There are hundreds of diets, cleanses, cookbooks and apps out there designed to help you lose weight, but sometimes you just need to hear from people who’ve done it. In a thread on Reddit, people who have been on their own weight loss journey shared the insights they’ve gained through their own experiences, and offered their best advice.
Some commenters found that trying new diets, and approaching them with the mindset that they’d lose the weight and then go back to their usual lifestyle, didn’t particularly work. “To me it’s far better to change your diet and your life style than torturing yourself with restrictive diets,” read one post. “Your body is a sensitive machine, and will learn do adapt. Going on a restrictive diet ‘just for a while; seems to me like it would confuse your metabolism. Isn’t it better to just make healthy choices?”
Another commenter advocated for building moderation into your diet, as well as the occasional cheat day: “I think a lot of people go into dieting with a mentality of ‘I’m going to diet constantly until I hit my goal weigh’ and either end up stopping along the way or putting the weight back on within a year or two of reaching their goal. What I have found that helped me was stopping my diet every 3-4 weeks and having a period just trying to maintain that particular weight before I start up again on my diet. It has helped me keep things under control and it’s nice to have a little break from a diet every once in awhile.”
Plenty of others on the thread agreed, with one commenter saying “scheduled cheating is an underrated tactic,” and another adding: “This also really helps with the whole ‘turning it into a sustainable lifestyle’ thing. You don’t have to go balls to the wall 100% of the time.”
When it comes to reducing calorie intake, plenty of commenters advised cutting down on soda, which is packed with sugar, and alcohol. “Calories in drinks are the most empty of calories,” said one. “They go by so quickly, with such little satisfaction.”
On the other hand, water is your friend, as this person put it: “The only time I effectively and consistently lose weight over a period of time is when I’m putting down at least 120 ounces of water a day. Probably more.”
The best advice that another commenter could offer was to just accept that “you’re gonna fuck up.” They speak from personal experience, recalling how they lost their momentum midway through their journey and it took them a few months to get back into it. “Fucking up is a part of progress,” they said, “and progress isn’t linear.”
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health