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    His snacks: “Anything low-carb -- cheese, turkey, even cooked shrimp.”

    How he stayed on track: “An app called Run Tracker let me see my progress. My family motivated me, too. I wanted to be healthy for them.”

    His advice: “Start with a fitness goal that’s attainable; then increase your exercise week to week.”

    Jessica Partain, jewelry designer, Charlottesville, VA

    Lost 31 pounds

    How she lost it: Partain took a high-tech approach. She went to an exercise lab to check her resting metabolic rate and used an online calculator to estimate how many calories she burned daily.

    Then, she tracked the foods she ate in a journal, staying several hundred calories under that threshold every day.

    “I also did activities that didn’t feel like exercise, like salsa dancing and hiking, and added effort to daily activities, like walking to errands.”

    Snacks: “I ate smaller portions of calorie-dense foods, and made a fruit or veggie part of every treat, like apples and peanut butter or cucumber and hummus.”

    How she stayed on track: “Keeping a food log taught me about portions and made it easier to see how different proportions of carbs, protein, and fat made me feel.”

    Her advice: “Instead of following restrictive rules, I ate the way I plan to eat the rest of my life. There’s no perfect way to lose weight and no good or bad foods, only what works best for you.”

    Eli Sapharti, weight loss coach, Miami, FL

    Lost 110 pounds

    How he lost it: Walking 15 minutes each day and giving up sugary beverages. Then every 2 weeks, Sapharti added time and intensity to his walks.

    “I started jogging just 10 seconds, but eventually I was running 5Ks, then 10Ks, then half-marathons.”

    His snacks: “Rice cakes with sugar-free jelly, air popcorn, and grapes.”

    How he stayed on track: “I didn’t focus on the weight I had to lose or how long it would take me, but the difference I saw in my body and how I felt.”

    His advice: “Weight loss is about breaking down the seemingly impossible into small possibilities. Do something today to get a little healthier.”

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