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20 People Explain Exactly How They Lost 20+ Pounds This Year

Read to learn how 20 different people found success in their weight loss journey.

Deciding to go on the journey of losing weight and changing your health can be a difficult decision to make and an even more difficult process to maintain.

Because of this, it can be extremely helpful to have support and encouragement along the way. If you're on your journey or thinking about getting started, we've got some extra inspiration for you.

Here are 20 success stories from people who lost 20 pounds or more this year. And for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out The 7 Healthiest Foods To Eat Right Now.

Eat lunch.

Healthy snack meal prep with cut carrots celery hard boiled eggs apples grape almonds and rice cakes

"I lost over 50 pounds in a period of about 8 months, and the biggest change I implemented was with my lunch during the workweek. I found that my lunch at work was my worst meal of the day. I went from eating fast food each day to meal prepping grilled chicken, vegetables, and nuts (almonds) for the week."

"Not only did I reduce my calorie intake by almost 800 calories for just that meal, but I also found myself not as hungry throughout the day because I was getting a good ratio of protein, carbs, and healthy fats." – Jeff Moriarty, who lost 50 pounds

RELATED14 Lunch Habits That Help You Lose Weight

Work out daily if you can.


"I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2019, and having the accountability of everyday workouts and a community through Onnit was an absolute god-send for my road back to health and recovery. I participated in workouts on a daily basis that were engaging, but also nourishing, teaching me the importance of proper mobility and recovery."

"If you'd like, you can hear more about my health journey on my podcast!" – Seth Marcus, who lost weight with Onnit

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Meal prep.

Vegetarian meal prep with italian peppers zucchini mushroom

"Things like meal prep and finding a supportive community were some of the keys to my success. I learned it all through the Onnit 6 Challenge, and the Onnit community continues to give me the tools and support I need for my results to be sustainable." – Angie Sanders, who lost weight with the Onnit Challenge

Meditate and be kind to yourself.

"Being frustrated by my lack of progress and excessive snacking were some of my greatest challenges, so I set out to address each one of those obstacles."

"I started nightly meditation and breathing exercises, and have learned to be kind toward myself, remind myself how far I've come, and go into every day with a plan. Having a plan each day and tracking my intake through Lose It! has helped me avoid mindless snacking."- Daniel Acevedo, who lost weight with the Lose It! app

Drink a lot of water.

drinking water

"I had a hard time doing normal tasks such as walking up stairs and playing with my daughter, so I began tracking my meals and getting in daily exercise using Lose It!"

"I realized I was drinking so many of my daily calories, so now I drink around 150 ounces of water each day. I log my food for the day each morning so I know what to expect throughout the day. I also make sure to get in some form of exercise every day." – Michael Murphy, who's lost 110 pounds

RELATED: Major Side Effect Of Not Drinking Enough Water

Don't be afraid of cardio.

"I have lost 101 pounds so far, and I did that by drinking a gallon of water every day, taking classes 5-6 times a week, and focusing on my cardio. I did weight loss challenges at The Camp Transformation Center and learned to really push myself every time even when it got hard and I wanted to give up."

"To maintain my healthy lifestyle, I've limited my alcohol intake, tried cutting out a lot of processed foods, fast food, junk food, continued to drink a lot of water, and continued my workout routine." – Alex Alvarez, who has lost 102 pounds

Always find time for a salad.

chicken salad

"I've lost 70 pounds so far and I've done it through changing my eating habits by following the nutritional guidelines at The Camp Transformation Center."

"I'm more conscious of what I eat and what I put into my body. I don't eat rice as much, even though you know us Filipinos love our rice. I now sometimes substitute my rice with salad instead. At the end of the day, it was dedication, consistency, and the eating habits I changed that helped me lose the weight." – Gian Muya, who lost 70 pounds

Lower your alcohol intake.

eating dinner

"I lost 20 pounds this year after gaining weight during Covid. I decided to try an Isagenix program, even though I was hesitant because of the price. It was a tough 30-day regiment and I had to completely change the way I was eating. I cut out dairy, red meat, alcohol, and in the first 30 days I lost 14 pounds."

"I decided to continue the plan but phased a few alcoholic drinks in here and there (just clear alcohol like vodka or tequila if I went out with friends). In May, I lost another 6 pounds."

"It really taught me to eat differently in a sustainable way. I can now go into a restaurant and know what to order. I treat myself occasionally, but I realize that my body doesn't really crave a lot of the stuff it used to anymore." – Erin Talbot, who lost 20 pounds

Try intermittent fasting.

older man working out gym weights

"The biggest thing with my weight loss was getting my diet under control. Previously, every burger was a double cheeseburger, every scoop of potatoes and cheese had a second one behind it. Dessert was a 'yes, please!' But I realized no amount of exercise can undo this."

"I also found intermittent fasting to be a game-changer for me. It turns your body off fat-creation mode and puts it into fat-burning mode."

"And finally, regular exercise was a necessary part of it for me. It's not about being a gym rat, although I kind of am, it's just using your physical body to become stronger and healthier." Ben Nettleton, who lost 35 pounds

Try This Intermittent Fasting Tip To Lose Stubborn Fat, Expert Says

Exercise portion control.


"Because of my occupation (recipe developer), making large lifestyle changes just wasn't an option, but I started to make a conscious effort to control portion sizes by using small plates."

"I also eat all of my veggies and proteins first and then if I am still hungry, add carbs. Lastly, and the biggest change for my journey was daily exercise. I make sure to do a 30 minutes run/walk combo every morning on my Nordictrack." – Jessica Formicola, who lost 35 pounds

Lose weight together.


"My buddies and I actually made a bet to see who could get in shape the fastest. I know it may sound strange, but I believe that to achieve your health goals, you have to make it about something bigger than you. Making a pact made me do the things I said I was going to do even when no one else was watching."

"I used a free app called MyFitnessPal and input my goal of losing weight. I tracked my daily calorie intake while still getting enough macronutrients to gain muscle. I also made sure I hit my step count by adding a 1-hour walk alongside my steps at work.  My accountability started to slip so I hired a personal trainer who kept me accountable to my workout."- Kawan Karadaghi, who lost 22 pounds

Stick to the basics.

Healthy desserts fruit banana ice cream blueberries

"I recently lost over 30 pounds just by doing some very basic things. I learned to manage my portion control, track my daily calories, and change the types of desserts I have after meals."

"I'm not a big workout or exercise person, but I try to walk a few miles on the weekends if possible, nothing crazy! I've found that sticking to the basics and being aware of your caloric intake vs. what you burn in a day is all you really need sometimes." – Sarah Levy, who lost over 30 pounds

Find a type of workout you love.

"I lost over 100 pounds in the past 3 years from CycleBar. I was looking for a way to up my fitness game to actually see results and lose some weight. I started noticing results and fell in love with the classes at CycleBar, that I quickly decided to apply to become an instructor and teach my own classes!" – Amy Schuerman, who lost 100 pounds

Cook meals at home.

couple cooking together

"I've gone from 265 pounds to 213 pounds, and I did this by making some key changes in my life. I gave up soft drinks, limited my intake of processed sugar, spent more time outside, and made more meals at home from scratch." – Baron Christopher-who lost over 50 pounds

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Planning out your meals.

refrigerator grocery store

"The biggest thing I did to jump-start my weight loss was meal planning. Having a plan each week for what I would be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a fridge stocked with food for those meals was a game-changer. Instead of running out for fast food at lunchtime, grabbing a last-minute pastry with my morning coffee, or calling for takeout because I was too tired to figure out what was for dinner – I followed the plan I had made."

"This truly changed everything for me. Most of my unhealthy eating stemmed from choosing unhealthy foods in the moment when I was too hungry or tired to think about a better choice." – Kristen, who lost over 20 pounds

Find your fitness community.

"I came from a large, southern family who indulged in unhealthy foods and couldn't find time to make nutritious meals with their busy schedules.  As an adult, I found myself falling into the same bad habits and weighing about 200 pounds."

"I discovered Pure Barre back in 2017 after taking advantage of a free week of classes and have been a member ever since. The welcoming atmosphere and encouragement from the studio's community have helped me overcome the intimidation of exercise and negative perceptions of my body." – Allison Schweickert, who lost 50 pounds

Set aside time to walk every morning.

older woman walking with hand weights

"I was 49-years-old and 245 pounds when I was diagnosed with neuropathy diabetes. I reached out to Medi-Weightloss and the staff there taught me healthy eating habits, meal prep, how to monitor my blood pressure, and gave me ideas for exercise routines that would change my life for the better."

"I enjoy going for my hour-long morning walks and eating my favorite whole foods, and I feel more confident in holding myself accountable." – Rachelle Rivera, who lost 85 pounds

Intuitive eating.

eating parfait

"I am 44 years old and I have lost weight with WW and intuitive eating.  I followed their program and I did very light exercises. It was the first time I really considered how hungry I was and why I was eating what I was eating." – Pesha Perlsweig, who lost weight with WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

RELATED: Learn more about WW's new WW PersonalPoints™ Program to help you stay on track with your weight loss goals here.

Leslie Jacobs.

chicken grilled

"It's been a wild ride, but something that really helped me was discovering intermittent fasting, as well as realizing I wanted to limit my meat intake to chicken, pork, and bacon only on special occasions." – Leslie Jacobs, who lost over 100 pounds

Enjoy the cheat days.

older man walking headphones

"I started with power walking every morning, 6 days a week—rain, heatwave, or shine. To amp that up, I threw in taking the stairs more. Walking in the door with a sweat is key after every walk."

"I then cut out things like rice and bread and mashed potatoes—that 3rd part I'm still working on. I also replaced fast food with smoothies, and learned to never skip a meal as well as enjoy fun cheat days."

"Another important thing I did for my weight loss journey was cut out negative friendships and any old negative thinking patterns." – Sam Russel, who lost over 45 pounds

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha