How Cooking Light staffers lost 128 pounds and got moving on the Social Diet through a 20-week experiment to show how social apps can power anyone’s healthy weight loss.
December 16, 2013
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Meet the Social Diet Team
After 20 weeks of step counting and calorie tracking, the Social Diet team learned how apps and group dynamics make weight loss possible while the food stays delicious. Read each of their tips on how they successfully took off the weight.
"Last April I resolved to lose 20 pounds. This was not news. I had made the same resolution hundreds of times, usually in the shower, contemplating my pudgy self, always a bit ashamed: Editor of healthy-eating magazine has a Body Mass Index number at the north end of overweight! This wasn't where I wanted to be on America's most notorious bell curve.
In May, something clicked. I vowed to lose 20 pounds over 20 weeks, and the pounds began to slip away. At week 18, I was down 21. This was news, though I am clearer on how I did it than what finally made me do it. It may have been weariness. It may have been professional embarrassment. It may have been age: At 53, your future is very much upon you." – Scott Mowbray, The Project Nerd
"I make weekly batches of whole grains, such as wheat berries and quinoa. They are a take-to-work Social Diet favorite, here with line-caught Alaskan tuna, tomatoes, and basil." –Scott Mowbray, The Project Nerd
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The Group Keeps you Moving
"My success so far is measured in miles run and steps taken. And in motivation. Recently I took a business trip to New York City. I walked more than 25 miles over three days; I saw parts of New York I hadn't seen before. For my 40th birthday, I walked 40,000 steps. My motivation was to share these events with the group—not to brag, though I was certainly proud. I wanted to move the group as a whole." –Sean Kelley, The Type 1 Diabetic
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For Me, It Started with Sleep
"Sleep is the most important part of my weight loss and post-baby sanity plan. The UP band (which measures sleep as well as activity) has been crucial to this. I wanted to drop the mother-as-martyr routine or—better yet—never adopt it, and I made my sleep a priority for my whole family. It's worked!" – Allison Fishman Task, The New-Twins Mom
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When in a Fast-Food Restaurant...
"I think having an hour blocked out for my lunch makes me subconsciously want to eat for that entire hour, so I try to eat slowly, or I walk around for 20 minutes before I order food. I have stopped looking at prices at these places since that would steer me toward the combo meals—and more calories. I order a small, sensible choice (like a kids' burrito)." –Patrick Pittman, The Fast Foodist
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Satisfying Snack Idea
"Sliced sweet tomatoes and feta on seven-grain bread with the best olive oil—a typical Social Diet snack this summer" – Scott Mowbray, The Project Nerd
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Plan Ahead to Avoid Backsliding
"I find myself falling back into old habits if I feel stressed out or I don't plan well. To deal with that, I try to write out a meal plan for the week, so I'll have a sketch of what I will be eating and can stick to my calories." –Erin Clinton, The Yo-Yo Dieter
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Why Numbers Help
"I love data. At first, I loved adding exercise just to see the numbers, but now I look forward to a quick run or bonus exercise for the physical benefit itself. The data got me hooked, though." –Michelle Lamison, The Maintainer
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Shop the Farmers' Market
"The farmers' market is the focus of my entire weekly eating plan. I'd always eaten a lot of vegetables and fruit, but the plant quotient has gone way up, and I love it." – Scott Mowbray, The Project Nerd
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Dieting Didn’t Separate Me from My Family
"Same food, just less for Mommy, so no huge changes for them. But my husband has joined in. He's working out more and filling the dinner plate less." – Allison Lowery, The Frazzled Exerciser