Overeating and skipping the gym aren’t the only ways to derail your weight-loss efforts: Simply telling yourself certain things could program your brain for failure. “When we consciously make negative statements about our abilities, it gets embedded in the subconscious, which can then control our behavior,” says Anandhi Narasimhan, MD, a Los Angeles-based psychiatrist. What’s even trickier: Some sabotaging self-talk doesn’t sound that harmful! Steer clear of the following common statements to get back on the right mental track.
1. “I always…” and “I never…”All-or-nothing statements, like “I always choose the unhealthiest meal at restaurants” and “I never work out as hard as I should,” cause you to do that exact behavior, says Dr. Narasimhan. You feel you can’t help yourself, so these become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dr. Narasimhan suggests instead vowing to “get better every day at achieving my healthy diet and exercise goals.”