How To Lose 30 Pounds: 15 Helpful Habits From People Who Have Kept It Off

If you are wondering how to lose 30 pounds AND keep it off, this post is for you! Not only will I share my tips and experiences, but I will also be sharing 15 helpful habits I have learned from some of my readers who have been able to keep it off after their 30 lbs weight loss. 



A few weeks ago, I rediscovered the book 7 habits of highly effective people. I am sure you heard of this book considering it has been around forever. Anyway, I didn’t read the book again but the title did get me thinking…

When people are learning how to lose 30 pounds, what are some of the habits that have effectively helped them sustain that weight loss?

The key part of that sentence is “sustain that weight loss”. As someone who has lost over 30 pounds, I can tell you that losing weight in my opinion is easy compared to sustaining it. But, I have sustained my weight loss for 10 years now!

I know the habits that work for me and even created the Organize Yourself eBook & 30-day Workbook Bundle filled with everything I know. But, I was curious about what other people do or have done to sustain their weight loss. So, I decided to ask this question in the Organize Yourself Skinny Facebook Group. Many responded and gave some great responses!

An Observation I Made About My Readers

Before I share a summary of the responses, I want to talk about an observation I made as I was reading all of them.

I found it very interesting – though not surprising – that not one person mentions a fad diet or strict diet program when talking about losing weight and/or sustaining their weight loss. A couple of people did mention Weight Watchers but I think that the program does work for a lot of people because it focuses on lifestyle and habits.

I personally don’t think paying for a program like Weight Watchers is necessary but, out of all the programs out there, I think it is the most realistic.

Anyway, my point is that almost every single habit that was talked about was free and did not require a restrictive “plan” or “program”.

Now, of course, this is not a scientific study by any means but only what I found by asking people who follow the Organize Yourself Skinny Facebook page.

How To Lose 30 Pounds: 15 Helpful Habits From People Who Have Kept It Off

Are you someone trying to learn how to lose 30 pounds healthily and safely?

Then, I think you will feel relieved and pleasantly surprised –or not – to find that all 15 of these habits are real everyday habits that anyone can implement into their lifestyle.

All without sacrificing yourself or any of the food you love! These habits don’t require a monthly fee, for you to buy special diet foods, or the need to follow a list of complicated rules.

Please note: These habits are not in any kind of order. All of them are equally important. I summed up all their responses into 15 habits, added my thoughts, experiences, and resources if available.

1. Do not eliminate foods or deem certain foods as bad or “off-limits”.

With all the restrictive diets flooding our TVs and computer screens, you would think the only way to lose 30 pounds would be to completely eliminate food groups and only live off kale and water. Well, that is not the case.

Most people who lose weight and sustain their weight loss do not do so by removing certain foods completely from their diet but finding a way to fit them into a healthier lifestyle. It’s more about portion-control than depriving yourself of the foods you love.

For weight loss to be sustainable, your lifestyle needs to be sustainable.

Here are some additional resources:

2. Develop routines and make it your lifestyle.

Losing weight has everything to do with creating healthier habits.

To do this, you need to switch up your routines. Basically, if you do what you always do, then you are going to get what you always get. Once you have created new routines and stick with them, those routines will eventually turn into habits and become your new lifestyle.

Keep in mind that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So, don’t give up on those new routines so quickly. Also, don’t try to overhaul your life in one week. Slow and steady friends! Too much too soon will cause you to burn out and get discouraged.

Here are some additional resources:

3. Eat clean(er) foods.

When you are on the journey to learning how to lose 30 pounds, you probably hear or read that you should eat “clean foods”. But, what does that exactly mean?

Basically, clean eating means eating foods that are minimally processed, if processed at all, and closest to their natural state. When you eat clean foods, your body receives more nutritious foods, which means it will be nourished and satisfied longer.

Here are some additional resources:

4. Have an accountability system.

Accountability systems are so important when losing weight. They help you measure success, identify issues, and motivate as you move forward. I personally use my scale to hold me accountable. That is what works for me!

I also pay attention to the way my clothes fit and how I look in pictures. I know the picture thing might sound weird but for many years, I hid behind my kids in pictures because I hated the way I looked. One reader suggested always looking at yourself in a mirror, front, and back. I think the picture and mirror tip comes down to not hiding from yourself.

Now, I am not suggesting that you become obsessed with the scale or mirror. Not at all! But, having an accountability system is very effective in helping to lose weight and sustain that weight loss.

Here are some additional resources:

5. Practice portion control.

Once you embrace and learn the concept of portion control is when you realize no food is truly off-limits. The saying “everything in moderation” absolutely rings true in the world of sustainable weight loss.

Here are some additional resources:

6. Learn to track your food.

Next to portion control, tracking food is one of the most powerful tools when you are trying to lose 30 pounds.

In order to make any changes with food, you need to know what you are eating and more importantly how much. Some people will say that counting calories or tracking food is tedious and too time-consuming.

Yes, it does take a little time upfront- however, the rewards in my opinion far outweigh any inconvenience. Plus, once you become more aware of the food you are eating you may not need to track as much. However, I have ALWAYS found it helpful to fall back on tracking whenever I have gotten off track.

Here are some additional resources:

7. Try to prioritize exercise.

In order to reach your goal weight and sustain that weight loss, you have to prioritize exercise. When you combine a healthy diet with exercise, you will see results.

Not only will your body change and look better but your mood will change and you will have much more energy. Now don’t get scared because I am not saying you need to run marathons or spend hours in the gym. But, you do need to get sweaty a few times a week. Find what works for your lifestyle and make a commitment to exercise 3-4 times a week.

Here are some additional resources:

8. Eat every few hours.

I hate being hungry.

When I am hungry, I tend to get headaches, crabby, and become totally fixated on food. It really is not a pretty sight.

So I have learned that instead of eating 3 bigger meals with long periods of time in-between, I do much better with eating 5 smaller meals a day. This helps keep me satisfied all day and prevents me (most of the time) from making bad food choices.

Here are some additional resources:

9. Find healthy substitutions for favorite foods.

I think the biggest myth with losing weight is you must give up your favorite foods. This is not true at all! In fact, I have found it to be the exact opposite.

If you want to lose weight and sustain that 30 lb weight loss, you need to find a way to continue enjoying the foods you love. Once you start to feel deprived is when your efforts to create healthier habits will crumble. You want to create eating habits you can live with forever!

Here are some additional resources:

10. Stay hydrated.

I never really concerned myself with hydration. I always thought I drank enough water but I was wrong!

However, once I started drinking green smoothies in the morning, I realized that maybe I was not properly hydrated before.

Because when I drink smoothies, I feel alert all day, never get headaches, and have a ton of energy that lasts me all the way till night. When I don’t drink them, I feel the opposite.

Drinking my smoothies not only gives me a good dose of fruits and veggies but it also gives me a lot of water and liquid to hydrate my body. For me, it is difficult to fully hydrate my body by just drinking water all day. If that works for you, great! But, I have found smoothies to really help with hydration.

If you find yourself tired all the time and not having energy, try doing more to hydrate yourself because that could be the issue.

Here are some additional resources:

11. Meal planning, Meal Prep, and Freezer Meals

Creating a menu plan and preparing your foods ahead of time helps you become more intentional with the food you are eating. When you are intentional, you think before you eat and most likely will make better food choices.

Both of these tools – used together – serve as the roadmap and vehicle for a healthy lifestyle. Without either of them, I would never know what I am eating and certainly would not have the food available when I am ready to eat. And you know what happens next? Yep, take out or quick unhealthy snacks.

Taking the time to menu plan and then preparing the foods that you can ahead of time make such a big difference with your weight loss efforts.

Here are some additional resources:

12. Have a cut-off time every day with eating.

This has been one of my go-to weight loss habits when I was on my journey to lose 30 pounds!

Late-night eating has always been an issue for me as I am sure it is for other people too. By giving myself a cut off time, I am able to control my nighttime calories.

This habit, as with others I have mentioned, keeps my intentional with my eating. My personal cut off time is 7:00 pm so I know if the clock says past 7 pm and I am eating more than likely I am eating unnecessary calories.

Now your cut-off time can be whatever works for you. I know some people work crazy schedules and 7 pm does not work for them.

The point is to stop eating by a certain time to prevent overeating. It has work wonders for me and I believe it can really help you in meeting your weight loss goals.

Here are some additional resources:

13. Have a max weight for the scale.

This is not something I have practice but I think I will start. I know some people do not like using the scale but for me, it works.

I weigh myself every week to keep me in check and try to post my weekly weigh-in on my FB page and blog every week or so. Sometimes, I am a slacker and go a few weeks without posting. But, I will tell you when I start to see the number go up and up that is enough incentive for me to refocus and get back on track.

I love the idea of having a max weight because then it gives you a little flexibility but always you are giving yourself a limit.

14. Cook at home.

One OYS reader wrote, “Weight loss begins and ends in the kitchen”. I absolutely loved this and couldn’t agree more.

Early on in my weight loss journey, I learned that if I wanted my weight loss to be sustainable I needed to learn to cook real food at home. Trying to lose weight and survive off boxed diets meals was not sustainable.

When you cook at home, you control the ingredients, portions, and are able to prepare food that you enjoy.

Here are some additional resources: 

15. Never stop!

Even though I did not put the other habits in any kind of order, I did want to put this one last. I want you to leave with this.

Losing weight and sustaining that healthy lifestyle is a process and journey. It is never over.

I have said this many times before but I will say it again – there will be times where you think you got this whole weight loss thing down, then there will be other times where you eat a box of thin mints and feel like you lost all control. But, no matter how bad you think you “slipped up”, never stop trying.

Always keep moving forward!

Those are the 15 habits I came across from people who have effectively lost 30 pounds or more. I hope you find these encouraging and helpful as you move through your weight loss journey!

Are there any other habits you think should be added to this list that have worked for you? Let me know in the comments. 

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