Sustainable Ways To Lose Weight In Your 30’s

  • Victoria Vandy Reproductive and Developmental Biology – Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • Dr Kiana Bamdad Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - MBBS, Medicine, Cardiff University / Prifysgol Caerdydd
  • Regina Lopes Senior Nursing Assistant, Health and Social Care, The Open University

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Many of us in our 30’s face the difficult challenge of losing weight. Whilst conventional crash diets and intense workout plans can show results these tend to be more temporary and can cause long-term dissatisfaction. Sustainable practices must be adopted to achieve the desired weight loss that will not only last but also improve your overall health. In this article, we will be delving into some comprehensive, yet easy-to-implement methods that can be adopted for individuals in their 30’s wanting to lose weight. 

Understanding weight loss in your 30’s

Entering your 30’s means your body undergoes various changes which can have an impact on your weight. Around this age, your metabolism starts to slow down, making it easier to gain weight but harder to lose it.1  People assigned female at birth particularly start experiencing a shift in their hormones which will also contribute to gaining weight. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as sedentary (seated) jobs and increased stress levels can contribute to weight gain.2 Understanding the way your body changes is  crucial for developing effective weight loss strategies that will work. 

Sustainable dietary strategies 

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the most important factors to incorporate when wanting to achieve long-term weight loss.3 Rather than following a restrictive meal plan that cuts out major food groups such as fats, sugars, and carbohydrates, it would be worth considering adding nutrient-dense food into your diet plan. Nutrient-dense foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and lean protein. Portion control and eating mindfully by observing your body's signals of hunger or fullness are going to have a bigger effect on weight loss than cutting out food groups. Eating more vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains will also help with weight loss. It’s important to avoid foods and drinks that have been over-processed as they contain ingredients that can cause harm if consumed in excess and can even lead to type 2 diabetes and other long-term health issues. 4

Creating a meal plan can also help when trying to lose weight sustainably, especially if you have a busy schedule and don't have as much time to plan and cook a fresh meal every day. Planning and preparing meals in advance not only saves you time but also encourages you to eat healthier and reduces the temptation of spending money on junk food or processed unhealthy foods.5 All you need to do is dedicate a portion of your week or weekend to plan and prepare your meals, this allows you to track your calories, control the portions you eat and know what foods you are putting into your body. Meal prepping consistently will empower you and give you more control of your diet, promoting mindful eating and doing this consistently becomes a subconscious part of your everyday routine. You will start craving junk food less and will naturally eat more healthily.


Exercise is another key component to ensure sustainable weight loss. A combination of 

cardio and strength training can help you burn calories and build lean muscle mass.6 Even if you don’t like going to the gym, you can find physical activities that you enjoy that you can incorporate into your daily routine. For example, home workouts, walking to places instead of driving or taking public transport, skipping, jogging, cycling, swimming or even yoga. When choosing an activity, pick one that you enjoy and will fit into your schedule. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to working out and exercising, even if you start with 20 minutes a day you can gradually build that up. Your exercise routine does not need to be super long or super complicated, simple exercises done consistently with increased resistance will give you more results than trying new exercises every day. 

Tracking progress and making amendments 

When you start your weight loss journey it is important to track your progress, set achievable goals and monitor the food you consume. You can use digital platforms, fitness apps or activity-tracking watches to keep yourself accountable.7 Try and be flexible and be open to making necessary adjustments based on the results you get. You may need to try variations before getting it right and that is okay. Make sure that you celebrate your successes when you hit minor and major milestones you have set for yourself and learn from any mistakes or setbacks you may encounter on your journey. 

Managing stress and prioritising sleep 

Sleep and managing stress are very important but usually overlooked when wanting to lose weight. Lack of sleep has been shown to disrupt hormonal balance and increase your cravings for foods that are unhealthy.8 Ideally, it would be best if you aimed to sleep for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and establish a healthy sleeping routine to improve the quality of sleep. Incorporating stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are some ways to manage stress and prevent emotional eating. 

Support system and accountability partners

When you choose to commit to losing weight the healthy way you may need to find people who will encourage and keep you accountable on this journey, this could be your partner, a friend or a family member or maybe even your gym community. Make sure that when making lifestyle changes you always seek guidance from healthcare professionals or nutritionists who can provide you with advice and support that is tailored and personalised to your needs.9 You may also benefit from joining a support group of people who share your weight loss goals and encourage each other on this journey. Having someone to share your success and challenges with can provide you with the motivation, support and encouragement you need along this journey.  

Psychological factors 

When trying to lose weight there are psychological factors that will need to be addressed as they can contribute to overeating or unhealthy habits. It is essential to identify your emotional eating triggers and find a coping mechanism that you can incorporate to manage stress and emotions without binge eating. Other things to remind yourself include the scale is just a number, and you should focus on overall well-being, cultivate a positive body image and proactive self-compassion and acceptance.  


In summary, a holistic approach is needed when wanting to lose weight in your 30’s. You should consider incorporating balanced and nutritious foods in your diet, exercise, sleep well, manage your stress levels, and have individuals who can help you stay accountable through this journey. If you can account for all of these factors when trying to lose weight you will see longer-lasting results and an improvement in your mental health and well-being.  Remember, the journey to sustainable weight loss is not going to be easy, but consistently making increments gradually over time will allow you to see changes and enable you to achieve your goals and enjoy them long-term without making too many sacrifices. 


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  2. Pall Mall [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 23]. What sitting down all day is actually doing to your body. Available from:
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  4. Fuhrman J. The hidden dangers of fast and processed food. Am J Lifestyle Med [Internet]. 2018 Apr 3 [cited 2024 Feb 23];12(5):375–81. Available from:
  5. Citrus Blue Healthy Foods [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 23]. The benefits of meal prep: save time and eat healthier. Available from:
  6. Cox CE. Role of physical activity for weight loss and weight maintenance. Diabetes Spectr [Internet]. 2017 Aug [cited 2024 Feb 23];30(3):157–60. Available from:
  7. Tong HL, Maher C, Parker K, Pham TD, Neves AL, Riordan B, et al. The use of mobile apps and fitness trackers to promote healthy behaviours during COVID-19: A cross-sectional survey. PLOS Digit Health [Internet]. 2022 Aug 18 [cited 2024 Feb 23];1(8):e0000087. Available from:
  8. Papatriantafyllou E, Efthymiou D, Zoumbaneas E, Popescu CA, Vassilopoulou E. Sleep deprivation: effects on weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Nutrients [Internet]. 2022 Apr 8 [cited 2024 Feb 23];14(8):1549. Available from:
  9. Ordovas JM, Ferguson LR, Tai ES, Mathers JC. Personalised nutrition and health. BMJ [Internet]. 2018 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Feb 23];361:bmj.k2173. Available from:

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Victoria Vandy

Reproductive and Developmental Biology – Imperial College London, United Kingdom

I am a recent MSc graduate in Reproductive and Developmental Biology, driven by a profound passion for women's health, particularly within the fertility industry. I firmly believe that credible health information should be readily accessible, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their well-being and embrace a healthy lifestyle. My dedication to education and empowerment, especially for women, is expressed through my enthusiasm for research and medical writing. I aspire to contribute to society by spreading knowledge and fostering empowerment, particularly in the realm of women's health. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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