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I Lost 30 Pounds and My Flabby Arms With These Simple Changes

Vivian transformed her arms—here’s how.

TikTok influencer Vivian Ngo is a fat loss coach and knows first-hand how challenging weight loss can be. Ngo went from 140 to 110 pounds, losing fat and gaining muscle along the way—especially in her arms. Ngo shared a before-and-after of herself, highlighting the drastic difference in her physique and her arms specifically. While she was strength training in both pictures, the muscle couldn't be seen before the fat disappeared. Here's how she did it.

Tracking Food

Calories counting , diet , food control and weight loss concept. woman using Calorie counter application on her smartphone at dining table with salad, fruit juice, bread and vegetable

Ngo started tracking her food intake and cutting calories until she was in a deficit. "For those on a weight loss or weight maintenance journey, tracking food intake is a powerful tool," according to MUSC Health. "It provides a clear picture of your daily caloric intake and allows you to set realistic and achievable goals. This precision can be a game-changer when working towards weight-related objectives."

Lots of Protein

selection food sources of protein. healthy diet eating concept. close up

Ngo was eating a minimum of 120 grams of protein every day. The protein helped keep her full, especially when her calorie count was on the lower end. "Your body processes the three main macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) in different ways," says the Cleveland Clinic. "Protein is much harder to store as body fat than carbohydrates or fats, so even if you have too much protein, you store less fat."

As Many Vegetables As Possible


Ngo says one fat-loss habit that changed her life was eating vegetables with every meal. "Vegetables in the cruciferous family have a surprising amount of protein," according to Select Health. "Brussels sprouts, for example, have three grams of protein in one cup. The high amount of protein and fiber these vegetables contain makes them great fat-fighting foods."

RELATED: 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week

Water Before a Meal


Ngo would drink two glasses of water before eating a meal. "Water is vital for good health," Michael F. Picco, MD, tells the Mayo Clinic. "Water and other drinks help break down food so that your body can take in (absorb) the nutrients. Water also makes the stool softer, which helps prevent constipation. Choose water when possible instead of drinks full of sugar."

Brushing Her Teeth

Female hands with tooth brush and paste on blurred background

Ngo would thoroughly brush her teeth to avoid the temptation of snacking. Experts recommend waiting a bit after your meal to brush to prevent damage to tooth enamel. "We definitely recommend holding off on brushing after consuming anything acidic, whether it's fruit, soda, juice, or sour candy," says Ezzard Rolle, DDS, assistant professor of dental medicine at Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine.

Small Walks Throughout the Day

Sporty woman tying shoelace on running shoes before practice. Female athlete preparing for jogging outdoors. Runner getting ready for training. Sport active lifestyle concept. Close-up

Ngo found it more enjoyable and sustainable to do many smaller walks throughout the day instead of one big one. Walking is great for fat burning, and can be combined with arm exercises to really target any excess fat in that area. Resistance bands are perfect for this!

RELATED: 12-3-30 Walking Method: 20 Proven Tips to Lose Weight Faster

Positive Affirmations

Ngo kept herself motivated with positive affirmations every morning. "Affirmations can help you overcome self-doubt and build a strong sense of self-worth," according to Acenda Integrated Health. "By reaffirming your strengths and abilities, you cultivate confidence in your capabilities and approach challenges with a positive mindset."

Planning Ahead

Close-up Of Pen With Meal Plan Form

Ngo would plan every day's meals the night before. Meal prep can make fat loss easier by eliminating the temptation to eat something that doesn't fit into your weight loss regimen. Planning ahead also means there is no chance of dealing with decision fatigue related to meals.

Progress Pictures

Check your body shape with white weight scales, top view.

Ngo relied on pictures of progress rather than the scale to keep track of her gains. "You can get obsessive about it," psychologist and director of behavioral services at St. Luke's Health System Humphreys Diabetes Center Amy Walters tells the American Heart Association. "We want to focus on trends and not get hung up on today's number. Weighing daily may be distressing if you don't see the scale change or have a negative impact on motivation."

Small Treats

Ice cream in a paper cup. Sweets and weekend walks.

Ngo allowed herself a small sweet treat after dinner every night as part of her eating plan. Allowing small pre-planned treats can help get rid of the temptation to binge on sugar, and encourages a balanced, healthy lifestyle. This makes fat loss more sustainable in the long term.

RELATED:  This Plan Is How to Lose 5 Percent Body Fat In 2 Weeks

Cardio Before Weights

Rear view of young woman walking on treadmill

Ngo always got her cardio out of the way before strength training. "Otherwise I wouldn't do it," she says. Find out a method that works for you—if you prefer doing weights first, that's great, just make sure it's a sustainable habit.

Walking After Meals

Stairs climbing running woman doing run up steps on staircase

Ngo would walk for at least ten minutes after every meal to help aid her digestion. Studies show that walking after a meal can help regulate blood sugar. It can also keep insulin levels stable.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Lose Fat That Are Not a Calorie Deficit

Say No To FOMO

Barman prepares exotic cocktails at the night club

Ngo learned to embrace turning down social events that she knew would derail her weight loss program. If something would possibly make it harder for Ngo to stick to her goals, she simply said no. No more weekend FOMO!

Be Kind

Ngo says having a kind inner voice is crucial for long-term weight loss. "You have to be ok with just giving your best every day, and if your best doesn't look anything near what you consider perfect, allowing that to be ok. That was the one mindset shit I had to make," she says.

💪🔥Body Booster: Like Ngo, make realistic, sustainable changes to burn fat and improve your health.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more