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4 Ways to Make Weight Loss Last

4 Ways to Make Weight Loss Last

Keeping weight off is as much about what's in your mind as about what's in your mouth. These mental strategies can get your weight where you want it—and keep it there:

  1. Make a gesture. If you make one small move—such as buying a pedometer or throwing away the unhealthy foods in your pantry—you'll be three times more likely to follow your plan. The small change puts a key in your waist-management ignition.

  2. Do it! Once you make a small gesture, make a second commitment. Commit, say, to doubling your daily vegetable intake. With one foot, take a specific first step. The other foot has no choice but to follow.

  3. Choose a range. Instead of tracking your weight by a single number, pick your weight class—in other words, a range that's comfortable to you. This allows for the natural fluctuations that occur (for instance, when you eat more salt, or it's that time of month). And it keeps you from fixating on some arbitrary number that promotes the idea of all-or-nothing success or failure.

  4. Plan to fail. The road to success is not a straight line. Contingency plans give you the mental assurance that you'll be able to adapt to unexpected crises. Know it will happen. And when it does, get right back on track, right away. Success comes with persistence—persistence to overcome challenges and persistence to see the big picture. Try this proven approach for achieving any goal.

Medically reviewed in March 2019.

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