To achieve weight loss in a healthy way, it’s important to focus on developing eating and exercise habits that are both enjoyable and accessible to you.
This means choosing nourishing foods that make you feel energized, engaging in daily physical activity, getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, and finding ways to reduce stress.
By adopting this approach, you can reach your weight loss goals without feeling deprived or unhappy. To help you get started, we have gathered tips from several women who have successfully lost weight and maintained a healthy lifestyle through balanced eating and exercise changes.
These tips have enabled some of them to lose more than 30 pounds, and can be easily adapted to suit your own needs and preferences. So, try out the tips that resonate with you and see if they work for you too!
1. Start in your comfort zone.
The thought of walking into a gym and working out can terrify everyone. So Charlotte Poole, 36, started walking around her block instead—something she was already comfortable doing.
2. Score fitness class freebies.
As a big fan of ClassPass, Alex Wittner, 43 found that many local studios offer free trials or super discounted rates for newbies. Take advantage of it! The worst thing that can happen is you did not like it and you used up an hour of your day.
3. Give the weight room a chance.
Weightlifting can be super intimidating at first, but Wittner discovered just how energizing lifting is once she joined a local gym. On days when pumping iron at the gym doesn’t fit into her schedule, she bows down to YouTube and Insta, where there are free tutorials galore.
4. Eat the pizza.
And the ice cream! Depriving yourself of any food never accomplishes anything, Wittner notes.
5. Give yourself a freaking break.
Life is too short to beat yourself up, Shannon Lane, 54 says. Despite what diet culture wants you to think, you can still be healthy if you don’t get in a workout one day or have a couple of margs at happy hour.
6. Cancel the whole “but I need a trainer!” narrative.
Sure, working with a professional can be a big help, but it’s not necessary if you want to develop healthier habits and manage your weight. “I never had a trainer or a nutritionist, but knowing what I wanted helped me stay consistent and changed my lifestyle for the better,” Lane says.
7. Balance your plate.
A meal doesn’t have to be super complicated to be both nutritious and satisfying. Protein + veggies + whole grains = dinner is served. Lane says that adding more proteins and veggies to her plate was an easy way to make her meals fulfilling. It makes sense: Protein, nutrient-dense produce, and fiber-rich whole grains do an excellent job of filling you up and keeping you that way for longer.
8. Get all up in nature’s candy.
I think we can all agree that a Reese’s PB Cup hits differently than an orange. But when you are looking for something sweet that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs, like fiber, then fruit is a great option, says Lisa Smith, 57.
9. Cook a week’s worth of food in one go.
“It’s the best way to stay on track,” Maria Arias, 38 says. Having a healthy, balanced meal ready to heat up and eat takes the guesswork out of it and makes it easier to make healthy choices when you’re really hungry.
Try prepping a few different things each week so that you can get a good mix of flavors and nutrients. (Eating the same thing every single day is boring anyway.) Some of Arias’s favorites include egg roll in a bowl, chicken broccoli Alfredo bake, one-pan salmon with veggies, and chicken parmesan.
10. Build confidence with baby steps.
“One small step kicked off some bigger changes and confidence in my ability to stick to something,” Sue Ryan, 48. says. “Small changes can lead to big results—so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with one thing, then add on.”
11. Focus on you.
“Do what works for you and don’t compare yourself to others,” Ryan says. “Everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.”
12. Start small.
“I began walking or jogging for 15 minutes a day. I worked up to 30 minutes and then increased it again. It was a very gradual process,” notes Kayla Greene, 38.
13. Don’t give up when your progress plateaus.
I remember hitting the first plateau and feeling so defeated, but you have to push through and keep putting in the effort for your plan to work. You can’t get discouraged”, says Greene
14. Make your old favorites healthier.
“I’ve always loved burgers and fries, so I also started making healthier versions of foods that were familiar to me, like turkey burgers with wheat bread and sweet potato fries.”, says Maria Henny, 43.
Healthy alternatives can be equally yummy, but remember it is totally okay to hit up Shake Shack (or In-N-Out, for our west coast friends) when you are craving it.
15. Eat your veggies.
Sue Heidemann, 42 often turns to vegetables for a quick and easy snack. Pro tip: Slice up veggies—like carrot sticks, bell peppers, celery, and zucchini—at the beginning of the week so you’ve got them locked and loaded for easy snacking when you need them. Oh, and don’t forget your fav dressing to dunk ’em in.
16. Pack snacks for late nights at work.
Late shifts are a KILLER, and when that 9:30 p.m. hunger kicks in they are even worse. “I bring food and snacks to work so when I get home I’m not starving,” she says. Eating when you’re hungry is never a bad thing. Never.