We asked the BuzzFeed Community to show us their weight loss journeys and share their best tips. Everyone's experiences and bodies are different, but here's what worked for them. 1. Stop drinking soda. buzzfeed.com I lost 70 pounds in 18 months, no gimmicks or tricks. I did it the old-fashioned way by watching what I ate. I first cut out soda and dropped 20 pounds easily. Then, I ate smaller portions and started walking. I’ve kept the weight off for three years and two pregnancies so far.—krissid2 2. Don't be scared to eat something if you're craving it. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods can hinder your success in the long run. buzzfeed.com I started off by downloading the MyFitnessPal app and tracking my food. I didn’t have any type of goal in mind, but I knew I wanted to be healthier. Once I had an understanding of what I was eating, I started becoming more aware of the foods I chose. I learned to cook, cut back on sugary foods and drinks, and tried to avoid overly-processed foods.Through this process I stuck to one big rule: If you’re craving something, eat it! I was already a pretty active person (I’m a teacher and on my feet all day) so I didn’t change my activity level too much. I do have a Garmin to track my steps and that’s about it! So far I’ve lost about 60 pounds and managed to keep it off for over three years. I’m still not quite where I want to be, but I’m okay with that! My biggest suggestion to people starting out is to find something that works for you. You don’t need to make drastic changes to becoming a healthier version of yourself!—hmwatters 3. Set a small fitness goal (like hitting a certain number of steps) to accomplish every single day. buzzfeed.com I lost 55 pounds in 2018! I was so sick of feeling the need to hide my body and cover myself up just because I was uncomfortable with my weight gain.I learned that weight loss is a form of self-care, and I got there by treating my anxiety and depression, eating healthy, cutting out alcohol, and setting daily exercise goals for myself (I used a Fitbit to track my steps, shooting for 20,000 every day). I also learned that to take care of your mind, you need to take care of your body too.—heatherb4868cd736 4. Try not to think of your journey as a "diet," because that may negatively imply that you're limiting and restricting yourself. buzzfeed.com I was at my heaviest (322 pounds) in April of 2018, and today I weigh 255 pounds due to a combination of moderation and living an active lifestyle.I started by getting a trainer to teach me proper technique and to help me get rid of my fear of the gym. I also decreased my fried food and carb intake. I tried not use the word diet, because I found that the word made it harder for myself, like I was restricting myself to certain foods. I also read nutrition labels for the first time so I could educated myself on the foods I was eating. Still going strong, and trying to go for 100 pounds!—taek4e501ac02 5. Make working out an activity you can do with someone else, as a way to keep each other motivated. buzzfeed.com I started out not even trying to lose weight. My wife started working out before bed, and I joined in to spend time with her. I was still eating the same way, but after a month or so I got on the scale and found out I lost 10 pounds! I never thought I'd actually lose any weight, so this was huge and a great motivator. I started to eat healthier and got more into exercising. I'd even wake up early to swim laps most mornings. I’m now down almost 80 pounds since April. To say my life has changed is an understatement.—colino4bbf07ca0 6. Document your journey online so other people can motivate you and help hold you accountable. buzzfeed.com I was miserable, pre-diabetic, and insulin resistant with awful PCOS symptoms. Then I started keto (a high-fat, low-carb diet) back in January of 2018. After nearly a year, I've lost almost 70 pounds, gotten myself out of pre-diabetic status, and reversed my insulin resistance. I also barely experience any PCOS symptoms. The thing that really got me through it was by starting an Instagram account to document my entire keto journey. It's helped me stay motivated by being a part of a community!—givetorisomespace 7. Set achievable goals for yourself and make sure you celebrate smaller victories that aren't strictly about the number of pounds you've lost. buzzfeed.com In February of 2016, I got a Fitbit, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. It taught me about calorie counting, exercise, and overall wellness. The biggest thing that helped me was realizing that your weight isn’t always going to drop. You’ll have weeks where things stay the same, weeks where your weight goes up, and weeks where it goes down, but don’t focus on your weight in the short term. Focus on the long term. It's been about three years since I first got my Fitbit, and I've lost nearly 90 pounds. It really helped to set achievable goals for myself. I started with a goal of 220, then 200, then 190, and so on. I'm so proud of myself for the determination I've shown over the last several years. If you’re not in it for the right reasons, and if you aren’t dedicated, then you won’t lose weight/get healthy/whatever your goal is. —oliviawann6 8. Teach yourself about serving sizes and calories. buzzfeed.com I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. It's been a constant battle and still is. I was always self-conscious, but at my heaviest it was really bad. I needed a change. I reached out to a friend who helped teach me about calories, and I worked my ass off. It was a pain in the butt to count everything at first, but it kept getting easier and easier. I also found that going to the gym really helped me feel better emotionally, and as Elle Woods famously said: “Endorphins make you happy.” I still have a long way to go, but I’m comfortable right now. I've lost 52 pounds in about a year, and I feel phenomenal. Anyone can do it if you truly, truly want it.—miker4524dbb87 9. Try to find new activities and habits that will actually make working out enjoyable and fun for you, rather than a chore. buzzfeed.com A year ago I started using the "Lose It!" app. I found a way to make working out fun, and now I actually like doing it. I’ve even gotten into running, which I swore I’d never do! But it’s fun! Same with biking and hiking, and now I'm down 64 pounds!—leahb484e5f519 10. Don't feel forced to cook every single meal, and research some healthier options from your favorite restaurants. buzzfeed.com I’m a flight attendant, so I’m always on the go and eating at fast-food places. The WW app was the backbone to my success, because they have the point value of all the menu items at every chain restaurant, and it steered me in the right direction! Everyone thinks they have to meal prep to lose weight, but most fast-food joints have hopped on the healthy trend, so it’s actually easy to eat healthy on the go! I've lost 70 pounds in about eight months! —tarad19 11. Learn how to make healthier food substitutions while cooking and eating out. buzzfeed.com I lost 51 pounds over the last year by changing my diet and portioning. I never deprive myself, but I make better choices. I haven't exactly hit my goal yet, but I am so happy. This is me with one of my favorite actors from Doctor Who, Catherine Tate, a little more than one year apart.—kellyf442d564da 12. Find someone or something that will keep you motivated when you're really struggling. buzzfeed.com I was hospitalized this summer with a two-foot-long blood clot in my leg. I weighed 352 when they weighed me in the ER. The doctor told me the clot was due to my weight, which made circulation difficult, and I very well could have died if I waited another few hours to go to the hospital. I was lying in my hospital bed with my newborn son in my arms and realized that if that didn’t spark a change in my life, nothing would. In five months I lost 50 pounds by counting calories, and I plan on losing another 75–100 pounds.—calebh4f3bdb063 13. Don't feel pressured to tackle nutrition and fitness all at once. buzzfeed.com I was eating whatever I could get my hands on. I finally saw the photo on the left and knew I needed to change. I went Paleo in January and haven’t looked back since. I lost 55 pounds in 11 months, and I’m still Paleo to this day. I am planning on incorporating a workout routine this year as well. I recommend Paleo to everyone.—kdromgoole24 14. Learn about what's actually in your food so you can eat and cook more nutritious meals. buzzfeed.com I went from 170 to 120 in less than two years after committing to a plant-based diet. I've always loved cooking, but I focused my attention on creating nutrient-packed recipes and posting them on my Instagram to hold myself accountable. I am the lightest I have been since I was about 11 years old and feel better than I ever have in my life!—kateg4644dda40 15. Focus on your overall health instead of a certain number on the scale. buzzfeed.com I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life but was never able to motivate myself for long enough to make a sustainable change. When I found out I was on the cusp of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I finally made the mental shift to focus on my HEALTH and not my weight.I saved some money and signed up for three months of personal training (twice a week, non-refundable). Since I already spent the money, I felt like I had to fully commit so it “wasn’t a waste.” That quickly translated into my eating healthier and logging meals to ensure I was getting the best results possible from my “investment.” For me, the realization that my health was worth investing in (not just my appearance) made all the difference! For the first time in eight years, I was no longer pre-diabetic, and I was able to get off medications that I had been on since I was 16! I lost 60 pounds in 10 months.—parasharshaila 16. Find new or less conventional ways to get fit (like martial arts or dancing) so you don't feel limited to just weights or a treadmill. buzzfeed.com I’ve lost 60 pounds this year by taking up martial arts. My beginning weight was 250 pounds, and a lot of the movements were difficult for me. I also started working with a nutrition coach who I check in with every week. She has me count my macros every day, and I’ve learned so much about the nutrients my body needs.—comicbooksandtiaras 17. Walk every chance you get, even if it's just around the block. buzzfeed.com I've struggled with my weight ever since I hit puberty. I was my heaviest (192 pounds, 5'1") during sophomore year of college. One morning I decided to walk to class, but I could barely get DOWNHILL without getting out of breath. My thighs were chafing, my heart pounded out of my chest, and I couldn't believe how badly my weight was affecting my doing everyday things.From that day forward, I walked to class (about a mile), started lifting at the gym, and introduced myself to foods that weren't just bread, bread, and bread. I finally hit a healthy BMI after about six months. Now I weigh about 130, but my weight isn't the only thing that's changed. I can walk a mile without wheezing for breath every two minutes, my legs no longer chafe, and I don't wake up feeling like death because of what I ate the night before. Making the change for my health was the best decision I ever made!—paperdecker12 18. Seriously. buzzfeed.com I had always been pretty active – I played on various sports teams and even ran obstacle course races like Spartan and Tough Mudder. It wasn’t until I moved to South Korea and started walking to and from work that I noticed my clothes were getting a lot looser. I then started to eat more real, unprocessed foods. All of this helped me lose a little over 70 pounds, and I plan to run my first half-marathon in 2019!—carolynnt4f3f1ecdb 19. If you can afford it, get a personal trainer to help familiarize yourself with new workouts and hold yourself more accountable. buzzfeed.com My highest weight was 269 pounds. I was so tired of the way I looked and felt, so I began doing simple cardio. Then I started to see great results. I knew I could do more, but I didn’t know where to start. A trainer at my gym came up to me and asked if I needed some help, and she's really helped me get into fitness. I started to lift weights – just benching, deadlifts, and squats. It made the biggest difference. I now weigh 180. I haven't hit my goal yet, but for three hard years of work, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.—elizabeths4 20. Join a workout group or gym that puts an emphasis on community. That way you'll have support from people who are going through similar journeys. buzzfeed.com About a year ago my friend invited me to try her gym for free for a month. It’s bootcamp-style training, and I had NOOO idea what I had signed up for. This gym is different because it’s centered around women and moms, and it's a truly supportive gym community. Also, every day is different and you never know what kind of wild workout you’re going to get.The endorphin rush of accomplishing something you never thought was possible is also incredible. I could only do five burpees when I started, and I just did 150 in one workout last week. With the help of my “Burn Sisters,” I lost 60 pounds in 14 months.—janes13 21. And understand that your body will need a LOT of rest and your journey will take time, so don't push yourself too hard or expect results instantly. buzzfeed.com I started calling 2018 my butterfly year. I finally feel like myself, like I have emerged from my cocoon! I lost 95 pounds in about 10 months (from 260 to 165). I found classes at the gym that I enjoyed, with people who helped encourage me and supported my journey.I also started Weight Watchers and learned how to change my relationship with food. I learned how to love myself and be proud of everything I'd done and can do. I also started to celebrate smaller goals I’d accomplished (like running my first 5k, and then cutting off three minutes during my second race). I prioritized my health now and make sure I get the activity, rest, and sustenance my body craves. And through it all, I’ve learned it’s so important to be kind to myself. I’m really enjoying this journey.—laughie101 Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!