- Finding the motivation to lose weight often comes from others who have had similar experiences.
- Losing weight requires lifestyle changes that you can sustain.
- The initial weight loss is only part of the equation. You need to have a plan in order to maintain the weight you want to be at.
Making a lifestyle change to get healthy or lose weight is a unique experience for each person. While you’re working on it, hearing about other people’s transformations can be inspirational and encouraging.
If you’re in need of a little motivation, check out these weight-loss tips from people who have been there and done that.
Matt Schiffman: Sticking to a ketogenic diet helped him lose over 100 pounds.
Matt Schiffman, vice president of brand management at RSP Nutrition, lost and kept off over 100 pounds after he decided to take charge of his health through small, daily improvements.
One improvement he implemented immediately was a shift in his diet. “For me, a ketogenic diet worked well because I love fatty cuts of meat and savoury foods,” he told INSIDER.
But you can’t force it. That’s why his advice is to find a diet that works for you and allows you to eat the types of foods you love. “There is no one single right diet, but there is a diet that is right for you,” Schiffman said.
Mike DeMaria: Intermittent fasting helped this firefighter lose 23 pounds.
Firefighter Mike DeMaria recently lost 23 pounds by sticking to a strict eating schedule through intermittent fasting.
He said he ate only between the hours of noon and 8:00 p.m. and watched the weight melt off. As he began to lose weight, he also felt more energised and started to work out more frequently in the gym, switching between running, a StairMaster, weights, and other exercises.
One tip from DeMaria: avoid doing the same workout every day. “Some days I run 5 to 7 miles outside, while others I may run 2 to 3 miles on the treadmill,” he told INSIDER. He also alternates between the StairMaster, quick plyometric workouts – exercises that involve quick, repetitive movements that stretch and contract muscles – with burpees and push-ups, and lifting weights.
April Storie: An exercise app helped her lose 26 pounds.
April Storie told INSIDER that, as an Army veteran, physical fitness has always been a part of her life. But in December 2016, her dad died, and her grief was unexpected, immense, and exhaustive, and it led to poor food choices and lack of physical activity.
In November 2017, she said, she discovered an app called Aaptiv and purchased a one-year subscription. “As I began to move more, I started making healthier eating options,” she said. “I eliminated all inflammatory-causing foods and stopped all supplements and pain medications with the goal of allowing my body’s systems to heal and restore themselves.”
Storie used the meditation section of the Aaptiv app morning, noon, and night to help eliminate stress and the yoga and walking programs for gentle yet effective movement while her body healed. After 10 months, Storie is down 26 pounds and has her sights set on returning to running 5K races.
Marcus Cook: Doing something new every day helped him lose 256 pounds.
IronmanFoundation ambassador athlete Marcus Cook is proof that patience and perseverance wins every single time. Cook dropped from 489 pounds to 233 pounds in a year and a half after his close friend and boss died from cancer.
“Before he died, he said, ‘I’m dying because I have an incurable disease, and you’re dying because you have a choice,'” Cook told INSIDER. “When he said that to me, I changed everything about what I was doing and made an about-face turn.”
To get started, Cook committed to doing something new every day, a tip he often gives to others. “I realised that my weight didn’t appear overnight, so it wasn’t something that I could change in one day,” he said.
His started parking his car far away from the entrance of the store, taking the stairs up six floors instead of the elevator, and swapping out a burger for a salad at restaurants. These small changes led to Cook setting a goal to complete an Ironman triathlon.
“Three years ago, I weighed close to 500 pounds and could barely swim a lap,” Cook said. And now, after reaching his ultimate fitness goal of finishing the Ironman World Championship triathlon on behalf of the Ironman Foundation in Hawaii this month, Cook gets to celebrate.
Allan Misner: Changing his mindset helped him lose over 55 pounds.
After turning 30, Allan Misner said he began packing on weight.
“I went through years of yo-yo dieting, and it wasn’t until I hit on a single change that helped me lose weight and keep it off,” Misner told INSIDER.
It was a mindset change that eventually led to a 55-pound weight loss in 11 months.
“Weight loss is only possible if you make a mindset change,” Misner said. This comes from finding your “why.”
“When you have a deep and emotional ‘why’ – mine was my daughter – you have something much stronger than willpower: You have commitment,” he said. “My daughter, Bekah, was getting into CrossFit and mud runs, and I was getting less and less fit (I was around 40% body fat and getting fatter). I realised I was going to miss out if I didn’t do something, plus, I didn’t want to watch her from the sidelines – I wanted to be in it with her.”
So Misner committed to getting healthy and fit, and within 11 months he completed a Tough Mudder with his daughter.
Katie Dunlop: Ditching fad diets and trendy workout plans led to a 45-pound weight loss.
Katie Dunlop, creator of the workout and health community Love Sweat Fitness, lost the 45 pounds she gained in college by ditching fad diets and trendy workout plans. She follows three simple rules: have a clear “why,” dream big, and plan small.
“For years the only ‘why’ I had was to be skinny so I’ll fit in better and boys will like me,” Dunlop told INSIDER. “It’s sad but true, and I don’t think I was alone in that very superficial reasoning.”
When she finally hit her breaking point, she was 45 pounds heavier than she wanted to be, dealing with depression, and facing the lowest point in her life. That flipped the switch and was the moment her “why” changed.
“For the first time in my life, I was able to recognise that it was about more than weight,” she said. “I wanted to wake up every day feeling good from the inside out, and I recognised the only way to do that was to make healthy changes.”
And when it comes to planning small, Dunlop said it’s often easier to start by adding something into your routine than to take something out of it. “If your goal is weight loss, instead of starting with cutting out certain foods, try adding more veggies to your plate; you can slowly start to transition to less junk and more healthy foods.”
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