Vanessa, 26, of Upstate New York was overweight her whole life. When she graduated from high school she weighed close to 250 pounds and was a size 24. Reflecting back on her childhood, Vanessa never recalls being a skinny person. Despite trying many diets like Weight Watchers and committing to various fitness routines, she’d lose weight for a time but it always came back.
When she tragically lost her mother to cancer in October 2010, she continued to struggle with her weight in the midst of such a difficult season.
“In 2009, I found out that my mom had cancer. She never told us and I found out on accident,” recalls Vanessa. “I carry guilt with that because I knew and I never told her. She started chemo on May 23 and she passed away on Halloween 2010.”
After her mother’s death Vanessa carried a lot of guilt and pain which led to emotional eating. “I would come home and eat a bag of Dove chocolate. As a result I gained 40 pounds that fall,” she said. “I was in a size 26 pant size, but it didn’t even register. I thought to myself ‘Enough is enough. I can’t do this anymore. My mom wouldn’t have wanted this for me.’”
In that moment Vanessa made a change that stuck. She started working out three days a week for 40 minutes. Now she’s up to 4-5 times a week and doing an hour of cardio plus weight training. To track her calories she started using the Lose It smart phone app, and believes she wouldn’t have been quite as successful without it.
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Losing weight can be a struggle, which is why there are many different types of weight loss programs people can try. Weight Watchers is a leader, topping best-of lists year after year, and a weight loss program formulated to help people eat healthier while incorporating more physical activity into their lifestyles. Millions have had successfully lost weight with the help of Weight Watchers, including celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, and Ginnifer Goodwin. Weight Watchers isn’t just another diet, it may very well be one of the better approaches to weight loss overall.
As reported by ABCNews, a new study published this week in the journal Obesity found weight loss programs like Weight Watchers could be as effective in losing weight as clinical programs.
The study followed 141 overweight or obese adults who were split in three groups. One group was in a weight loss behavioral program led by a health professional, or Weight Watchers. Another group was led by instructors who have had a successful weight loss journey. And, the third group was a combination of the two.
Participants were involved in group counseling with either professionals or their peer groups and they changed their diet and incorporated more physical activity into their lives. Researchers followed the participants for a year and in the end saw tremendous amount of weight loss from the participants.
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When it comes to celebrity pregnancies, Jessica Simpson’s may just trump them all. The 32-year-old star and new mom was nothing shy of stalked throughout her pregnancy by paparazzi and adoring fans. Now that it’s been four months since giving birth to daughter, Maxwell Drew, everyone seems to have the same question in mind: “When will she lose the baby weight?”
“I didn’t realize it didn’t all come off with the baby,” Simpson admitted to USA Today in a recent interview. “It’s been a challenge to lose the baby weight. I let myself indulge in everything I wanted because it was the first time I was pregnant and I wanted to enjoy it.”
What exactly did Simpson indulge in during her pregnancy? Anyone who recalls her days on MTV’s reality show Newlyweds knows that the southern star loves her carbs and decadent foods, including macaroni and cheese and fried chicken. If she was giving into temptations like these quite often during her pregnancy, it’s no wonder the star gained her fair amount of weight.
Though Simpson hasn’t confirm exactly how much weight she gained during pregnancy nor how much she hopes to lose, she seems in no big hurry to slim down despite signing a $3 million dollar contract with Weight Watchers to start trying to shed the pounds once the baby arrived.
Simpson was spotted hitting the gym in L.A. this week for the first time since giving birth. People also reported that the singer-turned fashion designer has been working out with personal trainer Harley Pasternak several times a week, though she mostly walks and hasn’t tried running yet since her “boobs are way too big to run at this point,” she said.
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By Lauren O’Connor MS RD for AroundthePlate.org
Weight Watchers has shown us that we can eat cake and lose weight, too! Today there are a variety of weight loss plans and meal planning services that can appeal to our taste buds and keep the promise that (as long as you follow their plan) you’ll lose the weight. Finding your own healthy lifestyle without the structure of a weight loss program can be a challenge. But there are simple things you can do to instill a lifestyle that promotes good health, gradual weight loss and healthy maintenance. And that includes a healthy diet and exercise.
“Not every calorie is created equal – the bulk of your diet should be wholesome, nutritious foods in order to achieve sustained weight loss, improved health and satiety,” says Theresa DiMasi, VP Editor and Chief at WeightWatchers.com. “Eating well and exercising are two key strategies important for long-term success.
Here are some other strategies for weight loss success (and maintenance, too):
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