Losing weight takes work—there’s just no getting around that fact. But the journey to health and fitness doesn’t have to be a painful, uncomfortable slog. These Fitbit users discovered that a few easy swaps and some simple strategies were all they needed to tip the scales in the right direction. Here are their twelve best weight loss hacks—plus, links to their full success stories, so you can find even more inspiration to help you hit your goals!
12 Weight Loss Hacks That Work
1. Have the right mindset. “I told myself I wasn’t going to let life kick my butt, I was going to kick its butt. You have to remind yourself where you were and where you want to be, and find ways to just keep going.” —Casey C., 30, from Greenfield, IN.
2. Break up your big goals. “I would always set small goals, like just losing five pounds, instead of a big goal of losing 50 pounds. That kept me motivated because I was always on my way to accomplishing my next goal.” —Arvindu S., 26, from Guyana, a country in South America
3. Come up with a simple formula. “I realized that if I walked 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day and ate 1500 to 1600 calories a day, I would lose weight. It’s a simple way to break down what I need to do.” —Cathy Z., 50, St. Paul, MN
4. Go gradual when upping intensity. “I started out running one mile and walking two. Then I started running two miles and walking one. Then running three miles and walking one. Now I run three miles and walk two, and I do that three or four days a week.” —Ebony T., 45 from Dallas, TX
5. Sleep your way fit. “I was more motivated to be active and would be up for hiking, surfing, or running. I never thought I would see all of those benefits from sleeping better. I think sleep was the missing component all along!” —Kaiwiola C., 37, from Honolulu, HI
6. Get friends in on the challenge. “[My friends and I] would do weekly challenges against each other. I found a competitive spirit that I didn’t even know I had. My friends would see how many steps I was getting and would [taunt] me to go to sleep and stop walking—that just made me want to keep going!” —Arvindu S.
7. Change how you view food. “I used to see food as a source of comfort and eat until I was full. Now I see it as fuel and eat until I’m satisfied. Once I started thinking of food that way, it became a lot easier to choose the healthiest things.” —Casey C.
8. Look at added sugar. “I used to eat two containers of yogurt a day, but then I noticed that each one had 20 grams of sugar! You really have to pay attention to labels at the store—things that are fat-free might be packed with sweeteners to make up for it.” —Amanda L., 34, from Chambersburg, PA
9. Get smart about dining out. “You might think that a salad is healthy, but with the cheese and ranch dressing on top, it can have as many calories as a burger. Most chain restaurants have their calorie counts online, so it helps to look up menu items beforehand so you aren’t fooled by something that sounds healthy.” —Amanda L.
10. Remind yourself to hydrate. “I actually write ‘drink water’ down in my planner so I don’t forget to drink while I’m at work. I know water intake is important and otherwise I’ll forget. —Kaiwiola C.
11. Be sneaky when you drink. “Instead of ordering vodka with a splash of soda water, I order soda water with a splash of vodka and lots of extra ice. It’s perfect for when I want to have a drink without having too many calories.” —Ebony T.
12. Just keep tracking. “I really made an effort to track all of my habits, and I encourage others to do the same. Even if you don’t make any changes at first. Just observe what you’re doing, and then decide what needs to change, so you can get healthier and feel better about yourself.” —Haley S., 24, Amarillo, TX
Ready to start your own health and fitness journey? Use the compare tool to find the Fitbit device that’s right for you!
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.