The 5 Simple Tricks That Helped Me Lose 300 Pounds

Updated: Aug. 27, 2020

When 29-year-old Lexi Reed reached 485 pounds, she knew she had to make a change. Two years later, she's been wildly successful following these five simple rules.

The 5 Simple Tricks That Helped Me Lose 300 Pounds
Courtesy Lexi Reed

Lexi Reed was fed up with the life she was living. It was January 1, 2016, and 29-year-old Reed, who lives in Terre Haute, Indiana, weighed 485 pounds. “I knew that if I didn’t get my health under control, I might not live to see my 30th birthday,” she says. Reed made a New Year’s resolution to start losing weight, and she set up an Instagram titled @fatgirlfedup to track her progress and help keep herself accountable. Two years later, Reed has shed 312 pounds and counting. Here are the five secrets to her success.

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Don’t diet

“I didn’t follow any certain meal plan,” she explains. “I just counted calories and aimed to eat more protein, vegetables, and fewer carbs.” But Reed was sure to include foods she loved with the goal of permanently changing her eating in a way she could live with—rather than to adopt a short-term diet. “I took the foods I loved and created healthier versions,” she says. Here are 10 ways to shop healthier at the grocery store.

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Patience is paramount

One of the most important things to remember is that change won’t happen overnight. “The first place I saw change was in my face, but since I had so much to lose, it wasn’t for about a month before I saw results. I just had to remind myself that change takes time and it’s a marathon—not a sprint.” Her approach worked: In the first year of Reed’s weight loss journey, she dropped 224 pounds.

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It takes a village

Another major contributor to Reed’s success was the crowd that followed her on social media and that looked to her for inspiration. “When I started documenting my journey, I wasn’t looking for a following, but to help just one person—myself,” she says. “The fact that I have a million people [1.2 million followers and counting] to help pushes me to live by example every single day.” 

The 5 Simple Tricks That Helped Me Lose 300 Pounds
Courtesy Lexi Reed

Every day is a fresh start

Reed kept her focus in the present and didn’t despair when she made mistakes or her progress stalled. “Small changes eventually add up to big results,” she says. “You don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money or live in the gym. Focus on your diet, daily habits, and moving more—the weight will take care of itself!” (Don’t miss these 30 tiny diet changes that will help you lose weight.)

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Look for other ways to relieve stress

“I had to change my relationship with food,” notes Reed. “Previously, I was an emotional eater and loved anything fried. I learned that the gym could be a better form of therapy than food ever made me feel.” Next, here are 50 more ways to make your resolutions stick.