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This Is How 15 Real People Lost 30 Pounds

Their key to success? Following their own unique weight loss strategy.

If you're wondering how to lose 30 pounds, and which regimen is right for you, this article will help. We rounded up real-life weight loss success stories from Instagram and learned the tips and tricks that worked for them. Here are progress photos and advice from people who actually lost 30 pounds or more. Read on to find one you can identify with; you're sure to get a motivational boost.

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone's body is unique, which is why various weight loss strategies have a different impact on each of us. After shedding the pounds, you might notice a smaller waist or a thinner face before the fat melts away from other stubborn areas. But one thing's for sure—losing 30 pounds or more will make a noticeable difference on pretty much anyone's frame, no matter the starting point or the goal weight.

Keep it positive and realistic

busy mom lost 30 pounds progress pictures

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @sarahcroninfitmom

This busy mom keeps her weight-loss regimen positive and realistic, "I appreciate the progress I make every single day and I don't beat myself up over the wine, cheese, sweets, and carbs that happen here and there. I also don't spend a ton of time working out because I don't have it." While it's easy to let one slip-up get you down, you'll see more results by staying on track than allowing yourself to fall off the wagon completely.

Sarah's weight loss philosophy is rooted in consistency, "I show up [every day]. I know this works. And I know this will never result in me completely falling off the wagon and gaining it all back. This is flexible. This is sustainable." Being sensible about a healthy diet that's reasonable for you, in addition to a workout you can fit in your schedule, is crucial for staying motivated and sticking with your weight loss plan.

Build up muscle

woman lost 30 pounds progress pictures

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @kati3_fit

Katie didn't let anything stand in her way of weight loss. Her weight-loss regimen is a combination of eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and exercising at her local Planet Fitness. How did she lose 30 pounds? She used a mix of cardio and strength-training workouts, which builds muscle mass, tones the tummy, and blasts fat! If you're weight-training, it's important to take your measurements in addition to weighing yourself, since you might gain muscle weight while losing fat weight, your total progress might not show on the scale.

Approach it holistically

woman lost 30 pounds by exercising

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @renee_dangelo

Renee Dangelo promotes not just dieting, but a more well-rounded approach when building successful weight-loss habits, "In 3 months, I have changed my lifestyle completely. I cut out drinking, started eating healthy, and [trained] at the gym 5 days a week. I lost 30 pounds and went down 2 pant sizes!"

While a crash diet might help you drop pounds quickly, you'll likely gain back the weight once you settle back into eating normal food. "If you want to lose the weight and keep it off for good, target a weight loss of one to two pounds per week so you can truly see permanent, long-lasting results!" says Kristen Carlucci Haase, RDN.

Use a calorie-tracking app

30 pound weight loss progress pictures

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @lindsaykate527

Lindsay's primary reason for losing over 30 pounds and getting in shape wasn't the number on the scale, but her reproductive health. Which shows how important a healthy lifestyle is to all aspects of your well-being. She used a combination of exercise and calorie counting in her weight loss plan, "I logged all my food on an app and watched my calorie intake. I also exercised 3-4 days a week, on an elliptical."

Using a nutrition-tracking app can make tracking calories easy. And it might be a wake-up call seeing how quickly they can add up. But it'll feel amazing to subtract those calories from your tally after a good workout.

Embrace the struggle

woman showing off 30 pound weight loss and toned body

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @christie_purviance

Just like everyone struggling with their weight, Christie Purviance, who lost 30 pounds, admits it's not always a straight shot to the finish line, "Celebrate the small victories and don't ever dwell on when you fall off the wagon. We aren't perfect, we make mistakes, and we are all human."

Sometimes the scale can show an extra pound since the last time you checked, but that's perfectly fine (and normal.) While our weight can fluctuate due to many reasons, staying positive and on-track means you're still focused on your goal. Christie emphasizes the power of positive thinking and self love. "The words and thoughts we tell ourselves are SO powerful and have such an impact on us. If I could give advice to anyone struggling like I have, I'd tell them to let it go. Move on from it. Start over. Every day is a second chance and it's never too late. The imperfections and struggles are what make the journey so worth it," she says.

Incorporate clean foods

man showing off 30 pound weight loss

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @paparazzi_85

Balance is everything! This Instagrammer lost 30 pounds by incorporating clean eating into his diet with fresh soups and salads, accompanied by protein shakes for muscle-building when he's working out at the gym. The shakes act as great meal replacers if you're short on time for breakfast, but be careful, not all are created equal.

Take progress photos for motivation

woman weight loss progress pictures

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @illstartagainmonday

Instagram mom Kenna keeps herself motivated by posting progress pics and capturing stats from her training sessions, "Progress has been feeling slow and the scale is moving slower but I realized it's been a while since I've taken progress photos and holy cow, look at this! About 10 months, 30 pounds, more than a few hundred miles, tons of stress, a better routine, and clearer goals mark the differences between these two pictures!"

Share the journey with others

woman showing off flat tummy progress pictures

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @mamabear.aly

Aly Smith found her success through a transformation group and is now leading a group of her own, sharing stories and body confidence with others. Sometimes, it's hard to find the motivation to hit the gym solo, or to not eat that piece of cake when no one's watching. Whether it's joining a group or finding a friend to keep you on track, healthy goals can be more easily attainable when you share them with others.

Eat consciously

woman showing off weight loss from eating whole foods

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @marybettbratcher

Mary Bett's 'Gram is full of whole food picks essential for a healthy and happy bod: lots of protein, veggies, and healthy fats like almond butter. Good fats can help your body lose weight and function properly by keeping you full, maximizing metabolism, protecting against heart disease, speeding nutrients through your body, and improving your fat-soluble vitamin uptake. Even though exercise is vital, weight loss won't happen without conscious eating.

Challenge yourself


Photo courtesy of Instagram, @vroths

Instagrammer Veronica Roths got serious about her workout, which is how she lost 30 pounds in 2 months. She joined the 60-day weight loss challenge at Lifetime Fitness—and came in 1st place! She wakes up early, squeezing in gym time at 5am, and even exercises on her birthday. When working with her trainer, she mixes it up with pilates, rowing, and weight machines. It's this iron-woman attitude that got her the incredible weight loss results.

Do it right at home

woman showing off weight loss from exercising at home

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @paige_oxtoby

Instagrammer Paige lost 30 pounds by working out right at home, proving that a few sets of weights in the house can actually do wonders for those who don't have the time or money to hit the gym. She also makes herself post-workout protein shakes, using Shakeology superfood protein powders, in between well-balanced, primarily plant-based meals.

Nutritionist Lisa Jubilee MS, CDN lauds the protein powder brand as well, "Any smoothie made with Shakeology powder functions as both a balanced meal and a multi-vitamin. It's also a phenomenal post-workout muscle recovery drink. It's my daily dose of dense nutrition."

Or take it outside

woman showing progress pics of 30 pound weight loss

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @grafka31

If you get easily bored at the gym, take advice from Instagrammer Kacie and hit the outdoors. While she incorporates some machines, the majority of her photos are taken outside, hiking. If you live in a place where regular hiking is possible, taking advantage of the scenery can be a fun—and distracting—way to sneak in some exercise (and also, we envy you!)

Commit for the long term

30 pound weight loss progress pics

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @rie_summersR

Once you reach your goal, it doesn't mean it's time to cancel your gym membership. Getting in shape is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix, taking long-term dedication. This Instagrammer has maintained her fit figure for years since her 30-pound weight loss, with steady intense workouts.

Go paleo

woman showing off weight loss of 30 pounds with paleo diet

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @laureltonesup

Laurel ate like a cavewoman and saw the pounds melt off. It's not as crazy as it might sound. The paleo diet eliminates foods that our bodies haven't adapted to eating, such as dairy and refined foods, focusing on what is foraged, scavenged, or caught. Weight loss following this type of diet has been proven in studies, and it apparently also worked wonders for this Instagrammer.

Mix flexibility, resistance, and cardio workouts

woman showing off trim waist after losing 30 pounds

Photo courtesy of Instagram, @krystalsfitjourney

Krystal Bowman is another great example of how to lose 30 pounds by exercising at home. With weights and a medicine ball, she's transformed her body in a matter of months, dropping more than 30 pounds. There's countless waist-whittling tools you can easily add into your everyday routine, too—and you don't even need to splurge on weights! Joseph Cintron, fitness instructor/personal trainer at Carillon Miami Beach says if you're working out at home, a mix of flexibility, resistance, and cardio exercises is key. "These three aspects of fitness are a definite must," he says.