9 Simple Changes That Helped Me Lose 45 Pounds—and Keep It Off

Fitness blogger Katie Dunlop melted off 45 extra pounds in a sustainable, healthy, and fun way. Here’s how you can too.

Eliminate the extras

01-I-lost-45-pounds-making-small-changesCourtesy Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness

Katie Dunlop’s journey began after college, as she found herself 45 pounds overweight and tired of the ups and downs of fad diets and trendy workout plans. She started to look for small changes that might add up over time. Her first mission was to search and destroy mindless munching. Every night as a pre-dinner snack, Dunlop used to nibble cheese and crackers while cooking. “I didn’t necessarily need that,” she says. Instead of banning this pre-dinner ritual all at once, Dunlop decided to cut out the cheese for a few days, and then phase out the crackers. “Food habits are the hardest thing to change, so finding little ‘tweaks’ became hugely important,” she says. Here are 12 more weight loss before and after photos that will motivate you.

Make smart swaps

02-I-lost-45-pounds-making-small-changesCourtesy Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness

“I am a huge foodie—I love food,” says Dunlop, of Orange County, California. “So I had to find ways to make things I already loved healthier.” Dunlop recommends replacing taco shells with lettuce wraps or using vegetable spirals in place of starchy pasta. The U.K. National Health Service also suggests other easy food switches from ordering a skinny latte at Starbucks to replacing creamy sauces with vegetable-based toppings.

Space out your meals

03-I-lost-45-pounds-making-small-changesCourtesy Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness

Dunlop used to go through the day eating virtually nothing, and then devour all her calories at night. According to a study in the International Journal of Obesity, the timing of food intake can impact the success of weight loss. Eating early in the day starts firing up your metabolism, so it runs steadily throughout the day. Eating late at night only gives your metabolism a few hours to kick in. “I feel like I actually eat more now,” Dunlop says, “and I eat more normally.” Here’s an eating plan for a perfect flat belly day.

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