Never drink another soda.
“I lost about 30 pounds in the first few months, just by not drinking soda,” says Owczarek, who is actually more energized now that he isn’t riding the effects of caffeine and sugar all day. “It’s such a small thing, but it has an enormous effect on the body.”
Know that the cravings will stop.
“When I gave up fast food, I would wake up craving McDonald’s in the middle of the night. I didn’t know if it would ever stop,” he says. “Now, the smell of French fries makes me want to hurl.”
“Every time I wanted a cigarette, I went running,” he says. The endorphin boost helped fill the void and, over time, it was fitness, not nicotine, he was addicted to. When trying to kick a habit, it’s actually very common for addicts to transfer their addictions onto something else. Make sure your “patch” is a healthy one.
Do something active every day.
It doesn’t have to be a marathon or even a mile, Marion says. “As long as you do something every day that gets you outside and moving, you will feel the benefits.”
Don’t give yourself a time line.
“Saying you are going to go on a diet for X amount of time or for a certain deadline is a mistake,” he says. “Your mentality has to be, ‘From here on out, this is what I’m doing.’ The goal shouldn’t be the result. It should be the lifestyle.”
Eat your favorite foods–however how unhealthy they are.
“I have a sweet tooth like no other. I could eat cake for every meal and be a very happy but fat person,” Marion says. He knows that for him, like most guys, trying to eliminate guilty-pleasure foods entirely would just set him up for cravings, binges, and yo-yo dieting. So, in addition to having an occasional splurge every now and then, he always keeps a bar of dark chocolate in his fridge. He breaks off a square and moves on with his day.
Break your chopsticks.
Restaurant portions are huge. So, as soon as he starts feeling full, he puts some trash on his plate, drops his fork on the floor or, if he’s at a sushi restaurant, breaks his chopsticks in half.
“Trying to do it by willpower alone is about impossible,” Edwards says. Instead, focus on your environment and what triggers are driving your unhealthy behaviors. Do you stress eat? Miss out on sleep? Do you always wind up pigging out with certain friends? “Put in place a plan and structure, so that you don’t have to fight temptation,” he says.
Don’t “make it up.”
“If you make a mistake, don’t feel like you have to make it up somehow. Don’t try to skip a meal to make up for overeating,” he says. It’ll make you miserable and totally misses the point.