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Weight loss is more than just changing your diet and exercise habits. “It’s also about changing your mindset, your behavior, your environment,” says registered dietitian Devon Golem. “They all go together.” You’ve probably heard stories about most men who lose weight eventually gain weight again. A solid long-term game plan can turn the odds in your favor. These science-backed tactics are designed with that in mind.

01/ have wise expectations

Think seriously about the promises you’re making and the results you expect before you vow never to touch your lip again with a pig scratch. Rarely. “Sometimes you see dramatic changes and then plateau for a while,” explains Dr. Golem. Your motivation has peaks and valleys. Knowing this ahead of time can help minimize the risk of diet failure or quitting after a week of no progress.

02/ think bigger than food

You can’t change your daily routine just by adopting a new diet. “Sleep, exercise, stress, etc. are all interconnected,” says Dr. Golem. “If you ignore one, you may interfere with others.” As an example, there is evidence to show that suboptimal sleep (less than seven hours) contributes to overeating. In all aspects of life, you’ll get the best results when you actively seek ways to take better care of your body.

03/ forget the quick fix

If you want to lose a lot of weight, you need to turn healthy changes into instinctive habits. “We want to get to the point where eating in this new way becomes second nature,” says Dr. Golem. This takes practice, but thinking of every new dietary switch as a permanent change can set you up for success. Helps you find strategies (e.g. “I have green juice for breakfast every day”).

04/ master one habit

Don’t get overwhelmed trying to create 20 new habits at once. It doesn’t matter if it’s drinking two liters of water every day or getting rid of the 3 p.m. vending machine dashboard, says Dr. Golem. Taking on too many things too quickly can lead to frustration and overwhelm.

05/ don’t obsess over numbers

Achieving objective weight loss goals (“I lost my first stone!”, “I lost my waist size!”) is great, but don’t get too hung up on the numbers. Dr. Golem also suggests setting some subjective goals. Want more energy? move more freely? Focusing on these non-quantifiable measures of weight loss can give you extra motivation when you’re plateauing. Your weight may be the same as it was last week, but you’ll still get up for your 6am run. has never felt so easy. There is value in recognizing these new emotions as rewards, explains Dr. Golem.

06/ crowd the junk

Before you blacklist biscuits and potato chips, focus on adding vegetables to your diet. Dr. Golem recommends eating seven to eight servings a day. The more you add, the less room you have to indulge between meals. associated with mental health.)

07/ go to the whole or go home

Swapping out white bread for brown bread isn’t the power move you think it is. Check the label to make sure it’s 100% whole grain. Better yet, sub out quinoa, oat, or freekeh bread.

08/ dust off

No one manages to lose significant weight without eating a few slices of pizza. After all, life is meant to be lived. Don’t let these deviations impede your progress. says Dr. Instead of punishing yourself, forgive and move on.

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