If your closets are packed with skinny jeans, fat slacks, and in-between pants (with drawstrings), you know the only thing tougher than getting slim is staying slim. You’re not alone. Statistics like this are rampant: “Eight out of ten dieters regain their lost weight within 2 years.” One study suggests why: The things that make you slim are NOT what keep you slim. You need a different skill set.
When diet experts at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, (yep, they studied weight control in the self-proclaimed “Sweetest Place on Earth”) polled nearly 1,200 successful dieters, they found that those who’d maintained an impressive 30-pound weight loss for at least a year shared some secrets. A few had to do with food and fitness — eating lots of low-fat protein, staying active — but more had to do with their brains, not their bodies: To stay slim, it turns out, you need to stay positive, regularly giving yourself praise, rewards, pep talks, and back pats for staying on track. Forget modesty. Tell yourself daily, “Great job!”