It’s no question that many people struggle with weight loss every day. The frustration and stress that we put ourselves through just to lose a few pounds is tiresome. What if the reason you’re not losing weight, or keeping off the pounds, is because of your brain? We’ve all heard the saying “mind over matter,” but is it really true?

It starts with your brain, not your plate. When trying to lose weight, many people focus on dieting alone. Before even attempting to diet, you need to understand why we make the food choices we do. It is not lack of willpower that makes you order that bacon cheeseburger. When used too frequently, our willpower can become tired, like a muscle. For this reason, we cannot rely on it to help make healthier decisions.

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Baby steps are better than none. A strict diet that eliminates all the foods you enjoy is simply not the answer. Instead, start making small goals towards a healthier lifestyle. Try reaching for healthy substitutes in the kitchen. Invest in a pedometer and track the number of steps you take. Aim for 10,000 steps a day as a starting goal. By accomplishing smaller goals first, you’ll feel rewarded rather than defeated.

>> Read more: Is Weight Loss Really Made in the Kitchen?

Surround yourself with positivity. If you focus on the positive, you will feel more positive. If you focus on the negative, you know what happens. Create good vibes by making a vision board to remind yourself of where you’re going. If your goal is to become more active, cut out pictures from fitness magazines of things you’d like to try. If your goal is to eat healthier, grab images of fruits, veggies and other healthy choices. Don’t forget to put your board in a place where you’ll see it frequently, like your bathroom or on the fridge.