Learn How to Manage Your Thoughts

It helps your efforts when you trade in negative thoughts for positive ones.
Habit Guide: Manage Your Thoughts

Ever hear the phrase "What you see is what you get"? It's also true that what you think is what you get. Your inner thoughts and emotions have a big impact on your appearance, your actions, and your persona. Discover ways to develop thoughts that will keep you motivated and make you feel and perform better.

Managing your thoughts means...

  • Recognizing negative thoughts when they run through your mind, and understanding what that kind of thinking can do to your efforts.
  • Replacing those negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Rather than telling yourself you should have lost more weight, or turned down that glass of wine, notice all the things that you've done that do help and accept that it takes time to change the habits of a lifetime.
  • Reflecting on what you can do, instead of what you can't do.

Your Thoughts Matter
"With our thoughts we make the world." -Buddha.

Negative thoughts creep into most people's minds. But for some of us, they kind of take over—and we don't even realize it's happening. Negative thoughts come in the form of all-or-nothing thinking, ("I'm never eating chocolate again!"), absolute thinking ("I should" or "I ought"), and self-fulfilling prophecies ("I can't").

We believe what we tell ourselves. And what we tell ourselves shows up in what we do. That's why these kinds of negative thoughts are dangerous: if you expect to fail, you probably will; if you set unrealistic expectations, you probably won't meet them, you'll be disappointed...and then your mind will flood with more negative thoughts.

Managing the thoughts that guide our behaviors can be a big step toward changing those behaviors. To get started and encourage new positive thinking - try taking it a thought a time.

Managing Your Thoughts is a helpful habit because:

  • Research shows that people who succeed on weight-loss plans believe they'll succeed.*
  • When you're more aware of your negative thoughts, you'll challenge them the instant they appear and replace them with positive thoughts.
  • When you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll be confident in your ability to lose weight...and that confidence will show up in your results.
  • When you reflect regularly on your ability to succeed, you'll see a difference in your success.

Steve, from Midland, TX, lost 41 pounds and says, "Weight loss is a long process. In order to keep doing it, I had to continue to look at the positive side: Ihave lost and I'm still losing."

If you realize you need to Manage Your Thoughts...
The Message Boards are, of course, a great place to get tips and encouragement. Other WeightWatchers.com users are also trying to manage their thoughts...and they're always happy to share what works for them.

*Wamsteker EW, Geenen R, Iesra J, Larsen JK, Zelissen PM, van Staveren WA. Obesity-related beliefs predict weight loss after an 8-week low-calorie diet. J AM Diet Assoc. 2005 Mar;105(3):441-4.5

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