Easy Hacks to Kickstart Your Weight Loss Journey


Many Americans aim to lose some excess weight, with 95% of 2,000 people saying they attempted it in the last five years. However, research published in Nutrients found that relying on extrinsic motivation drivers—like following a structured plan or being involved in a study—decreased adherence and motivation to continue lifestyle changes. This could be attributed to the often unrealistic goals people set for themselves. Even though 62% planned to lose an average of twenty-two pounds in 2023, 58% acknowledged that their self-imposed weight goals were too ambitious. Finally, 71% believe that various challenges make it difficult to achieve the goal. In this case, small but doable steps may be the key to making weight management less overwhelming. If that’s your goal, consider these tips:

Find a support group

The power of tackling excess pounds with an accountability partner is well-backed by research: a JAMA Internal Medicine study of more than 3,500 couples found that when both partners joined a weight loss program, and one is successful, the other partner is three times more likely to find success, too. Having someone who understands your weight struggles firsthand can be reassuring. For those who need additional support or don’t live close to loved ones, Googling “weight loss workshops near me” can provide opportunities to access expert coaches and fellow members in a welcoming and judgment-free zone. Members can access in-person or virtual workshops, gaining valuable insights from peers’ success stories or community experiences. Plus, first-timers can decide their level of involvement with the group. You can even initiate social gatherings with fellow group members to maintain a fitness mindset outside the workshop setting.

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Quit soda

You may have heard it before, but it bears repeating: eliminating soda and sugary drinks from your diet could help you lose weight. Previously, Post Malone shared that small changes like giving up soda enabled him to drop fifty pounds. What’s the connection? Studies have found that an increase in the consumption of these drinks is significantly associated with more weight gain and more obesity over time. The “diet” versions of these drinks have also been found to impede weight loss: sucralose, a commonly used artificial sweetener, disrupts the gut microbiome or the delicate balance of helpful bacteria in your digestive system. According to WHO, these fake sweeteners can alter your metabolism and lead to weight gain. Switching to a healthier diet can be challenging, but switching out soda for water is more doable than dropping red meat, for example. Achieving small goals like this creates a sense of accomplishment, which can be used as fuel to pursue more lifestyle tweaks over time.

Start walking

Many people are discouraged from losing weight because they think you need a trainer and a pricey gym membership. However, nature provides many opportunities for enhanced physical wellness. Walking is an activity that people of all fitness levels can achieve. It may sound simplistic, but studies have shown its ability to move the needle on your scale. In one study of overweight and obese women, those who participated in brisk walking five days a week for ten weeks saw improvements in body mass index, waist and hip circumference, and skinfold thickness in the abdomen. Start at five or ten minutes, and bring music or an audiobook—or better yet, a friend—to add an enjoyable element to the experience. When you’re ready, transition to high-intensity brisk walking sessions, which are more effective at improving aerobic capacity.

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You can make plenty more changes to encourage a better-quality diet and more physical activity, from ordering plant-based versions of typical junk foods to working while standing up. The key is integrating one change at a time — ideally with people supporting you and keeping you accountable — to ensure you’ve gotten the hang of it before moving on to the next step. With time, these “hacks” will soon turn into “habits.”