CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


HELP! How did you do it-EXACTLY...

I currently am at around 129.0 lbs and would love to get down to around 118.0 lbs or so but I want to be fit and toned. Can any of the women on here who have made such a wonderful feat give me their detailed workout schedule and routine? I also want to hear about your weekly diet and if this can be accomplished while still eating at restaurants maybe once a week. How long did it take you to do this?

Thu. May 14, 4:20pm

Add comment  
How tall are you? Are you small or big-boned? What are you currently doing for exercise? I'm sure you will get a lot of responses, but more information about what you are currently doing will help to give you suggestions.

Thursday, May 14, 2009, 5:23 PM

Add comment
I am curious about this as well and would appreciate if women would include ages with their responses.

Thursday, May 14, 2009, 5:31 PM

Add comment
Went from 135 to 115, I'm 5'2" and I've kept it off.

1) Figured out my BMR and used that as my general daily calorie limit. It was around 1200-1350 calories day, some days I ate a tad more, some days a tad less. That netted me a consistent 1.2-1.8 pound a week loss.

2) I ate out at least once a week. I opted for a glass of wine over the bread basket, if I ordered an entree I only ate about 1/3 or 1/2 of it and always ate all the vegetables; or I ordered a salad and appetizer (nothing fried or drenched in cheese or butter - made relatively good choices.) Since I never really knew the calories of anything, even it was a 'healthful' choice, I budgeted that day to make sure I had some extra calories to spare. If I was going somewhere that posted the calories I did my homework first.

3) I worked out 4-6 days a week,averaging about an hour a day. Minimum, I did 4 days of strength training, alternating upper and lower body or front and back of the body, with about 15-20 minutes of just cardio before or after. Other days I did power walks or just cardio. Now I would recommend Jillian Michaels - Making the Cut for GREAT workout routines that incorporates strength and cardio.

4) I budgeted my calories to allow me to eat whatever I wanted, but b/c I wanted bang for my buck, I naturally ate better foods - less processed junk, limited liquid calories, and ate more fruits and vegetables. I also made sure to eat some kind of protein with every meal or snack (low fat dairy, hard boiled eggs, nuts, etc.)


Getting the food portions and calories under control was THE biggest factor for me. Being relatively small with little weight to lose in the first place, every calorie counts and if I don't pay attention it's very easy for me to eat just enough to keep me in maintenance mode.

Thursday, May 14, 2009, 6:43 PM

Add comment
6:43 again...

It took me about 3 months to get it off.

Thursday, May 14, 2009, 6:51 PM

Add comment
OP here

I am the OP and in regards to more information...I am about 5 ft 5 inches and small boned. I drink water all day except for one glass of tea at dinner with my family and on weekends I might have one glass of 2% milk with breakfast. I have been eating only fruit for breakfast through the week and then a Healthy Choice steamer meal for lunch at work. My afternoon snack is usually either a Special K bar, 100 calorie snack pack, or tortilla chips and salsa. I have been cutting back on portion sizes at dinner but it is very hard to stay away from the fried country food I fix for my family. We tend to eat out (Logans, O'Charley's, Longhorn Steakhouse, etc.) at least once a week (on weekends) and my husband brings me lunch every Friday to work (today I am having chinese and splitting the meal with a co-worker). My workout routine seems to have slowed down recenlty. Now I walk 20 min at work (mon-thurs) and try to get in a few days of either a jogging workout program on my treadmill, yoga or other workout DVD, or strength training with my own weights and exercise ball...HELP!

Friday, May 15, 2009, 12:12 PM

Add comment
OP - what do you feel you need help with the most? Are you looking for ways to continue eating fried foods and eating out at those restaurants and still lose weight? It can be done, but it is much, much tougher. Those chain restaurants, in particular, are calorie nightmares. Do some research at calorie websites and see if you can track down your favorite menu choices. Typical dishes contain at least 1,000 calories and even more mg of sodium.

I think you might benefit from eating more real food. The 100 calorie snack packs are great for controlled portions and I'm not one to say ban them completely, but they aren't real food = less satisfying in the long run.

I would add some kind of protein in the morning, for a heartier breakfast, and if you really want to lose the's really, really hard to find a place for those high calorie, fried foods on a regular basis. The Chinese meal you shared still probably had 600+ calories and a million mg of sodium and, as I mentioned, those chain restauarants are calorie nightmares.


Friday, May 15, 2009, 3:34 PM

Add comment
I'm not the OP but I have a question for 6:43. I have the working out part down pretty well but calories and portion control continue to be a struggle. How serious did you get? Were you using a scale? Any helpful mind tricks? Your last sentence rang true to me. I am totally in maintenance mode and can't seem to push myself to the next level.

Friday, May 15, 2009, 3:42 PM

Add comment
I completely agree with 3:34. So going back to what 3:34 said, I think what might help you is to incorporate the tips in the Abs Diet. It's actually a fairly simple diet. It's just about incorporating clean, so-called fat fighting foods like peanut butter (natural of course), whole grains, protein, healthy fats, produce, etc. Eating whole, high fiber foods is what will help you feel full longer. Need to add more substance to your breakfasts (not just fruit), a non-processed lunch (chicken salads, for example), and it's best to eat snacks that are more filling and nutritious than a 100 calorie pack. You can still eat out once a week of course but just choose wisely.

According to your current weight and height, you don't exacty need to lose weight. What I really think you should do (in addition to eating a clean diet) is to focus on weight training to build lean muscle. This will eventually decrease your body fat and make you look lean and toned.

Friday, May 15, 2009, 4:11 PM

Add comment
6:43 here...

To lose that weight I did have to be diligent. And for some foods I simply HAVE to rely on food scales and measuring cups b/c eyeballing portions = calorie disaster for me. Things like pasta, boxed snacks, nuts, meat - things that aren't neatly packaged with the calorie amounts listed! I also found that was the best way to continue to eat some of my favorite snacks and desserts while losing all the weight. Without it, my handfuls of crackers would be 360 calories instead of 160. Or my pasta serving would be 5 oz instead of 2 oz., etc.

As far as mind tricks - clearly better (real) food usually equals more food. And more food on a smaller plate makes us think we're eating LOTS of food! And, visually, seeing more food helps us feel more satisfied with our meal (which research validates.) Counting calories also helped me budget my calories b/c I did NOT want to blow a lot of calories on junk - I wanted quantity, which often upped the quality of my food!!

Here's what I know about me - if I don't measure it or keep track of my calories as I'm eating them - I'll overeat. And I don't mean I'll be stuffed or even feel slightly full - I'll eat just enough to put me over the weight loss threshold. On days where I think "I haven't eaten that much today..." Invariably, when I go back and add it up - I'm always hundreds of calories ahead of my calorie schedule for the day.

Some people hate the idea of measuring and me it's simply a matter of knowing how much I'm eating. I clearly can't rely on my 'eyeballing' skills and rather than guess, I'd just rather know!


Saturday, May 16, 2009, 8:38 AM

Add comment
Thank you 6:43. That was helpful.

Saturday, May 16, 2009, 9:01 AM

Add comment
OP here. It just feels like to do this all I am going to be able to actually eat is fruit, salad, and vegetables all day long. I start craving something with taste to satisfy me. I love O'Charleys and we ate there Saturday but I only at half the meal at the restaurant and took the rest home to eat Sunday. If I am not supposed to eat the processed meals like Healthy Choice and Lean cuisine then what do I eat for lunch? A salad every day will get old very quick for me. And how do you know how many calories are in what you are eating if you do not have those handy little labels on the meal boxes? I am working full time, going to college full time, have three boys at home, three step-daughters with one in a wheelchair and four (yes four) grandchildren all under a year old and I am only 29 years old! I do not have time to look up everything I eat on a website to try and determine the amount of calories I put in my mouth. And I really want to eat delicious meals that will still allow me to lose the fat around my middle and get my fit and trim body back. I was hoping someone could give me their exact diet and exercise routine/schedule and that would give me some guidelines and help motivate me more...HELP

Monday, May 18, 2009, 12:24 PM

Add comment
Exactly - eating whole foods

I struggle with that, particularly with feeding a family. I cannot count calories, I just try to think whole foods and low sugar.

I also keep target numbers in my head. (soup under 600 calories, anything in a box - usu over 600mg sodium;

JUST SOME IDEAS: (would love other's suggestions)

Since you like
chinese, try cooking batches. Stir-fry a whole big bag of veggies in a 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil, low sodium soy, and maybe a citrus. Be sure to saute your oninos, peppers, and garlic beforehand. Sweet potato and squash add sweetness (pre-microwave 20 min and pre-slice sweet potato). Put it in a tupperware bowls with rice for lunch.

Chinese - Eat like the Chinese. Steamed veggies with sauce on the side. Grilled meats in light oil with sauce on the side. White, not fried rice. Cashew chicken instead of general tsao.

High fiber cereal or a smoothie for breakfast. Smoothies can be done once in the blender for at least 3 -4 days.

A fajita isn't bad. (beans, rice, lean meat, veggies in a wrap with salsa) - a use for the leftover steak, stir-fried veggies (above, alter the seasoning), buy the salsa (or grab from local restaurant), add rice and beans. I wish I had thought of this sooner.

Try Paneras for lunch - flat bread.
Fruit y veggies on side
Baked or broiled anything (even from a bar or restaurant)

Monday, May 18, 2009, 1:12 PM

Add comment
Sorry, but it sounds like you want to lose weight, but not do any of the work required. Simply put, you can't keep doing what you're doing, and expect to see results. You ask what people have done, they've told you.

At a minimum, if you eat a fraction of what you're eating now, maybe you'll see see results, but even that requries some work. And no one said you have to exist on only fruits and vegetables. If you drink any calories - lose them. That's easy. Add good food to what you're eating already. Halve portions.

There are a thousand books out there that will tell you exactly what to eat - so they've done some of the work, but you're still going to have to make changes to follow someone else's plan.

No matter what, changing habits to see results does take effort.

Monday, May 18, 2009, 1:15 PM

Add comment
4:11 here, yeah it is going to take some effort, but it's actually easy to count calories because you eventually memorize and have a good estimate if what a portion is. I said a chicken salad as an example but that's not only what you can have. And you don't even need to count calories- just go by portions and eat clean foods. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about nutrition. And weight training will be key for you since you don't really have weight to lose.

Monday, May 18, 2009, 1:33 PM

Add comment
OP here. I do want to work at it and actually have been consistently working at it for approximately nine months now.
My typical week:
Monday through Thursday 20 min walk at work during lunch
30-45 min weights and strength usually aim for twice a week
30 min jogging on treadmill 2-3 times a week
(I used to do more cardio, DVD's and yoga but time constraints has me limited)

Fruit (apples, pears, bananas, grapes, strawberries, etc.)
Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine meal or salad with fat free dressing
Special K bar or 100 calorie Ritz snack pack
small portions of homemade meals such as pot roast or we grill lean meats and veggies a lot.
On weekends my diet changes slightly. I usually have either a bowl of cereal for breakfast or I fix breakfast and try to limit my portion to an egg omlet or something else healthy. We usually eat out once per weekend but I have cut that out to where we have now gone three weeks straight without eating out so now it is more like once a month but I still like to know that we can go out to eat and I can eat what I really like and still be within my diet expectations. My husband brings me lunch on Fridays and for the last few months it has been a 6 inch Subway sandwich on wheat but I also like to change it up here and there to where I am eating something different...

Monday, May 18, 2009, 1:52 PM

Add comment
"... all I am going to be able to actually eat is fruit, salad, and vegetables all day long. I start craving something with taste to satisfy me... "

The diet you are describing is a low-fat diet. Yes, when I did a low-fat diet, I was constantly hungry. When I bought the book Protein Power by the Drs. Eades, I learned how to construct a healthy, moderately low-carb diet, and hunger was no longer a problem. I've used their diet to lose 20 pounds. Additionally, their chapter on exercise describes weight-resistance training for the toning you mention.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 9:14 AM

Add comment
1:33 here

Yeah the PP is actually need good fats in your diet, not just for proper nutrition, but it helps you stay full. I would also recommend the Abs Diet. You eat regularly and eat clean foods that keep you full and satisfied. I don't necessarily follow the abs diet, but I implement their ideas into my plan. The only reason why I've been losing and gaining weight (5 pounds) is emotional eating, otherwise, the plan works.

This is an example of what I eat:

Breakfast: whole grain cereal and milk; whole grain bread w/ PB

Lunch/Dinner: whole grain pasta w/ tomato sauce and turkey meatballs; chicken salad; chili; etc

Snack: smoothies; dark chocolate; ww waffle w/ a little maple syrup, nuts and berries; nuts; popcorn; etc

It's really a lifestyle change and it's something you can do. It's not restrictive.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 1:40 PM

Add comment

I am also a calorie counter. I eat roughly 1750 to 1850 calories per day. I weight my food and I count their calories (it may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn't that bad...once you get used to it, it takes maybe 10-15 minutes of my day...and those 10-15 minutes are well worth it). I eat every 3 to 4 hours, and I rarely (if ever) crave anything because I'm constantly satisfied. Looking at what you eat in a normal day, it looks like you're not eating enough. But, the days that you're eating out (getting take out), you're likely eating way too many calories. I also agree that you should be replacing your processed foods with whole foods; and you don't seem to be getting enough protein or fiber in your diet.

I have lost almost 15lbs in just over 1 month, and like I said earlier, I rarely ever slip because I'm always satisfied (which is very important).

Like a PP said, you don't need to weigh and count calories. I find that weighing/counting calories helps to make sure that you're actually eating enough calories but not too many. Portion control was my issue, and now that I am weighing my food, it's not a problem any more.

I have a public log, so you can check it out if you want to see what my "diet" consists of. My weekends are a little less structured because I often go for long walks, which causes me to miss/combine meals. Check out my logs if you want: Organicbc

Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 2:29 PM

Add comment
Useful Posts

I think everyone is missing the mark here. The OP wants members who have actually had success getting down to a certain size to post their workout routine and their typical diet. The OP wants to use proven successful examples as building blocks to create a plan for themselves. I too would like a plan to follow to get to that point. Post your detailed success plan you used so we can follow your lead!

Friday, May 22, 2009, 3:31 PM

Add comment
It's probably for the OP to decide, but I think the posters got the OP's point and the OP countered with 'I don't have time, I don't want to count calories, I want to keep eating the foods I love, I want to keep eating out.' In many ways the specifics wouldn't matter, but for the most part many of our stories are the same. As a pp posted, the specifics have all been spelled out in 1,000 different weight loss plans. Sound plans will all work if you stick to them - the key is to find one that inspires you to stick to it.

Friday, May 22, 2009, 3:40 PM

Add comment
PP, I am the OP and I have been waiting for answers like the 3:31 poster requested. I did not realize that my post would be taken like that. I meant that I do not have time to workout 8 hours a day. I also meant that I have cut way back on eating out and changed my diet to a much healthier one but would still like to follow a plan that allowed me to occasionally be able to go out with my family without completely sabataging my diet and workout efforts. I have lost 20 pounds in 5 months with the changes I have made so far. However, I was looking for motivational posts from PT members who have lost the fat and toned up by posting their strategies that helped them acheive the same desired result I have. I do NOT eat out a lot. I did NOT say I didn't want to count calories.I was trying to convey the fact that I have an extremely hectic schedule and responsibilities and do not have the time to waste spending hours trying to figure out the calorie count in food with online sites when I could be using that time to workout. I was not looking for the easy way out and I am quite putout that the poster implied that I was. I have already accomplished a huge feat by losing a total of 30 pounds considering the obstacles I have had to overcome in order to reach this point. I simply wanted to incorporate successful members diet and exercise plans into what I am already doing. I have read countless plans online and they all give you vague or general references as far as diet and exercise. I was looking for more specifics to follow and actual feedback from members regarding what EXACTLY worked for them...

Friday, May 22, 2009, 4:29 PM

Add comment
I've been the poster recommending implementing the clean eating approach in the abs diet. No one said you have to work out 8 hours a day or do anything extreme, and you can still eat out every week. I think the key thing for you will be to get serious about strength training to decrease body fat. That, from personal experience, will make you look leaner, not to mention burn more calories overall. I think everyone's given you helpful advice. There really is no secret. You just gotta find something that works for you and keep going and commit...they say the last 10 pounds are the hardest. Again, I would seriously recommend upping your strength training.

Friday, May 22, 2009, 4:56 PM

Add comment
Jillian Michael's Making the Cut. Exact food recommendations, exact workout plan. Follow it and you will see the results.

Friday, May 22, 2009, 5:21 PM

Add comment
Making the Cut is good. If you are looking to up your workout routine, that will give you a push. Also like pp stated it has exact food and exact workout plan. If you follow it, you will see the results.

Friday, May 22, 2009, 5:27 PM

Add comment
Put a call out for successful people here to give you their username and look up their logs - that will tell you exactly what they've done.

Agree with 4:56- there is no secret. You already mentioned in one of your posts your exercise has slowed down. So, step that up, get more diligent about portions and your halfway there.

Friday, May 22, 2009, 5:29 PM

Add comment
I want to bump this thread back to the top. I would love to see how other women on PT have managed to widdle thier middle area and lose weight down to around 115 while still eating more normally. I thought this thread was a very good question to get some information going.

Thursday, September 30, 2010, 11:44 AM

Add comment
Hey ladies tell us how you managed to lose all the weight and tone up!

Friday, October 01, 2010, 11:18 AM

Add comment | | mcafee activate |

Monday, November 02, 2020, 2:40 AM

Add comment

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge