The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan & Inspiration profiles 30 weight loss superstars who have each lost over 100 pounds and completely transformed their lives. In the book, they share the smart, slimming strategies that helped them reach their goals. Read on for healthy eating and exercise advice from big-time “losers” who have achieved lasting success!

Joy Fit Club, Kim

Crush Cravings With a “Bag of Tricks”


When Kim gets the urge to gobble down freshly baked cookies, ice cream, or another favorite comfort food, she pulls out her handy “bag of tricks.” It’s a bag filled with cards listing fun, motivational activities that divert her attention away from food. On the cards, she’s printed everything from “read a book” and “treat myself to a manicure” to “call a friend” and “exercise for 10 minutes.” By the time Kim has finished the activity she’s randomly selected, her desire to eat has passed, and that intense craving has become a distant memory. This clever tip has helped Kim reign in her eating and shed 110 pounds!

Joy Fit Club, Carolyn

Reign In Your Cookie Monster

Carolyn’s biggest vice was cookies. When she was at her heaviest weight of 252 pounds, she would mindlessly polish off an entire box late at night while watching television. But now that Carolyn is 101 pounds lighter, she follows a new strategy whenever the “cookie monster” strikes. Instead of buying a whole package, she stops by the bakery case at the grocery store and purchases just one cookie. This way, she satisfies her sweet tooth and enjoys a cookie—without sabotaging her health efforts.

Joy Fit Club, Jen

Inject “Fun” Into Fitness


Jen believes that in order to make exercise a permanent part of your life, it needs to be fun, not torture. So after experimenting with all sorts of activities, she discovered — and embraced — the playful world of hula hooping. In the beginning, she could barely keep the hoop up around her hips, but practice makes perfect, and Jen kept improving. Two months after starting this entertaining exercise program, Jen dropped 20 pounds (no surprise, since a half hour of hooping burns about 200 calories). Today, Jen is 135 pounds lighter and teaches 15 hooping classes a week!

Joy Fit Club, Keith

Overdose on Vegetables


Keith bulks up his meals by adding volumes of vegetables. On the weekend, when he has extra downtime, he and his wife roast a huge batch of carrots, asparagus, peppers, onions, and anything else they pick up at the market. He cuts the produce into bite-sized pieces, lays them out on a baking sheet, mists them with oil spray, and then sprinkles on all sorts of interesting herbs and seasonings. The veggies are roasted in a 425-degree oven until they’re soft and browned, then stashed in the fridge to be reheated and enjoyed throughout the following week. This tip was especially helpful when Keith first started his weight loss plan, since he had a ferocious appetite and hadn’t yet adjusted to smaller portions. Today he’s 100 pounds thinner and continues to pile on the produce. It’s a win-win: He keeps his weight down and showers his body with good nutrition.

Joy Fit Club, Howard

Pause Before You Pounce


Howard has learned to conquer temptations using a smart interference plan. When he comes eye to eye with a tasty goodie that pleads, “Eat me!” Howard thinks about how long it would take to chew it, taste it, and finish it. Then, he forces himself to wait that same amount of time to evaluate whether the treat is worth the calories. Realizing that the sweet thrill would have long been over by that point makes it easier for him to say, “Forget about it!” instead of giving in. Howard says once you get the hang of this psychological technique, it becomes a great way to nip impulse eating in the bud. In fact, this very strategy helped Howard lose 218 pounds — and keep them off for good.

Joy Fit Club, Rosie

Spray, Don’t Pour!


When Rosie was 300 pounds, dinners were automatically prepared in puddles of oil, with each measly tablespoon tacking on an additional 120 calories to her already fattening meal. To lighten up her recipes when she embarked on a healthier eating plan, Rosie switched from pouring on the oil to spraying on the oil. Now, when she sautés veggies, pan-fries meats, and scrambles eggs, she coats the pan with cooking spray — a simple change that dramatically cuts down on the fat and saves thousands of calories per week. Tweaking her cooking technique helped Rosie knock off over 100 pounds — and maintain her loss for nine years and counting!

Joy Fit Club, Jon

Size Down in Style


When Jon was actively losing weight, he always kept a “goal shirt” or a “goal pair of pants” in his closet to serve as extra motivation. Here’s how it worked: Jon picked up a clothing item that was one size smaller than the size he fit into at the time, and tried on the slimmer garment once a week. When it fit comfortably, he gave himself a big pat on the back, and then picked up the next size down and kept right on going (Jon didn’t waste any time)! This strategy kept up Jon’s momentum and ultimately helped him lose 229 pounds — and shave 30 inches off his waist.

Joy Fit Club, Doree

Eat Before You Eat


If Doree knows she is going out to a late dinner or party, she nibbles on a light snack an hour or two before the event to help take the edge off her hunger. This way, she’s not so ravenous by the time she gets to the restaurant that she orders a gigantic entrée and eats to the point of being stuffed. Her favorite pre-meal nibbles are nonfat Greek yogurt, which is packed with filling protein, and fiber-rich non-starchy veggies, like a few handfuls of baby carrots. Strategic snacking helped Doree stick to her healthy eating plan — and today she’s 104 pounds lighter as a result!


The Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan & Inspiration profiles 30 weight loss superstars who have each lost over 100 pounds and completely transformed their lives. In the book, they share the smart, slimming strategies that helped them reach their goals. Read on for healthy eating and exercise advice from big-time “losers” who have achieved lasting success!