Do you want to lose 20 pounds? Weight loss can be a much more bearable—and enjoyable!—journey when you have some tried and true tips at your fingertips from individuals who have already achieved your goal weight. It’s inspiring to hear their personal stories and the hacks and habits that worked for them, which may very well work out great for you, too. Of course, we’ll preface this by saying weight loss is a truly unique experience for everyone, and what was a successful trick for someone may not be the best plan of attack for you. But they’re worth a shot and have expert approval to back them up.
We did some digging on TikTok to see what success stories we could find. People who have lost 20 pounds share the no-fail tips that set them up for weight loss victories, and we’re here to share what they have to say. We also spoke with Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, a nutritionist in private practice, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, who weighs in on these habits and shares why they’re effective.
Making a few healthy adjustments in your routine may take some getting used to, but it’s a crucial first step in the process. So if you want to lose 20 pounds, keep reading for the no-fail tips that worked for other individuals who were in the same boat as you. And when you’re finished, be sure to check out the 7 Habits That Destroy Your Chances of Losing Weight.
TikToker @shaunajensefitness starts off her 20-pound weight loss video by saying, “I lost 20 pounds and completely transformed my life, my confidence, my skin is better, I feel more energized, I feel confident in my body.” The first tip Jense offers is to establish a healthy morning routine. Why is following healthy habits first thing in the AM a productive way to go about weight loss? It can set you up for all-day success!
“Having a healthy morning routine such as eating a healthy breakfast, exercising, and getting enough sleep is essential,” Young explains. “A healthy breakfast provides energy throughout the day and prevents you from overeating. Incorporating exercise will contribute to weight loss to further burn calories and build muscle. Enough sleep is important as lack of sleep disrupts hormones by increasing hunger and appetite leading to overeating.”
Another tip from Jense? Drink your greens! She reveals, “I drink my greens every single morning and it has seriously been such a game-changer for me, and especially finding one that actually has naturally occurring probiotics for my gut health. But the biggest thing with my greens and my morning routine is that it just sets me up for a positive day.”
Drinking your greens in the AM can be beneficial if you want to lose 20 pounds because it promotes satiety, which will help you avoid overeating the rest of the day. “Greens are also high in fiber to help regulate digestion and prevent the consumption of excess calories,” Young adds.
TikTok user @baileyspinn stresses in this weight loss video, “Drink water. It’s not that hard, babe. You will notice a difference in your body very quickly if you drink enough water.”
Getting sufficient water comes with some solid health benefits pertaining to weight loss. By sipping some H2O before meals, you can help decrease the amount of food you consume, because water helps you feel fuller and eat less. Young adds, “Replace sugary beverages with water throughout the day, and stay hydrated as it suppresses your appetite and boosts metabolism.”
Being at a calorie deficit—combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine—is necessary if you’re looking to shed stubborn weight and get into shape. TikToker @baileyspinn shares, “To lose weight, I was eating about 1500 calories a day.”
Young explains that creating a calorie deficit you’ll stick with can result in weight loss, because your body will begin to use the energy that’s stored “in the form of fat” as a source of energy. “Calorie deficit should be done with daily exercise for weight loss,” she notes.
If you’re wondering what the “80/20” rule is, Jense explains this nutrition habit consists of eating 80% whole foods and 20% fun foods. “I used to have a super restrictive mindset around food and I [ditched] that completely, and I was able to now have balance where I have 80% whole foods and 20% fun foods, so it allows me to enjoy my life but also get to my goals and eat properly for my goals,” Jense says.
This “rule,” or approach to eating allows you to eat healthy foods without totally depriving yourself of the fun stuff or your guilty pleasures. “For weight loss, it is important to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but also occasional indulgences in less healthy foods to create a sustainable long-term approach,” Young explains.
TikTok user @trainwithtristan shares one of her go-to, tasty recipes that helped her achieve a 20-pound weight loss success story. She explains in the video, “Here’s a meal that I consistently eat to help me stay in a caloric deficit, which is the key factor in losing weight. This whole meal is about 450 calories and about 30 grams of protein.” It’s one serving of rice, chicken, and tons of veggies, complete with a teriyaki marinade.
According to research, diets that are high in protein have been dubbed a successful method in avoiding or treating obesity. Consuming protein can help enhance the way you manage your overall body weight. In fact, studies have linked higher-protein energy-restriction diets to a greater amount of weight loss, maintained lean muscle mass, and fat mass loss when compared to lower-protein energy-restriction diets.
Eating smaller meals more frequently is something that helped TikTok user @emilyraefit drop 20 pounds. Along with scoping out low-impact workouts Rae actually enjoyed—and sticking with them—this TikToker consumed smaller, more regular meals. In the video, one of these meals appears to be a small taco with guacamole and a side of rice and beans. “This promotes portion control and prevents overeating,” Young explains. “It may help boost metabolism, improve satiety, and reduce hunger.”
Rae also noted that finding “easier, lower-calorie food swaps” was the name of the game in her weight loss efforts. In order to do this in your own weight loss journey, Young provides a few easy-to-follow tips. For one, opt for grilled or baked foods instead of fried foods (when it comes to items like fish or chicken). Next, select sources of lean protein rather than high-fat options. And as far as salad dressings are concerned, choose olive oil or vinegar. Lastly, ditch the high-fat, high-cal snacks, and enjoy some fresh fruits and nuts instead!