Lifestyle changes are the only way to lose the weight, lead a normal life, and keep the weight from coming back on.

Fitness coach Jess Dukes lost 75 pounds in a year and a half by incorporating small changes into her daily routine. Dukes says she used to work a hectic office job that made it difficult to change her bad eating habits.

As a result of her lifestyle changes, Dukes quit her corporate job and now coaches people in their quest to get healthy.

She told her lifestyle change story to NBC News:

Here’s how Dukes says she integrated small lifestyle changes into her life that helped her lose the weight.

She Slowly Gave Up Eating Out

Dukes says that much of her weight gain was related to eating out nearly every day. She worked a busy office job and got most of her lunches to go, and often ate dinner at restaurants. She began to bring her lunch to work, and made a rule to only eat out on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Rather than giving up eating out completely, I saved those things for the weekend.
  • After three months, Dukes craved restaurant food less and less.
  • She found herself making more and more meals at home on the weekends.
  • By the time you’ve been on track all week, you feel so good that you get to the weekend and you’re like ‘I don’t really want to go out for ice cream, and I don’t really need to go out to that place because I feel really good.
  • She slowly adopted a diet of mostly lean meats and vegetables. She started to realize that she had more energy and didn’t feel bloated.
  • Dukes says she goes out to eat less often, and when she does, it’s usually a date night with her husband.


She Slowly Eased Her Way into Exercise

Dukes says that“Once I was 215 pounds, I kind of felt like I was just going to be stuck there forever. My mindset was really poor and I didn’t enjoy exercise and I couldn’t honestly even think of what life was like before I packed on the weight, because I felt very stuck in my body.”

She says she didn’t exercise at all. “And it felt very hard for me to move my body and frankly, I also felt very embarrassed to go to the gym. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing.”

  • To get started, she set a goal for herself.
  • In the beginning, it was just move my body every day, do a little bit more than I did yesterday.
  • Dukes signed up for a gym membership.
  • Every day, she worked out on the elliptical for 20 minutes.
  • That eventually became a lot easier because my body got stronger. I built up my endurance and my strength, and so that’s when it became more fun.
  • After about six months, Dukes says she had lost about 30-40 pounds.
  • She started to do more high-intensity training with weights.

Focus On One Day at a Time

This is Dukes lifestyle change weight loss advice:

  • Losing weight can be difficult, but it’s important not to fixate on the end goal.
  • It’s easy to look at how far we have to go and feel very discouraged by that.
  • Focus today on making good nutrition choices, moving your body, and then tomorrow, doing a little bit more
  • Maybe drink a little more water.
  • Get a little more activity in.
  • Maybe rather than taking the elevator, take the stairs.
  • Just do a little more, because all of those healthy habits compound over time, and they snowball into big results.

Click here to read the full story of Jess Dukes’ weight loss journey.