7 People Who Lost 100+ Pounds Share Their BEST Weight Loss Secrets

Photo: Michael Mazzella
People Who Lost 100+ Pounds Share Their Weight Loss Secrets
Buzz, Self

New year, new (healthy) you.

It's a new year and many of us have big goals. One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to get our weight under control and live a healthier lifestyle. However, a lot of us don't succeed in the follow-through. 

We consulted several people who had lost over 100 pounds and asked them what worked for them. What's the key to weight loss success?

1. "I drink at least 80 ounces of water a day."

Drinking water will aid in suppressing your appetite if you drink it 20 to 30 minutes before you eat, says Tanisha Shanee, an International healthy lifestyle expert who lost over 150 pounds. Naturally detox by adding lemon, mint, and cucumber to your water, and drink that throughout the day. This assists in burning belly fat and cleansing your digestive system. 

2. "I have more faith in myself."

"Many people jump to the how to lose weight and don't understand why they need to. When you understand why losing weight is necessary, you're compelled to remain consistent with the weight loss journey. The solution lies within you, not a product," says Shanee.

3. "I replaced 'I'm fat,' with 'I can do this.'"

"How would you feel if your best friend called you fat, disgusting or lazy? If you wouldn't accept that from a friend, then you need to stop accepting it from yourself. Weight loss over 150 pounds is more of an inner journey then a physical one.

Pay close to attention to the small things you tell yourself, while making an effort to replace the negatives with positives. You'll notice things will seem much easier and less daunting as soon as you replace, 'I'm fat' with 'I can do this,'" says Michael Mazzella, who lost 150 pounds.

4. "I was vulnerable enough to explore why I let myself gain so much weight."

"There's a difference between accidentally eating too much pizza with friends on a Friday and stuffing yourself with pizza alone and depressed in your apartment. When it comes to major weight loss, it's important to look at the emotional layers that manifest into the physical ones.

If you're willing to be vulnerable enough to start learning what truly caused you to be in this position, you will start to recognize what this weight is really protecting you from. A major weight loss journey is simply a path to deeper self-discovery," says Mazzella.

5. "I focused on losing one pound at a time."

"Consistency over the long haul is key to reaching your weight loss goals. If you look at this in terms of needing to lose over 150 pounds, you will feel overwhelmed and likely abandon your attempts. Look at your weight loss as small daily efforts that snowball into big results," says Mazzella.

6. "I threw away my food journal."

"Most weight loss experts will suggest food journaling as a way to hold yourself accountable to what you're actually putting in your mouth. When I was in the midst of trying to lose 150 pounds, food journaling always made me feel weird and abnormal.

Things changed when I decided to replace my food journal with an emotions journal. Instead of writing down what I ate during the days, I logged how I felt when I ate it," says Mazzella.

7. "I set life goals, not weight goals."

It's going to be tough, but try your best to avoid measuring your success by the number on the scale.

"There are so many factors that play a part in the numbers you see and focusing on them will only drive you crazy. Instead of obsessing over getting to a certain number, consider a life goal instead. By doing this you will start to feel impacts in all areas of your life, despite what your weight is," says Mazzella.

8. "I stopped saying, 'I'll start tomorrow.'"

"First of all, remove the word diet from your vocabulary. Going on a diet is a 100 percent guaranteed road to weight gain. If you truly want the donut, then you need to just eat the donut. Because if you don't, it's very possible that you might end up eating the entire box of donuts and pushing your plan to the next day.

Instead of throwing the rest of the day away, get right back on your path with the very next meal. An overindulgence at lunch doesn't have to break the flood gates for the rest of the day," says Mazzella.

9. "I found a fitness routine that I love  and stuck to it."

"Mine has evolved over the years, but the last two years my obsession has been with Pure Barre Beverly Hills — an amazingly uplifting workout that combines cardio, strength training and toning, and it really does all those things. It's also good for my mental well-being," says Joanna, 31, who lost 160 pounds.

10. "I live a no-carb, no-sugar life — but in moderation."

"I go through phases where I'm incredibly strict on the lifestyle plan so that I see pounds drop, but when life gets in the way I live it to the fullest, bad foods and all. I just know it won't be long before I need to balance back out to avoid weight creeping back on quickly," says John, who lost 150 pounds.

11. "I don't drink my calories."

Stick to water, coffee, iced tea and chew your calories. So that means avoid your daily high-calorie Starbucks drink, says Mary, who lost 110 pounds.

12. "I realize that it's all about balance."

"Even though I lost weight on weeks I didn't exercise, you have to eat less AND exercise. Your body needs less calories to grow thinner, and exercise for muscles. More importantly, your inner fat-person's (unhealthy) brain needs exercise to reinforce a thin-person's (healthy) mindset. Exercise elevates your mood and reinforces your positive intentions and lifestyle changes," says Mark, 33, who lost 100 pounds.

13. "I ignore comments from others."

During my 160-pound weight loss, I received so many 'compliments' from well-meaning friends and loved ones congratulating me that 'I'd lost my other half' and words of amazement, that while they meant to be helpful, were often the opposite. I learned to tune those out and channel my frustration in the gym instead of engaging with people who can never understand what you go through to get there," says Alicia, 29, who lost 160 pounds.

14. "I engage in social media because it works for me."

"My husband lost 100 pounds using an app on his phone to track calories consumed and burned through exercise. He just finished his first marathon in December, and finished four half-marathons over the past two years," says Patricia, 40, whose husband lost 100 pounds.

15. "I plan ahead."

"Plan your meals if you can. It makes it easier to succeed. I plan my family's dinner menu a month in advance. I grocery shop for all of my proteins (freeze them) and non-perishables once a month. I buy fresh fruits and vegetables every week, and do my best to eat organic," says Rasha Pecoraro, a Biggest Loser alumni and spokesperson for Oregon Weight Loss Surgery.

Pecoraro lost 135 pounds from having weight loss surgery after appearing on The Biggest Loser.


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