Whether you’re looking to shed five pounds or 50 pounds, losing weight is never easy. At times, it may seem impossible, but there are everyday people, just like you, who’ve had huge success slimming down and they have secrets to share. Of course, everyone’s weight loss journey and path is going to be different, but there are a lot of things that anyone looking to lose weight can learn from those who’ve already done it. Here are some of the best weight loss tips from those who’ve lost at least 50 pounds. So read on—and for more secrets to slimming down, read up on The Real Reason Weight Loss Is Hard After 60.
26.Form a strong support team.
Finding a health coach and a community to provide “nonjudgmental encouragement and accountability … can make all the difference,” Jeverna Michelle King tells Prevention. “For so long I tried to lose weight thinking I could do it on my own, only to fall back into unhealthy thinking and destructive behaviors.” Thanks to her support system, King was able to lose 82 pounds, and she’s even now helping others find their own success as a certified health coach.
27.Don’t make excuses.
“Stop using your kids as [an] excuse to not be healthy and use them as [an] excuse to live a better healthier lifestyle,” says Instagram user Penelope Walker. Once she started using her family to her weight loss advantage, the “fit mom” was able to lose 50 pounds—and she’s still going!
28.Drink beet juice.
According to musician Joey Giambra, drinking beet juice helped him lose weight and keep it off as well. Frequently sipping on beet juice has actually been proven to improve your stamina during workout sessions, allowing your body to shed the pounds more efficiently. And not only that, but beets possess key nutrients that work to lower your blood pressure, slowing the hands of time with each sip.
29.Focus on the health benefits of weight loss.
There’s so much more to losing weight than looking good—and when you think about these health benefits, it makes it much easier to stick to your goals. “My bootcamps are about so much more than losing weight,” writes Alyssa Uriarte, a fitness coach who was able to successfully lose 50 pounds herself. “We focus on the things there are to gain when you put your heath first. Self love, confidence, healthy habits, and empowerment over your choices are just a few of the things you can look forward to gaining.” And if you’re struggling to take those first weight loss steps, here are 20 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight.
30.Find healthy alternatives for the foods you love.
“Find healthier alternatives to what you love,” writes Nancy Habibi, a health coach who’s down 64 pounds and counting. Before her weight loss journey, Habibi loved the Caramel Frappes from McDonald’s, and now she is able to curb that craving without derailing her diet with the much healthier Herbalife Cafe Latte.
31.Don’t fall victim to fat-burning pills.
“Fat burners don’t do anything,” warns Xavior Ureno, a fitness enthusiast who “went from chunky to funky” after losing 150 pounds and reversing his type 2 diabetes diagnosis. “No pill or supplement will make you lose weight. Losing weight is only done through hard work.”
32.Keep your diet interesting.
When Branda Peebles, chief visionary officer at Prestige and Prosper, first began her weight loss journey, she made the mistake of making her diet too regimented. She eventually realized her mistake when she fell off the wagon after only three months on such a strict diet. Upon “changing it up a bit,” Peebles was able to add more foods that she genuinely liked into her diet, like guacamole and grilled chicken, making her weight loss more effortless and enjoyable.
33.Use your weight loss victories to motivate you to keep going.
Though Instagram user Amy of @aimsandgains never particularly cared about her back muscles, she notes that “seeing the changes through training and better nutrition just spurs me on to be better.” As you get further and further into your weight loss journey and your body begins to change, use that progress as motivation to keep going.
34.Know that no workout is too small.
Peebles struggled to fit her workouts into her busy professional and personal schedule, so she did what she could. “I did 10 squats every time that I went to the bathroom because it was an easy exercise to add into the day,” Peebles says. That simple workout—along with her changes in food habits—helped Peebles shed the weight without wasting any of her precious time throughout the day.
35.Find a plan that feels right for you.
Even if you know a friend who had success with the Keto diet, don’t immediately assume that the same plan is going to work for you. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to do “what feels right for you, not what you think you should do,” says body image expert Laura Fenamore of Skinny Fat Perfect.She’s been inspiring others since she lots 100 pounds years ago.
36.Drink plenty of water.
Peebles also notes how drinking more water helped to keep her hydrated through tough workout regimens. According to Peebles, drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day helps “speed up your metabolism and helps hydrate you.” Not only that, but constantly sipping on water throughout the day can curb hunger pangs and provide you with a limitless source of energy for all those workouts.
37.Celebrate small victories.
If anyone understands just how overwhelming the idea of weight loss can be, it’s Matt Schiffman. Not only does he work as the vice president of brand management at RSP Nutrition,but he’s also lost over 100 pounds himself. His advice? “Focus on making tiny daily improvements. Have a big picture goal, but focus daily on taking baby steps towards the goal and celebrate those small victories every day.”
38.Get an adequate amount of sleep.
Power lifter Jade Socoby says her weight loss would not have been possible without sufficient rest between workouts. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule became important for Socoby, who worked rotating shifts at her job at the time. Catching those z’s made losing weight all that much easier.
39.Eat something before you go out.
“Don’t let yourself get too hungry before you go out,” says Rachael Thompson, who was able to lose 50 pounds with the help of Ultimate Performance. “Have a protein shake or big glass of water—or both!—before you get to the event or restaurant so your stomach isn’t empty.” And if you’re unsure what to fill up on, then try The 5 Best High-Protein Snacks for Men.
40.Make meal prep part of your routine.
For Sarah Grant, planning her meals out in advance helped curb her desire to eat out at restaurants or reach for a second helping of food. It was portion control in its simplest form. “Especially as a working mom, having healthy, portioned out meals ready to go in the fridge is one of the most critical habits that sets me up for success while dieting,” Grant says. “I set aside a couple of hours one day a week—Sunday for me—and make this a priority. It helps me stay on track no matter how busy I get during the week.”
41.Take ownership of your past, present, and future.
“Believe with every fiber of your being that you can accomplish this,” says Schiffman. “At the end of the day, you are responsible for your actions and everything that happens to you, so take extreme ownership of everything in life that happens to you and do whatever it takes to make real change.”
42.Cut out processed foods.
By cutting out 98 percent of the processed foods containing sugar, flour, and other grains from his diet, Tony Schy—an entrepreneur, CEO and executive coach—was able to reduce those cravings that were caused by big swings in his blood sugar. This small change allowed Schy to lose a staggering 70 pounds that he’s kept off to this day.
43.Try intermittent fasting.
Schy also credits his weight loss to his reliance on intermittent fasting. “Most days, I fast for 16 hours. This helps maintain your metabolism,” he says. Combined with exercising three to five times a week, Schy believes that this fasting helped him lose the weight as efficiently as possible. And intermittent fasting isn’t just good for your waistline—read more about how Science Says That Intermittent Fasting Could Extend Your Life.
44.Start the day with a high-protein breakfast.
People often say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and nobody embodies that more than Umar Malik, who lost 170 pounds with the assistance of both Ultimate Performance and many a high-protein morning meal. “I no longer eat a full English breakfast, which was my go-to breakfast when I was overweight and weighed 400 pounds,” he says. “Now I count my macronutrients for most of the year, so I’ll typically have steak and eggs in the morning because it’s high in protein and contains healthy fats.” According to Malik, this meal provides the energy and fuel he needs to stay satiated and revved up for the first half of his day.
45.Get a smart watch.
For extra motivation throughout the day, investing in a smart watch like a Fitbit can help you set achievable goals for yourself on a daily basis, says Lisa Warren, creator of the My Military Spouse Life blog. “My watch motivates me to stay active throughout the day. Now that I’ve met my weight loss goal, it continues to motivate me to maintain what I worked so hard to achieve,” Warren says. Seeing your daily progress on your wrist helps you stay on track and makes it harder to ignore your weight loss goals.
46.S.O.S.—shrink our stomachs.
Stan Chlebowski cut out salt, oil, and sugar in what he refers to as the “S.O.S diet.” Upon making this change in his diet, Chlebowski soon realized how much of these ingredients were in the food he was eating and why it was so important to make the lifestyle change that he did. And it worked—Chlebowski has lost more than 100 pounds!
47.Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.
“Keep it simple when you’re starting out,” says Laura Micetich,a bodybuilder and health coach who was able to lose more than 100 pounds just by going to her local Gold’s Gym. “There are a million different buzz words in the fitness industry,” but Michetich feels that the secret to weight loss success is ignoring the flashy workouts and diets until you’re well past the starting line.
48.Stay away from enablers.
For IT professional Liz Rodriguez, spending less time with friends and family members who enabled her unhealthy habits was a great place to start in her weight loss journey. By surrounding herself with healthy, happy, and positive people, she was able to both lose the weight and maintain a more confident sense of self and purpose.
49.Avoid excess alcohol.
When Tyler Stewart, an IT. professional in New York, gained far more than your average freshman 15 in college, he found that he was able to lose the weight quickly by eliminating alcohol almost entirely from his diet. By the time he graduated, Stewart was down more than 80 pounds, and today, he happily enjoys the occasional glass of wine without repercussion.
50.Find ways to make room for your favorite foods.
WW ambassador Kendra Vernon has lost 83 pounds so far on her fitness journey, and she lets herself indulge as long as she plans to burn off the calories. “You can earn FitPoints [on WW] if you are dancing to exchange for food,” she notes. “There are all these different options for you… to have whatever you want.” And if you want to burn the most calories possible, read up on How Music Helps You Burn More Calories.