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Woman Who Lost 100 Pounds Shares 6 Simple Hacks

Melissa Paluch maintains that she dropped 96 pounds in less than a year.

In July 2022, Melissa Paluch went to the doctor and was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, borderline high cholesterol, a genetic marker for heart disease, and sleep apnea. She also discovered that she weighed 275 pounds. "I was sobbing because I had all these new diagnoses, and now I have sleep apnea. I told myself, 'This is enough. I need to do something, and clearly, weight is an issue. I'm done feeling unhealthy. I'm done having no energy. I need to finally get on board,'" she told Today. In just a year, Melissa has lost 96 pounds and her health has improved dramatically. "Honestly, it started off as a weight-loss journey and then turned into so much more than that," she said, revealing 6 simple hacks that helped her lose the weight. 

She Celebrated "Non-Scale Victories"

Melissa Paluch/Facebook

Paluch started out weighing herself three or four times a day, but found it wasn't a healthy habit. Instead, she opts to weigh herself once a week. "Hiding the scale was the best decision I ever made," she says. She also made a list of non-scale victories she wanted to achieve, including being able to sleep with a CPAP, being able to sit cross-legged, walking three miles in under an hour, and walking up three or four flights of stairs without having to stop. 

She Decreased Portion Sizes


Fad diet never worked as a permanent solution for weight loss for Paluch. "They didn't allow me to eat what I wanted to eat. I had to cut out so many things. I want to eat what I like and still see progress," she says. Instead, she went on a doctor-recommended 1,300 to a 1,400-calorie diet, where she was able to eat some of her favorite foods in moderation. "I went cold turkey on July 1. There was no in-between. I had moments when I didn't want to do it anymore. My body wasn't used to it, I was getting headaches, and I never felt full — I felt like I still wanted something. It took about 30 or 45 days to get used to it."

She Meal Plans


"Dinner has always been where I really have to focus. It's my favorite meal of the day, and that's where I was really packing on the calories. I'd have three or four helpings of something because it was so good," Melissa said. She now does her meal planning Sunday nights, calculating calories for each of the meals, which include things like lasagna, chicken cutlets, burgers, and hot dogs, and even bread and pasta. "I won't cut that stuff out of my diet. I grew up with it. But I do control my portions," she says. She plans breakfast and lunch around those to meet her caloric requirements. 

She Hydrates


Melissa also hydrates, drinking 100 ounces of water a day, a little more than half her body weight in ounces. "I was never a huge water drinker, so adding a lot more water into my diet was a big change," she says. 

She Walks Every Day


Melissa's workout of choice? Walking. She started walking with her 18-year-old son. "The first time, I literally only made it a half-mile. I couldn't catch my breath, and I was so embarrassed. I went home, he finished his walk, and I told him I was going to do this every single day. My goal was to get to a mile," she says. She reached her goal by the end of July. Now she is up to three miles a day. She maintains that it also helps as a "coping mechanism" when she is feeling sad. "My coping mechanism was always to eat, and I couldn't eat like I used to," she says.

"Now, instead of turning to food, I'm finding myself going for a walk. I talk to myself on my walks, and I talk to my dad, who's in heaven. I don't have to turn to food. The walks are my therapy."

She Relies on Online Support

Dominic John Dallessandro/Facebook

Melissa joined the Start TODAY Facebook group and found TODAY fitness contributor Stephanie Mansour's videos, posts and comments encouraging. She shared her own post when she started walking. "I got over 1,000 likes and comments. Everyone was saying, 'You can do this' and 'We believe in you.' Every time I hit some kind of milestone, I would post, and people were so encouraging," she says. "This group of strangers has become like a family. They're so kind and supportive."


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