Self-Talk for Weight Control
Many of the people who have trouble controlling their weight suffer from poor self esteem. They become their own worst critic. They send negative messages to their brain that have a profound influence on their weight management efforts. Whether you know it or not, you talk to yourself all the time, although not necessarily consciously or out loud.
Let us assume that you see a cake enriched with sinful calories on the counter. You might say to yourself: "I've worked very hard today and I am tired. I deserve this" or "I've been dieting all week and haven't lost a pound, so I might as well eat it." The end result is that you will eat that cake without any feelings of guilt.
Let us examine what will happen if we change the self-talk a bit. "I've worked very hard today and I am tired. But it is not going to do any good to me or my tiredness if l eat this cake. It won't make me feel any better. In fact, it will sabotage my weight control efforts." This kind of self-talk may well prevent you from eating.
Self-talk plays an important role in determining how you'll act and how you feel about yourself. If your self-talk is negative and defeating, you may end up engaging in self-destructive behaviors such as binge eating and nibbling when you're not even hungry. On the other hand, if your self-talk is positive, you can often prevent inappropriate eating and the bad feelings that trigger or accompany it.
Experts recommend a three-step process to turn self-defeating self-talk into empowering talk.
1. Each time you feel that you've strayed from your goals, reflect on your thoughts before, during, and after you ate.
2. Ask yourself if your thoughts are rational, true, or helpful.
3. Come up with more positive, helpful self-statements, such as
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