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What Can We Learn From Today Show Nutritionist Joy Bauer's Weight-Loss Superstars?

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Nutritionist Joy Bauer recently invited three of her all-time weight-loss superstars onto The Today Show to celebrate the release of her new book, The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan and Inspiration. I happen to be featured in the book -- along with many other successful dieters who have appeared on The Today Show as part of the Joy Fit Club, which includes "real life" people who have each lost over 100 pounds or more (all without fads, gimmicks or surgery).

Along with motivational and inspirational stories from many Joy Fit Club members, this new book also features recipes from the successful dieters featured in the book, as well as recipes, tips and menu plans from Ms. Bauer, herself. (And no, this is not a paid endorsement -- none of us Joy Fit Club members who participated in the book received any compensation and instead contributed our stories a in hopes of inspiring others who may be facing the battle of the bulge.)

Although each of us featured in the book embarked on our own individual journeys to lose the weight and keep it off, there are a few common threads that each of us share. We all had issues with our weight, we all dieted, we all embraced exercise programs and each of us also tackled our lifestyles by making significant changes in the way we live our lives on a daily basis.

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Ms. Bauer, who has been a longtime champion of successful dieters, points out that dieting and losing weight is 50 percent attitude. And thus, she suggests a couple essential (and common) steps for anyone who wants to win at the losing game:

1) Find A Meaningful Reason To Lose The Weight
Ms. Bauer points out that this usually entails an "A-ha!" moment. She notes that most of her Joy Fit Club members had a health scare or wanted to be around for kids or grandkids -- or they just finally wanted to feel more comfortable in their own skin. But whatever the reason, there was a reason. So it's a matter with getting in touch with what might motivate you, individually.

2) Set Up A Tracking System
"There's nothing more encouraging that watching a downward trend," reports Ms. Bauer. She suggests setting up a computer spreadsheet or graphing your own chart on paper in order to chart your pounds-lost progress. She also advocates the use of a flexible tape measure to record the inches lost -- along with keeping a record of your food, as you're more likely to be accountable for what you eat when documenting everything on paper.

3) Make Short-Term Goals and Forgive Slip-Ups
Ms. Bauer reminds everyone she counsels that no one gains weight from a few slices of pizza or one single meal of pasta or a similarly rich food. She notes that it's important to prevent a temporary setback from turning into an all-out binge. Instead, Ms. Bauer suggests shaking off the eating slip-up and immediately getting back on track, noting that when people forgive themselves for these kinds of slip-ups, they're not only going to finally lose their excess weight, they're going to keep it off.

While recently appearing on The Today Show to help promote Ms. Bauer's new book, all three of us featured "weight-loss superstars" shared our own ideas for successfully losing weight and keeping it off.

Rosie Coates (who lost 107 pounds) confessed that she'd tried to diet for 18 years before she finally "got" it and lost the weight. She encourages any dieter who has tried and failed to try again. The next time just might be the time.

Jamie Francisco (who lost 105 pounds) was asked about keeping the weight off and noted that it was more difficult than actively losing the weight in the first place. Ms. Francisco said that she lost the weight by gradually removing different foods and ramping up the exercise.

As for myself (who has lost 275 pounds), I shared that you can't lose sight of keeping off the weight and that it's something you must think about every day. I also noted that the minute you embrace the work involved, it starts to work for you. There's nothing wrong with being committed. No, you can't let your guard down, but the end results are worth it.

What are your "common thread tips" that you've achieved success with? I'd love for you to share them in comments below. Or even share some of the challenges you're facing that might be keeping you from achieving your weight-loss goals. After all, we're all in this together. And I know for a fact that there's a "weight-loss superstar" waiting to be discovered in you.

For more by Gregg McBride, click here.

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