 Day Diet

5. Weight Watchers
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Medifast Turns Its Popular 5&1 Meal Plan Into a Holiday

Medifast customers joined in celebrating a new “holiday” on May 1 called “5&1 day” in honor of the continued success of its popular 5&1 meal plan. The holiday came at an opportune time for the diet company, which also launched a series of new additions to the My Medifast community page – a section of the website dedicated to customer support.

Medifast’s executive vice president Brian Kagen told Diets In Review the idea for the holiday was inspired by Medifast’s primary 5&1 diet program. Customers on the 5&1 plan enjoy five Medifast Meals and 1 Lean and Green Meal of their choice. “We were celebrating the success of our clients and looking at the calendar and it was 5-1,” he said. “It seemed like a great opportunity to celebrate the wonderful experiences our clients have had.”
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Medifast’s Become Yourself Campaign Puts Dieters Face-to-Face with Their Former Selves

The first month of 2013 is already winding down. How is your New Year’s resolution going? If you’ve chosen a healthier lifestyle and have stuck to it, fantastic! But the odds are against most of us following through for any extended period of time.

To really find lasting change, we have to look deep inside ourselves. In the case of the first ever national advertising campaign from Medifast, three people did exactly that, and share the experience in an innovative video series that cleverly splices together conversations between their old unhealthy and new leaner selves.

If you are able to lose weight and be healthier, what if you could have a conversation with your former self?

While many big weight loss ad campaigns are attached to celebrity endorsements, this one metaphorically turns the spotlight around on “we the people” to see how we can find inspiration within ourselves. Medifast’s “Become Yourself” series includes the stories of Kimberley Vandlen, Tina Shelley, and Joseph Garcia.
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Weight Watchers and Medifast Top Consumer Reports Best Diets

Consumer Reports just released their top diets of 2012. They reached out to 9,000 of their subscribers to get honest, real-life feedback about some of the most popular diets on the market. This comes a couple of weeks after we compiled our fifth annual Most Popular Diets of the Year list, featuring 25 brands and products that our readers favored most in 2012. There are some strong similarities and also some big differences between the two lists.

When it comes to commercial diets, Weight Watchers ranks number one on both lists. It seems, according to the Consumer Reports feedback, that users like that there’s no specific food that has to be purchased, it’s just a matter of counting those PointsPlus values. Another diet high on both of our lists is Medifast. Those who replied to the Consumer Reports survey (of 9,000 readers) noted that they lost the most weight with Medifast than with any of the other diets. A few of the big names were ranked lower in the report; for instance, Nutrisystem, which ranked six on our list, and Jenny Craig, which did not rank for us, were not seen as fan favorites in this survey. It seems many are not big fans of the foods in these programs.
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