Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese according to www.obesity.org, a fact that can leave many with a sense of hopelessnes when it comes to getting in shape.
Kristal Lagro of Brazil, the recent winner of the Curves Sweetheart Contest for losing over 140 pounds in a year, said there is hope for even the most unfortunate.
"I do something physical every day," she said describing how her weight-loss success story is more about a lifestyle change than anything.
Lagro visits Curves three times a week for 40 minutes each time. During this time she works on what she called "resistance training" where she keeps her heart rate elevated while still working her muscles.
But three days isn't all it took for her to lose nearly 200 pounds. During her breaks at work she goes on short walks and uses the stairs instead of the elevator.
Losing weight is about more than exercising, she offered a few tips on dieting.
Drinking 64 ounces of water each day really helps she said because while most people think they are hungry, most of the time they are just dehydrated.
She used to write down everything she ate including the calorie content, but she said she just writes down what she ate now.
What's surprising is that Lagro didn't remove coffee from her diet. She also said that fish and chicken are two good foods for weight loss, but "For me, I'll eat it fried and I don't care."
She said she stays away from white foods such as breads and pasta, but wheat is okay.
"I make sure everything I eat is a high quality food," Lagro said.
Other good foods include fruits, berries and spinach salads, but "Stay away from sweeter stuff like oranges and bananas." Lagro said she even eats red meat from time to time.
Eating well and exercising also improved Lagro's ability to function daily.
"Sleep is a big part of it (weight loss) and since I've lost weight I sleep much better," she said.
Before she said she needed eight to 10 hours of sleep to feel well the following day, but now she said she can excel on only five hours of sleep.
When the weight loss begins, she said remember to be patient. Lagro was so overweight when she began that no one commented her change in appearance until four months in, when she had lost 60 pounds.
"Just keep trying and don't give up," she said because everyone has habits that keep them heavy, but habits can be overcome.