Do you ever feel bombarded with diet and fitness advice? Me too!  There's a lot of clutter out there, and sometimes I just want to hear one person's story about what worked for them so I can copy it.  Here's what worked for me.

I've made a lot of diet changes in the past year, and it's been surprising to notice how great I feel without feeling deprived of anything.  I didn't really start out intending to lose weight, but a few pounds have fallen off and my belly is flatter than it's ever been.  So I'm jotting down some notes so I won't forget how it happened!  Maybe you can find some things in it that work for you too.

Weight, schmeight.  It's hard, isn't it girls?  I've struggled with weight most of my life, and maxed out at 190 in college. I've been thin for the past several years, but I'm finally at the point where I'm feeling super healthy, energetic, and on top of my game every day.  I think it's because of the diet changes.  I'm not eating less; just better.

All the headlines that say "Give Up Soda and Lose Belly Fat" are right on!  I never drank the sugary sodas, but I drank a lot of diet soda in the past and giving that up has flattened my tummy.  The experts say bubbles, the sugar, and even the artificial sweeteners can lead to belly bloat.  I totally agree.

I gave up gluten too, or at least try to limit it.  Gluten-free foods taste great, and I discovered that I can survive life without thick pizza crust and hamburger buns.  Gluten and carbs usually go together, and limiting both has worked for me.  Giving up gluten seemed to fix some other issues I was having too, like headaches.  I don't get them anymore.  A low sugar and low dairy approach works for me too.

I run a lot too.  Cardio, core-strengthening, and weights are a big part of my week, and the changes that are happening are not because of diet alone. But I think if I'd made the diet changes sooner I could have noticed at least subtle changes long before I actually did.

Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots and hummus, lean meats like turkey, chicken and salmon, nuts, almond butter, and avocados are always in the kitchen.  And lots of protein-packed yogurt and chia seed granola for breakfast.  Yum.

All the gyms and diet companies are in our faces right now with ads for the new year, so I thought I'd share my experience to see if it might help as you put your plan together.  No matter what your approach, find some space to fit in some chocolate!  A little bit of anything never hurts.

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