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I Lost 32 Pounds and Got Into the Best Shape of My Life With These Key Changes

Her journey started with the "lightbulb moment."
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Do you want to get in the best shape of your life? Get a little fitspiration from other people who have lost weight a healthy and sustainable way. Idit Greenberg, 34, who lives in Tokyo, Japan, lost 32 pounds in less than a year-and-a-half, going from 152 pounds to 120 pounds. Now, she is a personal trainer and coach, helping others achieve their goals. Here is her story and everything you need to know about how she lost weight.

She Had a "Lightbulb Moment" in 2019

Idit Greenberg

In 2019, Idit was considering a career change "from working in marketing to being a trainer," she says. However, she didn't feel like she looked the part. "I was training quite a lot in kickboxing at the time, and I thought I was pretty strong, but I had a big 'lightbulb moment' about how big and how unfit I actually was when I did a Spartan race. Especially seeing the pictures from the race afterward," she explains.

She Lost 20 Pounds in a Year

Idit Greenberg

At the time, she weighed 152 pounds. "I lost the first 20 pounds within a year, then fluctuated for a while (also did some bulking phases), and lost the extra 11 to 13 pounds in the recent six months," she says.

Strength Training Helped Change Her Body


Idit has transformed her body with strength training. "My back and legs got pretty muscular," she says, adding that she is currently working on her arms. "Ab definition is coming in, too," she says.

She Does These Exercises


Her go-to exercises include front rack cyclist squats, Bulgarian split squats, wide grip lat pulldown, dumbbell bench press, and hanging knee raises. "I found that these exercises, for me, were the most hypertrophic," she says. "Back squats and deadlifts are great for overall fitness and strength and are a staple in my routine, but nothing hits the glutes quite like single-leg movements."

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Balanced Approach to Diet

Cottage cheese and mint in a wooden bowl on an old rustic table, selective focus.

"I eat a lot of whole foods, but my diet is pretty boring. I'm not a great cook," admits Idit. For breakfast, she will have whey protein with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. "Sometimes I add a banana or ten almonds," she adds. Lunch is either chicken with vegetables or a bolognese/taco meat with a tortilla or some other carb and vegetables. Dinner usually consists of eggs, salad, and yogurt with fruit. "For snacks, I have nuts, and sometimes I have a mini chocolate bar (about 100 calories)," she continues. "On the weekends, I usually go out for dinner with my husband, so I keep my breakfast the same and have a very light lunch that day. I don't deprive myself of anything."


Hard-boiled egg

"In Japan, there's a culture of convenience stores with a lot of snacks and sandwiches that are NOT similar to what you get in the US. The variety is big, and not everything is bad for you (for instance, you can get hard-boiled eggs, some vegetables, salads, salmon, etc)," she says. "Things I don't eat anymore are steamed pork bus, conbini lunches, conbini sandwiches, and gummies. I've learned how to choose high-protein, minimally processed options."

Seeing Ab Definition Has Been a Great Achievement


Her biggest achievement when it comes to her body? "Seeing some ab definition is something I could never imagine happening. But once I started to see it in my mind's eye, I finally could bring myself there," she says.

There Is No Such Thing As a Magic Diet

Ketogenic low carbs diet concept. Healthy eating and dieting with salmon fish, avocado, eggs and nuts. Top view

"Keto, Intermittent Fasting, etc, are not magic health diets," Idit admits. "The most they did for me was to put me in the right mindset of discipline to diet. They were a big help at first, but it's ok to just do them for a limited time to get you going. Also, some people now say that endless cardio doesn't help with weight loss and that lifting heavy is more important. Actually, they are both important. Even though I average 15,000 steps a day just from my lifestyle, I recommend putting some emphasis on cardio training."

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Conquering Food Noise

Rear View Of Young Woman Looking In Fridge At Kitchen

Her most significant fitness challenge "was a mental one," Idit says. "I was doing a lot of emotional eating before and had a strange attachment to some foods. I had a lot of 'food noise,'" she says. "Trying to eat healthy was a big burden at first, mainly mentally. Now, I'm at a point where I know I won't be hungry. And even if I am, I won't die. I can have some 'bad food' and survive, and I can also have a very small portion and feel happy about it."

How She Measures Progress in Her Body Goals

Slim young woman measuring her thin waist with a tape measure, close up

Idit measures progress in her body goals by taking weight and waist measurements. "I also recently finally am able to do strict pull-ups and chin-ups, which to me is a huge progress," she says. "Now I am looking into getting more reps."

Body Neutrality


When she feels badly about her body, Idit tries to apply "body neutrality" and just accept that some days are like that. "Sometimes you hate your body, or your mind, or your thoughts. And we can't be happy with ourselves every day, but the body is the vessel I received from my ancestors, and my mind is only trying to keep me safe. I try to speak to myself like an older sister or an aunt would, being straightforward but kind," she says.

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Her Advice? Make Diet and Exercise Your Lifestyle

Gym customer is getting advice and suggestion from her personal trainer for exercising plan program and getting her evaluation chart from sample blood test for her workout progress concept

Her advice for someone just starting their fitness journey? "Be prepared to make this a part of your life forever. It will get better and harder as you go along, and never be shy to outsource (getting a trainer, a nutritionist, a life coach, etc.)," Idit says.

Habits Are "Forever"


"Motivation is fleeting. Habits are forever. What seems to fill 100% of your headspace now will soon become something you do without thinking about it. Just stick to it long enough, and you won't need motivation," she says.

Her Motivational Quote


Idit has a favorite motivational quote when it comes to fitness. "Fitness is like a big pile of dirt. Some days, you get a shovel to move it. Some days, you get a spoon. In any case, you will move some dirt today," she says.

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Believe in Yourself


Her final advice? "The first step to getting where you want to be is believing that you actually can get there. Many people start diets like they already know it'll be another failed attempt. Once you understand you are not broken, you don't have some genetic mutation to keep you fat, and that there's no reason for you not to look like your dream – you can get there!" Idit says. And if you enjoyed this article, take advantage of these 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more