4 Ways to Silence Negative Self-Talk


Ever go for a ride on the Struggle Bus and feel like self-sabotage is everywhere?

You know…the voice inside your head keeps repeating stuff like…

● What’s the point? It’s just too hard.

● I’ll start tomorrow, next week, next month…

● I’ll never be like…

Listen up: That kind of negative self-talk won’t tip the scale in the right direction.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, learning how to stop negative self-talk can help you change your ways and improve your health. Here’s how…

1. Say ‘hello’ to negative self-talk

It’s easy to dwell on negative self-talk (e.g. I’m too heavy. I eat too much. I missed a workout, so I must be lazy…).

But it doesn’t help you. When you focus on the negative, you’re more likely to get caught in the cycle of doing the same things, expecting different results. And that will never get you closer to your goal.

Instead, the next time negative thoughts are hanging around, say:

  • “Oh it’s you again. Hi there. I’ll just be over here working on making healthier choices. Later.”
  • Stop and recognize negative self-talk. Instead of dwelling on the negative, this gives you the opportunity to say:
  • “That’s not me. I’m different now. I’m choosing to…”

2. State the facts

When negative self-talk shows up, it’s easy to get sucked into poor thinking and self-sabotaging behaviors. Once you recognize those thoughts, change your thinking by pointing out the facts not false beliefs. Here’s an example:

Thought 1: You never eat healthy.
Response: That’s not true. I had a chicken salad, apple, and glass of water for lunch.

Instead of jumping to conclusions, catastrophic thinking, or making huge generalizations, evaluate each thought and respond with a positive statement.

3. Visualize success

Worried about eating more than you should at the buffet dinner and dessert bar when you go out with friends? Before you go, visualize going through the line, chatting with friends, and filling your plate with healthy choices. Try to imagine all the details from start to finish.

Research shows visualization practices like this can help change behavior in positive ways.

4. Create a routine

Trying to figure out how to eat healthier or make exercise a regular part of your life? Create a routine. For example:

  • Plan meals ahead of time. Instead of going to a drive-thru or the grocery store when you’re hungry, plan ahead. Make a meal plan. Go grocery shopping. Or know what you’ll order at a restaurant before you go.
    • (Here’s another way to avoid leaving your meal choices to chance: Pick your favorite meals made from fresh ingredients from our Portion Control menu.)
  • Schedule exercise time just like you would an important appointment. Put it on your calendar. Tell your family and friends you’re busy. Then make it happen.

Creating routines can help you drop bad habits for healthier ones.

All the exercise and nutrition advice in the world won’t help you tip the scale in the right direction if you don’t get your mind right.