The 3 Simple Things This Woman Did To Lose 45 Pounds

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The 3 Simple Things This Woman Did To Lose 45 Pounds

Like most college kids, Katie Dunlop was familiar with the Freshman 15. But she didn’t expect to graduate with the Senior 45. “I was the heaviest I’d ever been,” she says. “It was a combination of having a job I didn’t love, lacking confidence in my body, and just feeling very depressed.” She’d tried to drop the weight before, but nothing had stuck. The day she blew up at her dad — the nicest man in the world, Dunlop says — was a wake-up call: “I needed to shift the focus from losing pounds to feeling good and taking care of my body,” she recalls.

Courtesy of Katie Dunlop

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In the six years since then, Dunlop has become a certified personal trainer and has built a lifestyle empire around her efforts. Her community Love Sweat Fitness is made up of 247,000 Instagram followers who swear by the influencer’s meal plans and fitness guides. (Her newest one, The Guiltless Nutrition Guide, just launched!) But before she became the powerhouse people look up to, these are the small steps she took to overhaul her life.

She ditched fad diets.

Dunlop didn’t just keep up with trendy eating plans, she was the guinea pig that tried them all. There was the Master Cleanse, South Beach Diet, Atkins, Weight Watchers, a coffee diet, and one where she had to eat beans with every meal. They worked — but only for a short time. “When you make a change from what you’re doing now, you’re going to see results in some way,” she says. “But they’re not maintainable. I would lose 15 pounds, then gain 20 back.”

Now, Dunlop focuses on eating healthfully and not restricting any food groups. Carbs and fat aren’t evil, she insists, as long as they’re coming from nutritious sources. Her meals are balanced and even seem indulgent, like a breakfast sandwich with turkey bacon or a big rice bowl for dinner, with avocado, roasted vegetables, and chicken.

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Katie made micro goals.

“Instead of saying, ‘I need to lose 15 pounds, and I want to do it in two weeks,’ I’d start making small changes,” Dunlop says. When she began her weight loss journey, she analyzed her diet and saw there was a lot of added sugar. Instead of cutting it out cold turkey, she removed one item every week. And when she began to work out, she made the goal to do so for just 20 minutes, four times a week. “It’s mentally so much easier to add something than to take things away,” Dunlop says. Beach walks turned into jogs which turned into yoga classes. “When you do it this way, you feel accomplished,” she reasons. “You’re not waiting for this big, lofty result at the end.”

She found a community.

Yoga classes were a place where she could relate to like-minded people, but it was only a small subset of the women with whom she wanted to connect. So Dunlop became certified to lead group fitness classes and started her Instagram account. “I would share progress photos and before and afters,” she says. The feedback is what inspired her to continue. “I knew I couldn’t be the only one dealing with this and feeling this way.”

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