January 26, 2016 12:03 PM

To really be successful on a diet, Jennifer Cassetta recommends focusing on the big picture.

“When setting your fitness goals, make sure you know what your bigger purpose is,” says the My Diet Is Better Than Yours trainer. “What is the real reason that you want to be fit and healthy?”

“Set yourself up for long-term wellness,” she adds. “Create a diet and fitness plan that will help you fight disease.”

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But the expert—who is mentoring Taj Robinson with her Strong, Safe and Sexy Plan on the ABC weight loss show—also has some quick tips for staying on track now.

“Stay hydrated—water, water, water. You can’t drink enough of it,” she says. “I like to say drink about half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you’re going to drink around 75 oz. of water per day.”

The martial arts guru also recommends eating mostly plant-based foods.

As for her competitor Jay Cardiello of the No Diet Plan, weight loss is more about making behavioral changes.

“Create daily rituals,” he says. “If you want to master things, you have to practice on a daily basis.”

Some of those important rituals include simply reiterating positive thoughts.

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“Tame your tongue. Remember what you say is what you become. So stay positive and use strong words such as ‘can’ and ‘do.’ Leave out the ‘tries’ and ‘shouldn’t’s,’ ” he says. “I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’m positive.”

Success is also about learning when to say no, says Cardiello, “No is one of the most powerful words but we do not use it enough. Set your boundaries and you’ll improve the quality of your life.”

—Ana Calderone, @anacalderone

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