"Just wanted to say that your daily "First30Days" emails are helping as I make some fairly frightening, but exciting changes in life. Thought you might not hear this often enough...so thanks." -Andy
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Our Losing Weight Experts

Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr. Mark Hyman

Physician, author and co-founder of Canyon Ranch Resort and...

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Joy Bauer

Joy Bauer

Registered dietician and best-selling author

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Dr. Arthur Agatston

Dr. Arthur Agatston

Author of The South Beach Diet

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Meet all of our Diet and Fitness Experts»

Losing Weight for Good

Ann Donaghy* knew she was overweight after graduating college. “I realized I had a problem when I went to the doctor and she told me that I weighed 225 pounds,” Ann says. “Even my 5’11” frame couldn’t hide the weight.” It was that moment when Ann realized something had to change.

According to national data, nearly 66% of all Americans (about 144 million of us) are overweight, nearly double the statistics of the 1980s. With a diet and exercise routine, Ann was able to lose 80 pounds over the course of a year, and you can too.

When it comes to losing weight, “the most important thing is to start,” advises Greg Joujon-Roche, founder of Holistic Fitness, which provides specialized programs to Hollywood actors.

Your Ideal Weight

To first step of your weight loss journey is figuring out your current and ideal body mass indexes (BMI). To determine this, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor or registered dietician. Also, information is available online at the Center for Disease Control’s web site or Revolution Health.

One way to find the right weight loss goal for you is to “think about the lowest amount of weight you’ve been able to sustain as an adult,” says Elisa Zied, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of So What Can I Eat?!

No matter how much weight you need to lose, a sure path to success includes setting realistic weight loss goals. A healthy weight loss rate one to two pounds a week and dropping pounds any quicker may be damaging your health or setting the stage for yo-yo dieting. “Anything that is worthwhile takes time, and you need to give yourself time to make the healthful weight loss habits stick,” Zied explains.

Fueling Fitness Through Food

When creating your diet plan, look for the basics of healthy weight-conscious eating, including lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water.

Derek Zar was able to lose 200 pounds by paying attention to his diet. He gave up soda and late-night food runs, and started listening to his body’s hunger cues. “After a while, I started to see the difference in my cravings: This type of craving meant water, this type of craving meant food,” he says.

Exercise is the other essential ingredient for losing weight. Most experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity three days a week to maintain your weight. In order to lose it, you’ll need even more activity. A pound represents 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound each week, you’ll need an average 500-calorie deficit each day.

Posted: 11/6/07

The Diet Solution Program helped me lose weight for good! I lost 50 pounds and I feel like a new woman! Here's the link if you would like to try it too.


Ok. Here I go again. I can't tell you how many times I "began" a new diet. They don't seem to last longer than 10 minutes. I need help. I'm 5'4". 225 lbs. 57 yrs old. I'm a compulsive snacker. I've never been this big in my life. I feel very unhealthy, no stamina, weakened immune system, not to mention what this is doing to my feet and knees. I'm a nurse aide in a nursing home so I'm on my feet a lot and getting slower...
I'm hoping I will be able to "do it" this time.
This web site seems SO good!
Thank You for Being Here!


My max weight was 220 by the age of 21, I managed to get back down to 145 at age 25. Since we moved back to Mississippi I have gained my weight back, I am sitting at 180 right now at age 28 and I am so unhappy. I don't like going out because I have nothing to wear, I am so worried about my weight, I hate how I look, I don't like ppl taking pictures of me now, but I can not find the motivation to lose the weight. At 145lbs I felt so free, now I feel like a prisoner in my own body ...once again!!! I have three daughters and my husband to cook for, the girls have snacks in the house, for me to diet is difficult, I can not afford to cook two separate meals... I just don't know...

  • By LwALLEY
  • on 3/27/09 9:35 AM EST

My weight has gone up and down through the years. When it reaches a certain (up) point, I have an epiphany that says "You are fat!"" and "Holy cow, you weigh as much as your DAD". Then I get depressed which starts the next part of the cycle: starvation.

I always used an "anorexic" method when it came to losing weight. I am so impatient and lazy that I would not eat, or eat very little, just to see the scale change number. I often didn't exercise. Sometimes I'd use diet pills. Not eating was a form of punishment for getting fat. Sure, I'd get headaches, dizziness, crankiness, fatigue. It worked for a while, but it was not a sustainable way of life.

This time I'm doing it differently. I started yoga practice. I cut out alcohol (something I never thought I'd do!). I've made a commitment to being active and eating healthily and regularly. I stopped weighing myself multiple times a day. I walk my dog every day. I eat a piece of fruit 3 times daily. I have a bite of something decadent now and then. I eat breakfast.

I'm hoping that being kind and forgiving to myself is something I can make a habit of.


learn to waste food. Not all the children in china will go hungry if you don't clean your plate.


I am new to this site. I heard Ariane speak at a conference for women recently and was very impressed with her. She has a winsome way of presenting herself. Humble but confident in her message.
The weight issue is one of many for me,the many 'feeding' the weight issue. I am only about 20 pounds over weight. But enough to affect my over all health...cholesterol etc. I am 58 so I am very aware of health issues. I have been pushing my doctor's appt. further forward, with the hope I will lose some weight before facing her. I definitely stress eat. From lunch onward is a problem. And I am easily influenced by anyone eating or offering food. I am again, today first of 30 days, keeping a food log which in the past lasted only a few days, and I am going to the gym. If I don't get to the gym early I get anxious about what else I should be doing and either don't go or hurry through any exercise...cardio usually gets shortened more than weights. So I am starting this road again (Halloween, oh well) I admire those with bigger weight losses ahead of them. I know it is absolutely possible, but there isn't a really easy way of changing comfortable habitual behavior.
I haven't been able to drop even 5 pounds in the last year. But I did lose more a couple of years ago, by the usual methods exercise and better food choices. Just let it creep up again. So, I begin again....Good luck to all who are heading down this road with me.


Hello ladies, I too am having the weight loss battle, I read what all of you have posted and I truly feel and understand what you are going through. I had an NDE in 1997 and was thrown immediatly into menopause. My system was in complete disorder. I weighed 360 lbs at one point but I am finaly down to 225. I started to not feel well, found out my blood pressure was 157 over 94, not good, I was off not eating well for some time and that is when the blood pressure soared up, again I am gaining weight and not feeling well. A friend referred me to a holistic health/MD and she told me that she could help me. So I am watching what I eat, salads, fruit, whole grains, etc, lots of water and hopefuly this woman will be able to detect problems and in turn help me...blessings be and good luck on your journey to health.


I am new to this site! I am happy to read some of the comments and see that I am not alone in my feelings. I just had my 50th birthday, am recently engaged and am at the 300 pound mark! I need to get motivated...I hate the way I look and feel! But typing this has made me feel better..I am tired of people saying...you are so pretty..if you'd just lose the weight...how rude..and the stares! This time is the right time...Anybody want to be friends? I can do this, I will do this!!

  • By toni708
  • on 7/10/08 10:52 PM EST

I'm new to this site, but I have high hopes! I am at my heaviest weight ever, but I'm determined to make the necessary changes once and for all.


I'm very new here, but not to weight loss and weight gain heartache.

I don't think I could calculate all the pounds I have lost and gained over the course of my life. I am currently at my absolute highest weight and least activity levels ever (nearing 300 pounds). I also have developed Type 2 diabetes and have high cholesterol.
I have an appointment scheduled this month at a weight loss management center where I will be beginning the journey toward weight loss surgery.
My mom died of diabetes and I am only 52 years old. I am old enough to know better and DO better. And deep down inside, although I forget it often, I am worth taking care of!

Thanks so much for the encouragement I need to move forward toward a new life.



Anne i been there and still there,i weight over 300lbs and they can't even determine my bmi.i am working on normal exercise clases now.i joined and had to quit because of my size i couldn't handle it.I hurt my left knee from surgery 5 years ago.My doc.gave me a note to go to a supervised exercise program,so i started last thursday.Classes is every thurs.i did good on the 1st day.i'm trying to look farwa
rd to the 2nd day.I also wan to los wt. for good healthy and able and wise. bjackson1955


I thank God and you for this article. I really feel I am on the right track now. I keep making small changes.Like eating an apple. Eating a fresh carrot and cucumber salad with less dressing and etc. Key-don't give up!