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3 Ways to Reprogram Your Brain to Achieve a Lean Body, Dietitian Says

The key to successful weight loss is changing your mindset, this expert argues.

It may seem like losing weight has everything to do with what you eat and how often you move your body. However, it turns out that there may be ways to get your brain in on the action in order to achieve a lean and healthy body.

Dr. Ellen Albertson, a registered dietician, nutritionist, and psychologist, as well as the author of ROCK YOUR MIDLIFE: 7 Steps to Transform Yourself and Make Your Next Chapter Your Best Chapter, offers the following three ways to "reprogram your brain for weight loss."

Keep reading to discover and adapt her tips, and next, don't miss these 10 Weight Loss Recipes People Are Obsessed With.

Manage stress


First, it's key to "manage stress/cortisol effectively so you don't turn to comfort food to feel better," Dr. Albertson explains.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND, and the Senior Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, confirms to Eat This, Not That!: "A big key to weight loss is behavior modification, which is a sort of reprogramming if you will."

"To effectively lose weight and keep it off, it's critical to focus on the behaviors that are getting in the way of progress, and learn to modify those behaviors in order to reach goals."

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Nourish your microbiome

gut bacteria microbiome

Beyond that, you need to nourish your microbiome. "Research shows that not only does having a healthy microbiome support weight loss, it can also boost your immune system and mood," Dr. Albertson explains.

Related: One Major Effect Gut Health Has on Your Blood Pressure, New Study Says

Use self-compassion

Happy Woman Holding Heart Shaped Hands Near Eyes. Closeup Of Smiling Girl With Healthy Skin Showing Love Sign

According to Dr. Alberston, the third way to reprogram your brain for weight loss is to "use self-compassion to regulate your emotions so you don't eat your feelings."

Indeed, Holli Rovenger, a dietitian and wellness professional couldn't agree more with Dr. Albertson's tips. While noting that Dr. Albertson's suggestions "have all been studied and proven successful," Rovenger tells Eat This, Not That!: "In my opinion and experience, reprogramming your brain, along with retraining your taste buds and using behavior modification, is the way to long-term weight loss. If it was just about the food, people would not be enrolling and re-enrolling in all the large weight loss programs."

Related: The #1 Best Food to Crush Hunger Cravings and Lose Weight Fast

Take your time

woman standing on a scale, happy about weight loss

However, Rovenger also adds this one important tip to Dr. Alberston's list: take your time.  "Reprogramming your brain along with behavior modification should be done in a slow, steady, and consistent process to be successful," Rovenger says.

To find out more about ways to achieve a lean body for good, be sure to read 200 Best Weight Loss Tips.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée