How 3 Sisters Lost 32 Pounds
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How 3 Sisters Lost 32 Pounds

Stella Apostolidis, 31, and her older sisters Kelly and Sofia tried every fad diet. FITNESS gave them a plan they can stick with.

Stella Apostolidis, 31, and her older sisters Kelly and Sofia had tried every fad diet over the years. FITNESS gave them a plan they could finally slim -- and stick -- with.

The Goal

Growing up in Queens, New York, my sisters and I loved Mom's Greek cooking. I was the pudgiest (I'm the shortest), but we've all been on lots of diets in our lives. I tried the "three days on, four days off" diet and even took diet pills (they're now banned!). I'd drop 10 or 15 pounds, only to gain them back. Within four months of my wedding last June, I put on 16 pounds. Meanwhile Kelly, 38, had flunked Weight Watchers and still had last year's baby weight, and working mom Sofia, 41, vowed to trim down -- tomorrow. We swore to do it together.

The Game Plan

First step: We all signed up for the FITNESS Personal Trainer to get a diet and exercise plan that we would follow and track online. We agreed to meet at the gym Monday nights for group workouts, and we were on our way!

Our New To-Do List

Get a Gym Recipe
Armed with rep-by-rep instructions from the FITNESS Personal Trainer, we enlisted a real-life trainer, Sam, to put us through the program's Monday gym-machine session so we wouldn't slack. Then Sam tapped into my online account to see that I'd done my weekly toning and cardio routines. The instructions got me in and out of the gym fast.

Put Your Meals Where Your Mouse Is
I found myself faithfully sticking to the FITNESS Personal Trainer's 1,300-calorie-a-day diet because it held me accountable for logging every morsel I ate into my online food diary and added up my calories. That, and the fact that I knew that my sisters would be checking in on me every day to compare totals. I didn't want to let them down.

Feel Full, Not Fat
After a three-day weekend filled with pasta that seemed to create an instant muffin top, I learned from FITNESS nutrition advisor Dawn how not to slip up again: Eat veggies or salad first, protein next, and carbs last, when I'm almost stuffed. Another trick: Fashion director Argy Koutsothanasis switched me to mid-rise jeans that erased my middle.

Status Check

Ten weeks later I'm back to my wedding-day size 4, Kelly is in a pre-baby suit she thought she'd never wear again, and Sofia is the slimmest she's been in years. And we're not stopping there!

Weight-Loss Stats Untitled Document
Sofia, 5'4      Start Now      Inches Lost
Weight 168 lb      157 lb         8 1/2
Kelly, 5'5 1/2    Start Now      Inches Lost
Weight 148 lb      139 lb         9 1/2
Stella, 5'2"  Start Now      Inches Lost
Weight 141 lb       129 lb         8 1/2



Top Tips from Our Experts

Samuel Perez, trainer at New York Sports Clubs in Whitestone, NY
"Take a cue from the FITNESS Personal Trainer: As the sisters got fitter, the program dynamically bumped up the reps or weights."

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, FITNESS advisory board member
"Record what you eat daily to see what your weaknesses are. Stella was a carboholic, Kelly was an emotional eater, and Sofia struggled with portions."

Argy Koutsothanasis, FITNESS fashion director
"If you're self-conscious about your upper arms, as Stella is, don't pile on layers. You can show some skin with a three-quarter-length sleeve; it hits the arm's tiniest area for a flattering effect."

Go for Your Goal

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2010.