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20 Healthy Weight Loss Tips From People Who Lost Over 50 Pounds

female with lean midsectionWe asked, and you delivered. Thank you to all who contributed. Literally hundreds of tips were emailed in and posted on Facebook. All of the tips were compiled, and a common pattern began to take shape. Here they are – 20 of the best healthy weight loss tips from people who have lost over 50 pounds.

Drink Water

One of the biggest common denominators amongst people who lost over 50 pounds is they all switched over to drinking water. They gave up the sodas and sugary drinks and instead quenched their thirst with water. This tip alone helped hundreds of people lose weight.

See why drinking water is the secret to fat loss.

Keep a Food Journal

Write down everything that goes into your mouth. Most people were surprised to see how much they were actually eating. It wasn’t until they wrote it down that they began to realize the cause and effect of what they were putting into their bodies.

Count Calories

What a boring and tedious job, but probably one of the most effective undertakings for losing weight. There is no getting around calorie balance. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat less than you burn. I personally use the LoseIt app to track my food calories (calories in), and the BodyMedia FIT Armband to track my daily calorie burn (calories out).

Control Portion Sizes

In our super-sized food culture, portion sizes have gotten out of control. Eating portions the size of your fist is a good start towards controlling your food intake. Getting in the habit of measuring your food with a digital food scale is a great way to learn how to eye portion sizes. Also, don’t feel like you always need to finish off all the food on your plate. Leaving a couple of bites will teach you self-control.

Here’s how to determine correct portion sizes for weight loss without calorie counting.

Don’t Diet

The best “diet” is the one that best fits into your lifestyle. Once you find that, it’s no longer a diet – it’s just a way of life. One of the best healthy weight loss tips people sent in was to approach weight loss as a lifestyle change, and not as a diet. Once you get it out of your head that there’s an end date, you can start focusing on the day-to-day realities of living a healthy lifestyle. Being fit is not a destination – it’s a way of life.

Be Consistent

No one is perfect. We are all going to make mistakes. However, successful people are consistently living a healthy lifestyle. Over a period of time, they are eating healthy 80-90% of the time, and they are exercising several times a week.  Make exercise and healthy eating part of your everyday routine and soon it will be as second nature as brushing your teeth.


A healthy lifestyle takes planning. Most mistakes occur from a lack of a plan. Plan your meals in advance so you know what to buy every week at the grocery store. Only buy what you plan on eating, and try to cook your meals ahead of time. The simple nature of reheat and eat makes it much more likely that you’ll stay on track.

Make Small Changes

Make small changes consistently until they are habit and you no longer have to think about it, and then make another change. There’s no need to completely change your lifestyle all at once. You’ll be much more likely to stick with your new healthy lifestyle if you make small changes. Try changing one thing at a time.

Here are 10 baby steps towards better health and fitness.

Educate Yourself

Learn the whys. Don’t just do something because someone said to. Understand the purpose behind it. Many people just want a meal plan or blueprint to follow for weight loss. However, the successful people that lost weight and kept it off long term started taking an interest in how nutrition and exercise impact their bodies. They learned the “whys” behind what they were doing, and they were more successful because of it.

Get Active

Nearly everyone who lost over 50 pounds added in some form of physical activity. Even if it was just a little bit, the fact that they were more active helped them lose the weight. The trick is to find an activity you enjoy. Not everyone likes the same exercise. Find an activity you love to do, and then push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

You’re going to mess up. We all do. Successful people don’t beat themselves up over it. They get right back on track. They don’t wait until tomorrow to do so either. Their healthy lifestyle and weight loss continues to move forward and make progress because they allow themselves to make mistakes, learn from them, and then end up stronger as a result.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

We are highly influenced by the people close to us. Many successful people had to move forward with their lives and leave old friends and lifestyles behind. It was a hard decision to make, but they understood how important it was to surround themselves with people who believed in their dreams.


How do you expect to accomplish your goals if you never start trying to achieve them? Beginning is half the challenge. Don’t be afraid of failure. People who lost over 50 pounds stopped waiting for things to happen, and went out and made things happen.

Stop Making Excuses

Successful people made the shift and realized that the reasons for why they weren’t reaching their weight loss goals were actually just excuses. It was a hard idea to accept, but once they were honest with themselves, they spent less time making excuses, and more time finding ways to accomplish their goals.

Do It For Yourself

Make ME #1. Lose weight for Me, not because of pressure from other people. We all have our own reasons for wanting to lose weight, but a common denominator amongst the healthy weight loss tips sent in was that the successful people undertook their new lifestyle because they wanted to. They weren’t pressured into weight loss by friends or family. They did it for themselves, and as a result, they inspired others to do something for themselves too.

Be Patient

You didn’t gain your weight overnight, and you aren’t going to lose it that way either. We all want the weight gone quickly, but once you realize that weight loss is a process, you can stop beating yourself up for not reaching your far-fetched weight loss goals. Stop looking at weight loss as a day to day challenge. This is a lifetime commitment to changing.

See why losing 2lbs per week isn’t realistic for everyone.

Stay Positive

Negative thoughts lead to negative results. You are the result of what you think. Keeping a positive mindset on your weight loss journey increases the odds of your success. You will learn a lot about yourself during your lifestyle transition. There will be many challenges and difficulties, but it’s important to understand that even though it might not be easy, it will be worth it.

Discover Your Relationship With Food

Why are you eating bad? Make the connection between your eating habits and your emotions. Get to the root of your negative lifestyle choices. Know when your body needs food and when it wants food, and find new ways to reward yourself other than with food.

Don’t Try to Be Perfect

If your goal is to be perfect, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. No one is perfect. Even the people who seem to have the most perfect bodies didn’t get there by being perfect. Perfection is something many strive for, but ultimately something they will never achieve. Do your best!

Read why progress, not perfection, is the key to long-term success.

Never Give Up

Weight loss happens the moment you don’t give up. Many people don’t realize how close they were to achieving success. There comes a time when things just click, but that doesn’t happen until you’re ready to throw in the towel and call it quits. The longer you stick with it, the higher your odds of success. Keep moving forward, and don’t ever give up!

I had a lot of fun writing this article. There were so many helpful weight loss tips sent in from first-hand experiences. The many personal weight loss journeys were inspirational to read.

Again, thank you to all who contributed. This truly was a community effort. Be sure to check out the rest of the tips that were posted on Facebook here and here, and if you have another tip that isn’t listed above, please take a moment and share your tip in the comment section below!

  • Raquel

    I love this list. I didn’t have 50 #s to lose, but I did lose 30. I followed every thing on that list, except I didn’t have the positive support around me. My family including my husband would laugh and mock my efforts, but that just made me more determined to prove them wrong! Now I am back down to 105#s, feel great, and have achieved my other goal…6 pack abs! Guess who’s laughing now!!! :)

    The three biggest tips for me were counting calories, portion control and patience. Learn to enjoy the process and make it a life style…it will happen, just give it time!!

    • Victoria



    • Tatyana

      Hi there,

      I just want to know how could you count calories especially when you eat a home made soup for ex. I am not good on it. Please give me some tips. Thank you for your time.

      • Tara

        I have a great free calorie counter help, Gteat website!! I lost over 20 pounds counting calories alone! It works and its free, try it!!

        • Keri

          Spark people .com has a recipe calculator. Just enter ingredients and how many servings and tells you the calories.

      • Erika Jane

        find a free calorie counter and measure your food out before you cook, the calories in the food after its done cooking should be the same as when they were added together in the begininng. home made foods usually have less calories because you arent using anything sweetened or with added fat or preservatives. ;)

      • Lisa

        Try ‘Spark” it has a free calorie counter and all sorts of help and advice, etc. Also as Erika said keep track of what you are putting in your soup, measure it out and then write it down for next time.

      • Helen

        Hi tatyana,

        I eat only home made food also. Can’t eat anything pre-packed because I have so many food allergies. But as commented by everyone else, I calculate or measure the calories of all the items I am cooking with by using an on-line calorie calculator then I divide by the number of portions that I get out it. Food generally ends up being really low in calories especially it it’s soup, stew or casserole.

      • suzie


        great calorie counting website

        i lost 75 pounds over a year ago and maintaining. now trying to take it a little further with 10 more pounds….
        good luck!

    • Emma


      you deserve a hubby who is supportive and loving. not mocking.


      • Erika Jane

        totally agree,
        anyone who doesnt support you in your choices in life doesnt deserve to be there for your successes

    • Helen Green

      Well done Raquel. You must be so pleased with your achievement.

      Don’t know why your family and husband did not support you. You will have a longer and healthier life for loosing that weight. Fantastic effort.

      Thanks for the list Coach Calorie. My biggest thing is not drinking enough water and not writing down everything that I eat but I will now. Thanks

    • danae

      I am losing weight right now and I understand what you mean about the lack of support. I have tried to lose weight many times, and at this point i think a lot of people just expect me to give up again. My sister is my support system, though. My biggest mistake in the past was imagining some kind of end date. I do know that these changes have to be lifestyle changes, and people like you really keep me motivated. thanks for sharing.

    • Lucero

      They laugh because they are insecure and jealous. What awesome results. I have more than 50# to lose and and starting over.

    • Linda

      Hi Rachel,

      Congrats on losing 30 lbs. that is so great and for not giving up. I too lost 100 lbs now my hubby can’t keep his hands off of me. God Bless! I tell folks all the time, your stronger than you think you are. Take care!

  • kristina

    When I lost my weight it was hard keeping a food journal. Instead of writing I took pictures. I always had my phone with me, so there was no excuse not to document. The visual of portions and becoming aware of the bad food I was eating got easier. I also started my day with protein and fiber.

    • Erika Jane

      thats a great idea
      that way when your taking the photo you can feel good about what your taking a pic of and probably order or make a healthier plate because you know you have to take a pic of it.

  • Cathy McKeen

    I have lost 17 pounds so far. One of my tricks to losing weight is eat very slowly. Chew your food, put your fork down between bites and sip some water between bites. This really works. And I do not deny myself if I am craving sweets. Instead of a chunk of cake or a big slice of pie I take a piece that will be only a few bites and eat it slowly. It has worked well for me so far. Still have about 40 pounds to go.

    • Diana

      Thanks for the reminder about slowing down well eating – This is my biggest down fall of them all. I am always on the go and eating way to fast. I may put an elastic on my wrist and snap it when I notice I am eating too fast. Maybe that will help remind me to slow down.

  • Cherie Mock

    These are the best. Especially those at the top. I always thought I could keep up with calories and portions in my head. Writing down or keeping your food on a website (I use keeps you in check. It also helps you see what you did wrong and right. Don’t get discouraged. It didn’t go on in a day and it won’t come off in a day.

    • http://facebook christy kerling is the best! My sister told me about, and now I am hooked!

      • Danielle

        I LOVE! I’ve lost 90 pounds over the past 18 months. Keeping track of what you’re eating is key. Knowing that I have to log every almond that goes into my mouth, makes me eat much less than I would otherwise. Not to mention, seeing how much sodium and sugar is in processed foods definitely affects the choices I make. Between that, and making sure I get in some kind of workout 5 days a week, it’s actually been getting easier and easier.

  • Alison

    great post! Love your site

  • gene

    the list is right on i have lost a 163lb doing the thing above

    • Lisa

      WOW! Good for you! Gives me some hope and inspiration to keep going!

  • Gail Owens

    My advice is to start and to progress every step. My training really took off when I joined a facility similar to crossfit. Having a coach help you with your diet and giving you a training programme is invaluable.

  • Jo

    Great Post!

    Here are my favourite free Apps for food logging, these are really helping me keep track of my eating – has a huge database of every type of food you can imagine, or you can scan the barcode to log – you take a pic of everything you eat – it goes on a feed and people rate it if healthy or not, it’s pretty fun!

  • Victoria

    Great story!

    my big tips are
    1.dont eat Diet Foods, instead get heaps of veges into your diet so you are not ever hungry.

    2. Eat a refuel meal each week- a refuel meal can really help to prevent blow-outs during the week, helps you be more disciplined around temptations, and helps to reset your metabolism for maximum fat burning

  • marianna honeybill

    they say not to strive for perfection, yet put a pic of thebest looking torso i have seen, which is something i have tried to get for years without starving myself and i just cant. makes me feel like crap to be honest :(

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  • northierthanthou

    Good advice. I think drinking water is the one I need most to get serious about.

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  • Lisa

    Good list! Stop making excuses is huge–maybe even #1 in importance. I made excises for years and years, until I was 250+ pounds and developing diabetes. I lost 110 pounds–no more excuses!!!

  • Patrick

    Never Give Up… that is the toughest tip on the list. I’ve yet to have rum at weight loss that hasn’t ended in giving up for an extended period of time. Here we go again, have to get this done this time…

  • D.C.

    One consideration: Regardless if you exercise, eat right and get proper rest, if you have considerable stress in your life, you won’t lose weight.

  • Anita

    I agree with every tip on this page. In fact I found a website that tracks it all. Its called FatSecret. This site along with Coach Calorie has helped me obtain most of my goals so far. Since April 22,2012 I have gone from 198 lb’s to 163 lbs. The scale is of no value as I lost a lot of inches and gained muscle. I also believe eating clean is a fantastic way to go.

  • Shanleigh41

    Wow, I loved the compiled list above. I started my journey back in April this year. I weighed in at 213.3 and I’m down 191.2. I’m down 22 would love to be down 32 but it takes patience and well, when it comes to weight loss, I don’t have it. What changed my eating habits for life, was being on vacation and visiting the porcelain God at 1AM. Earlier that day, I had fried food and french fries. Later that night I had stomach pains and cramping. Once I got sick, I said enough is enough. I drank lemon water all day the next day and nothing else. I love documentaries and recently watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and last night I watched Forks Over Knives. Wow! Life changers for sure.

    I set myself up 3 mini-goals and 3 major goals along the way. I hit my 1st major goal of getting out of the 200’s. Yay! (I treated myself to a massage )I hit my 1st mini-goal of weighing less than my pre- pregnancy with my youngest at 193 and now I’m working on my next mini goal of weighing less than my pre-pregnancy weight with my oldest (180) and my next big goal of being back into my wedding dress at (168). I still have 1 more mini-goal and 1 more major goal but for right now, baby steps and 1 pound at a time : ) I’d like to check back in from time to time and hear more success stories. Thanks Shan

  • Faith_Bookuvr

    I agree with 99% of this.. I lost 65lbs in 9 months.. I did start off using weight watchers but what I learned from weight watchers was Portion control (since they don’t count calories but points). I took the knowledge for portion control and continued on the journey myself (because I hated the food log and the counting points). Making healthy food choices and doing everything else on this list besides the food log and the counting calories (plus joined a gym).. I went from a size14 (192lbs) to a size 6 in 9 months and then decided to do a figure competition to challenge myself and got down to a size 2 in another 9 months for the competition. Anything is possible with consistency and patience.. My journey was typically 1-2 lbs a week lost and it took time but not as much time as you would think. Being on the other side is worth it.

  • Aga

    that is great!!! :)

  • Karen Wheeler

    I lost 35 lbs. in 2008 with Weight Watchers and am now a Lifetime member having maintained a 30+ lb. loss for four years. I double track with Weight Watchers e-Tools and Myfitnesspal so I see the Points Plus Values and Calories (plus protein, carbs, and fat) I am eating daily. I agree with all of the summaries in this article and have applied them all to my life since I started the journey of weight loss and maintenance. I started out a size 14 at 193 lbs. and am now a comfortable size 8 at 160 lbs. My next challenge is to get 10 more lbs. off in the coming months. Tracking my daily food intake and watching portions has been a huge key to my success. What I put in my mouth is even more important than any workouts I get. Although I do some form of activity six times a week. I’m 50 and never thought I could achieve this kind of fitness before this journey!

    • Coach Calorie

      Great job Karen! You’ve got it right that your nutrition is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss.

  • boughtnpaidfor

    Great list. I would add “eat healthier foods” just like replacing sugary drinks and artificially sweetened for pure water, tossing out ‘bad foods’ and putting in good ones makes healthy, almost without regard for quantity.

  • Joan Quinlan

    I look forward to reading this info every day. Awesome coaching and day to day strategies that work. Thanks so much.

  • James Harlan

    no potion just self-discipline…

  • ione

    I started by not eating anything with ADDED SUGAR in the ingredient list. From there, I just slowly added healthier foods and work out about five days a week. In seven months I’ve lost about 50 lbs. eating small meals five times a day has helped me not to crave food and hardly feel hungry. Thus while I’m preparing my food I make good choices and not desperate attempts to just put anything in my mouth. I’m also drinking about 2 to 3 littler a of water a day.

  • Jenn Mitchell

    Great tips. I lost over 50 post pregnancy pounds. I owe it all to many of your tips. Slow and steady worked for me.

  • kelli

    Great List to go by..i like the Don’t Diet : Being fit is not a destination – it’s a way of life!… I used to think once i get there Im done and Yo Yo diet most of life once i figured out that Diet is not a dirty word its just the way you eat as My diet consist of Protein, veggies, good fats,and Limited fruit and carbs not foods that restrict just eat smaller portions and allow myself to have choc or things not normally on my reg diet on occasions

  • Jono Ringo

    “Don’t beat yourself up” for a second there I thought that meant physically lol! I did crossfit for about 6 months, though it was a great workout and I lost fat and added muscle, I was constantly in pain or getting hurt, I’ve stopped doing x fit since then but continue to be vey active and losing fat.