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    23 People Who Lost 30+ Pounds Share Their Best Tips

    Helpful and healthy tips that actually work.

    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. 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.

    Self-love, patience, and movement! I knew I couldn’t give up foods I loved forever (like pizza and cheeseburgers), so I made a lot of things in life rewards instead of punishments. If I kicked ass in my workouts all week, I would get a pizza. If the weather was really nice, I’d take a workout outside. Treating the process as a gift instead of a burden really helped my mindset to push through!


    2. Understand that it's okay to start small and then work your way up. You should listen to your body and take things slowly if you need to.

    I’ve always struggled with my weight, especially since college. I broke my foot last year and was out of commission for several months. I felt so miserable and useless when I couldn’t walk that when I finally could, I was SO motivated to move.

    I joined a gym and at first I could only do the stationary bike. Then I moved on to the elliptical, and then I slowly worked my way up to running again. So far my personal record is 10 miles! I also got a Fitbit, which makes fitness fun for me. Tracking food really helped me think about what I was eating, make better choices, and eat healthier (and less!).

    Losing 60 pounds was almost just a byproduct of challenging my body and empowering myself! I’m amazed every day at what my body can do, and I want to keep pushing myself.


    3. Focus on your overall health instead of a certain number on the scale.

    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.


    4. Teach yourself about serving sizes and calories (but don't obsess over them).

    A few years ago, I was in the middle of moving, changing my career, and a breakup from a long-term relationship. It felt like a lot of things were out of my control, so I decided to focus on the things I could control, like my health.

    I started doing the Couch to 5K program and counted calories in the free MyFitnessPal app. It was so therapeutic to have something be consistent in my life, and it was a stress reliever as well. After a certain point it became such a routine that I felt bad if I didn't work out or eat well.

    Fast-forward a year a half later and I'm still working out consistently, eating better (most of the time), and have maintained my weight loss. It's always tough to start, but I promise it's worth it to feel happier and healthier.


    5. Always try to take the stairs, and walk every chance you get, even if it's just around the block.

    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. I plan to run my first half-marathon at the end of this year!


    6. Try working out first thing in the morning, which may inspire you to make healthier decisions throughout the rest of your day.

    I started my weight loss journey exactly a year ago. I wake up every morning at 4:30 to do a workout before work, and I eat very clean (low on the carbs, higher on protein), but I still satisfy my sweet cravings each night. Feeling confident is about feeling personally, physically, and mentally happy with your life.

    My transformation has completely altered my self-perception for the positive, and each morning I wake up excited to continue this process of improving and taking care of myself. I lost 30 pounds and hit my goal of becoming more lean and toned.


    7. Start keeping track of your progress – steps, workouts, etc. – in a journal or the Notes app so you can physically see all of your hard work and growth.

    In a year and a half, I went from 232 pounds and a size 20 to 127 pounds and a size two. I stopped eating when I was bored, I stopped drinking soda, and I started walking more. I also drank so much more water. The other thing that really helped me was getting a Fitbit because it let me track all of my progress. Keeping track of everything was a lifesaver!


    8. Learn about macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) and how you can use them to make healthy, balanced foods for yourself.

    I started martial arts last year and was over 250 pounds. Since then, I've lost 60 pounds! A lot of the movements were difficult for me, but I tried my best to keep up. I also started working with a nutrition coach who I could check in with every week. She had me count my macros every day, and I’ve learned so much about the nutrients my body needs.


    9. Try not to think about your journey/lifestyle change as a "diet," because that may negatively imply that you're limiting or restricting yourself.

    In July 2018, after always struggling with my weight and a few previous attempts at getting healthier, I decided to make myself a priority. I started at almost 260 pounds and have lost nearly 60 so far, thanks to completely restructuring my eating habits, working on my relationship with food, and utilizing a trainer at my gym. I’ve drastically reduced my cholesterol, blood pressure, and inches around my waist. It’s not a diet, but a whole new way of living. Best damn thing I ever did for myself.


    10. Understand that it's okay to eat out at restaurants, but try to learn how to make healthier food substitutions in the kitchen and when you're not at home.

    I got really depressed when my husband and I (along with our two-year-old son) moved. My husband worked all the time, and I was a stay-at-home mom with no close friends or family, so I started working out in my living room. I didn’t think I'd actually have any progress, but I ultimately started to see some real changes. I also watched what I drank and ate (a big part of that was teaching myself about healthier options and substitutions). Best decision I made was to diet and exercise! So far I'm down 30 pounds!


    11. If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer. This may help you feel comfortable at the gym, get confident with new workouts, and hold yourself more accountable.

    I've always struggled with my weight and ended 2017 with horrible stomach pains caused by a bad diet. I don’t like to do resolutions, but I decided I wasn’t going to let 2018 break me like I felt 2017 had. I lost 34 pounds in the first year by completely changing my diet and consistently working out with a personal trainer. Now I’m even working towards becoming a personal trainer myself!


    12. But understand that you don't need a gym membership or a personal trainer to see results. Doing at-home workouts is a great substitute if you don't want to spend the money or aren't comfortable with going to a gym.

    The day that top-left picture was taken, I looked in the mirror and said, “Welp, this is as good as it’s gonna get.” Two weeks later, I got engaged and decided to make some serious changes in my lifestyle. I started to really look at my portion sizes, and I made healthier choices when it came to food. I also added some at-home workouts to my routine because I wasn’t confident enough to go to a gym.

    Now, two years later, I’m down 30-ish pounds, eating mostly healthy, and go to OrangeTheory classes 3-4 days per week! I’m proud of how far I’ve come.


    13. Don't feel like you need to do a complete overhaul and change every single thing about your life – small, consistent changes are key.

    In the last few years, my husband has lost about 40 pounds, and I’ve lost around 25 pounds. We both went vegan a couple years ago, and we both started working out and taking better care of ourselves. It's all about little lifestyle changes. No fast food, soda, or junk food. Eating your fruits and veggies and drinking water. And don’t be afraid of ~healthy~ carbs!


    14. Make working out an activity you can do with someone else, as a way to keep each other motivated.

    I started out not even trying to lose weight. My wife began working out right before bed, so I joined in to spend time with her. After a month or so, I got on the scale and found out I lost 10 pounds! Having never thought I could lose any weight, this was huge for me, so I started eating healthier and in smaller portions. I also got a lot more into exercising and started waking up early to do it before work. I’m now down almost 80 pounds. To say my life has changed is an understatement.


    15. Understand that your heart, mind, and body won't be into it every single day. That's totally normal and okay.

    This year I lost about 65 pounds. I became a vegan and started working out at least 3–5 days a week. I used to just do cardio, but I recently started adding weights in. Not every day is perfect, but sticking to it is the most important thing I learned. I’m so glad I made this change, and I’m feeling so much better!


    16. Stop drinking your calories (i.e. try to cut down on sodas, sugary drinks, and alcohols).

    About a year ago I stopped drinking alcohol and sugary drinks. I also started eating healthier and going to the gym. It’s been hard work, but I’m so happy with the progress I’ve made! I love my new-found confidence, and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.


    17. Try to be completely honest with yourself, think about your journey, and understand why you really want to make a change.

    I saw the above picture of myself and Eeyore and was so unhappy that I thought, "I don't want to be in pictures anymore," so I knew it was time for a change. I started to watch what I ate, eased into working out, and really tried to focus on myself. I lost about 30 pounds over the course of a year! I've kinda slacked off a little since then, but I am down another 10 pounds since that second picture was taken, and I'm working on getting to my goal weight.


    18. Stop. Eating. Fast. Food.

    I lost 40 pounds on Weight Watchers in five months. I stopped eating fast food and started making smarter choices about what I was putting into my body. I cut out a lot of sugars (except in my coffee, because no one messes with my coffee). I also cut down on salt and loaded up on protein. It’s amazing how much weight you can lose by changing your diet. I did a few low-impact exercises in the beginning, but the majority of the loss came from diet.


    19. Stop paying attention to the number on the scale. In fact, just stop weighing yourself in general.

    I finally told myself that I was beautiful regardless of what the scale said. I started tracking what I ate and kept myself in a caloric deficit. I lost 40 pounds overall, and I’ve never been healthier or happier.


    20. Find an aspect of fitness that you actually enjoy – whether that's running to clear your head, rock climbing to gain strength, or dancing to burn calories – and stick to it.

    I’ve tried every diet and exercise plan on the market, but this past year changed everything for me. I’ve lost 60 pounds in just over four months by making exercise a priority. I started to make the gym part of my everyday schedule, which definitely wasn't the case before. I also started to fall in love with cardio because I found that it helped to clear my head. Food-wise, I’ve become a lot smarter about what I was putting in my body and also started to eat smaller portions.


    21. Just commit to one workout a week (or just a 10-minute walk or just one healthy meal) until you're feeling comfortable and confident enough to do more.

    I've lost 30 pounds so far by doing everything in baby steps! I started by going to the gym just two times a week, focusing on weight training. Then I started going more and more after I found an amazing trainer and community.


    22. Try documenting your food and fitness journeys online so other people can motivate you and help hold you accountable (and so you can inspire them, too!).

    I’ve lost 75 pounds so far on WW after reading a BuzzFeed article about it over two years ago! I completely overhauled my life and am so grateful. I tried various workout classes and even started a food blog. Because of that, I've had so many friends and family members join me on the journey to health and wellness!


    23. And most importantly, be patient! You probably won't see changes overnight, so don't feel disheartened if there isn't immediate progress.

    I started doing CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting two times, then three times, and now four times a week. I saw my body change slowly, and most importantly I got stronger. The key word is patience. Weight loss doesn't happen overnight. It takes consistency and hard work. I love the way I look and feel now.