13 of the Most Inspiring Weight Loss Stories on Instagram
These people didn't just change their bodies, they improved their careers, minds, relationships, and health.
Commit to good health
It’s easy to look at fit, healthy people online and feel discouraged about our own bodies but the truth is that many of them had to work really hard to get to that point—and they’re willing to share their secrets with you. This year, instead of seeing those before-and-after pics on Instagram and feeling down, use them to inspire your own healthy changes! Word of caution: “I’m going to lose weight this year” is one of the 19 New Year’s resolutions you should never ever make.
I’m no longer in pain when I stand
“I am a teacher and so I am on my feet the majority of the day. However, I was finding it harder and harder to do my job because of my weight—I tipped the scales at 282 pounds. My feet, ankles, and knees were in excruciating pain due to me being so heavy, so on August 5, 2019, I decided I had had enough. I started by eating a low carb diet, eating platefuls of great proteins and veggies. My workout regime consists of cardio videos on YouTube and random cardio and toning videos purchased at my local grocery store. I never work out in the gym, always at the foot of my bed or in my living room. I still have not completed a full hour workout session but I’m not giving up, I know I will reach this goal as well! Just making these changes, I’ve lost 54 pounds in a little more than four months. My current weight is now 228 pounds and the best part is my feet, ankles, and knees feel 1,000 percent better!” —@curvalisiouslyroro (Ro’shanda M.) These 12 high-protein, low-carb foods can help you lose weight.
I decided to put as much work into myself as I did my career
“I’d been overweight for nearly a decade, trapped in a depressing cycle of working seven days a week and sacrificing everything, including my body, for my career. Finally, on January 1, 2019, I decided to take control of my life back. I committed to training six days a week and use one day to work on my social skills, another aspect of my life that had suffered from working 24/7. I started really basic with just a bench and a pair of dumbbells, but over the past year, I’ve seen huge changes. Cleaning up my diet, along with weight lifting, helped me go from 230 to 150 pounds. It was a lot of pain, sweat, and tears as I am continuously learning. I’ve had to work through injuries, emotions, and stress, and I’ve learned meditation. But I’ve finally realized that I’m more than just my job and I’m going to have my body for the rest of my life so I need to take care of it first.” —@resvv (Adam K.). Find out the subtle signs you’re more of a workaholic than you think.
Exercise is my therapy
“After suffering through five miscarriages and depression, I ended up gaining a lot of weight, ending up over 420 pounds. (I’m not sure what my actual weight was because my scale couldn’t go higher.) That was a real wakeup call and on November 4, 2018, I decided I was done living like this and was going to lose weight. When I put my mind to something, I do it! Just 13 months later, I’ve lost 174 pounds and I’m still going. People always ask how I am doing it. Well, I started out small, by swapping out junk foods with healthier options. I also began to intermittent fast so that I can gain some self-control with my compulsive nature to snack. Then I started walking daily. As I started to feel better I started to follow exercise videos on YouTube. When I gained some confidence I started going to the gym and that changed my life. I fell in love with strength training and I haven’t looked back. Exercise is my therapy and I exercise five to six times per week. Working out has helped me heal and manage my depression more than anything else has.” —@takingcontrolof_mylife (Sednette J.). Find out the 13 New Year’s resolutions nutritionists always make.
I had to do more than just count calories
“When the scale reached 333.2 pounds on my 30th birthday, I knew something had to change. I started out by just counting calories and adding movement, which led to some initial success and a loss of 20 pounds. But I knew that if I was really going to change and become healthier I needed to do more. So in December of 2018, I began following the keto diet and incorporated intermittent fasting each day. This means I eat a diet high in fat and very low in carbs, as well as limiting my eating to a certain ‘window’ of time each day. I also maintained my schedule of working out six days a week. This was exactly what my body needed and in 12 months I’ve lost an additional 120 pounds bringing my total to 140 pounds lost. I plan to lose the last 30 pounds in 2020 and reach my goal weight!” —krstyalloses (Krystal L.). Curious? Here’s how to start intermittent fasting.
Consistency is the most important thing
“Weight loss has always been tricky for me due to health complications from PCOS—the disease messes with my hormones and weight gain is one of the symptoms. But in November 2016 when I saw 315 pounds on the scale, I decided I had to do something. I knew that while it might be slower for me than other people, it is possible to lose weight with PCOS and that losing weight would help my symptoms. I started an exercise routine, working out three to five times a week, lifting heavy weights, and doing some cardio. But the biggest change has come from finding a healthy way to eat that I can do consistently. I am human and have my ups and downs but I’ve learned that any one day doesn’t matter as much as what I do over time. I’ve made little healthy changes in my diet that I can maintain and follow intermittent fasting. To date, I’ve lost a total of 47.6 pounds. It may not be the fastest weight loss but I know I can keep it off. No matter how long it takes me to lose the weight, I know I have come so far from where I started and am much healthier now!” —@iamktalinas (Kat A.). Try these tricks for keeping your New Year’s resolutions from people who actually did.
It’s all about having a positive mindset
“In February of 2018, I weighed 267 pounds. I knew this wasn’t healthy and I felt ready for a change. The key for me wasn’t to try another diet but to find a lifestyle I could live with realistically, for the rest of my life. Now almost two years later I’m at 180 pounds and feeling comfortable with my routine. Everyone asks for my ‘secret’ but the secret is that there is no secret. I choose healthy foods, I watch my portion sizes, and I exercise at least several days a week. That’s it. What I think people forget to incorporate into the equation is mindset. Your inner voice is a powerful tool and when you speak to yourself positively, you have a better chance of accomplishing goals, weight loss or otherwise.” —@fitgirljen18 (Jen M.). Saying these 14 daily mantras can help make your goal a reality.
I fell in love with fitness
“I used to look at all the weight loss stories and incredible transformations online and wish that could be me. At the time, I was at my highest weight ever and was often tired and unhappy. So in September 2018, I decided to use those transformations as inspiration for my own. I knew that I would need to change my lifestyle and that it would have to be something only I could do for myself. I started small by just counting my calories daily using the MyFitnessPal app. I was surprised to see how much I was really eating every day so I tried cutting them down a little bit. That helped me lose a few pounds. Then I started adding at least 30 minutes of exercise into my daily routine. Nothing crazy, just something to get me moving whether it would be the elliptical or walking at the park. Eventually, I wanted to try more vigorous workouts and I started challenging myself to try new things. I started to see positive results and developed a huge passion for the fitness lifestyle. Between my new passion and tracking my calories, I’ve lost over 50 pounds.” —@yomiduya (Naomi D.). Get motivated to move with these dance-inspired workouts don’t even feel like exercise.
Small changes, every day, lead to big results
“Being a husband and father means everything to me and I know my wife and kids deserve the best of me. So Christmas 2018, I decided that started with getting fit. I followed a ketogenic diet and I was surprised by how quickly the pounds came off when I put the corn and potatoes down and picked up the meat and avocados. I also learned to love my gym time. In the past year, I’ve lost over 70 pounds and feel healthier than I ever have. It hasn’t always been easy but I try to stay positive and focus on everything I’ve gained.” —@goodybeats (Logan D.). These 50 inspirational quotes will get you through even the toughest mornings.
I signed up for a program
“Some people can lose weight on their own but as a food addict, I knew that I was going to need more structure and accountability. So I decided to sign up with a weight loss program. I needed someone to teach me the right way to eat and a support group to lean on. I decided on the Optavia program because they not only gave me meal plans to follow and support but they also helped me address the psychological barriers keeping me from losing weight. Understanding the mental side made a huge difference in my success. I focus on making just one new healthy habit at a time, drink plenty of water, and continuously work on learning the psychology of dealing with stress, life, and all the triggers of food addiction. I’ve lost 58 pounds in four months! I still have about 50 to go but I know I’ll get there.” —@coldesina 2000 (Julie D.). Find out the most addicting foods on the planet.
I got an ‘excellent’ on my fitness test
“I’ve been in the Air Force for 17 years and every year everyone has to pass a fitness test. In 2019, I was 198 pounds, a size 11/12, and had a 33-inch waist. I knew I had to lose weight to pass my test. So I started following the ketogenic diet, eating a lot of fat and very few carbs. After about two months on the diet, I added exercise. I work out three to four days a week, doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and running outdoors. I’ve lost 56 pounds and am currently a size two with a 26-inch waist. But the best part is I passed my fitness test with an ‘excellent’ score!” —@dwina22_ketochic (Ladiwina G.). Ready to start exercising? Just be sure you never do these things while you’re at the gym.
Surgery helped but it wasn’t magic
“My whole life I have been overweight. I’ve tried diet pills, fad diets, exercise, you name it, but nothing stuck nor worked. I then decided to have a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight-loss surgery, on March 5, 2018. I weighed 322 pounds. Now, as of December 2019, I’m down 120 pounds. Contrary to what a lot of people think, surgery wasn’t the ‘easy way out’ and I’ve had to work really hard to lose the weight. I’ve stalled, plateaued, and even regained some but by keeping a regular gym schedule and eating a balanced diet I’ve continued to make progress. My goal is to lose another 20 to 30 pounds and then just continue maintaining my weight.” —@lexxlosing (Alexis G.). These life-changing New Year’s resolutions you’ll want to keep forever are smart goals to aim for.
I found a healthy lifestyle I can do forever
“After having my daughter, I realized that I needed to get healthy—not just for myself but for her, so I could be the mom she needs me to be. I lost 110 pounds in two years. People always ask me how I did it and honestly, there’s nothing surprising: I ate whole foods, I maintained a calorie deficit, and I lifted weights. The whole point for me was to find a way to be healthy that I could do for the long term and I feel like I’ve found that. Now I love helping other people with their weight loss goals. Motivating others helps me stay motivated too!” —@barbelletexas (Morgan G.). Learn the scientifically proven trick to keeping your resolutions.
A plant-based diet saved me and my dad
“Weighing over 240 pounds, I was scared my father would never meet his grandchildren and we decided together that he needed to do something to take control of his health. As a plant-based nutritionist, I taught my dad to eat an oil-free, whole food plant-based diet, like I do. Within just one month, my dad lost over 15 pounds. A few months later, he was down to the weight that he graduated college at. He became a big believer in my program and within a year, he was off all medications. My dad says he feels like he has his life back.” —@healthyemmie (Emmie). Next, read on to check out 13 of the most jaw-dropping weight transformations on Instagram.