Joanna Gaines of ‘Fixer Upper’ Is on Her Own! Here’s a Sneak Peek

Tears were shed earlier this week over the Season 4 finale of “Fixer Upper”—how will we survive without our regular fix of Chip and Joanna Gaines? Well, it turns out we may not have to go into full-on home decor withdrawal, and here’s why: Joanna has her own spinoff, “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design.” God bless America!

While there’s no word yet on when this new show will air or how often, HGTV was kind enough to run the half-hour pilot episode this week to lift our spirits and give us hope in the wake of our “Fixer Upper” doldrums . This spinoff has Joanna front and center, but fear not: Chip butts in for comic relief with stunts like obsessing over bubble wrap and getting jealous when Joanna works with a design assistant (interloper alert!).

All couple drama aside, though, the show’s main M.O. is to look back at highlights in previous episodes of “Fixer Upper,” with some new insider perspective. In other words, rather than flashing before-and-after pics along with a few clips of Jo poring over blueprints and Chip hammering nails, “Behind the Design” answers the questions that many viewers are curious to know: How on Earth did they really pull that together? 

In this pilot, the fixer-upper in question is the house featured in the Season 4 finale: a crumbling 100-year-old shack that must miraculously morph into a dream home for the actual producer of “Fixer Upper”: Michael and Jessie Matsumoto and their two kids. The pressure was off the charts on this one.

And now we have Joanna, bless her heart, to take us deep behind the scenes to see how she pulled it off.

Here are some of the ways she works her magic.

Secret No. 1: Combine both partners’ styles

“The first thing I do when I work with new clients is ask, ‘If you were to describe your personal style in one word, what would it be?’” Joanna explains. To this question the Matsumotos energetically respond simultaneously:

Michael: “Industrial!”

Jessie: “Farmhouse!”

Joanna hardly bats an eyelash at the challenge of what she calls “marrying the two styles.” To do this, she gets black iron open shelving (industrial) to mount on the shiplap-covered walls (farmhouse). She also visits a bearded craftsman she called “Pops” to create a pipe and Edison bulb light fixture (industrial) to go over the dining table in the paneled, tin-ceilinged porch (farmhouse).

Secret No. 2: Books aren’t just books; they’re design elements, too

How does Joanna make bookshelves look so great? The more naive among us might imagine her sifting through a pile of the homeowners’ books and selecting the ones that will look best. But no, she has hundreds of her own books, stored in clear plastic totes and sorted by color. In this instance, her industrial design aesthetic calls for more black books than she has on hand, so she sends someone out to find more. Waco yard sales must absolutely love Chip and Joanna.

Secret No. 3: Don’t forget small design touches for the tots

Chip and Joanna do so many amazing things, there just isn’t time in an hour of “Fixer Upper” to feature them all. That’s where “Behind the Design” steps in—by revealing some of the smaller features we would have otherwise missed.

In this episode, they reveal how they’ve built a secret, pint-size door in the wall that separates the boy’s room closet from the girl’s room closet. The Matsumotos’ 2- and 3-year-olds can’t get enough of toddling back and forth through the door that’s just their size. How cute is that?

Secret No. 4: Don’t decorate all the rooms at once

Most of the homes Chip and Joanna renovate have a lot more rooms than meet the eye: We see only the main rooms they’ve worked on, but what about all those extra bedrooms? It turns out they do remodel everything; they just don’t go all out with staging each one. Which makes sense: If they did, they’d never sleep!

Joanna shows how the extra bedroom in the home is indeed finished and sparkling new—it’s filled with her junk, all the extra accessories and furniture she had delivered to the house but didn’t use.

“I always like to bring too much so I’ll have what I need,” she says.

Secret No. 5: Salvage everything. Really.

Although the shack looks hopeless in its original condition, Joanna proves that anything can be repurposed. Case in point: They strip this shack down to the studs, then use the weathered wood from the exterior on the new master bedroom ceiling. Then, they use the boards from the ceiling to create shiplap on the walls.

They even turn a rusty tin roof into a cool porch ceiling. Nothing goes to waste, and it’s a good lesson for us all.

All these fascinating behind-the-scenes tips leave us perched on the edge of our antique love seats in anticipation of when “Behind the Design” will officially start airing. Rest assured that once it does, we’ll be there, watching and learning.



Waarom prins William geen trouwring draagt

De Britse prins William draagt geen trouwring. Neen, er zit geen haar in de boter tussen hem en zijn vrouw Kate Middleton. Hij laat het sieraad louter achterwege omdat hij er niet van houdt en om een oude traditie te respecteren.

Het is je misschien nog niet opgevallen, maar de Britse prins draagt al jaren geen trouwring. Niet echt een nieuw feit dus, maar eerder deze week ging het weetje wel viraal, bijna zes jaar na zijn huwelijk in 2011. In 2012 legde een bediende van het paleis al uit waarom er geen bling rond zijn vinger zit . “Hij heeft het niet voor juwelen. Hij heeft er nooit gedragen. Het heeft allemaal te maken met persoonlijke voorkeuren”, klonk het toen.

Veel mannelijke leden van de Britse koninklijke familie en heren uit de upper class dragen trouwens geen trouwring om aristocratische redenen. Ze vinden het een te moderne gewoonte en houden liever vast aan tradities. Als ze al een juweel dragen, kiezen ze dan nog eerder voor een zegelring. Voor de Britse prins William is het dus geen van beiden. Ook prins Philip, de man van koningin Elizabeth II, draagt er geen. Volgens de BBC heeft prins Charles er wel een in zijn collectie. En wat betreft de dames van de Britse koninklijke familie: zij pronken er wel degelijk mee. Kate Middleton beschikt over een gouden exemplaar.

Herzogin Kate unter Beschuss! Deshalb wird sie als Mutter kritisiert

Kate Middleton wusste, worauf sie sich einlässt, als sie Prinz William das Ja-Wort gegeben hat. Durch die Hochzeit wurde sie zu Herzogin Kate und spätestens seit diesem Tag dürfte Privatsphäre für die 35-Jährige ein Fremdwort sein. Nicht nur das Interesse der Medien an ihrer Person selbst ist groß, sondern auch ihre Kinder, Prinz George und Prinzessin Charlotte, stehen seit ihrer Geburt im Rampenlicht.

Herzogin Kate wird als Mutter kritisiert

Kein Wunder, dass also auch über die Fähigkeiten von Kate Middleton als Mutter immer wieder spekuliert wird. Schenkt man dem neuesten royalen Tratsch Glauben, so ist Herzogin Kate mit der Erziehung ihrer Kinder überfordert. Dieses Gerücht verdanken wir der britischen Marathonläuferin Paula Radcliffe, die gegenüber der “Daily Mail” Details aus einem Gespräch mit Herzogin Kate preisgegeben hat. Demnach würden Prinz George und Prinzessin Charlotte schon jetzt kleine Konkurrenzkämpfe ausfechten.

Ist Kate Middleton mit der Erziehung von Prinz George und Prinzessin Charlotte überfordert?

Oh, welch Überraschung! Geschwister, die miteinander konkurrieren? Das hat die Welt wirklich noch nicht gesehen. Da hat Kate Middleton als Mutter aber wirklich versagt. “Celeb Dirty Laundry” schließt daraus sogar (Achtung!), dass Herzogin Kate mit der Erziehung ihrer Kinder heillos überfordert sei. Indiz dafür sei wohl auch, dass man Prinz George und Prinzessin Charlotte so selten in der Öffentlichkeit sieht.

Doch wenn wir mal ehrlich sind, dann tun Prinz William und Herzogin Kate mit Sicherheit einfach alles dafür, dass ihre Kinder eine weitestgehend normale Kindheit haben. Im Rampenlicht werden Prinz George und Prinzessin Charlotte als blaublütige Royals noch früh genug stehen.

6 Secrets for Eating Healthy at the Movies From Top Nutritionists

Last time we checked, the local cinema didn’t have a magicalhealthy smoothie spout next to the soda machine, or a nozzle to crank out coconut oil and chia-infused goodness over our air-popped organic popcorn. With so many awesome books being turned into movies this year, you’ll want to catch at least one afternoon matinee. But rather than settle for sugar-laden candy bars or uber-buttery popcorn that causes just-gimme-one-more-handful syndrome, use these six strategies from top nutritionists to eat healthy while you sit back, relax and enjoy Ryan Gosling’s handsome physique. Erm, we mean the movie.

1. Have a plan before you head to the theater. Think through what you’ll buy or bring before you get there and inevitably want all the things. Staying hydrated helps combat mindless eating, so pack a water bottle to fill up and plan other meals around the movie. “Remind yourself of your health and fitness goals and what the ‘movie food’ is actually made of (not real food!). Having dinner beforehand or planning a dinner for after is another good way to stay away from mindless eating,” advises says Lisa Hayim, New York City-based registered dietitian and founder of The WellNecessities.

2. Get a hot pretzel at the concession stand. They might not be as cutely presented and fluffy as the ones at your local artisanal bakery, but they’re a good bet at the movies. “If you haven’t had a meal before the movie, a pretzel can be the perfect snack,” says Lisa. “Pretzels aren’t saturated in fat and sugar, like the rest of the foods behind the counter, and it’s a fun treat to have on a night out. Knock a bit of that extra salt off and you’re golden.” Just be sure to skip the added cheese, which is typically loaded with sodium and fat.

3. Not feeling the pretzels? Go with this option. “Though the concession stand is super tricky to navigate, you can always order water, unsweetened tea and popcorn without butter if you have no other options,” shares Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. We’re also waiting for the day when concession stands offer more than status quo slim pickings.

4. Shhhh! Bring your own snacks. If you’re willing to throw a few healthy snacks in your purse, your options really open up. “Bring an energy bar, bottled water, pack of pistachios, a cheese stick or seaweed snacks,” offers Mitzi Dulan, RD, author ofThe Pinterest Diet: How to Pin Your Way Thin and team nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals. More BYO snack ideas from Lisa: pretzels, homemade trail mix and chopped-up fresh veggies. “This way you can graze and kind of check out mentally, without feeling like you’re missing all the movie fun,” Lisa adds. Frozen grapes, apple slices, whole grain cereals and PB&J sandwiches on whole grain bread are some of Julieanna’s fave movie snacks.

5. Or bring some DIY popcorn. “Try popping oil-free salt-free popcorn at home (microwavable versions are perfect) and sprinkle with nutritional yeast, flavored vinegars and/or seasonings, such as chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano and salt-free shakes,” suggests Julieanna. “You can make sweetened popcorn by drizzling maple syrup or date syrup with cinnamon and/or nutmeg, but bring plenty of napkins because it can get deliciously messy.”

6. Meditate. We’re not talking about reaching for your phone and cueing up your favorite meditation app. “If you succumb to ‘the just one bite’ rule, and snatch a few Sno-Caps, or Twizzlers, that’s okay. Just take a moment to breathe and enjoy the sweet flavors. If you feel you are ‘losing control,’ take a step back, place your hands on your lap and breathe in and out slowly five times. This will activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which produces a calm and relaxed state. When we do this, we restore our balance, and naturally slow down our place in life,” offers Lisa.

What Is a Raw Food Diet and How Can It Help You?

Fresh vegetables
Fresh vegetables

Debate has raged over recent years about whether we are designed to eat our food cooked or raw. There are fierce advocates on both sides: Michael Pollan’s book Cooked representing the camp that argues our species survived because of our cooked diet, and documentaries such as Simply Raw, which documents the trials and tribulations of six diabetes sufferers who go on a raw foods diet for one month and effectively cure themselves of their disease.

Certainly, before the discovery of fire, we would have eaten all of our food raw. Even up until the invention of modern cooking technologies we may have eaten most of our food raw because of the time and energy saving aspect of eating this way.

But the question about what is best for our bodies has been asked in more recent times, over the last few hundred years, as chronic diseases appeared to skyrocket.

High-profile celebrity endorsements for raw food diets has particularly generated more interest in this foodstyle. Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Carol Alt, Uma Thurman and Sting have all been vigorous proponents of raw food diets, enthusiastically touting both the health benefits (including weight loss) as well as environmental benefits of this way of eating.

Hundreds of raw food restaurants have sprung up in major cities all over the world, not to mention the thousands of juice bars and even mainstream restaurants that now include raw vegan alternatives on their menus.

But what actually IS a raw food diet? And how do you get it right nutritionally?

There are various ways of eating a raw food diet but all involve eating only foods that can be eaten in their whole, natural state, unheated beyond temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many proponents choose to eat a vegan diet consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes, fermented foods, superfoods and sea vegetables, eschewing all animal products.

Some proponents choose to eat raw animal milks or cultured yoghurts and cheeses and some even eat raw meat, but these foods should only be eaten with extreme care due to the possibility of bacterial contamination.

Many people embarking on a raw food diet decide to consult a raw food educational resource, coach, naturopath or nutritionist in order to make a safe transition to this way of eating. It’s important to make sure that your sources of protein, fats, healthy carbohydrates as well as iron, calcium and omega 3s are taken care of through your diet.

Turning off your stove or oven, it turns out, is not so difficult either. To eat a raw food diet you don’t really need any equipment at all. In fact the healthiest raw food diets involve very little processing of food. However, to make an easier transition, making foods that might resemble cooked foods in some way, equipment such as a good high-powered blender, juicer, mason jars for sprouting, a dehydrator for intensifying the flavors of raw foods and perhaps a spiralizer for creating those cool noodles out of zucchini, carrot, beetroot or cucumber, can make life a lot more exciting.

What to expect when you go raw

Initially, proponents say they experience a period of detox or ‘healing crisis’ where they may feel some flu-like symptoms, lethargy, headaches or skin breakouts. These pass on fairly quickly and a new-found energy and vibrance is ushered in.

Some choose to use a raw food eating plan for a short detox period, while others choose it as a way of life over a longer period. Either way, the benefits of weight-loss and general feelings of well-being are often touted by people who try this particular diet.


Go alkaline for better health


Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston are among the celebs said to swear by the alkaline diet, considered to be a secret to longevity, loads of energy, clear skin and all-round wellness.

It’s said to enhance your mood, concentration and even reverse disease.

If you’re a fan of meat, dairy, sugars, caffeine and alcohol, it’s an about turn as this diet comprises mostly green vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, herbs, spices and wheatgrass; however, it’s said to work wonders for conditions that thrive in an acidic environment, including cancer.

If your body is highly acidic, chances are you suffer from constipation, bloating, low energy, have weight issues, gum disease or bad breath, get regular colds and flu as well as muscle and joint pain.

In his book The Alkaline Cure written by Dr Stephan Domenig and published by Struik Lifestyle, Domenig explains the science behind the body’s pH and offers a host of recipes and menus to help you go green.

Domenig says the best acid-alkaline balance of foods is two parts alkaline to one part acid. Ideally this is the ratio you should aim for at every meal. However, he advocates mindful rather than fanatical behaviour and suggests you keep the ratio in mind through the course of your daily and weekly diet.

What’s great about this diet is that it isn’t asking you to be drastic, as the aim is balance.

Here are Domenig’s top 20 Alkaline superfoods to help get you started:


This creamy, highly alkaline fruit provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E and B vitamins, and fibre.


Members of the pumpkin and squash family contain high levels of omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. They are also high in vitamins A and C and a number of B vitamins. Toast their seed for a high protein snack and use pumpkin oil in salads.


Rich in healthy carbohydrates, potatoes are a great source of alkalinity. Potatoes bind acids in the stomach and this alkaline effect benefits the entire body. Their nutritional profile includes vitamin C, iron, magnesium and potassium.


These are very small seeds, rather like poppy seeds, but tan or light brown in colour. They are notably high in the amino acid lysine, which is not true of other grains, and fibre.

Just 175 grams supplies the equivalent of all the protein needed in a day. Amaranth seed can be toasted, treated like popcorn, scattered on salads, added as a thickener in soups or used as a breakfast porridge base.


Often filled with peanut butter as the staple of children’s birthday parties, celery is a valuable source of alkaline nutrition. It is particularly at home in soups and chopped over salads.

It contains calcium and niacin, which means it aids digestion and lowers blood pressure.


Related to celery, Celeriac is a root vegetable with an impressive number of vitamins, minerals and benefits. It contains B vitamins, vitamins C and K, as well as phosphorous, iron, calcium, magnesium and antioxidants.

Aniseed-flavoured celeriac can be grated in salads and steamed, mashed and made into gratins.


Of all the healthy, leafy brassicas, kale is perhaps the most beneficial, boasting a long list of vitamins and minerals – especially calcium, irons, magnesium and phosphorus.

Despite having a strong flavour, kale can easily be balanced with other food to create nutritious and delicious salad, smoothies and stews.


Not technically a true nut, the seed of the almond is what we eat. They are high in protein and calcium, as well as being a source of zinc and vitamin E. Almonds produce a calming effect and provide essential nutrients for the skin. Almond flour makes a great alternative to wheat flour for cakes and pastries.


Carrots are packed with calcium, magnesium, potassium and beta-carotene, which metabolises into vitamin A and encourages healthy eyesight. Carrots also help to detoxify the liver and, therefore, are perfect as part of a cleaning regimen.


Originating in the Andes, quinoa is a versatile, gluten-free seed, or “pseudo cereal”. It is exceptionally high in calcium, as well as being a rich source of fibre, magnesium and iron. It can be prepared as a meal base and then eaten hot or cold, in a similar way one would eat rice. And considering the high protein content, nutritionally, it wins out against it most famous counterpart.


Beetroot is as rich in nutrients as it is in colour. A great source of folate, beetroot also contains calcium, vitamin C and potassium, among other nutrients. It has been shown to combat kidney stones, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.


More and more research has highlighted flaxseed (linseed) oil as one of the most beneficial oils because it provides an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Cold-pressed olive, hemp, pumpkin and other nut and seed oils, have similar benefit and can bring splendid colour as well as multinational value to your cooking.


This dark, leafy-green vegetable of the cabbage family contains high levels of vitamin C, calcium and fibre. Broccoli serves as an antioxidant, antiviral and antibiotic liver stimulant.


Traditionally used to combat nausea, ginger root has many other uses both in medicine and in the kitchen. It can also be made into tea or used to flavour biscuits and breads. Ginger is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous, all of which improve circulation and stimulate the liver. It also acts as an antispasmodic.

Watermelon, mango and papaya

Watermelon is a wonderfully refreshing and hydrating fruit. Easily digested because of its high water content, it is rich in vitamins C and A, offering anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Mango is a luxurious fruit, delicious on its own or in desserts and salads, and is extremely high in vitamin C and dietary fibre. The exotic papaya, with its beautifully coloured flesh, contains three times the adult daily equipment of vitamin C, providing support for the immune system and boosting skin health.


With its fine leaves and long, slender stalks anchored by a nutritious bulb, this alkaline superfood is rich in vitamin C, fibre, potassium and manganese. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and helps boost the immune system.


Rich in B vitamins, Vitamin K, potassium, iron, magnesium and omega fatty acids, figs are a sweet way to improve your brain function, prevent cancer, build bones and protect your heart. Figs are also a source of dietary fibre. They can be enjoyed fresh (when available) or dried.


All over the world various parts of the coconut are used for various purposes. The “milk” can be consumed as an energising antioxidant drink and can promote weight maintenance. The oil is a healthy alternative to other cooking oils. Coconut flesh is high in phosphorous, magnesium and potassium, and when added to various sweet and savoury dishes, can lift the flavour and add sweetness.

20 Delicious #DetoxWater Recipes

You’ve probably noticed #DetoxWater in your feed lately: It’s the fresh, healthy hashtag taking over Instagram at the moment–and it’s the only thing we want to drink this Spring (cocktails excluded, natch.)
Unlike some health trends (ahem, bone broth) detox water is refreshingly easy to make yourself, and takes about two minutes to put together. It’s all about infusing water with tasty fruit and herbs to concoct what’s essentially cordial for grownups, and the options are virtually limitless.
Here’s a taste of some of 20 delicious #detoxwater ideas that you can make—and then Instagram–yourself.

1. Raspberry and apple
2. Watermelon
3. Blueberry and raspberry
4. Pomegranate and mint
5. Orange, strawberry, and mint
6. Lemon
7. Mango, strawberry, and blueberry
8. Raspberry
9. Strawberry and mint
10. Blueberry, mint, cucumber, acai
11. Blueberry
12. Lemon, strawberry, kiwi fruit, and mango
13. Cucumber and lemon
14. Orange, grape, blueberry, lime, lemon, and raspberry
15. Lemon and lime
16. Pineapple
17. Cucumber, apple, raspberry, peach, grape, tea
18. Passionfruit
19. Cucumber, lime, apple, mint
20. Grapefruit and mint

DIY Weight Loss Program

This DIY weight loss program is easy to do at home and is completely free. Everything you need to plan and implement your very own weight loss program is linked to this page.

So now you know where to start, right here, why not get to it!

Step 1 – Assessment

DIY Weight loss ProgramSelf Assessment

Determining exactly where you are at now is the first step to successful weight loss.

To assist in assessing where you are weight-wise, it is useful to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and calculate your waist to hip ratio.

Your Body Mass Index score will help you determine if your current weight is generally “Underweight”, “Normal”, “Overweight” or “Obese”.

Calculating your waist to hip ratio will help you get a sense of whether your level of fat and its distribution is a potential health concern.

To make it easy for you to calculate your body mass index and your waist to hip ratio, we have created a Body Mass Index Calculator and Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator which we’ve put in the weight loss tools section of this site. These calculators explain how to use them and how to interpret the results.

Also in the weight loss tools section you’ll find an Energy Needs Calculator which can calculate the approximate number of calories or kilojoules you need to maintain your current body weight.

Knowing the amount of energy you need each day to maintain your current weight will help you plan exactly what amount of energy you can consume and lose weight, which we’ll talk about further in steps 3 and 4.

Medical Assessment

In addition to these self assessment tools, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about your weight as well as any underlying health problems that may be associated with being overweight if you believe you are overweight.

Your doctor will be able to not only assess your weight and confirm your Body Mass Index, they will be able to check things like your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, kidney function, cardiovascular function, etc. This will provide valuable feedback about whether or not you already have the onset of some of the health conditions normally associated with being overweight, which can be reassessed once you’ve begun to lose weight.

By assessing all of these things, your doctor will be able to assist you in setting realistic short and long term weight goals and advise you of any conditions you have that will influence how you should best go about losing the weight.

Professional Weight loss Assessment

In addition to a medical assessment, you may also be interested in a general fitness assessment or assessment of your current diet. Personal Trainers can assess your general fitness and strength and measure your body fat levels. In doing so they can also assist you in setting fitness related goals. Dietitians can assess your current diet and help you make modifications. Weight loss Retreats can do all of these things too. To help you find these weight loss professionals we’ve set up a weight loss directory for you to use.

Step 2 – Goal Setting

DIY Weight loss ProgramSetting realistic and achievable short and long term goals is the next stage after assessing where you currently are with regards to your weight and general health.

The simplest weight loss goal that most people set is to achieve a certain weight or amount of weight loss by a specific date. For example, “I will lose 10kg in the next six weeks” or “I will weigh 86 kilograms by the 1st of April this year”, etc.

To assist you in setting your goals, we’ve written some articles which you should read before setting your goals, such as Setting Weight loss Goals and Keeping your New Year’s Resolution.

As we mentioned above, conducting a self assessment and talking to your doctor and possibly a weight loss professional or two will also assist you in setting your weight loss goal.

Step 3 – Diet Plan

DIY Weight loss ProgramEating too much over a long period of time is usually the cause of us being overweight, so it should be no surprise that if we are going to successfully lose weight we need to modify our diet.

Having determined the daily calorie intake needed to maintain our current weight using the Energy Needs Calculator during the self assessment phase, we can plan to consume less than that figure and in doing so lose weight.

How many calories less than this figure we consume will depend on how quickly we want to lose weight and how much of a reduction in energy we can cope with physically and mentally. One very common mistake that failed dieters make is to reduce their calorie intake too much too quickly. It takes many years to put on the weight we want to lose, so why should we expect to take it off in weeks and realistically keep it off?

Even reducing your calorie intake by as little as 5 to 10% will make a difference in the medium to long term and reducing your calories by this amount should be safe as well as sustainable physically and mentally.

To assist you in changing your diet, we have quite a few helpful tools on this website, including our series of Everyday Diets for Everyday People, Food Nutrition Tables, Healthy Recipes, Diet Articles and Food Diaries.

Our Everyday Diets for Everyday People are 12 week eating plans that contain everyday foods. The calorie and kilojoule value of all foods in these diets are clearly labelled so you can easily vary or substitute one food for another. These diets are based on an average daily intake of around 2,000 calories or 8400 kilojoules, but can easily be increased or decreased because each of the foods listed has it’s calorie and kilojoule value.

Our Food Nutrition Tables help you to calculate the amount of calories and kilojoules of the foods you are currently eating or are planning to include in your diet. In addition to their energy values, these tables also list other important nutrition values of the 4500 common foods listed, such as Calcium and Folate, Carbohydrates and Sugars, Total Fats and Saturated Fats, Fibre and Cholesterol, Protein and Iron, and Sodium and Potassium.

Our Healthy Recipes section has hundreds of healthy recipes categorised intoHealthy Breakfast Recipes, Healthy Lunch Recipes, Healthy Dinner Recipes, Healthy Snack Recipes and Healthy Drink Recipes. As well as a photo of the dish, a full ingredient list and recipe method, each recipe page highlights what type of recipe it is (low fat, high protein, etc), includes a full nutritional panel, additional comments and suggested similar recipes. If you’re looking to include some delicious and nutritious new foods in your diet, visiting these recipe pages is a must. If these recipes aren’t enough for you, we also sell some very popular Weight loss Recipe Books in our online shop.

Our Diet Articles library contains numerous articles on topics ranging fromEmotional Eating, Golden Rules of Dieting, low carb diets, portion control andfeeling fuller longer to food cravings, meal replacements for weight loss and more.

Our series of Food Diaries includes a downloadable Basic Food Diary, Emotional Eating Food Diary, Salt, Sugar and Fat Food Diary, Fibre, Calcium and Omega 3 Food Diary, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium Food Diary and Alcohol, Caffeine and Cigarettes Food Diary so you can keep track of particular nutritents in your diet.

If all these tools aren’t enough to help you plan a healthy weight loss diet, you can also get some help from a registered dietitian that you find in our Dietitiansdirectory.

Step 4 – Exercise Plan

DIY Weight loss ProgramAs well as planning the energy you’re going to consume in your diet, you also need to plan the amount of energy your body is going to consume doing exercise. It is the net result of the amount of energy you take in versus the amount of energy your body uses on a daily basis that will ultimately determine whether or not you lose weight, maintain your weight, or put more on.

To assist you in planning and starting an exercise program, we have plenty of helpful tools right here on this website, including our Exerise Energy Charts, Exercise Diaries, Target Heart Rate Calculator, Exercise Article Library, Home Workout Series, National Fun Runs and Walks Calendar, Walking Path Guides, Exercise DVD’s and Swiss Ball and Swiss Ball Accessories for purchase. If you need additional help, we also have a directory which lists exercise professionals.

Our Exercise Energy Charts provide an estimated number of Kilojoules or Calories expended at various body weights while performing a range of typical weight loss exercises for 30 minutes. This information is critical in determing exactly how many extra calories your body will be consuming doing your choice of exercise.

Our series of Exercise Diaries includes a downloadable Basic Daily Exercise Diary and a Monthly Aerobics Exercise Diary. Before downloading a exercise diary, you might first like to read our articles on Exercise Planning, Keeping an Exercise Diary, or Keeping a Weight loss Journal.

Our Target Heart Rate Calculator will help you determine the best workout intensity for your exercise experience, fitness and goals. Before using this calculator, you might find it useful to read our article on Using a Heart Rate Monitor.

Speaking of exercise articles, in our Exercise Articles library you’ll also find articles on topics such as The Best Time to Exercise, Cycling for Weight loss, Common Exercise Mistakes, Hiring Exercise Equipment, Pregnancy and Exercise, Spot Reduction, Walking for Weight loss, Weight Training for Women, the difference between Yoga and Pilates and even Zumba Dance Fitness.

Our series of Home Workouts includes Core Stability and Back Care Workouts, Dumbell Workouts, Stretching Workouts, Swiss Ball Workouts and more. All of these workouts can be carried out in the privacy of your own home. In addition to these great workouts you can also purchase exercise DVD’s for our online shop including Pilates DVD’s, Yoga DVD’s and Swiss Balls and Swiss Ball Accessories.

Our National Fun Runs and Walks Calendar lists many of the organised fun runs, charity walks and bike rides in each state of Australia, broken down by month. Included in the calendar are the event date, time, location, distance, type and contact details of the organisers.

Our Walking Path Guides provide details of some of our favourite walking and jogging paths around Australia. If you’re looking for someone to walk with, you’ll find people like yourself in the Walking Groups section of our Weight loss Forum.

If after visiting all these sections and tools you still feel that you need some professional help, you can visit one of our exercise directories and get the help you need. The exercise directory includes a list of Personal Trainers, Yoga Classes,Pilates Classes, Boot Camps, Mums and Bubs Exercise Groups and Fitness Equipment retailers in each state of Australia.

Step 5 – Motivation and Support

DIY Weight loss ProgramStaying motivated to diet and exercise in order to lose weight is the biggest challenge most of us face when trying to achieve a weight loss goal.

It’s often a lack of sustained motivation and ongoing support that leads to weight loss failure.

To assist you on both accounts, we’ve put an article in ourWeight loss Articles library on Weight loss Motivation, compiled more than 100 weight loss tips and set up aWeight loss forum where members with similar goals share their experiences and encourage each other to stay on track and achieve their goals.

Speaking of the weight loss forum, the members often conduct monthly Weight loss Challenges which you can join to help you stay motivated.

You can also subscribe to our free Weight loss Newsletter which will provide additional information and help designed to support you on your weight loss journey and help you stay motivated.

If you need professional motivation and support, simply visit our Weight loss Directory.

Step 6 – Monitoring Progress

DIY Weight loss ProgramA good way of staying motivated is to regularly check your progress towards achieving your goals.

Even if you take a step backwards every now and again, which is very common in the pursuit of weight loss goals, it is critical that you measure and record your weight loss results periodically.

Checking your weight everyday isn’t necessarily a good idea. It’s far better to check it every week, because our daily weight can be influenced by things such as water retention, etc.

As well as weighing yourself, make sure you check your progress in other areas as well, like waist measurement, for example.

To help you check your progress regularly, use the Diet and Exercise Journals in the weight loss tools section of this site, and read the Weight loss Journal Article in ourWeight loss Articles Library.

You can also join in on the Weekly Weigh Ins and Weight loss Challenges on ourWeight loss Forum.

Step 7 – Reassessment

DIY Weight loss ProgramPeriodically you should conduct a complete reassessment of your weight loss program to see what’s working and not working for you.

This might involve conduction another self assessment, having a medical assessment or assessment by a weight loss professional as detailed in Step 1.

If you’re going to seek advise from your doctor or weight loss professional, first have a think about what worked well for you and where you think things might have worked better (assuming of course that you fell a little short of achieving your goal).

If you did achieve your goal, your next challenge is going to be maintaining your new weight in the long term, which many people struggle with, particularly if they haven’t made permanent lifestyle changes in order to achive their weight loss. Typically, the faster we lose weight, the less likely we are to keep it off (this excludes weight loss achieved with the assistance of weight loss surgery of course).

If you are thinking of weight loss surgery, we have put a Surgical Weight lossdirectory together for you to visit.

Step 8 – Maintenance

DIY Weight loss ProgramMaintaining a new healthy weight can be as difficult as losing all the weight in the first place.

To assist you in maintaining your weight once you’ve achieved your goals, we constantly add new content to this website, including new healthy recipes, weight loss tips, everyday diets for everyday people, new articles, new home workouts, etc.

There’s also a Maintenance Crew Section on our Weight loss Forum designed for those who have acheived their weight loss goals and want to stay there.

A great way to maintain your new weight is to share you experiences with others who haven’t quite got there yet and you can do this on our Weight loss Forum.


So now you have a step by step approach to a DIY Weight loss Program that can help you lose weight and keep it off.

5 Piercings That Are Cool Right No and 2 Ways to Upgrade Your Old Ones

In case you haven’t paid attention when scrolling through your Instagram recently, piercings are chicer than ever. And we’re not just talking about a few extra studs in your lobe. We talked to J. Colby Smith, piercing expert at New York Adorned and embellisher to the beautiful and famous, to get his take on the most requested styles right now— including updates on holes you may already have. (We’re looking at you, butterfly belly ring.)


1. Smiley


A smiley runs through a tiny (and fast healing) piece of skin that hangs slightly over your front teeth. Smith finds that people who have their septum done, but are getting bored with it are taking the next step with this piercing. He tells us, “It’s a little rose or yellow gold ring that sits on the inside of mouth, and the ring just brushes across the top row of teeth.” And as he points out, the septum has held top dog status for quite a while. “Six years of septum popularity are giving way to this look. I think this next year it’s really going to explode.”

2. Conch


Conch piercings are in the major part of the ear cartilage, which requires more healing time than your ear lobe. And since you’re going to be in for more of a long haul with the piece you pick for this piercing, you’ve got to be choosy. “The secret to having a piercing that is not only fashionable, but works with your personal style, is having the right jewelry,” says Smith. “Using a ring or tiny stud can change the whole feel of an ear piercing like a conch, and it won’t be boring.”

3. Daith


Piercings aren’t necessarily just about a fashion statement. Smith shared that some of his clients seek out a Daith piercing for migraine relief (who knew?). “We light candles, burn sage, and focus on the moment,” Smith says. “Making this experience about the client can give them what they need by connecting the mind and body.” Although he doesn’t claim a medical benefit to this piercing, clients do sometimes experience a change in their condition (and obviously, their style).


4. Nipple



When done right, this piercing ($9) is sexy rather than tacky (a semi-NSFW look here). Just ask Bella Hadid. Smith explains his view that “there are two types of people who get pierced: people who want to show everything off and the other are ones who just like to have these cool little secrets.” Not every piercing has to be on your face, and they certainly don’t need to be on display, unless you want them to be (cough, #freethenipple, cough).


5. Septum



Yes, the septum piercing— which passes through a very small space in the nose cartilage—is still very much in. Smith attributes the placement’s ever-growing popularity with the balance it brings to the face. “A well-sized septum ring or chain brings out the wearer’s eyes and lips,” says Smith. “More people are choosing this look and it’s even becoming part of a classic and clean aesthetic.”



The Real Reason Mike & Molly Was Cancelled

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Mike & Molly has been a solid performer on CBS for years and years now, but over the past few seasons the network has had trouble finding a slot in its cluttered schedule for the Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell comedy series. While CBS hasn’t officially announced Mike & Molly is ending after the upcoming sixth season airs, the cast and crew have already announced the show is over, and now we know the real reason the long-running series got the axe. It’s pretty complex, but it has to do withMike & Molly being a Warner Bros.-owned comedy and the contracts on the show running out.

In short, the contracts for most people involved with Mike & Molly run out on February 1st. Since the show was pushed to mid-season and won’t premiere until January, however, a decision on whether or not to renew the show won’t take place until after that date. Because of this, cast members will be free to start pursuing their own projects, which will create a ton of uncertainty. So, rather than create the potential of the show returning with less cast members or create the potential of Mike & Mollyspending this season setting up more episodes that will never happen, Chuck Lorre and company decided to cut their losses and treat Season 6 like the final year. That way the show will go out on its own terms with a proper goodbye.

Deadline reports that there have been problems with finding a slot for the show for a while. This fall marked the third year in a row that CBS opted to keep Mike & Molly off of the network’s fall TV schedule. This year, instead of simply premiering late, CBS also took the show’s full, 22-episode order and chopped it down to only 13 episodes. That already was bad enough news, so to find out the series is basically cancelled and the cast and crew are already looking to take on new TV—and in Melissa McCarthy’s case, movie—roles, just adds an extra layer of suck.

We first learned Mike & Molly was on the way out the door just a few days ago, when series actress Roni Reed, who plays Peggy, made the announcement on social media, also noting she wasn’t even sure if all of the episodes would air. Melissa McCarthy later followed up, confirming she had been told the show was over, although in her case losing the series shouldn’t be as big of a deal, as she is in demand for movie roles. While CBS hasn’t said Mike & Molly will be ending after this season, it’s a pretty done deal.

A very similar thing happened with the CW’s Hart of Dixie last season, and that show was also confirmed to be cancelled down the line. On the bright side, when cancellations get announced like this, at least show’s have enough time to shoot a finale they can be proud of.