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The Small Steps I Took to Shed More Than 100 Pounds

Before: 265 lbs.
After: 155 lbs.

Growing up in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Hanna Preston played soccer and took dance. But that wasn't enough to offset her after-school snacking. By her junior year of high school, Hanna stood 5'10" and weighed 265 pounds. Following a family member's diabetes diagnosis, Hanna knew in the back of her mind that her size put her at risk for the disease, especially if she kept gaining. Hanna searched for yoga and body-weight workout videos online and committed to doing one each night, even if it was only 15 minutes long. With her family physician's supervision, she overhauled her diet, building her meals around lean proteins like fish and skinless chicken, skipping second helpings, and cutting way back on junk food. Over the next two years, she dropped nearly 100 pounds. By the summer of her freshman year of college, she'd reached her goal weight of 155. "My biggest motivation was knowing I had a shot at a new beginning," she says.

Here's how Hanna was able to turn her life around:

  • Don't overdo it. "Every one of your workouts doesn't have to be extreme. Even just taking the stairs instead of the elevator is better than nothing."
  • Be prepared. "I try to cut up lots of veggies in advance so there will always be some handy when I'm hungry."
  • Make smart swaps. "My go-to for a savory fix is steamed edamame—crunchy, but so much better for you than chips."

For more on Hanna's incredible weight-loss journey, pick up the March 2015 issue of Women's Health, on newsstands now. In the meantime, check out more inspiring weight-loss success stories and healthy ways to lose weight.

More from Women's Health:
A Healthy Food Blogger Shares Her Roller Coaster Struggle with Weight
8 Ways to Mix Up Your Weight-Loss Routine When You Hit a Wall
How I Lost 30 Pounds—and Then Gained it All Back

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