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100 pounds and counting

Women reveal their fat-blasting secrets

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There's no sugar coating the fact that we are an obese nation. 50 million Americans are overweight or obese, and those numbers are expected to dramatically increase in the next decade. 

Now, two women who are winning the war with their weight, are sharing the tricks they've used to shed nearly 100 pounds each.

At Darlene Wood's highest, the 55-year-old tipped the scale at 234 pounds.  That was two years ago.  Darlene has lost 92 pounds.

"All my life I've been a yo-yo dieter," says Darlene.  "My smaller clothes, I love it!"

Darlene says her first step was committment.

"You have to be mentally ready to do it," she explains.

She joined weight watchers and slowly the pounds started peeling off.  She went from a size 20 to a size eight. Her top tip?

"Write it before you bite it," says Darlene.

In fact, studies show dieters that write down everything they eat each day lose twice as much weight as those who don't. Websites like myfitnesspal.com and sparkpeople.com can help you track your meals and your workouts for free!

It's a trick Melissa O'Connell has learned.  Two years ago she weighed 246 pounds and was borderline diabetic.

"When I sat in chairs, I was overflowing," Melissa admits.

In six months Melissa lost 50 pounds and dropped her cholesterol from 207 to 169.  Since then, with diet and exercise, she's lost a total of 100 pounds and 77-and-a half inches. That's 10 sizes!

Melissa's trainer, Adriana Morales, concentrates on total body exercises you can do anywhere, like squats, lunges and pushups, instead of pure cardio.

"That's one of the mistakes a lot of people do, you know, they do a lot of cardio to lose weight, but they don't build the muscle. And if you don't build muscle, obviously you're not going to have a fast metabolism," she explains.

With the help of her trainer, Melissa has made big changes.

"I'm not on a diet. It's a lifestyle change," says Melissa.

Another website to help you lose weight, stickk.com.  This site allows the things you despise the most to motivate you.  You promise to stick to a weight loss plan, but if you don't, you have to donate money to your anti-charity.  

So let's say you are a firm Democrat.  Each time you miss your weekly workout goal or weight loss goal, a sum of money you set aside in advance, will automatically be given to the Republicans.   So not only are you losing your money, but you're giving it something you don't care for.

Additional Information:

With nearly 70 million overweight American women, losing weight has become an obsession in this country. Benefits of weight loss have been shown to increase happiness, improve health, and add years to one's life. Fitness guru Jillian Michaels offers up four of her top tips on changing your body, and they may be easier than you think!

  • Count Calories.  Jillian's number one mistake is not counting calories! Use whatever medium you're on most frequently. If it's the web, both caloriesperhour.com and weightwatchers.com are great resources. You can also use an iPhone app, or carry a pocket calorie counter with you.
  • Avoid Processed Foods At All Costs.  Processed foods are loaded with preservatives and chemicals. If it says high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated anything, artificial coloring or sweetener, stay away!
  • Do Five Intense 30-Minute Workouts Each Week:  Go walking with friends, plan a family outing, and if it requires you to get up a little earlier, do it.
  • Inspire Yourself:  Establish the why: Why do you want to change your life? What's inspiring and motivating you? A long life? To wear your skinny jeans to your 10-year high school reunion? (SOURCE: Redbook)
  • REDUCE THE RISKS: The more overweight a person is, the more likely they are to have increased health problems. Here are some common health issues linked to obesity:

    •  Heart disease and stroke
    •  High blood pressure
    •  Diabetes
    •  Gallbladder disease and gallstones
    •  Breathing problems