No matter how dedicated you are, or how determined you are to succeed, nothing changes the fact that losing weight is tough.

One of the major problems that you will experience when trying to lose weight is how very, very boring the process is. Weight loss, when done safely and correctly, is slow. It means losing a few pounds a week, gradually increasing the amount of exercise you do, and hoping that the changes will become more obvious in time. The very slowness of the weight loss process is its biggest enemy— because anyone can get bored.

Sustaining a commitment to an eating regime for long enough to lose weight is incredibly difficult. It’s a day-in, day-out test of your willpower that can be exhausting and mentally draining… which is why you might need a mantra or two to see you through it.

Mantras are incredibly useful for helping to focus the mind, create positive energy, and remind you of your goals and motivations on a daily basis. If you find your desire to stick to your weight loss plan beginning to crumble, then repeating a few of these mantras — and recalling the reasons behind them — might just be what you need to help you stay on track.

“Weight loss is not linear.”

Study after study has confirmed a simple truth that all people attempting to lose weight need to know: weight loss is not linear.

What does this mean? Simple: weight loss is not a continually downward trend. Everyone, no matter how well they have been succeeding with their dietary plans, will experience fluctuations in their weight. You can even see different weights if you weigh yourself twice in one day— give it a try if you’re not convinced.

Small fluctuations in your weight loss are nothing to be concerned about. Provided that the overall weekly trend shows a loss, don’t worry about a pound gained or lost on individual days.

It’s also worth noting that the non-linear nature of weight loss can be somewhat counteracted by taking measurements as well as weighing yourself. While the actual weight on the scale might fluctuate, measurements are believed to be far more reliable.

So if you hop on the scales one morning and see that your weight has risen from the day before, repeat this mantra to yourself and move on with your day.

“Slow and steady weight loss is preferred.”

Crash diets or diets that are designed to make you lose huge amounts of weight in a few weeks are pointless. Not only are these diets incredibly difficult to stick to, but they don’t produce lasting results.

It is far healthier to look to lose one to two pounds per week, at a constant rate, over the course of several months. This kind of weight loss is sustainable, healthy, and most people find it to be highly achievable. So if you’re not seeing huge losses, this mantra will help focus your mind back on health and genuine — if gradual — improvement.

“I will understand the difference between appetite and hunger.”

Learning to understand the difference between appetite and hunger is a key component of a successful diet plan. If you are not sure what the difference is, this short video should help to shed some light on the matter for you:

If you focus on ensuring that you eat when you’re hungry, rather than when you have an appetite, you’re only ever giving your body what it truly needs. Repeat this mantra to yourself every time you feel like grabbing a snack; it should help focus your mind on what’s really driving your craving.

“Vegetables over fruit.”

The term “fruit and vegetables” seems so natural, doesn’t it? Fruit and vegetables— the words just flow together, and we all know that these two food groups are a key component of a healthy diet.

However, there’s some bad news: fruit… isn’t a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight.

Okay, so while this may sound alarming — and like it flies in the face of everything you’ve ever been told about healthy eating — let’s be clear: fruit is good for you. Fruit is full of beneficial nutrients, minerals, fiber, and offers plenty of benefits. The downside is that fruit is surprisingly calorific, which is less than ideal if you’re trying to lose weight.

So if you find yourself craving a snack, repeat this mantra to yourself in an effort to choose vegetables over fruit. Vegetables are just as nutritious as fruit (if not more so), but are far lower in calories. If you can repeat this mantra over and over to yourself until you choose a stalk of celery over a banana, that’s a real victory.

“There is no harm in experimenting.”

There’s a huge amount of contrary advice out there about eating plans, diets, and potential innovations that can help you lose weight. From weight loss shakes to convoluted diet plans, you will find fervent advocates and fervent enemies of the idea if you look hard enough.

The truth is that experimentation is harmless. There’s no “right” way to lose weight. Admittedly, there’s a few wrong ways (losing weight too quickly, crash dieting), but if you’re planning on losing weight in a controlled, healthy way, then there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different ideas in regards to reaching that goal.

Many people are dismissive of any more adventurous or novel way of losing weight than “calories in, calories out”— but the simple fact is, CICO alone doesn’t always work for people. If you are struggling, then trying something different is completely understandable, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find the right diet plan that works for you. Repeat this mantra to yourself if you’re struggling and need to rejuvenate your interest in your weight loss; it should do the trick.

“It’s okay to relax the rules for one night.”

Finally, a mantra that should only be used in the case of a special event, occasion, or celebration. If you’re watching the food you eat, special events and occasions can be a nightmare for your weight loss intentions. You don’t want to be the person who is avoiding the buffet at an anniversary dinner for fear of the calories, or refusing to eat your own birthday cake. The feeling of self-denial, and endless questions from other people, can be incredibly difficult to bear.

So, on these special occasions, try the mantra above. Remind yourself that the occasional vacation from your weight loss efforts is acceptable, provided it’s just a single evening. If you commit to returning to your normal diet plan the next day, you can enjoy a night off, or at least a night when you don’t track every morsel of food in the same way as you usually might. Weight loss is important, but having a social life, being able to relax, and making memories with friends and family is vital.

In conclusion

The mantras above are extremely variable for a reason. Some focus on very literal, practical advice that can assist with your everyday decision-making; others are less finite, and more focused on general feelings you may experience when you’re trying to lose weight. The reason for this lack of cohesion is that different days will require different mantras. As you go along your weight loss journey, some days you will need a boost from literal scientific facts; some days you will need to repeat a few encouraging words to yourself.

By making note of the above, you have a range of mantras available to you, ready to be called into service to help sustain your weight loss journey. Good luck!