Weight loss for couples

You know what they say, the couple who loses together, stays together – loses weight, that is. When these 15 couples set out to lose weight, they knew they needed to do it together. Studies show that losing weight with someone else – whether it’s a friend, a family members, or a partner – keeps you more on track and therefore produces better results. That much is clear based on these results! You won’t believe what these 15 couples look like after losing weight; some of them are unrecognizable.

  1. Contents

    Married Couple

    Lisa Wharton

    This couple lost nearly 140 pounds – and they look even better than they did on their special day, over 22 years ago!

  2. Michelle and Pete

    Chelle Lakin

    Michelle and Pete were competing to see who between them could lose weight first. As a result, they lost over 190 pounds.

  3. John and Lisa

    Go Fund Me

    These “Thincredibles” lost 330 pounds between them. Amazing!

  4. Older Couple

    Fit Couples Transformations

    This couple just goes to show, you can lose massive amounts of weight no matter what your age! Between them, this couple lost 200 lbs.

  5. Noel and Leisa

    Ireland AM

    Together, Noel and Leisa lost a combined 335 pounds! Now the two can fit in one of their old t-shirts…together.

  6. Joanne and Barry

    Press Association

    Just by stopping their intake of junk food, Joanne and Barry lost 630 pounds together. This is an incredible achievement, so congrats to them!

  7. Bryce and Amber


    For their wedding day, Bryce and Amber lost a combined 185 pounds. And they looked amazing on their special day!

  8. Body Building Couple

    Aesthetic Models

    Although this couple struggled at first to get in shape, they’ve now got body building figures! They don’t even look like the same couple in the before and after pictures.

  9. Mark and Louise

    Mark Hannigan

    After their gothic Scottish wedding, this couple decided it was time to lose weight and they ended up loses 210 lbs. They look amazing – and we love that they kept their same style, no matter what.

  10. Plus Sized Couple

    Wedding Shoes Blog

    We love this couple showing off their old plus sized clothes! It’s incredible that they ever needed those clothes.

  11. Danny and Kalean

    Danny and Kalean

    When Danny and Kalean decided to take good care of their health and change their lifestyle, they lost 325 amazing pounds.

  12. Angela and Husband

    We Beat Fat

    On their blog “We Beat Fat,” Angela and her husband chronicle how they lost a collective 500 pounds in 2 years!

  13. Wedding Couple

    Chris Fossey

    To prepare for their wedding day, this young couple lost a combined 133 pounds. They look amazing!

  14. Claire and Steven

    Bored Panda

    This might be the most incredible transformation of all! Claire and Steven spent five years to get in shape – but their incredible figures must have been well-worth the hard work.

  15. Lindsey and Wayne


    Lindsey and Wayne were named one of the “fattest couples” in Great Britain – which, we’ll just mention, is extremely rude. But the couple beat the haters and lost this “title,” along with 840 pounds. The happiest couple got married in Cuba!

What do you think of these couples and their amazing transformations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

11 Romantic Ways To Lose Weight As A Couple

We said a collective, “awww,” after reading this story about Alan and Jan Coupe, winners of the Slimming World Couple of the year award, who lost 210 lbs between them after being told that they were too heavy to sit together on an airplane. To get trim, the couple joined a weight-loss program, altered their diets, and began bike-riding and swimming together. Now, the Coupes are almost unrecognizable, as they won a couples makeover in addition to shedding all of that weight.

We love the idea of staying fit as a couple-not just for the obvious health benefits, but also for the bonding experiences. We’re not sure how many of these weight-loss methods Alan and Jan tried, but we figure that the happy couple would approve:

1. Take a dance class together. Take the romance up a notch by learning to salsa, tango, waltz, even tap-dance. Not only will you burn a few hundred calories per session, but your friends will be so impressed the next time they see the two of you bust a move.

2. Wash the car. Don’t think of car-washing as a chore. Winter’s over, so take advantage of the sunny weather to have a little flirty outdoor fun. Who knows what kinds of shenanigans you can pull with a hose, a bikini, and a bucket of sudsy water! Once your car’s clean, take it out for a romantic night on the town.

3. Rollerblade. Speaking of springtime, we love an afternoon activity date. Explore your neighborhood’s parks with your partner and two sets of skates. Bring a picnic basket (full of healthy food, of course!) for when you need to cool down.

4. Fly kites. If you’re feeling particularly artsy, make the kite together before taking it out on a windy day.

5. Paint a Room. Painting’s a lot of hard work, but it’ll go by twice as fast if you recruit your partner’s help. Think of how many calories you’ll burn just by adjusting the furniture! Your apartment will look as pretty as you feel.

6. Bike instead of drive. Google Maps has bicycle paths now, so why not? Switch up your weekend routine by biking to your favorite cafe. Afterward, go explore nooks and crannies that you can’t access by car.

7. Split a dessert. Can’t resist the chocolate fudge sundae? Save the money and calories by going halfsies with your guy. You’ll feel like teenagers on a first date all over again.

8. Go to the beach. Ban your beach-body shyness by exercising out on the sand. Jog up from one end of the beach to the other. Take a surfing class together. Play volleyball. Go snorkeling! Just keep each other from lounging around in the sand for too long.

For more romantic and healthy ways to lose weight as a couple visit YourTango.com.

More from YourTango:

Dancing Can Improve Your Relationship

Why Touch Matters in Relationships

  • By Denise Ngo

Couples’ Weight Loss Challenge: Meal Plan

His: 1 + 1/2 servings
Hers: 1 serving
Big-n-tall His: 2 servings

To make this guide even easier to follow, Avanti created a key for these meals. Note that some meals have two symbols – for example, some meals can be prepared at home or enjoyed in a restaurant.

5: 5 minute meal

g&g: grab and go

t.o.: take out

cth : cook together at home

Breakfast options (300-400 calories)

Tip: Eat within 1 hour of waking up.

1 1/2 CUPS OF KASHI GO LEAN high protein cereal made with low fat milk (or soy) sprinkled with almond slivers and ½ cup blueberries (5)
1 SLICE CANADIAN BACON with Jarlesburg light Swiss cheese between a double fiber English muffin toasted in a toaster oven (g&g,5)
1 CONTAINER LOW FAT GREEK YOGURT (about 6 ounces) blended with ½ cup strawberries and ½ cup blueberries sprinkled with 2 tablespoons sliced almonds (g&g,5)
1 CUP ICED COFFEE + 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (such as Jay Robb’s) + a medium banana + 1 tablespoon of almond butter mixed well in a blender (g&g,5)
1 EGG + 2 egg whites, scrambled with onions, tomato, sprinkled with a pinch of shredded cheese and half of a fresh cantaloupe (cth)
1 PEANUT BUTTER CLIF BUILDERS BAR + 1 cup seedless grapes (g&g)
ANTI AGING ACAI BERRY SMOOTHIE–see recipe below (cth)

Anti-Aging Acai Berry Smoothie Recipe
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1 scoop of protein powder, Jay Robb’s egg white
1 1/4 cup almond milk (or soy if you prefer)
1/4 cup acai berry juice
1 tbsp. almond butter
10 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a electric mixer and blend until you reach desired thickness.

Nutriton facts: 398 calories, 28 gm protein, 45 gm carbs, 12 gm fat

Lunch options (350-450 calories)
Tip: Eat 4 hours after breakfast.

Greek Whole Wheat Pita Pocket
2 1/2 oz grilled skinless chicken breast
1 Tbsp fat-free feta
1 Whole Wheat Pita
1 Tbsp hummus
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Cucumber, red onion, tomato, fresh mint
Splash of red wine vinegar
Splash of lemon juice
1/2 cup seedless grapes

Spread hummus inside pita. Stuff chicken, cucumber, onion, tomato and mint into pita. Season with vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy with fresh grapes.

Nutritional info: 401 calories, 28 grams protein, 54 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fat

Chicken Tacos
3 oz grilled skinless chicken breast
Two 6″ corn tortillas
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup rice, brown or Spanish
1/4 cup avocado, cubed
Extra virgin olive oil cooking spray
Shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, salsa

Use extra virgin olive oil cooking spray to grill chicken. Wrap grilled chicken breast into warm tortilla stuffed with lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and salsa. Enjoy with black beans and rice on the side. If dining out, order two chicken soft tacos and request no cheese, no sour cream, no guac and no special sauces except salsa. Note: Chicken can be swapped for shrimp or fish.

Nutritional info: 377 calories, 28 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat

Grilled Salmon Burger with Arugula
1 salmon patty
1 whole wheat bun
1 fresh medium pomegranate
Dijon mustard
Arugula, tomato, red onion, cornichons

Spread toasted bun with Dijon and top with grilled salmon patty, arugula, tomato and onion. Garnish with cornichons. Enjoy with a delicious pomegranate or a piece of your favorite fruit.

Nutritional info: 399 calories, 27 grams protein, 55 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat

Fat-Free Grilled Cheese Sandwich


2 large slices whole wheat bread

1 1/2 slices fat-free Swiss cheese

1 1/2 slices fat-free Cheddar cheese

1 small tomato, sliced

1/4 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp olive oil or olive oil spray

1. Place the Swiss cheese on one side of a slice of bread. Then place sliced tomato on top and sprinkle with oregano.
2. Follow with the Cheddar cheese and second piece of bread.
3. Place a medium sized frying pan over medium heat. Spray or pour olive oil into pan and cook sandwich 2 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and bread is toasty. To help cheese to melt faster, cover the frying pan.

Nutritional info: 335 calories, 24 grams protein, 48 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat

Vegetarian Pizza
1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
1 toaster size whole wheat bagel
1/2 cup marinara sauce, divided
2 black olives, sliced
Onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, basil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce on each half of bagel. Add cheese, olives, and your favorite veggies and place on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. Toast in over for 10 minutes or until desired doneness. Note: This can also be prepared in a toaster oven.

Nutritional info: 382 Calories, 24 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat

Afternoon snack options (150-250 calories)
Tip: Eat 4 hours after lunch.
2 BABY BELL LIGHT cheeses + 1 snack bag of Popchips + 1 Clementine (g&g)
1 CUP BERRY SALAD + 2 hard cooked eggs (no time to make…buy them precooked at Trader Joe’s) (g&g)
2 TABLESPOONS HUMMUS DIP + 10 baby carrots + 10 celery sticks (g&g)
1 COTTAGE CHEESE DOUBLE any flavor + 12 almonds (g&g)
1/2 CUP FROZEN MANGO + 1 fresh kiwi + 1 cup pineapple juice mixed well in a blender + 12 walnuts (cth, 5)
1 GRAPEFRUIT sectioned + 1 cup sliced strawberries + 6 ounces low fat Greek yogurt sprinkled with flax seeds (cth, 5)
2 MINI ASPARAGUS FRITTATAS premade — recipe below (cth, 5)

Springtime Asparagus Mini-Frittatas
9 egg whites (crack and strain yolks from farm fresh eggs)
3 whole eggs
2 tbsp. half and half (or just eyeball it)
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed, blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 mini red bell peppers, julienne
2 mini orange bell peppers, julienne
1/4 cup Romano cheese, shredded
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Wash and trim ends off asparagus. Boil asparagus until tender, approximately 6 minutes, blanch in ice water, pat dry, and cut in to 1 inch long pieces. Set aside.
3. Beat egg whites, whole eggs and Romano cheese in a medium sized mixing bowl.
4. Coat one 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Otherwise use two six cup muffin tins. I have personally found that the aluminum muffin tins from the grocery store make perfectly baked mini frittatas.
5. Sauté onion, peppers and asparagus on a large frying pan with one tablespoon olive oil. Use salt and pepper to taste.
6. Place vegetables into each muffin tin half way to the top. Next, slowly pour egg mixture ¾ of the way up (to allow for rising).
7. Bake at 375° for approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced into the frittata.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 171 calories, 16 g Protein, 7 g Carbs, 9 g fat
Serves 4. Serving size: 3 mini fritattas

Dinner options (350-450 calories)
Tip: Eat 4 hours after mid-afternoon snack.

SPRING VEGGIE PASTA — see recipe below (cth)
LEMON ROSEMARY GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS + 4 roasted fingerling potatoes toasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary + spring mix drizzled with Italian dressing (cth)
GRILLED SALMON + 1 cup steamed green beans + 1 cup cooked quinoa tossed with water packed artichokes and pimentos (cth,t.o.)
10 SHRIMP sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes in 2 teaspoons sesame oil + 1 cup frozen Asian vegetables + 1 cup cooked brown rice (find frozen brown rice at Costco, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s) (cth, t.o.)
6 SUSHI ROLLS from your local Japanese restaurant, choose from salmon, spicy tuna, shrimp or eel + 1 cup steamed veggies (g&g)
CHICKEN TIKKA (sorry, no marsala!) + 1 cup lentils or mashed curry cauliflower made at your local Indian restaurant (t.o.)
HOISIN AND GINGER BEEF STIR FRY — see recipe below (cth)

Spring Vegetable Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus


1 pound asparagus, trimmed, blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or packed in water), quartered
1 red onion, cut into thinly sliced rounds
3/4 cup mozzarella, reduced fat shredded
1 pound whole wheat penne (try Barilla Plus, which is packed with fiber and protein)
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or your favorite white wine)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 oz. fresh pesto (use commercial pesto if you don’t want to make it homemade)

Christine’s Signature Pesto:
2 cups basil, tightly packed (about ½ of a 4 oz. box of fresh basil leaves)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, reduced fat
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Makes about 1/2 cup of thick, rich pesto.

To make pesto:
1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Slowly pour olive oil into mixture as it’s processing. Blend for about 45 seconds or until mixture looks bright green and thick.

To make spring vegetable pasta:
1. Wash, trim and blanche asparagus. Save the water for cooking the penne.
2. Cook penne according to package directions using asparagus water. (This will boost the nutrient value of the pasta.)
3. Set range to medium-high heat. In an extra large frying pan sauté asparagus, artichoke hearts and red onion in olive oil until onions begin to caramelize. If you don’t have an extra large frying pan, do this in batches.
4. Deglaze pan with vegetable broth or your favorite white wine, scraping all the brown bits from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of pesto and lightly sauté until pesto is evenly distributed.
5. Add pasta and lightly toss with a set of tongs.
6. Plate and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.

Makes approximately 7 servings.
Nutritional info: 366 calories, 18 grams protein, 53 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 10 grams fat

Hoisin & Ginger Beef Stir Fry

2 cups jasmine rice
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (Sriracha)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, divided
1 pound extra lean flank steak, sliced into approximately 1 1/2″ strips
1 large white onion
1 large green bell pepper
1 cup carrots, shredded
¼ fresh cilantro

Pour 4 cups of cold water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Rinse rice and add to boiling water. Reduce heat and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place steak strips and marinade into a large zip lock bag and place in the refrigerator.
Slice onion and bell pepper lengthwise and then in half, keep them separated. Using a large wok or frying pan, spray bottom of pan with cooking spray then sprinkle a little garlic salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Sauté the onion until it is golden brown. About 5 minutes. Remove the sautéed onion from frying pan, and place into a medium bowl.
Coat bottom of pan with cooking spray again and repeat seasoning in step 4. Place bell pepper and carrot slivers into pan and sauté for about 5 minutes. Remove the sautéed veggies from frying and add to onion bowl.
Coat bottom of pan with cooking spray again and repeat seasoning in step 4. Place the marinated steak into pan. Pour remaining marinade into pan. Saute steak for about 5 minutes.
Add veggie mixture to pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Place 3/4 cup of cooked rice onto plate and add 1 1/2 cups of stir fry. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Makes: 4 servings
Nutritional info: 400 cals., 26 gm protein, 50 gm carbohydrates, 12 gm fat.

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Do you want to slim down but don’t want to wait weeks to start seeing results? Do you have a special occasion coming up that makes you want to lose weight fast?

Most people know that losing 1-2 pounds per week is recommended, but who doesn’t want to start seeing results as soon as possible?

You may think that the only way to lose weight fast is to take diet pills, have surgery, or completely deprive yourself of food. Not only are these methods hazardous to your health, they aren’t practical either.

Table of Contents

11 Habits of People Who Lose Weight Fast

Losing weight doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or difficult. In fact, these tips are safe and easy to implement into your daily routine! It is completely possible to lose weight fast without taking extreme measures or going hungry!

1. Commit and Follow Through

This tip is number one for a good reason. No matter how you are trying to lose weight, your mindset is top priority. If you do not commit and follow through on your weight loss journey, you will not see results. No more excuses!

Here are some tips to help you keep going when you feel like giving up.

  • Mark in your calendar the day and time you are going to workout and commit to it.
  • Create a Pinterest board with inspirational quotes, workouts, and photos to help you stay motivated.
  • Always keep your end goal in mind and remind yourself why you are doing this!

2. Track Your Calories

There are many apps and online calculators that will help you track your daily caloric intake. Apps like MyFitnessPal or Lose It! make it easy for you to input your information to calculate how many calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight.

Write this number down and stick to it! Input your food after every meal to calculate how much you’ve eaten.

If you need ideas on what to eat, these zero-calorie foods are sure to keep you satisfied and give you the body you’ve been dreaming of!

3. Drink Lots of Water

One of the best ways to lose weight fast is to stay hydrated! You should be drinking plenty of water to aid in weight loss and live a healthy lifestyle.

Drink a glass of water before every meal or next time you feel hungry. Water can act as an appetite suppressant so that you feel full without consuming extra calories. There are many other benefits of drinking water aside from losing weight fast, so make sure you are getting your daily requirements.

4. Eat Lots of Fiber

Did you know that eating foods rich in fiber can cause you to lose belly fat? Dietary fiber can aid in digestion, maintain healthy gut bacteria, and help you feel fuller for longer.

Examples of fiber include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Flax seeds
  • Grains

If you are looking for delicious ways to add more fiber to your diet, check out our weight loss smoothie recipes. These smoothies are full of fiber and nutrients that will have you blasting belly fat!

5. Lift Weights 3 X Per Week

While it’s possible to lose weight without exercise, it’s recommended that you add strength training to your routine if you want to lose weight as fast as possible. In fact, some studies show that lifting weights can actually help you burn more calories than cardio!

If you have access to the gym, add lifting weights to your weekly routine just three times per week. If the gym just isn’t your thing, you can always purchase weights from Amazon and look up free videos on YouTube and work out in your living room!

6. Simply Stay Active Daily

You have to stay active daily if you want to see results quickly. The key is finding an activity that helps you get off the couch, start moving, and enjoy yourself at the same time!

Try to find ways to exercise every day – take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far away from the entrance and walk, or stand up for a few minutes instead of sitting at the computer. If you can, try to get in at least 10,000 steps per day. Tools like FitBit or certain phone apps make it easy to track steps. You could lose up to a pound per week from the extra walking alone!

7. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the leading factors of weight gain. Sleep regulates your hormones and appetite, so once you start losing sleep, you start gaining weight. You may hit the drive-thru in order to get a quick boost of energy or make bad judgments when it comes to food. Exercise will be the last thing on your mind because you’ll be too tired to hit the gym.

Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. You’ll have more energy and will be less likely to binge eat and quit working out.

8. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has become popular over recent years and for good reason: it works!

Intermittent fasting is a different method of eating. Instead of eating multiple small meals a day, you eat within certain windows.

Some popular intermittent fasting schedules are:

The 16/8 Method: In this method, you fast for 16 hours a day and eat in an 8-hour window.

The 5:2 Method: This method requires you to eat 5 days a week and then eat between 500-600 calories for the remaining two days.

Pick the method that works best for you and your lifestyle. You’ll benefit from weight loss, better heart and brain health, and an increased lifespan.

9. Surround Yourself With Others

A great support system is one of the best things you can have when trying to lose weight fast.

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and motivate you to be your best. These people will always encourage you and help you keep a positive mindset.

Bonus tip: try to find a workout buddy that can help keep you accountable and help you reach your goals!

10. Avoid Lots of Carbs

Try to eliminate unhealthy carbs from your diet such as pasta, bread, and baked goods. These foods typically lack nutrients and are very calorie-dense, causing you to gain weight.

Replace unhealthy carbs with low-calorie carbs such as leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables.

11. Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol is necessary when trying to lose weight naturally. Alcohol is high in calories, causes you to lose sleep, and increases your appetite so that you eat more.

Limiting alcohol also aids other weight loss methods such as boosting your metabolism and helping you stay hydrated.

Final Thoughts on Losing Weight Fast

Losing weight fast doesn’t have to be difficult, depriving, or dangerous. By adding some of these methods into your daily routine, you will be blasting body fat before you know it!

Just remember that while you have what it takes to lose weight fast, the best thing you can do is adjust to your new lifestyle slowly. This will prevent you from burning out and help you stick to your goals for the long haul.

Now that you have this information, get moving! Let us know if you have any other tips and tricks for losing weight fast!

If you and your partner are trying to slim down together, you may have noticed some unexpected tension arise in your relationship. Often couples decide to try out the keto diet or Whole30 together, then find themselves bickering, and ultimately not losing the weight. But the key to winning in love, and weight loss, is simply working as a team.

A study published in the scientific journal Health Communication found that creating a “synchronized environment” was the most effective approach for couples on a weight-loss journey together. This means the partners share a positive attitude and act as a team. Being encouraging, while also being open to encouragement, will make it more likely you both drop those unwanted pounds for good.

While it might seem obvious that working together would be helpful, you’d be surprised how differently many couples in the study (there were 389 participants, all of whom were trying to lose weight with a romantic partner) approached their weight-loss journey. Some folks, described as “lone battlers” worked out on their own or made their own meals with little assistance from a significant other. Meanwhile, others only received sporadic encouragement and some even fought with their partner over the best weight-loss strategy.

“Partner behaviors that support the weight loss can be viewed differently depending on the environment,” said study author René Dailey, PhD, in a press release. “For example, a person who wants to focus on diet but their partner focuses on exercise might see the partner’s suggestion of going for a walk as intrusive and unhelpful. By contrast, a person who feels they and their partner are on the same page about how to lose weight could welcome the suggestion.” And in turn, lose more weight.

It’s important to make a game plan that you and your partner are both keen to follow from the beginning, whether that means not eating carbs, working out five times a week, or both. The study suggests that couples can also benefit greatly from talking directly and finding the best support strategies to offer each other. Although it may be challenging at first, it can help both people lose weight, and perhaps even benefit the partnership overall.

It just goes to show that a little teamwork can make a big difference, in all facets of relationship!

More From FIRST

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You Don’t Need to Make Your Portions Smaller to Lose Weight — Just Rearrange Them, Expert Says

Daniela Stallinger “That’s it,” I said to my husband as I stepped off the scale one morning last year and marched into his home office. “We’re not having sex again until we lose 30 pounds between us.”

Patrick is used to dramatic pronouncements from me. “OK,” he said, barely looking up over his newspaper, a half-eaten package of powdered mini donuts next to the coffee mug on his desk. “Let me know when you’re down 29.”

The truth is, I wasn’t feeling very sexy. The display on the bathroom scale had just confirmed I’d crossed yet another line in the digital sand: 145 pounds. At 5′ 4″, I was teetering at the edge of being officially, clinically overweight. How had this happened? Sure, I enjoyed good food and disliked the gym, but that was nothing new. I wasn’t scarfing down pints of ice cream at night or lunching from the drive-through window by day. I was baffled that the numbers on the scale kept rising even though I wasn’t doing anything different from what I had always done.

There could be only one explanation: It’s because I’m 40, I thought. My hormones and metabolism had turned against me. Here it was — the inevitable, dreaded middle-age spread. I didn’t have to look very far for evidence to support the conspiracy theory. Patrick, six years my senior, was the canary in our metabolic coal mine. When I’d met him, 15 years earlier, he’d been impossibly thin. A skinny guy all his life, he couldn’t gain weight if he tried. But at 40, that began to change. At first, the added pounds were an improvement in my eyes, filling him out nicely. Then “filled out” began to spill over his waistband. The man who had formerly been my rail-thin boyfriend had become my potbellied husband. He was 5′ 9″ and had been 160 pounds when we met. Now, at 46, he was approaching 190. Not borderline but officially, squarely overweight.

It wasn’t just that we’d each put on a little padding over the years; I could make my peace with that. It was the overall trend that alarmed me. At this rate, we were headed toward problems that no amount of “sucking in” could solve — real health issues. If losing 15 or 20 pounds was hard to do now, how much more difficult would it be to lose 50 pounds 10 years from now?

What really worried me was that thin-after-40 would mean living in a constant state of deprivation or compensation. I knew women my age who exercised compulsively just so they could eat normally. I didn’t want us to be unhealthy and unfit as we moved deeper into midlife. But in a life already overfilled with to-do’s and should-do’s, I couldn’t seem to make calorie-counting and working out a priority. Could anyone help us find the joie de vivre in getting fit? I e-mailed my editor at Good Housekeeping: “How about a midlife couple’s makeover?”

“I knew it,” said my husband when I announced that we would be losing weight in the name of journalism. He used his fingers to count off the things I’d put us up to as GH’s test family in the field. “First there was the wardrobe makeover, then organizing the house…it was just a matter of time before they’d come for me.”

Week Zero

I’m an old hand at dieting. I could have predicted what Samantha B. Cassetty, M.S., R.D., GH’s nutrition director, was going to recommend as a first step: Track everything we normally eat for a few days before changing anything. Dieting 101, I thought. I knew the drill.

It was all brand-new, however, to Patrick, who had always eaten whatever he felt like without a thought about serving size, nutritional information, or the national guidelines. Our personal histories with respect to food could not have been further apart. He had been raised on standard Southern fare: meat and potatoes, biscuits and gravy, vegetables that were battered and fried. As a kid, he’d had unlimited access to soda, candy, preservative-laden snack cakes, and the kinds of breakfast cereals that turn milk (and probably one’s stomach lining) unnatural colors. As a young adult seemingly with a hollow leg, he had seen no reason to introduce variety or balance to his diet. I thought I’d better brace Samantha for what was coming. “My husband eats like a 13-year-old boy with no mother,” I warned her.

A lifelong breakfast-skipper, he’d lately taken to his midmorning snack of Little Debbie mini donuts from the convenience store. He normally worked through lunch and would be ravenous come suppertime. Depending on his schedule, he’d join the kids and me at the table for a home-cooked supper or, if he was working late, run out for a fast-food meal instead. His favorite late-night snack was a 20-ounce cola and a king-size candy bar.

“Wow,” said Samantha. “How does he feel?”

“I don’t think he knows,” I said. “He’s probably never had a normal-blood sugar day in his life.”

I waited with an informer’s glee for the hammer to come down, but my own food diary revealed that I had little cause to feel smug. Samantha gently pointed out that my mysterious weight gain likely wasn’t so much a metabolic or hormonal problem as it was a math problem. Simply put, I was eating far more calories than I was using up.

True, I wasn’t bingeing on processed snacks or unhealthy takeout meals. Still, my family’s preference for plain foods had me seeking epicurean thrills away from our dining room table. I was indulging in calorie-rich restaurant meals on my weekly night out with girlfriends, decadent homemade baked treats almost daily, and a nightly glass or two of red wine. My journal revealed I was leading a dietary double life: Spartan on the one hand and hedonistic on the other. I knew what was coming next. Calorie limits, fitness quotas, blacklisted treats, and flavorless, chemical-loaded substitutes for real food — a diet.

But instead, Samantha explained that over the next several weeks, she’d be asking us to make gradual changes. “Ultimately, the goal is for this new pattern of eating to become a habit for you,” she said.

“For now,” she added delicately, “maybe Patrick can do Little Debbie every other day.”

Week One

Patrick’s first assignment was to start eating a healthy breakfast every day, “within three hours of waking up” as prescribed by Samantha. “Research doesn’t specify that it’s necessary to eat as soon as you wake up,” she explained. “Some breakfast-skippers say they can’t stomach food first thing in the morning.” Because dieters tend to like flexibility and structure, she came up with the three-hour rule to make a morning meal more appealing to Patrick.

When Patrick complained that breakfast on busy weekday mornings was too heavy and complicated, she encouraged him to think beyond traditional breakfast foods and consider “no-brainers” like a handful of nuts chased down with a glass of vegetable juice or a cheese stick accompanied by whole-grain crackers. Anything with protein, she told me, would help him manage his hunger throughout the day and make him less susceptible to starvation-induced bingeing at night.

To my surprise, Patrick was agreeable to the idea of vegetable juice in the morning. Which was great, because his other goal for Week One was to add an extra vegetable serving to his daily diet. That was a 100% increase on most days, if you counted french fries.

I was a devoted fan of breakfast already. However, I was also given a “reorganizing” task: incorporating planned, healthy snacks into my day — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — to avoid unplanned, unhealthy snacking. Each snack should be in the 100- to 125-calorie range, Samantha said, and should contain some fiber and/or protein, which would help satisfy my appetite and stave off hunger. She suggested a 100-calorie pack of nuts, a few slices of deli meat, or a container of fat-free, sugar-free yogurt. At least one snack had to be fruit- or veggie-based.

It was also time to rein in my sweet tooth by capping daily sweets at 200 calories. Like an overwrought, sugar-crazed toddler, a part of me felt relieved that someone was finally stepping in and taking the goodies away. When I told Samantha I was surprised at not being cut off from sweets completely, she said that dieters who went cold turkey on everything could feel overwhelmed, which might sabotage willpower. Better to make a small change and live with it for a while, she advised: “It will give you a sense of accomplishment and make you think you can make another small change.”

“What about exercise?” I asked, looking for the pain in this gain. Samantha suggested 30 minutes of physical activity twice a week to start with for me and 20-minute sessions for Patrick, who was even more sedentary. Still, both prescriptions came with a caveat. Exercise was important for overall well-being and for maintaining a healthy weight, she explained, but people tended to overestimate its role in weight loss. “Don’t be fooled by those calorie-trackers on the cardio machines,” Samantha warned. “They’re not very accurate, and too often people use them as permission to overeat.”

Earlier in the month, I’d picked up a trial membership to an upscale fitness center during a school auction. Sure enough, a few days later, as I stood in the gym locker room for the first time, I overheard one woman telling another how many calories she had banked that day, and how she planned to spend them. I could understand the appeal of a pay-as-you-go approach, but I could also see how it made food the focus of a significant chunk of one’s life.

Seeing the writing on the wall, Patrick had ditched the donuts just before our official start date and quickly dropped four pounds; by the end of our first week under Samantha’s supervision, he’d lost an additional three. I couldn’t believe it. Sure, he’d added a can of vegetable juice and an egg sandwich to his mornings, but he was still drinking his daily sugary cola, eating chips with his sandwiches, and not counting his calories.

“You’re doing it wrong,” I told him.

“Seven pounds,” he crowed. “How many have you lost?”

I had gained one.

Week Two

A review of my food diary with Samantha showed that I was still taking in too many calories, a couple hundred of them lurking in my evening glass (or two) of wine. We agreed to set a weekly limit of five 5-ounce servings and to increase my physical activity to three 30-minute sessions a week. I was also told to bring my fruit-and-vegetable intake up to the full five recommended daily servings.

The fitness center would normally have been beyond our budget. It had beautiful locker rooms, with an infinite supply of clean white towels. It had a restaurant and a smoothie bar, and an indoor play area for the kids. Oh, and you could exercise there, too: on one of the state-of-the-art cardio machines in front of a bank of TV screens, or on one of two weight-training floors, or in one of the round-the-clock group exercise classes. I found myself looking forward to going there much in the same way I had looked forward to my glass of wine. It felt like an indulgence, some much-needed “me time” at the end of the day.

Patrick had no interest in coming to the gym, but he was getting up from his desk to walk the dog around the neighborhood nearly every day. It hardly qualified as a workout, I thought, but Samantha praised him, saying that consistent moderate exercise — 30 minutes most days of the week — helped raise healthy cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, lower cardiovascular disease risk, level out blood sugar, and maintain weight loss.

Samantha added a second vegetable serving to Patrick’s daily quota and gave him a “sweets allowance” — 200 calories a day, the same as mine. I showed him the nutritional label on his beloved 20-ounce soft drink: 240 calories. Then the one on his king-size candy bar: also 240 calories. He looked glum. However, his previous week’s triumph motivated him to meet the challenge.

At the end of the second week, I finally had the scale moving in the right direction by half a pound. It didn’t seem like much to me, accustomed as I was to strict introductory diet phases with quick results. But Samantha assured me that weight lost at a half-pound to a pound a week was weight that was more likely to stay lost because behavioral changes that were made gradually were more likely to stick.

“Slow and steady wins the race,” I said to Patrick when he boasted of another three pounds lost, though I wasn’t sure I really believed my own words.

Week Three

For our third week, Patrick was assigned a daily goal of three veggies and one fruit, and a limit of one fried-food item a week. Samantha suggested he try a salad instead of fries with his fast-food cheeseburger and “experiment with fruit,” like dipping apple slices in peanut butter.

Patrick had been a trouper so far, but I knew that anything more complicated than opening a can of juice was going to be a stretch of his nutritional imagination, so I decided I’d help him out.

“Drink this,” I said, putting a glass in front of him one morning.

“What is it?”

“A smoothie. Don’t look at it; just drink it.”

“It’s got green stuff in it.”

“Drink it, and you’re done with half your fruit and vegetable servings for the day.” The smoothie (frozen berries; a scoop of vanilla protein powder; a cup of sugar-free, fruit-flavored drink mix; and a handful of baby spinach leaves) went down without complaint, and I began delivering my blender creations to his desk daily.

Another day, I held a crisply roasted, salted leaf up to his mouth.

“What’s this?” he asked suspiciously, bringing to mind Winnie the Pooh’s friend Tigger (who claims to like every food in the world, but actually likes only one thing).

“It’s a kale chip,” I said. “Just try it.”

Patrick opened his mouth and closed his eyes. “I could eat this!”

“Hooray!” I shouted. Tiggers like kale chips!

My own homework for the week was to start capping daily calories at 1,600 — made easier by the same online food-and-fitness diary I was already using as an online food log. It tabulated calories automatically and showed how many I had left for the day — making me more mindful of every mouthful I ate. Samantha encouraged me to also look at calorie intake through a wider-angled lens. If girls’ night out put me over, for example, I could adapt the rest of my week to balance it out. Planning ahead, she told me, made all the difference.

Eating out? “Check out the menu in advance online.”

Traveling? “Look at your itinerary and map out a meal strategy for flight time and layovers, just as you would in deciding what to pack.”

It happened that I got to practice both tactics when I had business that took me out of town that week and I got to visit with some far-flung relatives and friends. But after long flights with multiple connections, I overindulged on several lavish reunion meals and returned home to report no loss for Week Three.

I thought for sure Samantha would finally scold me for my sluggish progress, but she cheered the fact that I hadn’t gained.

“You’re learning how to eat in real life,” she reminded me. “There are going to be business trips, celebrations, and vacations.” Learning to enjoy them without slipping backward was progress.

Patrick, however, continued to zoom past me, no matter how many cupcakes or Champagne corks came flying at him. He was still doing it all wrong, in my opinion, but he was Samantha’s star pupil.

“Look how far he’s come,” she’d remind me when I tattled that he was still coming up short on his fruits and vegetables or his exercise.

It was true. He’d made some big changes in a few short weeks.

“You must feel so much better,” a friend observed.

His weight loss was becoming apparent to others. “I don’t know that I feel better,” Patrick said. “But I feel different.”

“He doesn’t know what ‘better’ feels like,” I whispered to our friend. Patrick heard me.

“Ask Kyran how much she’s lost,” he said with an elbow nudge.

“Slow and steady,” I volleyed back, though it was looking more and more as if we were on two different tracks.

Where Patrick had to learn everything he didn’t know about nutrition, I had to unlearn everything I had been sure I did know. Mine was turning out to be a mental makeover as much as a physical one. I was figuring out how to eat — and live — looking forward rather than always looking back. When I took this long-range view, I found that there was only so much deprivation I was willing to endure. Not having to approach every carb as if it were my last helped keep me from bingeing. And having realistic expectations prevented me from overcompensating out of guilt. Before the diet makeover, I would often treat myself to rich cheeses, good chocolate, a glass or two of wine; now cocoa-dusted almonds and skinny lattes were my new best friends. The extremes were leveling out, and I was meeting myself somewhere in the middle. An apt place to be, in your 40s.

Week Four

To start, Samantha reduced our sweets limit to 100 calories a day each. She didn’t want to rule sweets out altogether, because part of her makeover strategy was to keep us focused on what we could eat, not on what we couldn’t. Even though we’d both been tapering off on the sugar, this change hit Patrick hard. He had a headache for about three days. “I feel terrible,” he moaned. “Is this what healthy living feels like?”

But after the worst of the withdrawal was over, he noticed changes in his energy level throughout the day. He wasn’t crashing before his usual midday nap, which, in the past, he’d made up for with cola- and chocolate-fueled work sessions late into the night. He had always claimed to be a night owl by nature, and working from home let him keep such irregular hours. Now he wondered if it had actually been a case of nourishment over nature. His new vitality was sexier to me than even his shrinking waistline.

On a date night, we left the car at home and walked two miles to our favorite sushi restaurant. Exercising together once a week was one of our new weekly goals, and easily the most pleasurable. As we strolled and talked, I had a vision of what the next half of life could be like for us: healthy and vibrant. In my 40 years, I’d been on nearly every kind of diet there was, and this didn’t feel like any of them. For one thing, I had a partner. For another, this felt doable — permanently.

Our kids were also benefiting from our teamwork. With Patrick more inclined to eat well, I was more inclined to cook well. I had been in a culinary rut for a long time, but I signed up for an inexpensive online menu-planning service that suggested simple gourmet meals and automatically created my grocery list.

The children took a cue from their father’s new open-mindedness toward vegetables and were more easily persuaded to try a bite themselves. They would drop anything they were doing whenever Patrick suggested we all go for a walk together, whether it was a jaunt around the neighborhood or a long hike in the country. My fifth grader decided he, too, wanted to work out at the gym, and I arranged a personal-training session for him so he could learn to use the equipment.

Is this me? I thought as I grabbed my gym bag at night.

“Is this us?” I asked as my husband ordered a salad. Were we the kind of people who ate right, exercised, and took care of themselves?

It seemed like maybe we were.

Week Five and Beyond

By now Patrick had trimmed 15 pounds from his high weight of 189.8. I was down by three, the least spectacular start I’d ever gotten off to with a diet. But we were both firmly on our way. By sticking to the changes we’d gradually implemented over that first month, Patrick lost another nine pounds over the next couple of months, for a grand total of 24; after Week Three, I’d averaged almost a pound a week for a total loss of 10.

I could never quite shake the feeling of coming up short when I reported my incremental losses to Samantha. “We can get hard-core if you want to,” she teased.

I knew what that meant: A low-carb diet probably would help me lose faster in the short term, though giving up grains would also deprive me (as Samantha also pointed out) of a good source of nutrients.

But I didn’t want to.

Daniela Stallinger

I’d done hard-core. I couldn’t face doing it over and over for the rest of my life. I loved the way I was eating. I was enjoying working out for the sake of getting out of the house, not for permission or penance. I was thrilled with our new habit of engaging in physical activity as a family once a week. I’d even traded in my beloved smartphone for a “dumb” phone with prepaid minutes so I could afford to keep my membership at the gym after the trial pass expired. Face it, the gym was doing more for my figure than the fancy phone ever had.

Who was smart now? I was invested in a process, not in an outcome. “I feel I can keep this up forever,” I said to Samantha.

“Then you’re doing fine,” she said. Samantha also gave us some maintenance strategies. She recommended that we continue weighing ourselves daily. A three-pound gain over goal weight was a call to action. Returning to journaling, cutting out refined starches, and eliminating sweets were all solid tactics for countering a gain or getting through a plateau.

Patrick was delighted with each discovery that another formerly too-tight pair of jeans now hung looser on his hips.

“You look hot,” I told him.

Still, what was even hotter, to me, was having my husband suggest that we take the kids and the dogs for a long Sunday walk. His request to please pass the salad bowl drove me wild. And his drinking the daily don’t-ask-don’t-tell smoothie I put in front of him as he worked on his computer? Rawrr.

Because looking your best for your partner is nice — but what’s truly sexy is living your best.

Lights on, even.

Trim for Life

by Samantha B. Cassetty, M.S., R.D.

Anyone can make the small changes that Kyran and Patrick did and experience lasting results while still allowing for occasional indulgences. Start by recognizing what you should be eating more of (like fruits and veggies). Each week, consider your successes: Did you meet your produce goal? Did you manage to eat breakfast? That sense of accomplishment will make it easier to tackle bigger challenges — like taming a sweet tooth. To get started, look at some of the healthier habits Kyran and Patrick adopted.

Week 1


• Eat 2 small snacks a day

• Cap sweets at 200 cals/day

• Exercise 30 min 2x/wk


• Eat breakfast

• Eat one veggie/day

• Ditch mini donuts

• Exercise 20 min 2x/wk

Week 2


• Limit wine to 5 glasses/wk

• Exercise 3x/wk

• Eat 5 fruits & veggies a day


• Eat 2 veggies/day

• Cap sweets at 200 cals/day

• Exercise 30 min 3x/wk

Week 3


• Track diet online; cut calories to 1,600/day

• Plan ahead when traveling or eating out

• Increase one workout to 45 min


• Eat 3 veggies, 1 fruit a day

• Limit fried food: 1x/wk

Week 4


• Limit sweets to 100 cals/day


• Limit sweets to 100 cals/day

Kyran & Patrick

• Exercise together 1x/wk

35 Fun Activities that Don’t Feel Like Exercise

Parties are fun. So are baseball games and vacations. But trying to lose weight? Not so much. When most of us think about fitting into our skinny jeans, things like exhausting workouts, chalky protein drinks, and piles of lettuce come to mind—which, if we’re being honest, really stink.

But getting the body you’ve always wanted shouldn’t—and doesn’t have to be—a drag! There are a number of ways to make your weight loss regimen more fun and enjoyable, and we’ve come up with 35 of the best options in our list below. And after you see how enjoyable it can be to shed a few pounds, accelerate your flat belly wins further with these 55 best-ever ways to boost your metabolism!


When you get your sweat session out of the way before heading to work, you have more time to whip up healthy meals and do fun stuff like meet up with friends after you clock out. Here, creative ways to get your butt out of bed—because we all know it’s not always easy.


Schedule Sessions with a Friend

You wouldn’t blow off your 6 a.m. run if you knew your friends were waiting for you at the park, would you? Of course not! Which is why it’s a great idea to set up morning workout dates. Not only will it get your tush out from under the covers, it will make you sweat session more fun, too! And after your done with your workout, why not refuel with one of these delicious protein shake recipes?


Add Motivational Messages to Your Alarm

Make that blaring 5 a.m. alarm more tolerable by giving it a motivating label in your iPhone. “Wake up badass, it’s time to hit the gym!” It may seem silly, but it’s sure to motivate you and put a smile on your face every time you’re considering going back to bed.


Set Out Your Workout Gear

—or better yet, sleep in it. If you wake up dressed and ready to hit your Pilates class, odds are pretty low that you’ll skip it. And speaking of getting fit and toned, be sure to check out these
30 Skinny Secrets from the World’s Sexiest Women.


Schedule Brunch

It may sound odd, but penciling in plans with friends for after your run will actually ensure you’ll log those miles—especially if you tell everyone you’ll be coming from a workout. Not only will it hold you accountable to your run, it will give you a great excuse to rock all of your new athleisure gear afterwards. You may also find your workout more enjoyable, knowing you have some playtime to look forward to when you’re done!


When you’re doing fun and active things throughout the week you won’t feel as pressured to set aside additional time to get to a spin class in or log those dreaded miles on the treadmill.


Compete with Your Friends

If you track your fitness with Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, iPhone 5s+ or Apple Watch you can challenge your friends to an activity duel on Matchup. The app allows friends using different trackers to go head to head on a shared leaderboard to see who moves the most. You and your friends can also complete as a team and challenge other groups of trackers to see who log the most steps.


Go Exploring

Lace up your sneakers and play tourist in your own city! Check out historic walking tours in your area or find a nearby nature path with a killer view. Walking is easy on the joints, burns a fair number of calories and is a great way to take in new sites and sounds.


Have a Cleaning Party

Scouring surfaces might give you bad Annie flashbacks, but it can actually be a good full-body workout, engaging your biceps, triceps and core. Max it out by mopping the floor—for a 150-pound person, it burns 43 calories in 15 minutes. To make the scrubbing and sweeping more fun, enlist your roomie or significant other to help and turn on some upbeat tunes! If you really want to challenge yourself, do some burpees or lunges every time the song changes.



Volunteering at a dog shelter or lending a hand at a park clean-up is an engaging way to meet others, give back to your community and add some extra activity to your day.


Play in the Park

Instead of grabbing drinks or dinner with your friends, head to the park with a frisbee or a football and log some playtime. In the cooler months, hit a ping pong or pool hall for a bit of friendly, active competition—just steer clear of the beer and caloric cocktails.


Extend Fido’s Walk

If you’re already outside walking your pup, why not take an extra lap or two? The extra steps will aid your weight loss efforts and will benefit your four-legged friend, too! Bonus: Want to burn even more calories? Pick up your pace. Walking at 4 MPH, instead of 3.5 MPH can help you work off an extra 1,200 calories a month, assuming you move your feet every day for 20 minutes.


Get It On

This is one of our favorites. Why? First of all, having sex is fun. Second, a romp between the sheets can help you stay lean by burning off the extra nibbles you take throughout the day. According to a University of Montreal study, women burn off 69 calories during the average sex session, while men burn off 100 calories. And as you likely assumed, the longer the session, the more calories you’ll burn. To help extend your pleasure—and incinerate more flab—check out these 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis.


Take a Pre-Dinner Stroll

Grab the kids or throw in your headphone and take a quick walk around the block before sitting down to your next meal. Not only will you burn some calories and get your blood flowing, studies suggest that getting in some fitness before you nosh, increases the chances you’ll reach for a healthier dish. Not sure what to cook? All of these healthy chicken recipes are solid picks!


Play With Your Kids

Instead of sending your little one to the backyard to play on his own, lace up your sneaks and head outside with him! Not only are backyard games like tag, hopscotch and catch, enjoyable and fun, they can actually burn off a fair share of calories. Have some extra time on your hands? Head to the park to shoot hoops or hit the local mini golf course—your kids and your body will love it!


Go Dancing

Next time you’re in the mood for a night out on the town, why not hit up a dance club? From salsa and jazz to hip hop and trance, there’s something for every type of music lover. The only caveat: You’ll have to cut yourself off after one cocktail to ensure you burn off more than you take in. And speaking of calories, if you’re trying to take in fewer of them, check out these 50 Snacks With 50 Calories or Less.


The easiest way to lose weight is to tweak your diet. These tips make eating healthy fun and tasty!


Start a Vegetable Garden

Growing your own fruits, veggies and herbs in your backyard is a win-win for weight loss. Gardening can actually burn between 200 and 400 calories per hour and once your crops are ready to be picked, you’ll have an abundance of low-calorie, nutritious fare to add into your family’s meals. That’s what we like to call a win-win!


Take a Healthy Cooking Class

Need some help with your healthy meal prep game? Chains like Sur La Table offer a variety of cooking classes that can help. On a budget? You can get some awesome cooking class deals on Groupon. The best part is—aside from the eating, of course—cooking actually burns about 100 calories per hour (far more than you’ll scorch ordering from Seamless), so honing your new skill can actually help you reach your happy weight is two different ways.


Plan Theme Menus

Trying to eat more low-cal foods like fruits and veggies can be a snooze—especially if you make the same few dishes over and over again. To keep your taste buds entertained, turn your meals into festive events, suggests Lori Zanini, registered dietitian and Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “For example, you could have an ‘Italian’ theme and incorporate a number of tomato dishes throughout the week.” Or throw a fiesta with fresh avocado recipes and set the table with colorful plates and utensils.


Cook For Your Friends

More often than not, you’re likely catching up with friends over plates of fatty, sodium-packed restaurant food that will derail your flat belly success. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that the average restaurant meal contains a whopping 1,205 calories—about half the recommended daily intake. Yikes! To take in fewer calories—without putting a kink in your social life—offer to have your friends over for a healthy dinner. This way you can control everything that winds up on your plate. If your friends offer to contribute put them on fruit salad or cuidite duty—it’s near impossible for either of those things to go awry.


Make it a Date

You know what’s hotter than seeing your honey dice up a tomato or saute some shrimp? Absolutely nothing. Pick a one of these slimming 20 Best-Ever Recipes for Zero Belly, light the candles, cue up Netflix and have a waistline-friendly night in with your sweetie. To burn even more calories, skip dessert and take things to the bedroom for a sexy workout.


Check Out New Healthy Restaurants

There’s a fast food boom happening—and for once, Eat This, Not That! is happy about it. Although burger joints and mall foods still reign supreme, a new breed of healthy, fast casual restaurants like Dig Inn and Sweetgreen are dominating the market. Next time you’re friends suggest meeting up for a bite, why not suggest checking out one of the new, healthy eateries in your area? Not only will your meal be kind to your waistline, checking out a new hot spot is far more fun than going to the pizza joint in your neighborhood—yet again.


Get a Massage

Strange but true: Women who are considered to be more accepting of their bodies are far more likely to stick to a healthy diet, say Ohio State University researchers. No, you don’t have to recite a body image mantra every day to boost your self-esteem, a relaxing massage can actually do the trick. Experts say that when women allow others to touch their body it can help them feel more at ease with where they’re bodies are at. So go ahead and indulge!


Snooze More

Snuggling under the covers and dozing off is more than just relaxing—it’s fun! And thankfully for all you sleepyheads out there snoozing more can help you eat healthier and lose weight. In fact, a recent study found that sub-par sleep could undermine weight loss by as much as 55 percent! The good news is just a few simple tweaks to your p.m. routine can mean serious weight loss success—like these 30 Things to Do 30 Minutes Before Bed to Lose Weight


Start a Social Diet Diary

Sick of your food journal? “From time to time my friends and I start a message strand where we have to share our daily food intake and our workouts,” says Shaun T, Insanity Trainer and host of “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”. “We have to be completely honest, too. If we eat it, we text it. You are far more likely to make smart food choices and get your workout in when you know that there is someone on the other side of that text message depending on you.” Not to mention, any way to make weight loss more social is bound to be fun, too!


Sweeten Up Your Morning

Pancake and waffle lovers, we’ve got some good news: According to a Tel Aviv University Medical Center researchers, dieters who eat a large breakfast that includes something sweet lost 37 more pounds in 8 months than study participants who consumed just as many calories but ate smaller, low-carb breakfasts. Not sure how to sweeten your morning? These 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes are all delicious picks.


Bored with your tried fitness routine? The workouts below will give you the same great results, and put a smile on your face at the same time!


Try Urban Rebounding

Want to add some bounce and fun to your fitness routine? Then urban rebounding may be for you! The low-impact cardiovascular workout uses a small trampoline to challenge your heart and your lower body in ways a treadmill or elliptical never could. Classes are offered at various gyms nationwide, so head to Google to find one near you.


Create A Buddy Bootcamp

Join forces with a few friends who enjoy high-intensity workouts and create your own outdoor weekly bootcamp club. Take turns coming up with the workout to ensure your sweat session stays fresh and fun. The best part? Your workout will be totally free and you get to spend time with your pals. You can all unwind and recover afterward with one of these 23 Best Protein Shake Recipes.


Try Doga

Doga, or “dog yoga” may sound a little eccentric, but it’s actually growing trend—and a great way to take your yoga routine to the next level. In doga classes, dogs are used as props, which makes moves like warrior one more of a calorie-burner. And since you have to hold your pooch above your head, you’ll build strength and burn more fat, too. For even more ways to tighten your bod, check out these 44 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat,


Join a Team

For people who played a lot of sports growing up, hitting up the gym can be a major drag. Sound like you? Join an adult rec league! Soccer, softball, field hockey, basketball, you name it, there’s a sporting league for it. If you missed the chance to sign up for the current season, offer to be an alternate. After the season gets underway, people are bound to miss games and need subs.


Sign Up For a Race

Looking for something that combines fitness with fun and adventure? Sign up for a themed race or obstacle course. Color run participants are showered with colored powder while Warrior Dash participants brave barbed wire fences and mud holes—talk about an exciting way to get your sweat on!


Reward Yourself Right

“Often times I see my patients reward a weight loss by indulging in foods they know aren’t the best for their goals. Instead, I suggest using things like manicures, SoulCycle classes and workout gear as a reward for all their hard work, says registered dietitian Leah Kaufman. If you know you have a prize waiting for your at the week if you hit your workout goal, you’re far more likely to stick to it! Plus, it’s fun to give yourself little presents.


Join Class Pass or Groupon

Online discounts sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and ClassPass offer great deals on fitness classes and can help keep your fitness routine fresh and interesting. You can get deals on anything from yoga and boot camp classes to sailing lessons and rock climbing gyms.


Try Pole Dancing

Unleash your inner wild child and work your upper body and flexibility at the same time. Pole dancing classes have been growing in popularity as of late and they’re rumored to be a ton of fun and make you feel really sexy. Hit up a local class with a few friends to burn some calories and share a few laughs.


Rev Up Your Workout Playlist

Sure, your time on the treadmill may seem like a great time to catch up on the news and your favorite sitcom, but doing so might make your cardio session less effective. (Cue the groans!) Research shows that people are more likely to stick to an exercise program if they listen to music while working out— especially fast-paced, motivational jams that include phrases like “push it,” “I believe,” and “work it.” How’s it work? One theory is that they help you move faster which subconsciously motivates you to keep at it which can help you lose 10 pounds—fast!


Sign Up For a Trapeze Class

If you love a good adrenaline rush—or have always just secretly loved the circus—a flying trapeze class may be for you. It’s a great upper body and core workout and something you definitely can’t do at your local Equinox.


Take a Hike

Round up some friends, head out to the country and get your hike on! Taking in the breathtaking views from the top of a mountain is far more satisfying and fun than spending your day in a gym. It also scorches major calories and works a ton of leg and back muscles you’ve probably forgotten all about.

Photo Credit: PhotoStock10 / .com, // imagelab // .com

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