Posted on: October 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm

If you’re struggling to lose weight and improve your health, 24-year-old Molly Smith of Vancouver, Canada has one familiar tip for you: eat healthy and get plenty of exercise!

“Everyone struggles to lose weight; it’s hard. If it was easy, everyone would have a perfect body,” admits Molly to The Daily Mail (3). But she also insists that the most important thing is to be patient (3) – and the results will follow.

And she should know. Molly herself eventually lost 85 pounds over by making simple but long-term lifestyle changes to improve her diet and health (1). She now feels better than ever and invites others to take on the hard but worthwhile journey to lose excess body fat.

What are the dangers of excess body fat?

Obesity – or excessive fat gain – has become a worldwide epidemic (7). Prevalence of obesity tripled between 1975 and 2016, with obesity among children increasing by 60% around the world. As of 2016,  39% (1.9 billion) of all adults around the world aged 18 and over were overweight in some way, with 13% (630 million) of all adults being obese. In the same year, 36.5% of all adults in the US were found to be obese (9).

Obesity is a serious health problem, as it increases the risk of developing serious cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders (8). Indeed, obesity has been associated with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and cancers across all ages, sexes, and socioeconomic groups (7). People with obesity were also 25% more likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders (15).

However, the prevalence of obesity all around the world and the US continues to grow due to reasons such as:

  • An abundance of sugary, calorie-dense foods. Over 75% of all foods processed in the US, from breakfast cereal to tomato sauce, contain sugars that are added during manufacturing – and thus, pack unnecessary extra calories (16).
  • Growing portion sizes (7).
  • A lack of proper exercise. The number of sedentary “sitting” jobs are growing, and more people are living in cities, where they sit down for long periods of time on trains, buses, or cars instead of traveling by foot or biking (8).
  • Difficult access to healthy and affordable foods, especially for people with lower socioeconomic means (7).


Molly’s Story: Fresh, natural food and exercise eliminates 85 pounds of body fat

Molly Smith is a 24-year-old nutrition student from Vancouver. Though she is now a healthy 140-pound advocate for fitness and weight loss, she once weighed 225 pounds and enjoyed an unhealthy lifestyle of rich, calorie-dense foods and very little exercise (1).


Molly’s overweight lifestyle changed when she fell for someone and started losing weight to impress him, going so far as to starve herself to lose body fat. But she quickly began to get fit for herself, and through a much healthier method: Eating 1200 to 1500 calories of fresh, natural foods every day, reducing refined carbohydrate intake, and getting as much exercise as possible (3).

Over time, Molly lost 85 pounds – and more importantly, gained numerous health benefits from living an active, healthy lifestyle. She now feels better, has tons of energy, and no longer suffers from severe mental conditions that once accompanied her unhealthy lifestyle.

“I was very depressed and insecure to say the least. Being overweight is so much more than a physical challenge, but a mental one too,” admits Molly (3).

But Molly also insists that anyone can improve their mental health and lose body fat with some time and effort. She recommends starting small, and then making more changes as time as goes on.

“The hardest part about losing weight is not giving up when you have a set-back,” she advises (3). “Start small with walking and focus mostly on your diet. Don’t go insane with a workout in the beginning because it can be very discouraging at times.”

By being patient and meeting one small goal at a time, anyone can live a healthier lifestyle – and have their own amazing before-and-after shots to prove it.

Tips for losing excess body fat

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If you’re looking to feel better and lighter, try these tried-and-true tips for healthier dietary changes and active living:

  • Assess your body fat and weight. Obesity is measured by body mass index (BMI) – your weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of your height (in meters). Check here to calculate your BMI and what it might mean in terms of healthy living (10).
  • Reduce your intake of processed foods. Processed foods are infamous for being high in added sugar (16) – sugars with little nutritious food that are added to foods during cooking or processing. Buy less processed foods that list sugar as the first or second ingredient on the ingredient label. Alternatively, eliminate processed foods from your diet completely.
  • Slash the amount of added sugar you normally use by two-thirds (17). Use only one-third of your usual added sugar, like white table sugar, when cooking or serving food at home. Alternatively, try using natural sweeteners, like stevia, to sweeten your foods – and turn to spices, like turmeric, to flavor your dishes and give your immune system an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal boost (23).
  • Eat out less often. Foods sold in restaurants, and especially fast food, can contain high levels of fats, salt, and sugars that make them taste good but are not good for you (18). Do your body (and your wallet) a favor by cooking well-balanced meals at home as often as you can.
  • Moderate your alcohol intake. Drinking too much beer, wine, or liquor will translate to lots of calories for very little nutrition, as well as increased risk for alcoholic liver disease (19).
  • Choose fresh, whole, natural foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains,  proteins, and healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado every day. Limit dairy products to 1-2 servings a day, and sweet fruit juice to 1 small glass a day (20).
  • Eat more fermented foods. Probiotic non-dairy yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut can introduce good bacteria to your guts and help break down sugars in your liver and intestines (5). Probiotic products can also help lower blood pressure (21), regulate blood sugar levels (22), and lower body fat (14).
  • Drink plenty of water. Inadequate hydration has been associated with higher BMI and obesity (6).
  • Carry around nutritious, healthy snacks at all times. Make sure you have fresh fruit, unsalted nuts and seeds, rice crackers, or carrot sticks with you everyday for when you feel like snacking (4).
  • Plan meals and snacks the night before. This will make it easier to hit nutritional goals and the next day.
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise every day. Adults should have a minimum of 150 minutes of active exercise spread throughout the week. Children should have 60 minutes of active exercise a day (8).
  • Include walking, jogging, or biking to your exercise routine (12). Aerobic or cardio exercises – or, exercise that uses plenty of oxygen to generates energy – can effectively reduce excess body fat and prevent unnecessary body fat from building (12). You could also try running, swimming, hiking, dancing, or spinning.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours every night (13). Poor sleep could lead to increased hunger and appetite (11) – and of course, less productivity at work the next day.
  • Keep a nutrition and exercise diary. Set small daily goals, like eating one healthy, homemade meal a day. Then, keep track of what you eat and do to make sure you’re meeting your daily goals (13) – and give yourself a reward when you do.

In a world where eating healthy, homemade meals and getting regular exercise can be a serious challenge, body fat is just too easy to gain and all too difficult to lose. But by making small, incremental lifestyle changes and sticking to them over time, we can start living healthier and lose excess body fat in the process.

Molly puts it best: “Don’t like your life? Change it. Now.” (2)


1) Brodsky, S. (2017). This Woman Dropped 85 Pounds By Following A Few Simple Rules. [online] Delish. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

2) Smith, M. (2017). September 26th. [Instagram] molsinspire. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

3) Tweedy, J. (2017). Student reveals how she shed 85lbs after falling in love. [online] Daily Mail Online. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

4) Clarke University. (2017). 10 Healthy Eating Tips for the Busy College Student. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Oct. 2017].

5) Chilton, S., Burton, J., & Reid, G. (2015). Inclusion of Fermented Foods in Food Guides around the World. Nutrients, 7(1), 390-404.


6) Chang, T., Ravi, N., Plegue, M., Sonneville, K. and Davis, M. (2016). Inadequate Hydration, BMI, and Obesity Among US Adults: NHANES 2009-2012. The Annals of Family Medicine, 14(4), pp.320-324.

7) Nacamulli, M. (2017). What is obesity? – Mia Nacamulli. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

8) World Health Organization. (2017). Obesity and overweight. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

9) (2017). Adult Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

10) (2017). Assessing Your Weight | Healthy Weight | CDC. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

11) Beccuti, G. and Pannain, S. (2011). Sleep and obesity. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 14(4), pp.402-412.

12) Willis, L., Slentz, C., Bateman, L., Shields, A., Piner, L., Bales, C., Houmard, J. and Kraus, W. (2012). Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. Journal of Applied Physiology, 113(12), pp.1831-1837.

13) University of Michigan. (2017). Weight Reduction | University Health Service. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

14) Eales, J., Lenoir-Wijnkoop, I., King, S., Wood, H., Kok, F. J., Shamir, R., … Atkinson, R. L. (2016). Is consuming yoghurt associated with weight management outcomes? Results from a systematic review. International Journal of Obesity (2005), 40(5), 731–746.

15) Simon, G., Von Korff, M., Saunders, K., Miglioretti, D., Crane, P., van Belle, G. and Kessler, R. (2006). Association Between Obesity and Psychiatric Disorders in the US Adult Population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63(7), p.824.

16) Is Sugar Making Us Sick?. (2017). @berkeleywellness. Retrieved 25 September 2017, from


17) Sugars in our diet – Live Well – NHS Choices. (2017). Retrieved 25 September 2017, from

18) (2017). 10 Reasons to Stop Eating Out. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Oct. 2017].

19) Stickel, F., Datz, C., Hampe, J. and Bataller, R. (2017). Pathophysiology and Management of Alcoholic Liver Disease: Update 2016. Gut and Liver, 11(2), pp.173-188.

20) Harvard Publishing (2017). Harvard researchers continue to support their healthy eating plate – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: [Accessed 16 Oct. 2017].

21) Upadrasta, A., & Madempudi, R. S. (2016). Probiotics and blood pressure: current insights. Integrated Blood Pressure Control, 9, 33–42.

22) Ruan, Y., Sun, J., He, J., Chen, F., Chen, R., & Chen, H. (2015). Effect of Probiotics on Glycemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0132121.

23) Zorofchian Moghadamtousi, S., Abdul Kadir, H., Hassandarvish, P., Tajik, H., Abubakar, S., & Zandi, K. (2014). A Review on Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of Curcumin. BioMed Research International2014, 186864.

Image and Video Sources:

1) Nacamulli, M. (2017). What is obesity? – Mia Nacamulli. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

2) Smith, M. (2017). September 26th. [Instagram] molsinspire. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

3) Smith, M. (2017). September 9th. [Instagram] molsinspire. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

4) Smith, M. (2017). July 30th. [Instagram] molsinspire. Available at: [Accessed 11 Oct. 2017].

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