The Most Extreme Real-Life Weight Loss Success Stories (and How They Did It)

There are an abundance of different diet and workout regimens to choose from. The internet opens an entire realm of research, possibilities, and diet scams. While you’d expect this to widen your options, it often overwhelms and hinders your fitness goals. Many people find themselves discouraged when they try a new plan and don’t see the same results as the featured model.

This leaves us wondering what food and fitness plans actually make people healthier and help them see results. We’ve found seven real stories of hard-working people who lost the weight in a healthy way.

Jennifer Denson Black using Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide

Kayla Itsine’s famous workouts have proven time and time again to work for people of all different shapes, sizes, and ages. Jennifer Denson Black, a mother of two who was struggling with insecurity and anxiety, was no different.

Black lost nearly 30 pounds and six dress sizes all from the comfort of her living room. “I haven’t gone to a gym this entire time. Every workout has been in my living room and using my phone for the BBG app, and other HIIT workouts. You can get in shape with small kids, and no gym time.”

Kari Hammond using tabata exercise

A side by side weight loss comparison.

You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym each day. | KC England Photography

Kari Hammond told Today about the moment that changed her life. Hammond finally narrowed in on a diet that worked for her after her daughter expressed concerns about her weight.

Hammond paired cutting back on sugar and tracking her caloric intake and output with tabata workouts. Tabata incorporates high-intensity interval training with four minute exercises to help build stamina and keep you motivated. Hammond lost 78 pounds in one year, however she encourages having goals that don’t include a number. Her other weight-loss recommendations include; be consistent, keep moving, and build a community.

Leandie Williams using a personal trainer

A side by side comparison of Leandie Williams' weight loss journey.

Small changes can add up to a huge amount of weight loss. | TODAY

Type 2 diabetes and an embarrassing flying experience motivated Leandie Williams to lose the weight and keep it off for good. The 33-year-old from South Africa lost 100 pounds over four years.

Utilizing a personal trainer helped Williams learn her way around the gym and start developing a fitness plan. She eventually found that weight lifting rather than cardio helped her lose weight. She also joined’s online community to find new exercises and remain accountable for her weight loss.

Peter Blynn using Precision Nutrition

A side by side comparison of John Berardi before and after getting in shape

You can get in shape by learning about your health and muscles. | Livestrong

Precision Nutrition, co-founded by John Berardi, Ph.D., incorporates personal coaching, professional education, and nutrition software to help you reach your weight loss goals. Peter Blynn is proof that Precision Nutrition works, and learned that sometimes you need to pay a bit more to access true, quality help.

Blynn’s story reminds you to resist conditioning and try something new. Switching up your workout is a healthy way to lose the last of your stubborn weight while continuing to keep a healthy exercise and diet plan. Blynn lost 33 pounds and 11% of his body fat with Precision Nutrition. He told, “… the secret to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is consistency.”

Allison Keller using Weight Watchers

A coach speaks during a Weight Watchers workshop.

Many women find a great support system through Weight Watchers. | Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Weight Watchers

Allison Keller, a Houston teacher, lost 60 pounds dieting with Weight Watchers and working out five days a week. She recognizes that attending weekly WW meetings was crucial and helped hold her accountable for her diet and workout habits.

Keller’s advice to those who struggle with dieting was this, “Avoid temptations. I stopped buying ice cream and chips because I knew if they were in my house, I’d eat them.”

Lou Maldonado by preparing for a mental battle

Lou Maldonado side by side comparison picture of weight loss journey.

This determined father lost weight so he could spend more time with his athletic children. | Lou Maldonado/TODAY

Lou Maldonado began a hefty weight loss journey after years of injury had left him dangerously overweight and out of shape. While at the heart of his success was exercise and proper dieting, he expressed how the mental fight was more than half the battle.

He encourages people to remain patient with themselves and be realistic about their goals. “You didn’t gain all that weight overnight,” he said. “It took a lot of months and years of just abusing your body and eating the wrong stuff. It is going to take patience (to lose it).”

Laura Micetich by deciding to stop making excuses

Laura Micetich side by side comparison of weight loss results.

Keeping track of your progress can be fun. | Laura Micetich/The Iron Giantess/Eat This

Your body may be ready to lose the weight, but it’s tough to make progress if your mind is in the way. Laura Micetich learned to push past the excuses she was making and lose 115 pounds. Micetich’s two year journey to combat her thyroid issues involved eating natural, preservative-free foods, and an intensive cardio and weight lifting routine.

“I stopped justifying destroying my body, health, and quality of life with hollow, empty excuses,” Micetich said, “I don’t have a simple solution for you. I have the cold, honest truth: It requires work. And anyone can do that.”