3 Steps to Powering Up Your Thoughts

Step #1: Stop ‚Äčthe negative thought as soon as you recognize it. Simply say to yourself, “Stop right there!

Step #2: Challenge‚Äč the negative thought.

Step #3: Ask yourself, “Will this thought help me lose weight and keep it off?

If you answer “No,” c‚Äčhoose a ‚Äčdifferent thought. One that is more helpful.

10 Common Thoughts That Get Us in Trouble

All or Nothing

Placing people and things in one of two extreme categories: good or bad, with no shades of grey. If one solution fails, all will fail.

All or Nothing Thought: “‚ÄčI just had one cookie. I’ve failed. It’s hopeless. I might as well pig out.”

Powered Up Replacement: “‚ÄčI had one and enjoyed it. I don't need any more.


Taking one example and assuming that all other similar events will turn out the same way. These thoughts include words like “always” and “never.”

Example: ‚Äč“‚ÄčI always overeat.”
Powered Up Thought:‚Äč“T‚Äčhat wasn’t the best thing to do. I’ll be very careful not to overeat at my next meal.”

Magnifying the Negatives and Minimizing the Positives

Blowing negatives out of proportion or downplaying the good things that happen.

Example: “‚ÄčTwo pounds? I only lost two pounds this week!”

Powered Up Thought: “‚ÄčOne to two pounds a week is a healthy rate for weight loss. This has been a great week!”

Mind Reading

Thinking you’re able to know what people think.

Example: “‚ÄčShe’ll think I’m rude if I don’t try the brownies she baked.”

Powered Up Thought: “‚ÄčI really don't know what she’ll think. With all the people here she may not even notice. And, even if she does, it’s not likely to be that big a deal.

Fortune Telling

Attempting to predict the future without any evidence.

Example: “‚ÄčI gave in to my sweet tooth yesterday so I’ll do it again and again – I just know it.”

Powered Up Thought:‚Äč “I gave in today, but I can do better tomorrow.”

Emotional Reasoning

Making decisions purely on how you feel at the moment instead of facts and logic.

Example: “‚ÄčI’m sad. So I need to eat to make me feel better.”
Powered Up Thought:‚Äč“‚ÄčEating something won’t make my sadness go away. It will only make me feel worse. Instead, I’ll call a friend.

Making Demands

Placing absolute demands on yourself, others or situations. These thoughts often include words like “should,” “must” and “ought.”

Example: “‚ÄčMy husband has to support me or I’ll never lose weight.”
Powered Up Thought: “‚ÄčI’ll take what support he can give me and thank him for

that. But ultimately this is about me. I’m going to do this!


Condemning yourself or others.

Example: “‚ÄčHe’s such an insensitive jerk for eating that cupcake in front of me.

Powered Up Thought: “‚ÄčI don’t like that he’s eating that cupcake in front of me, but I’m going to focus on our conversation rather than the cupcake.


Giving total blame to yourself or to others for your problem.

Example: “‚ÄčIt’s my family’s fault that I’m overweight.

Powered Up Thought: “‚ÄčThere are many reasons why I’m overweight. Blaming anyone is not really helpful. I’m going to focus on what I can do right now to take control of my weight.


Making excuses or justifying behaviors you know won’t help you lose weight and keep it off.

Example: “‚ÄčThis is a special occasion, so I’’ll eat as much as I want.

Powered Up Thought: “‚ÄčThis is a special occasion and I may not be able to stick with a 75/25 plate. But I can still have a 50/50 plate and have smaller portions of the special treats.


Now It’s Your Turn

Try Powering Up the following negative thoughts that interfere with weight loss.


Negative Thought: “It’s not fair that other people can eat anything they want and not gain weight.”

Powered Up Thought:



Negative Thought: “These cravings are horrible. I can’t stand them anymore.”

Powered Up Thought:


Negative Thought: “It feels good to eat. I need to eat to cope with the stress in my life.”

Powered Up Thought:


Negative Thought: “My parents are overweight, so I guess this is just the way I am.”

Powered Up Thought:


Negative Thought: “Losing weight is just too difficult. I’ll just keep doing what I’ve always been doing.”

Powered Up Thought:


Negative Thought: “I get such comfort from eating ice cream while watching TV.”

Powered Up Thought:


Negative Thought: “I just don’t have what it takes to lose weight. I just can’t do it.”

Powered Up Thought:


Full Plate Living is a small-step approach with big health outcomes. It's provided as a free service of Ardmore Institute of Health.

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