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21 Unique Ways Real People Lost a Lot of Weight

"To each their own" rings seriously true when it comes to eating habits and weight loss success.

Everybody is different—and consequently, different weight loss methods work for different people. While healthy, moderated eating and regular exercise is above and beyond the expert-recommended way to a lighter frame, some people get creative and color outside the lines with their own get-it-done strategies. And there's something relatable about that; we all dream of the day where we can eat dessert for breakfast and fast food daily without any weighty repercussions.

Although we don't suggest you trust all of these wacky eating plans, we think it's worth hearing about what other people did to drop more than a few jeans sizes. Like any big lifestyle change, the moral of the story is that you may find the most success by doing something that truly speaks to you. All that said, there are always these 40 Fun Ways to Drop a Jeans Size, Stat that won't make your doctor cringe like some of these diets.

The Chipotle Diet

Courtesy of Chipotle

It almost sounds too good to be true, but one man was able to live the dream by eating out every day and getting seriously ripped. After eating from the Chipotle menu every day for 315 days, David Cunningham was able to trim down from 172 pounds to a chiseled 146 pounds. The key for him was to have Chipotle package the foods separately so he could weigh proper portion sizes at home. He also put an emphasis on regular exercise, too.

The Kids' Menu Method

Children are smaller in size, so their meals tend to reflect that. Ashli Johnson made the most of this connection and began ordering off of the kids' menu at fast food joints in an effort to slim down. She also cut back on calories, stayed mindful of snack portions, and began exercising daily. These changes brought Ashli from 206 pounds down to a lean 140!

Freelee the Banana Girl


Freelee set off a media storm when she revealed her incredibly outrageous banana-centered diet. By eating up to a whopping 51 bananas a day (!) on her high calorie, low fat, high carb, raw, vegan-based diet, she was able to shed an impressive 40 pounds. In total, she consumes around 5,000 calories per day—91 percent of which comes from fruit. There are 21 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Bananas, but this diet is still way too bananas for us.

Twinkie Diet


Traditionally a dieter's nightmare, convenience stores were this man's main source of weight loss fare. Professor of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, Mark Haub lost a solid 27 pounds in two months by eating 1,800 calories per day—of twinkies, donuts, and other convenience store junk food staples. We assume this was part of a school project, but who knows?!

Green Tea Success


Finally, a diet that makes some sense to us. After drinking nearly nine cups of green tea per day for a year, Samantha Reese dropped an astounding 106 pounds. She credits much of her weight loss to swapping the calorie-free, antioxidant rich tea in for more sugary drinks like soda and milk-heavy cups of tea. Make the most of the benefits from tea with our best selling book, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!

Pizza Diet

When he became tired of restrictive diets, Florida cyclist Matt McClellan took a different approach to weight loss—one that would incorporate his favorite foods, like pizza. Matt kept his calorie intake to 2,400 per day, which was around six slices of pizza. In an effort to maintain balance, he ordered pies topped with the healthiest ingredients like veggies and lean protein. In addition to his pizza-fueled meals, he made sure to get in one hour of exercise per day, five days a week. The result? Matt lost 24 pounds in one month and cut his body fat from 20 percent to nine percent.

McDonald's Diet

The golden arches and weight loss are rarely (if ever) spoken about in the same breath. But high school teacher John Cisna shed 60 pounds in 180 days from eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonald's. The key for John was choosing McDonald's menu items carefully and limiting calorie intake to 2,000 daily. He was also exercised four to five days per week.

Beer and Sausage Diet

The beer and sausage diet may sound like a cruel joke, but one man from Arizona found success gobbling down the barbecue staples. He lost 20 pounds in one month by consuming high-quality, protein-rich sausage—and yes, drinking beer. The catch is that he capped his calories at 1,500 per day, which is why he saw a reduction in weight.

Starbucks Diet


The fast-casual coffee chain supplied librarian Christine Hall with all the food she needed to lose 80 pounds. Her busy schedule made it difficult to get to the grocery store and cook proper meals, which is why she ran to the corner Starbucks when it came time to eat. She stuck with healthier menu items like oatmeal, regular coffee, and bistro boxes filled with fruits and cheese and was mindful of portion sizes. There are plenty of calorie bombs at Bux, though; find out what's what in our exclusive report on Every Breakfast Item at Starbucks—Ranked!.

Food Diary Tracking

A little logging goes a long way—especially for Lucas Irwin who lost 130 pounds by tracking his meals in a food diary for a year. He also kept his intake to 1,350 calories daily and credits the social media community on Reddit for supporting his weight loss efforts.

Video Game Diet


While sitting around playing video games is partly to blame for Taylor LeBaron's initial weight gain, he was later able to approach his sedentary habit in a much healthier manner. He designed his own "Ultimate Fitness Game" by envisioning calories as money and calculating his budget for the day. His goal was to go through a maze of rooms without bottoming out his allowance. Eating foods like cookies would cost him money, while exercising would increase his savings. By re-positioning his gaming habits he was able to go from 300 pounds to a svelte 145.

Biggest Loser Method

You watch them shed hundreds of pounds on national television, so why not try to mimic their quest? Melissa Kubiak and her friends held their own Biggest Loser-style weight loss competition and she wound up losing 125 pounds! Melissa cooked meals inspired by fitness guru Jillian Michaels and also tracked calories, logged elliptical sessions four days a week, and strength-trained twice per week. Finally, a diet that is anything but wacky and is instead Eat This! approved! Now discover how to keep the weight off with 20 Incredible Weight Loss Tips From A Biggest Loser.

Raw Food Diet


Compared to the junk food diet, this one may seem less-than-exciting; but for Angela Stokes, it was the key to her 160-pound weight loss. She went totally cold-turkey, cutting out animal products and processed foods, and replaced them with uncooked veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Wow!

The Non-Diet Diet

For many, diets are a short term fix to a long-term problem—which is why Dell Farrell gave up yo-yo dieting altogether. Instead, she allowed herself treats like tacos and ice cream but tracked her calories on one of the leading weight loss apps, MyFitnessPal. On her non-diet plan, she was able to drop over 30 pounds—and keep the weight off. In case you haven't picked up on it yet, calorie counting can be very helpful! Check out these 25 Ways to Cut 250 Calories for help.

The Cookie Diet

Christina Kane found her success with Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet. Yes, she lost weight with cookies! The diet involves eating six pre-packaged cookies per day in addition to one regular (healthy) meal like chicken and veggies. She snacked away over 40 pounds in just three months using the method. Although six cookies may sound like a lot (especially when they're usually nixed from diet plans), you're really only consuming around 800-1,000 calories per day, which created a big enough deficit to result in weight loss. That's a low calorie count, though, and she's lucky her metabolism didn't plummet. Eating too few calories is one of the 31 Ways You Messed Up Your Metabolism Today!

Baby Food Diet

Rumored to have been created by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, the baby food diet takes portion control to a whole new level. Actress Jennifer Aniston reportedly lost seven pounds in just one week by eating 14 servings of baby food puree each day in addition to one real meal consisting of grilled fish and green veggies at night.

Weight Loss Competition


Weighing in at 217 pounds, Maribel Contreras decided to sign up for a 12-week body transformation contest at her gym, in an attempt to slim down. By increasing her workouts and swapping out regular fast-food meals for cleaner options, she was able to drop an impressive 77 pounds! Order these 25 Best New Clean Eats You Can Buy Online to make clean eating easier on yourself!

Fitness Tech

Technology within the fitness space has been growing rapidly, and Barbara Delamarter decided it was time to make the most of it. By downloading MyFitnessPal (yep, that app again!) to her phone to log her food and activity, she was able to melt away 53 pounds off her frame.

Race Ambitions


If you're not one to log endless miles on the reg, running a marathon probably sounds like the last thing you'd want to do. But despite her previous distaste for the activity, Jennifer Roe signed up for a half-marathon on a whim. After making the commitment, she began training regularly and was able to work her way up to finishing multiple races and half-marathons. Her adoption of running helped her peel away a total of 56 pounds.

Stayed Accountable with Facebook

Many people fall off the wagon because they lack motivation or accountability. However, Christina Taylor eliminated this common pitfall by using Facebook to keep herself accountable. She set up a Facebook page to post progress pictures of her journey and quickly found a strong community of support. Beyond that, she started strength training regularly, ditched the fast food, and prepared healthy snacks ahead of time as to not be tempted when she goes out. These were all great ways to lose weight; don't miss these 30 Easiest Ways to Lose Weight After 30 for more ideas!

The Junk Food Diet


This should make you cringe if you know anything about nutrition and/or the awful effects of sugar and highly-processed foods. A writer by the name of Jeff Wilser managed to lose 11 pounds by eating purely junk food for one month. Though images ice cream by the pint and fistfuls of candy may flutter through your mind, Jeff was careful to keep his portions in control, capping his daily calorie intake at 2,000. He was, however, particularly keen on M&Ms, donuts, Chex Mix and Little Debbie chocolate cupcakes. Even though this isn't exactly a healthy diet, Jeff's portion control willpower is impressive; find out how to improve yours with these 18 Easy Ways to Control Your Portion Sizes!