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By CNN | CNN Fit Nation empowers you to take control of your health and wellness.

She lost 145 pounds -- could you?

One day, Kari Ianuale had had enough. The Nazareth, Pennsylvania, resident was embarrassed to discover that her size 24 pants no longer fit.

"I refused to go up yet another size," she said.

In July 2011, Ianuale officially began her weight loss journey, and what a journey it has been: In just over …

Nutrition

Decode restaurant menus to eat healthier

For many of us, eating out happens more often than we would like to admit. It's only natural that with our busy, can't-catch-a-break lifestyles we farm out cooking to our favorite local restaurants.

That's OK -- it's not so much eating out that's the problem. Rather, it's what we eat at restaurants …

Food

'Teacher of the Year' loses 270 pounds

"Gosh, I wanna be that guy again," Jeff Baxter would think when he remembered how it felt to be in shape.

The 66-year-old teacher wasn't exactly accustomed to the extra pounds he was carrying around. He had been a marathoner before what he calls "bad teacher habits" crept into his life.

As a high …

Baxter

Straighten out smartphone slump with yoga

As you cradle your smartphone or lean into your laptop to read this, what's your posture like? Even if you aren't doing it right now, how much of your day is spent with your neck lurched forward, shoulders slumped and chest collapsed? All that time in "smartphone slump" not only makes you look and …

Yoga

The 5 biggest breakfast myths

The first meal of the day can have a very different meaning for different people. For some, it's grabbing a granola bar to nibble on during the morning commute; for others, it includes a big omelet with a cup of coffee at home.

Then there are the millions who forego grub in the a.m. altogether.

But …

Healthy Food

Theater buff loses 121 pounds, nabs lead role

Two years ago, Dino Mazzetti hit the lowest point of his life.

The Lake Zurich, Illinois, middle school music teacher was hovering dangerously close to 300 pounds and was feeling horrible.

Pain radiated in every joint in his body because of his weight. "I could barely bend over to tie my own shoes," …

Healthy Food

When healthy eating becomes an obsession

Three years ago, after suffering from chronic abdominal pain, digestive problems and a crushing breakup that left her depressed and sluggish, Ashley Bailey started researching whether "clean eating" could help her feel better.

After learning that some people are intolerant to dairy, she cut milk and …

Healthy Eating

15 best superfoods for fall

Fall superfoods are the perfect excuse to get cooking on cool nights. See fall superfood pictures to get started!

Healthy Eating

Yoga poses to help you touch your toes

The inability to touch your toes is a common complaint -- and a popular excuse for avoiding yoga.

But you don't have to be as flexible as the performers in Cirque du Soleil to get started. In its simplest and most universal form, yoga is intended to help you feel and move better. So tying your shoes …

Yoga

Weight loss winners - CNN.com

Weight loss winners 13 photos

Weight loss winners – Each year TOPS, a nonprofit weight loss support organization, recognizes members who followed the club's slogan of "Taking Pounds Off Sensibly." Victoria Brazzle from Pahrump, Nevada, lost 101 pounds. Click through the gallery to see more success …

Weight Loss

Power walker loses 150 pounds

In the fall of 2011, Jen Corn was the heaviest she had ever been.

At 5 feet 6 inches, Corn weighed more than 300 pounds. Her mother and aunt had just offered to pay for her to have weight-loss surgery. But Corn knew the price tag was hefty: around $15,000.

"I told them no," said Corn, then 39, …

Diets

Is diet soda really better?

Soda makers want to cut the number of calories you're drinking each year. At the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday, the big three -- Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper -- pledged to reduce the number of beverage calories Americans are consuming by 20% over the next decade.

The announcement doesn't come as …

Healthy Eating

Hate running? 25 ways to learn to love it

Running is boring. It's hard. It hurts. It's lonely. And it doesn't give you immediate results. Right?

While we don't think any of these are necessarily good excuses (or altogether true!), we do understand it's not always love at first run for anyone who ever decides to lace up and hit the …

Running

Should you eat before a workout?

Anyone who makes fitness a priority has experienced that moment when a slight tummy rumble comes along just as you head out to the gym.

But do you grab a snack to get more out of your workout? Or skip the food to avoid stomach cramps and potentially "undo" everything you're about to accomplish?

And …

Workouts

From 'sumo wrestler' to distance runner

Yusuke Kirimoto was always overweight.

When he visited his relatives in Japan, they would jokingly say, "the sumo wrestler is back." Their comments were meant to be funny, but Kirimoto still felt the sting.

Kirimoto and his wife Megumi had their daughter Sara in 2006. Like many toddlers, Sara would …

Fitness

Down 127 pounds, dance class changed her life

Angela Baldwin can pinpoint the day she changed the course of her life.

Her friend invited her to a dance fitness class in March 2013. Baldwin tried to think of an excuse to skip it, but couldn't come up with one so she reluctantly tagged along.

At this point, the Prestonsburg, Kentucky, social …

High-intensity Interval Training

Train your brain to crave healthy food

It may be possible to rewire your brain so that it wants -- craves, even -- healthier foods.

How? By following a healthy diet.

We know, that wasn't the quick fix to afternoon ice cream binges you were hoping for. But this research could lead to a more sci-fi solution to the obesity epidemic.

In a …

Healthy Food

Meet CrossFit's Fittest Man on Earth

Picture it: A four-day competition, with two to four workouts a day that consist of running, swimming, muscle-ups, 345-pound squat cleans, handstand push-ups, rope climbs, double unders, handstand walks, 245-pound overhead squats and more, against 43 of the most in-shape competitors you know, all …

Exercise

What they don't tell you about losing weight

At 27 years old, I weighed 486 pounds and decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I know what you might be thinking: "Oh, you took the easy way out."

Let me tell you, having weight loss surgery is far from easy. It involves a total commitment to a lifestyle change.

Before my surgery nearly three …

Plastic Surgery

Why ab workouts are a waste of time

You've been trying forever to get that elusive six-pack: the holy grail of fitness goals. None of the gizmos and doodads advertised online or on TV have worked, so you figure it's time to sign up for that 30-minute abs class at the gym.

Heck, what could be better for getting washboard abs than doing …

Fitness

No longer lonely: He lost 225 pounds

Throughout high school, Tevante Clark felt ashamed about being overweight.

It wasn't just his hefty size that depressed him, but the distance he felt growing between him and some of his closest friends. Over four years, he watched as his friends steadily left him out of conversations, gave him the …

Duke University

10 ways you're sabotaging your workout

If you've been working out for eight plus weeks and haven't started to reap the benefits yet, there's a good chance that one or more of these silent setbacks has found its way into your fitness regimen.

By being aware of bad habits and the effect they have, you can work to eliminate them from your …

Workouts

6 ways to stop sciatica with yoga

Sciatica is a real pain in the butt -- and, sometimes, in the leg and foot.

That's because the sciatic nerves, the longest nerves in your body, run bilaterally from the base of the spine through the deep muscles of the buttocks and all the way down the back of each leg.

When impinged, they cause …

Yoga

Retired teacher loses 200 pounds

There are workout horror stories and then there's Kathleen Riser, who was mocked by the most unlikely of sources: a fitness trainer at the gym.

"There's another one who will break our equipment," she overheard one trainer say 2½ years ago, pointing at her 350-plus pound frame.

It was only a …

Diets

10 signs you and your trainer should break up

Choosing a personal trainer isn't as easy as walking into a gym and picking the first person you're introduced to who trains there.

A personal trainer needs to be exactly that -- personal. This is a person you'll trust to push you, motivate you and support you to make healthy changes and achieve …

Trainers

No pain, no gain? 5 myths about DOMS

You just crushed a really hard workout. You upped the load of your training, or you stepped out of your routine and tried a new activity. You feel great -- until you wake up the next morning, barely able to move.

Enter delayed onset muscle soreness, better known as DOMS. It's an acronym that …

Exercise

Fuel right! 9 triathlon nutrition rules

A solid nutrition strategy will help your body make the most out of all your hours swimming, biking and running.

We asked registered dietitian and multiple Ironman finisher Lauren Antonucci for her top nine rules for beginner triathletes looking to maximize their training. She shared advice she …

Nutrition

Doctors remove 21 pounds of excess skin

I am a CNN Fit Nation alumna. I completed the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in 2013 with my Fit Nation teammates. But my journey to health really started more than two years ago.

My wake-up call came when I was unable to donate a kidney to my twin sister. Weighing 385 pounds, I wasn't fit even to be …

Fitness

No more 'Big Ben': City leader loses 145 lbs

The table was set with an unhealthy serving of his favorite foods: fried chicken, baked beans and an extra-large helping of macaroni and cheese. For some people, alcohol and cigarettes are unhealthy vices. For Ben Boukari Jr., food was his addiction.

"To me, food was like a best friend after a long …

Healthy Eating