GMA’s Tory Johnson Shares Weight Loss Secrets from “The Shift”

Updated: Feb. 09, 2017

Good Morning America contributor Tory Johnson, author of the weight-loss book The Shift , describes the principles that helped her shed over 60 pounds.

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

1. Believe in the Shift Motto.

“I discovered that what I put in my head was far more powerful than what I put in my mouth.
More than 75% of my success is a MENTAL plan, and just 25% is the MEAL plan. That’s why this time the results were so different.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

2. You will want to move your body.

“I forged a note to get out of the required two years of PE in high school…and have never wanted to break a sweat.
The more weight I lost, the more I wanted to establish an exercise routine. Now I’m on the treadmill daily and I’m at the gym each week.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

3. You can’t snack with wet nails.

“I learned to pause before indulging in poor eating. Late nights were always a weakness—everyone’s asleep and I’d want a snack.
Early on in my shift, I discovered the best way to beat the cravings: apply top coat to my nails. I couldn’t stick wet nails in a bag of chips.
Nail polish has saved me zillions of calories.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

4. Happiness comes from small steps.

“Losing weight has freed me to have so much more fun with my kids. On a
recent weekend, my 16-year-old [Emma, pictured here with Tory] insisted on giving me a piggy-back
ride…something that would have been impossible in years past.
Even if she secretly hoped to toss me in the pool, just knowing we can
horse around brings a lot of happiness.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

5. Be confident of how you look.

“I’ve always hated taking pictures. I’ve used countless fat ones with
multiple chins as reminders of who I don’t want to be. Now instead of
hiding from the camera, I can stand tall and proud with my kids [Tory with son, Jake].”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

6. Wear clothes that will invite compliments.

“I hadn’t worn a dress in 20 years. On my wedding day I wore a navy suit
instead of a white dress because I didn’t want to look like a gigantic
marshmallow. Eight months into my shift, I bought my first dress,
marking the first time my then–15-year-old daughter saw her mom in one.
In August 2013, I wore a white dress for the first time ever. I got a
slew of compliments from Good Morning America viewers, which felt great.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

7. Reward yourself with flowers.

“No cheat days—that’s one of my major rules. Every diet says eat healthy six days, then reward yourself by indulging on the seventh. But I realized that having pizza and cake is akin to an alcoholic celebrating a month of sobriety with a few beers. It doesn’t work. So I abolished that concept. Now my treats are inedible—flowers, an iTunes song, a walk in the park.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

8. Find a “safe” snack.

“Having safe snacks on hand at all times is essential, so there’s no
excuse for falling off the wagon. Pickles—specifically this sour,
garlic variety—have been my go-to snack. Heavenly!”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

9. Infuse your water.

“I gave up soda—regular and diet—cold turkey. Now it’s water all
the way. To keep it exciting, I infuse it with sliced fruit.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

10. Mark your milestones.

“At the one-year mark, to celebrate 62 pounds lost, I had a teeny gold charm designed, which hangs on my bracelet every day. It’s a powerful reminder of what’s possible with patience and perseverance.”

Courtesy of Tory Johnson

Read The Shift

“I’m on a mission to share that message and more with others who have battled weight for years and are finally ready to make The Shift and do something about it once and for all. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Read more about her weight-loss journey here »

Tory Johnson is the author of The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life. Connect with her at or on Twitter

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest