10 Science-Backed Mental Hacks to Lose More Weight

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4. Lay off the Pot

Puff, puff, pass…on the pot. A July 2013 study from Imperial College London found that long-term marijuana users tend to produce less dopamine, which is the chemical in the brain that’s linked to motivation. The good news: The study authors think the effects seen in this study are reversible if you stop smoking blunts and eating pot brownies.

5. And Quit Smoking Cigarettes, Too

Your lungs and brain are teaming up with this “quit smoking” message. A February 2013 study published in Respirology found that not only are smokers less active, but they become lazier in that they then lack the internal motivation to change.

6. Hang Out with Other People Losing Weight

Losing weight can be socially contagious. At least that’s what a February 2012 study published in the journal Obesity found when it looked at team-based weight loss competitions. Participants who lost at least five percent of their initial body weight tended to be clustered on the same teams. The researchers concluded that being surrounded by others with similar goals can be a boon for weight loss efforts. Bonus tip: If you’re in a real-life Biggest Loser group, sign up to be the team captain because they lost the most weight in this study.

7. Don’t Rely on Your Fitness Tracker

If you’re relying on your fitness tracker to be your accountability partner, you might be missing the mark. A September 2016 study from the University of Pittsburgh found that activity monitors aren’t reliable tools to aid weight loss. After two years, researchers found that participants who wore the trackers and participated in a behavioral weight-loss program lost less weight than those who were simply involved in the behavioral weight loss program. Those with trackers lost an average of 7.7 pounds, while those who just received the health counseling reported an average loss of 13 pounds.

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