There is an important mental aspect to your weight loss journey that must be addressed if you want to keep it off in the long-term. When we go on any diet, the mentality always seems to be one of deprivation: “Don’t eat this,” “I have to spend extra time at the gym because I had dessert last night,” or “I can’t have that hamburger, it will ruin my diet!” This way of thinking is really dangerous because, after you have reached your goal weight, you’re still left with this mentality of deprivation, which causes levels of leptin (the satiety hormone) to decrease and ghrelin (the hunger hormone) to increase. This means that no matter how much you eat, your mind will never be satisfied, which can lead to overeating and spiraling back to your poor eating habits. To overcome this rut, try being less restrictive about what you’re eating and don’t be so hard on yourself if you slip up. After you get down to your goal weight, it’s about maintenance, not weight loss, so with regular exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle, and the right mindset, it will become easier for you to keep the weight off for good.