Results of following US dietary and exercise guidelines for a year

A year ago Daniel J. Green — NBC News' self-described "overweight health editor" — said he "had stage 1 hypertension, prediabetes and elevated cholesterol numbers. I also weighed 244½ pounds and had a body-fat percentage of 26.9%, placing me firmly in the obese category."

He followed federal guidelines for diet and exercise for a year, and says he now feels better, "physically, psychologically and emotionally" than he did before he began.

From his article:

By making a series of small, manageable changes, I completely altered the way I eat and my overall relationship with food. I inspired my wife to get more active and helped a number of friends and family members make similar changes in their lives. I learned how to make changes that made me healthier without negatively impacting my overall quality of life.

In many ways, I still struggle with certain aspects of my new lifestyle and will admit to having gained a few pounds since my project "ended" a few months ago — though we all know that true lifestyle change never ends. In other words, it still is — and always will be — a work in progress. But I've learned how to live a healthy lifestyle, how to forgive myself for slip-ups and how to inspire myself to get back on track.

Image: NBC News/ACE/Jennifer Mesk Photography