8 People Who Lost 100+ Pounds on Their Best Healthy Habits

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Kath Nash)

Getting and staying healthy is a major accomplishment, no matter the number on your bathroom scale. I would know. After decades of thinking that I was destined to be the forever-fat girl, I finally lost over 70 pounds and gained some control over my body.

In tandem, I gained some control over my mind. Because more important than the weight loss is that I finally discovered radical self-love — the kind that makes it way easier to pause before stuffing food into my face. Because, truth: I love me more than I love chocolate, and that makes it way easier to prioritize my well-being over any delicious ingredient (including chocolate).

Now I take a few moments to ask myself why I’m inserting food between my lips before I consume it. And that short pause has become one of my techniques for keeping the weight in check and prioritizing me.

I spoke with several others who have lost 100 pounds or more to understand how they keep the weight off and maintain a healthy balance. And I’ve already picked up some of their healthier habits, all listed down below.

“I try to practice the 80/20 rule, meaning I focus on eating healthy 80% of the time and don’t worry about it 20% of the time.”

“I get hungry every two to three hours so I make sure to have food planned for those times. I actually meal plan way ahead of time — like weeks in advance. Sure, things change, but I use meal planning and food prepping as a way to feel prepared for hunger pangs.”

“I don’t keep cookies or anything sweet in the house. The best thing I can do for myself is to simply not buy the foods that I know I can’t hold myself back from, like anything sugary.” —Irina, age 32, freelancer writer and editor, lost more than 100 pounds.

“I almost always eat slowly and take a sip of a drink between each and every bite of food. I also try to remember to put my fork or food down between each bite.” – —Lara, age 49, book publicist, lost 150 pounds

“I schedule my treats to help me stay in control. If I allow myself chocolate on Wednesdays and beer on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, I can keep myself from going off the rails.” —JB, age 37, payroll supervisor for a grocery store, lost 255 pounds

“I talk to my clients about having a food blanket and, for me, it’s tea. It’s my stepping-stone away from food. I love a spicy, rich tea, especially in the afternoon. It’s my way to get that satiety, that warmth, that feeling in my stomach that radiates.” —Rose, age 36, weight loss coach, lost nearly 150 pounds

“I ask myself if I am hungry for a full meal. I’m also very sensitive about how much food I put on my plate, to ensure I manage my portions.” —Scott, age 46, financial services, lost more than 100 pounds

“I try to eat very slowly and really chew up my food. I find that if I slow down and allow my body to realize it’s getting fed, I am no longer hungry and I eat less food.”

“I portion out my meals in advance to avoid over-eating. I also try to not go back for seconds or pick off of my kids’ plates.” —Elizabeth, age 30, financial coordinator, lost 170 pounds

“I eat on small plates and drink out of small glasses. This is one of those tricks I use to help me focus on how hungry I really am.”

“I have learned to pay attention to my body’s cues — to really listen to it — and ask myself if I’m really hungry or just bored, and eat accordingly.”

“I focus on consuming food with five ingredients or fewer, where I can pronounce and recognize the name of each ingredient.”

“Keeping my water intake consistent has really helped me stave off boredom or stress eating. I always have a water bottle on hand and instead of reaching for food, I reach for it.” —Taji, age 43, chef, lost nearly 100 pounds

“I think my key is not eating after 6 p.m. daily. I also ask myself the same two questions when I’m considering skipping a workout or want to indulge in food: What do you want? How bad do you want it? If I pause and ask myself those questions, it’s pretty easy to cruise by the pastry table and grab fruit or grilled chicken instead of a double cheese burger.” —Jack, age 52, sports editor, lost more than 130 pounds