How I Maintained a 90-Pound Weight Loss

February 2, 2019

The old myth of calories in, calories out doesn’t hold up anymore, but many, many people don’t yet understand that. We’re here to unravel the complexity of weight loss, sharing the highs, lows and victories of a 90-pound weight loss journey (still going strong after eight years) along with the latest weight loss research to bring into your own life. 

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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I sure hope everyone listening is awake and alert this morning because I'm going to start right off with a statistic. I'm not sure how many of you realize this, but two out of three adults are overweight or obese, two out of three. So, it's no surprise that obesity is considered a major health risk today in America. Now, what I find just as sad is that most people, including a lot of medical professionals, still believe that if people just eat less and exercise more, they'll lose weight and keep it off. That old theory, or some might call it a myth of calories in equals calories out is sadly what many people still believe and still live by. All of you long time listeners know as well as I do that weight loss and weight maintenance is far more complex than counting calories, and if you haven't recognized my voice yet, I'm Cassie Weness. I'm a registered and licensed dietician and this morning my cohost and I are going to share just how complex the issue of weight loss is for many people and I believe there is no better way to help you understand the complexity of weight loss than to have my co host, Nell share her weight loss story. We've talked about Nell's journey a number of different times on Dishing Up Nutrition because fortunately for us she is willing to share the frustrations, the setbacks, and the victories that she's experienced on her long, hard road to finding the answer to help her lose 90 pounds. Not only has she lost 90 pounds, but she's maintained that 90 pound weight loss for the past eight years. So with that I'd like to introduce Nell again who lost 90 pounds eight years ago. She has maintained that 90 pound weight loss, which I believe is an amazing accomplishment. And all of us add Nutritional Weight & Wellness are so proud of what you've accomplished. And before I turn the mic over to you, I just want to set the stage here for today's show. We're going to do it in a little bit of a different format. I'm basically going to be interviewing Nell. I have a lot of questions here to ask and I know she has some great answers. Welcome to the show, Nell.

NELL: Thanks so much, Cassie. It's so good to be here again. What an introduction. It’s so great to hear on an early Saturday morning.

CASSIE: And it's so neat how you have become one of us, right? I mean, you started out as a client and now you have trained with us and teach.

NELL: And I help pass along the good information and we'll talk more about something we've done recently, the online program.

CASSIE: That information will be coming up. But I think let's start by just having you tell us your dieting history, like how old were you when all this began?

NELL: I always scratch my head and think, you know, where should I begin? Because it basically started in third grade, which was the first time I remember eating for comfort. So I had a cookie or something and it was the first time I remember to being called names for being chubby. It was third grade. And so while I wasn’t dieting necessarily, it was like weight was my thing, it started to be my thing in third grade.

CASSIE: You became very aware.

NELL: Very aware. So there's a couple of very telling signs that you could have a growing weight problem. And I'm an Army Brat, we moved from Germany. I moved a lot as a kid.

CASSIE:  I bet that's a piece of this puzzle. You were always trying to fit in and be new girl.

NELL: Exactly, exactly. When we moved from Germany to Minnesota, we moved to the suburbs. When we were in Germany, I just remember you were in the center of the barracks to play and you were very active. And then when we moved to the suburbs, there weren't sidewalks in my neighborhood, let alone other kids around. So I just remember being new and starting to use food, particularly rocky road ice cream to comfort myself. I'd come home from school, have a big, big thing of a rocky road ice cream and watch Little House on the Prairie. Then I do my homework. And so I say this story because it's starting to build those food habits and those food rituals that are so hard to break. Especially as an adult and you've had a number of these throughout the years. So then another ritual. I started to go to Weight Watchers when I was in eighth grade for the first time. Because I had gained so much weight and I didn't want to be that person. I just knew I wasn't that person. My mom took me. I begged her. It was the eighties and that was what you did and the advice we were given was very, very low fat, low calorie restriction. And I took it to an extreme being who I was and wanting to move things along and get it going. So I ended up kinda almost starving myself like dry tuna for lunch and nothing else at to the point where at the end of that summer I fainted in the Kmart parking lot.

                                But it's all to say that regardless of whether I was on a diet or off a diet, I had really entrenched food rituals that went with both. So then when I would go off my diet, then it was, hey, let's party and have pizza. But then when I’d go on a diet it would be super restrictive. So then that went on for about 25 years of going on and off and on and off, and then my pants would get tight so I'd go back on and all of that damage to my metabolism with the low fat eating, the back and forth, just the damage that was done from that contributed to me being almost 300 pounds by the time I was in my thirties. So I got up to 279. And it was probably even higher than that, but you always remember that top weight when you're like, I never thought I would get close enough to kiss 300. And so I remember that was 279 and it was time to do something, but I didn't know what. Everything I had done had contributed to me gaining 100 pounds. So hopeless.

CASSIE: I was going to say, where was your mind at that point? Like, you must just be so fearful of “I'm so close to 300 and I want to change, but I don't know what to do because everything that people have told me that I've tried I cannot maintain.”

NELL: And I remember actually telling myself that I don't think it's going to happen for me. I think I'm always going to be this way, but how do I at least not get diabetes? Because I was prediabetic at that point. I also remember the day I got 116 blood sugar or a glucose reading and I was terrified. I think that was the thing that drove me the most, was being terrified of getting diabetes because I know what a horrible disease it is. I saw my grandmother go through it. I was in my late thirties. So, I had a five year old and I just did not want to go down that path, so I thought maybe the weight will never go away, but maybe at least there's something I could do to get my blood sugar down. And then series of events happened. I was actually at the Y working out because I thought, what am I going to do? I just gotta do something. So I started working out really hard, that was doing nothing and that's when I heard Dar interviewing Gary Taubes. Never heard the radio show.           

I got in the car after having worked out and I always avoided that nutrition show on 107.1. I was a staunch 107.1 listener at that time, I always had it tuned on the radio, but I hated when Dar came on. She knows this because I would inevitably catch things that I didn't want to hear, like pasta maybe contributing to your weight gain. I don’t wanna give up my pasta, are you kidding me? But he got my attention by saying the diets that you have been on won't ever work. And I said, well, let me listen some more.

CASSIE: We’re going to come back to that when we come back from break.


NELL: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I lost 90 pounds and have kept it off for eight years. One thing I've learned over these several years is that I need ongoing support from my nutritionist. And I also need to stay in touch with my Nutritional Weight & Wellness family through taking classes, teaching classes, and in every way I need to be reminded of my journey and my commitment to my health every single day.

CASSIE: And Nell as you can tell is a talker and I am too. I don't know what's going to happen here now, but I was just going to say, to give your voice a break here, I'm going to butt in every once in awhile. I have a few statistics I looked up for the show today and I just have to share some of my thoughts too and give your voice a break. So here's my first thought. Now I sat there on the other side of commercial and listened to your story. I almost feel like once a person has lost weight, because you went back and forth. Once a person has lost weight, it feels like his or her body fights like crazy to regain that weight though. As registered Dietitians at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we help our clients figure out how to outsmart their biochemistry and of course we talk about changing behaviors because boy, that's tough too. But we really work on people's individual biochemistry and then changing behaviors to help our clients move forward and not slide backwards in the weight loss efforts.

NELL: Yeah, that's so true. And the question I always ask myself, is it biochemistry or is it returning bad habits? And depending on the day, it could be either of those. And they kind of contribute to each other. So, if I've kind of gone off track and I have been eating more carbohydrates or things that I know aren't going to support my weight loss or weight maintenance at this point, does that then trigger a biochemical reaction that causes cravings? So for example, breaking a habit and that food ritual around Friday night pizza night. And I remember the crust, the way it tasted, how sweet it was, the greasiness. And it became such a food ritual. But I know making a commitment to my health, I needed to change that to something else. And that doesn't mean that once I started to lose the weight, I knew I needed to break that habit to make progress because what would happen is I'd make progress all week and have that food ritual and all my progress would go away wide. It doesn't take much. And so I had to say goodbye to that Friday night pizza, but replace it with something just as fun and equally delicious. So, maybe we do steak or sometimes you can do those substitute recipes where you're having a healthier option that's more about the protein and the vegetables and having a nice salad with that. Stir fry is one of my favorites. And recently I worked with my nutritionist, you talked about nutritionists and how important that person is to my life even now. So I didn't just say one and done that first consultation I had with Kara 10 years ago or whatever it was. You can’t just say, “Okay, got it. See you later!” It’s ongoing to now where I went through a remodel this fall and kind of fell off the wagon, holidays. And biochemically I know I have to get myself back on track, but also a few old habits came back. And so I worked with my nutritionist, Britni, to come up with during the remodel, we started to have curry every Friday night. And I noticed the curry itself had good fat, it was fine. But slowly over time I started adding more and more rice, which is white rice and pounds started to creep back on very slowly. I said, “What's changed?!” So she said, well the curry sounds fine, but maybe swap that rice out with cauliflower rice. And I did that. I didn't even notice a difference and now I'm getting back on track and losing some of that remodel weight. But they help you think through new challenges and be a detective and help you tell truth to yourself about what is it that you're actually doing? Because to me it was like I'm just having curry here. And then she asked about the rice. What's different here? And they help you become mindful of where some of those bad habits have slipped in.

CASSIE: We all need that support person. Those outside eyes.

NELL: And so, anyone who has barriers to doing that, I always say I prioritize that over pretty much anything. Being able to go have those appointments with that nutritionist, either if it's a matter of time or money, I always prioritize that.

CASSIE: And it is about getting your priorities straight and your story is interesting. Like your remodel, for example, of your house kind of got you off track and like you said, it doesn't take much because when you maybe start creeping up on the carb intake, that biochemistry gets a bit off kilter for those of us especially and I'm one of those people that has the sensitive blood sugars and we just get more and more out of balance and further away from your normal. But little by little enough so that you're maybe not really even noticing it. But it really has a lot to do with your own unique biochemistry and with your brain chemistry. And believe me at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, Britni and all of the registered dietitians at NWW realize that food habits are hard to change. We realize that everybody has their own personal biochemistry. So, I love that you stress that that has to be a priority for you to meet regularly with your nutritionist or your dietitian because we help keep you on the narrow path, on track.

NELL:  And food habits are difficult to change and I couldn't have done it without the help of a cast of nutritionists throughout the years, starting with Kara way back when. And they helped me to find that perfect solution. Because Friday nights are tough. You think, oh, I'm going to let loose a little bit. I’ve worked hard all week. And that developing of that new habit that supports my metabolism and my health. So instead of, those pizza nights, transform them into something healthier that will support my weight loss.

CASSIE: And that you will still enjoy because we certainly want you to enjoy food. I have some research here to share. Research shows that 90 percent of people who lose weight regain the weight lost and usually gain back even more weight than they had last. So basically they end up heavier. See, you're the norm. Normal. So again, the process of losing and maintaining weight is complex and it's so complex at the national institutes of Health has recently funded a $931,000,000 study looking at obesity. Trying to figure it out, trying to back us up because we just continue to rise in terms of our rates of obesity. And one thing their research is showing us is what we've been talking about here is that losing weight and keeping it off is harder than most health professionals ever thought. And the researchers in this study are agreeing, finally, that while exercise is good for our overall health, it's not a reliable way to keep off body fat. Don't get me wrong. All of us, I Nutritional Weight & Wellness have some type of exercise routine. Some of us do it to distress, some of us do it for heart health or to help with blood sugar control, but we don't really do it to keep our waistline trim and fit. And that's what the researchers have found in this study. They state that the theory of calories in equals calories out, needs to be put to rest, so basically we now know that instead of the focus being on how many calories or how much fat a person burns while working out, it's really more about the quality, the composition, and the combination of the foods in a person's diet that keeps the weight off. And I think we better take another commercial break already. This goes fast. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before we break, I just want to let all of you know that if you want to hear more about Nell's weight loss success story, you can take the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss online video series that Nell taught. If you sign up for this series, you'll get more of Nell's insights and how she has really shaped her lifestyle to continue to be successful. And more great news. We currently have an early bird special that we're running, so if you sign up now through February 18th, you'll get $50 off the price of this series. If you want to read more about our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series or if you want to sign up, you can do that online too, and I'll tell you when Nell teaches this weight loss series, it is truly inspiring. We’ll be right back.


NELL: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. This past year we updated our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program and we recorded the series to make it more personal. I was honored to share the teaching stage with Melanie Beasley, a registered Dietitian who is an excellent communicator. We're really proud of this series and believe it will help you make the changes that you need to live a healthier life. That was really fun to teach with Melanie and really hope you check it out.

CASSIE: Melanie's one of our newer registered dietitians and so I haven't met her yet, but I was on a conference call that she was on and I forget what health issue she was addressing or talking to us about, but I just felt like she was so calming, it made me just want to go sit with her for awhile.

NELL: I know. She has this very interesting story. She was in the navy. And she's lovely. And we never actually saw each other when we were filming, but I always see her picture when I go to Lakeville to see my nutritionist.

CASSIE:  We have some great teachers and some great dietitians on staff. So we were talking about, well I guess I was just saying how everybody has their unique biochemistry. We know they have food habits that are established. And then I also mentioned if you're gonna indulge and then think you're going to go run it off of that for most people that doesn't work in the long run.

NELL: Right, exactly. And I do work out. I've shifted my thinking though about, about working out more as building lean muscle mass, helping me feel like a healthy person. There's a lot of mind stuff that goes on when you're kind of recovering from obesity and it's always seeing yourself as the fat person who can't do anything. And so working out really helps you change that where you think I am the person who can flip a big tire and I do have the strength to run four miles, for example. I find that exercise, especially in a group for me is very motivating, especially on these super, super cold nights and mornings helps me reduce stress. But I did get caught up, like I said, I was at the Y trying to work off, a size 22 pant size when I first heard Dishing Up Nutrition. And I would think that, oh, those glasses of wine that I'm having or that pizza that I'm having, I'll be able to work that off on Monday when I go back to the gym. But what I figured out was that drinking that wine, eating that pizza just put on unwanted body weight. So giving up wine was something that I needed to do, too. It was again, I felt like I made all this progress and then the weekend would come and then I’d have two or three glasses of wine and then it would kick off cravings and it would be back to kind of back to square one. And so I decided while I'm losing weight, I'm going to give up wine. To this day drinking is one of those things that I've just had to kind of make my peace with and say goodbye to.

CASSIE: And it's worth it. Don't you get to that place where you're like, okay, two, three glasses of wine, maybe feel a little buzz and be kind of happy. But my sleep’s gonna suffer which then affects your metabolism and it's just so short lived. And then you feel like crap the whole week because you just messed up your effort. Well, here's some more research. This comes from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. They found that, not surprising but still, we'll share the research. They found that the key to weight loss and maintenance needs to be a personalized approach, which is what we have been doing that Nutritional Weight & Wellness for decades. So basically what they're saying here with this research out of Harvard is that the latest and greatest fad isn't going to work for everybody. The latest diet book isn't going to work for the masses. We all have our own unique biochemistry and thus we need to figure that out and approach it as needed. So we all have our own personal plan that will lead to success. And I realize that dieting has been a preoccupation for a lot of people, especially for women long before this obesity epidemic that started in the eighties. And I'm sure a lot of listeners can remember when weight loss diets became very commercialized many decades ago, but when you start analyzing those diets and those diet books, most all of have terrible success rates. There’s that 90 percent of people getting their weight back and then some, but also at the core, many of them are really based on calories in equals calories out, that theory of eat as few calories as possible and exercise as much as possible and for one it doesn't work for two what a miserable existence.

NELL: Exactly. And do you remember the, it was a very popular TV program, it still may even beyond called The Biggest Loser.

CASSIE: Yes, it did not like that show. I felt so horrible for them.

NELL: The show was all about restrictive low calorie, starvation diets and abusive workouts to be honest. Most of the contestants, they'd lose over 100 pounds in a short period of time, but sadly most of them would gain it all back in a very short period of time. So of course the TV producers wanted to keep that hush hush. The contestants were quickly regaining their weight, obviously. As a viewer who understood the frustrations of what those contestants were going through and the back and forth, and probably the long lasting damage they were doing to their bodies. The metabolism damage. I thought to myself, “Why even try?” It was so defeating to see that as the model of weight loss in this country.

CASSIE: Well, I can only imagine because I thought the whole premise of that show was awful, but then you having been through so much of that, it must have just kind of enraged you.

NELL: Yeah. I never really watched. I mean I watched a few episodes, but it was hard to watch because it is, it's like the last, the last thing people feel comfortable discriminating against is overweight people. There's a lot of pain associated with being obese. And so yeah, it was, it's a disturbing premise. And it’s not gonna work for them!

CASSIE: Right. Here's another noteworthy study. Looking at this study here in front of me. You had mentioned early on in the show that a motivating factor for you way back when, was that you didn't want to get diabetes. Well, this 2017 research study, not surprisingly, has found that obesity is linked to more diseases than smoking. So if you're walking around obese and it does not take much to be classified as obese. You're doing more harm to your body then walking around smoking cigarettes. So this study says the excess body fat increases the risk for type two diabetes for heart disease, also increases the risk of cancer, depression, and even fertility problems. We can look at, and some of the listeners know this, but when you look at how our fat intake started to greatly decline in the eighties, because we all went low fat, there is that opposite uptake of the obesity rates. So there certainly seems to be a link and in fact the obesity rate went up from 15 percent of the population being obese to about 40 percent of the population being obese since that low fat craze started in the eighties. That's a 25 percent increase. I mean obviously these low fat don't work. And you know this from personal experience. What, when did the light bulb come on and what combination of foods works for you?

NELL: Yeah, so the biggest thing I will say is adding fat back into my diet, which is a scary thing for people, right? When you say you can have avocado and not only will avocado and coconut oil and butter help you lose weight, which is mind bending, right? For somebody who's been told to eat low fat their whole life decades. It will help with those undeniable cravings. I had some bad habits. Like food is everywhere. You go to the bookstore, you go to the hardware store and I always tell this story of going in to buy home improvement supplies like nails at the hardware store. Seems innocent enough, but then you're bombarded with the chocolate covered peanuts and it's always that bad waxy chocolate. It’s not even good chocolate.

CASSIE: Full of the cotton seed oil that will give you heart disease.

NELL: Exactly horrible.

CASSIE: Like you said to me earlier when we were in the break room, why did they even have food there? Why do they have a hardware store?

NELL: Why do they have the food everywhere, but yeah, I'd grab some of those and then essentially closet eat them in my car and then it would kick off all of these cravings. So you have to get honest about what you're actually doing. But the cravings can drive you to do stuff like that, like getting the waxy chocolate covered peanuts at the hardware store. So addressing, having, just understanding, that fat is going to help quiet those cravings was such a light bulb moment for me.

CASSIE: Huge. Because I bet before then you thought, oh no, no, no, no, these cravings are just a part of my personality and this is me and I'm broken.

NELL: Exactly, exactly. I'm just obsessed and I'm addicted to food. I would say, and it's like, no, no, no, no, no, no.

CASSIE: You just have to learn to control blood sugar.

NELL: Exactly. And it helps you to have that take it or leave it attitude towards food, so when you see the pan of brownies out, because they're always going to be a pan of brownies or something out for you to grab, you can ignore it. Which is so liberating.

CASSIE: Which is so freeing. All right. Well, we are going to take our final commercial break of this morning's Dishing Up Nutrition program, but before we break, I want to say if today's show has helped you understand your own struggles with weight loss, and if we've provided some new thoughts or new solutions, email us at And let us know your thoughts. We'd like to know how we're doing. Next week we have another great show planned for you. Tune into here registered dieticians, Joanne and Carolyn. Discuss what your cholesterol numbers mean and one final reminders. Saturday, February 16th, Joanne, Chris, and the owner of Nutritional Weight & Wellness, Darlene Kvist will present some really great information about women's health at our Menopause Survival Seminar. This seminar is going to be held at our St Paul Office. You can sign up or learn more by going online to or if you'd rather talk to someone in person, you can ask them questions about this seminar or sign up over the phone by calling the office at 651-699-3438. Stay with us, we’ll be right back.

NELL: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. This may be a new thought for some of you, but I focus on maintaining my weight loss very much like those who are chemical dependent must focus on sobriety or people with a chronic illness focus on managing their disease. I make a commitment daily and sometimes even hourly, depending on the day.

CASSIE: I love it, but really, you told me that before now and I thought, oh my gosh, if everybody could wrap their head around this concept because like with diabetes for example, if you got diagnosed with diabetes you wouldn't say, okay, I'm going to eat really well for two month and then I'll be good and then I'll just go back to my old habits. But people do that all the time when they're overweight. It doesn’t work.

NELL: All the time, depending on what's coming in front of their faces. So I'm always learning more about the disease of obesity and I do get support. The Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series offers you the education, the nutrition educators, which I happen to be one of. Nutritionists and dietitians, they offer you support and the class members help to keep you going. So come along and join us for our next series. That starts the week of February 25th at all seven of our locations. We have an early bird, $50 discount on the in-person Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program that begins on the 25th and that discount lasts through February 18th. If you live outside the Minneapolis St Paul area, we invite you to take this life changing series online at

CASSIE: And the research shows, I don't have it in front of me here, but I know I've read it multiple times. The research shows that people are much more likely to stick with a change in their habits if they're in a group and that group is all moving towards the same goal. So I just thought of that, that wow, this is a great idea to sign up for the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program where you have that group support.

NELL: Absolutely.

CASSIE: Another thing I was thinking about as we were on break is how many times over the years I've heard people say, whether it's a girlfriend or whether it's a client, people say things like, “Oh, I'm just basically not going to eat for the next few weeks so I can fit into my new swimming suit and look good.” Or I've had the client in my office say, “Well, I was thinking I would probably just eat lettuce or some type of light salad for the next few weeks so I can get into my new mother of the bride dress.”

I get that thinking, I guess in a way, but I bet these people, if they did drop weight, they gained it back. It just doesn't work, and we talked about that, right? Research has found that 90 percent of people who lose weight gain it back. Now we don't repeat that statistic to you to be depressing or discouraging. Nell and I are sharing that statistic and then at the same time letting you know that's because those people are doing it wrong.

NELL: Exactly.

CASSIE: They're starving themselves or they're eating low fat, so yeah, it all comes back on and when you look at the research, when you do go on a low calorie or a very low-fat diet, the research shows, and this makes sense, it slows down your resting metabolism, but not only that, the research is indicating that for a lot of people, once they go back to a regular calorie intake, that metabolism continues to stay slowed down. You wreck your metabolism, so yeah, low calorie, low-fat does not work, but let's switch gears a little bit and talk about the 10 percent of dieters in these research studies that are able to lose the weight and keep it off.

I think the question here that needs answering is why can some people lose the weight and then maintain that weight loss?

NELL: It's a good question and it's, why do some people lose weight and keep it off? I have some ideas and actually the research supports these ideas. First of all, I am highly motivated. That doesn't mean that I am running around thinking, “I'm motivated. I'm motivated.” Every single day I get down, I get, I have my challenges, but what motivates me is an I have a little bit of a mantra that I say to myself when I feel myself kind of slipping off the off the track of managing my chronic disease of obesity is “I don't want to go back there.” I don't want to go back to small airline seats. I can fit comfortably into an airline seat now. I have this image of the small elevators in England that based on my weight at that time, I could be the only one in the elevator.

CASSIE: You had to so say to your husband, “You wait here honey, I have to ride this alone.”

NELL: And he's like, how did you even know that? I said, because when you are obese you learn to look at things like the weight capacity on chairs, on things because you don't want to be humiliated and have it break, right? Uh, so there's that. There's, there's being around for my son and seeing all the stages of his life and it's also about going into, I'm at midlife, going into old age, healthy, vibrant and happy and being able to hike and do all the things that I'm able to do rather than aging so poorly the way so many people around us are aging, right?

So that keeps me very highly motivated.

CASSIE: I love that mantra. I don't want to go bad. When you’re looking at a bottle of wine and the pan of brownies. I don't want to go back there. And I know for me when cravings, I mean I do so well eating balanced protein, carb and fat every three hours because I don't like how I feel when my blood sugar goes low. But let's face it, life happens and sometimes that blood sugar goes low. If I can be mindful enough to make myself grab a protein first, it can usually take the edge off and I can be more rational than instead of diving in the cookies or the brownies or the chips that I love. I think everybody should have a personal mantra that gets them back on track. So we talked about being motivated.

We talked about having a mantra. Something that multiple research studies have reported is that people who eat breakfast every day are more successful at keeping their weight off.

NELL: Yeah. I eat breakfast every single day. That's one of the things I do as well.

CASSIE: I mean a pretty delicious and painless way to help lose weight and help keep it off. Another shared behavior that the research points towards when we look at those people who are successful at keeping their weight off, is that most of these people give up being night owls and there are many reasons behind this. That's a whole other show, but people who routinely stay up late tend to weigh more than morning people. Yes when I was in clinical practice, I would always be telling clients you need to practice going to bed at a set time and then strive for at least eight hours most nights of the week. You're going to have less hunger, you're going to have less cravings and you're going to have better blood sugar control.

NELL: Whenever I reflect upon my personal success, I still have that fear in the back of my mind. What if it stops working? So to keep that fear at bay, I have established a set of requirements within my personal recovery program. Uh, again, I feel like I’m managing the chronic disease of obesity. I have these that really helped me to stay on track. Number one, I follow a balanced real food eating plan. Bottom line. I eat for most health, not for weight loss. Number two, I respect food. All food. I respect food that supports my body and my brain. And I also respect foods that I know will cause harm. So I'm known how to figure out, rice, maybe not so good. Cauliflower rice, much better.

CASSIE: Exactly, with the help of the nutritionist.

NELL: Exactly. Number three, I am accountable to myself, my nutritionist and my family and number four, I take and I teach Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program because I still have behaviors that I need to understand and I need to challenge myself to release them up to the heavens to really, really manage them. So some examples, I don't go back to that Friday night food habit of pizza and pop.

CASSIE: But you could very easily if you weren’t teaching Nutrition 4 Weight Loss and if you weren't staying accountable to your nutritionist. It’s so easy to fall back.

NELL: It’s so easy to fall back. So I need to follow my plan and I need my nutritionist because I know I have sensitive blood sugar.

CASSIE: Yes, yes. Most of us that struggle with food cravings certainly fight those blood sugars. So eating balanced is key.

NELL: Really key.

CASSIE: As we wrap up, another great episode of Dishing Up Nutrition I just want to remind our listeners that our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. Yes, it's a simple message, but it's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and thank you so much for sharing your story Nell. It’s been great.

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