5 Negative Thoughts that Impede Weight Loss

Carley Hauck, MA
by Carley Hauck, MA
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5 Negative Thoughts that Impede Weight Loss

I was recently teaching a workshop on the interaction of mindfulness, compassion and self-nurturing. This is a topic I love exploring, and what I have found to be true is what we feed our minds is directly linked to how we take care of ourselves. We can feed our minds with sweet and loving phrases or sour and critical thoughts. How we relate to our minds is directly linked to how we comfort ourselves—sometimes with food.

This is an exercise I invite my students and clients to practice. Identify five non-self-nurturing thoughts and five self-nurturing or loving thoughts. Here are some examples:


  1. I have no one in my life who truly loves me.
  2. I will never lose the weight, so why try.
  3. I am not smart.
  4. My belly is too big and it will never change.
  5. Nothing in my life ever goes right.

In a previous post, I spoke about how we have an average of 82,000 thoughts a day. That is a lot of thoughts, so how can those all be true? They can’t be. Are any of the thoughts above really true? NO. We are not our thoughts, and we can start talking back to the negative thoughts. Simply start by pulling out the negative weeds, and plant seeds of love and nurturance. It is spring after all.

Self-Nurturing Thoughts:

  1. I am loved.
  2. I love and accept myself as I am right now.
  3. I am smart and have multiple intelligences.
  4. My belly holds my power and intuitive center and I am grateful for it.
  5. My life has ups and downs just like everyone, and I have enough right now.

When you read through the non-self-nurturing thoughts, how do you feel? Sad, angry, hopeless? Does that make you want to reach out for some comfort, like a big bowl of chocolate ice cream? That is a pretty normal reaction. We all want comfort when we are blasted with critical words.

How do you feel when you read through the self-nurturing thoughts? Empowered, happy, confident? YES!

The more we feed ourselves with loving and nurturing thoughts, the more we will believe them. Our thoughts affect our feelings, and thus impact our behaviors, so be mindful of inserting loving thoughts and you will, in turn, have loving behaviors.

For the next month, I am going to invite you to take a self-love challenge. Here are some tips below to get your started. Just pick one of these practices to try on once a day for the next four weeks. If you like what you are feeling, then keep going and make it a habit.

Be Your Own Best Friend

What does this look like? Love hanging out with yourself. I like to call these my loving-kindness days. I pick a day or even a night (if you can’t give yourself a whole day) and I just slow down. I don’t schedule anything and I just let myself see what I want to do. Sometimes I read a book, do home yoga practice, and maybe for dinner all I eat is yogurt and fruit. After a day like this, I always feel like my love bucket is full.

See Your Magnificence and Beauty

Embrace the amazing and unique person you are every day. Shine your light and show who you are. You can only be who you are; everyone else is already taken.

Love All of Yourself

This means saying phrases such as, “I love and accept myself as I am.” You are loving and accepting of your strengths and weaknesses, your pretty parts and not-so-attractive parts. Accept yourself as you are. Forgive yourself for actions that you took when you didn’t know any better. Compassion is the greatest motivator for real change.

Make Decisions Guided By Self-Love

Mantra: “I am taking really good care of myself.” If this is the thought that you feed throughout the day, then how do your actions support this? If I were taking really good care of myself, then I might still choose to eat French fries after a harder day at work, but I’d only eat a small portion and I’d also take a walk.

Surround Yourself with Loving People

When you start to show yourself more love, you may decide that you want and deserve more love from those around you, too.

A few years ago, I had this experience where I needed to shift out some friends from my inner circle to make room for new ones. I had some friends who were only capable of being there for the “good times,” but as we know, life is always changing and has many ups and downs. I wanted friends who could be loving, supportive and dependable, and wanted that from me, too. You may need to weed out some people in your life or put them in the outer circle so you can surround yourself with the most loving people.

I practice many of these principles already, but I am going to boost my self-love practices even more and join you all in this month.

As a way to be my own best friend, I did this small practice and it felt great. I came home the other night and picked a red rose from my garden. Normally, I would put this rose in a small dish of water near my desk to look at, but instead I took each petal off the rose bud and threw them on my bed, like a lover might do. I slept in my bed covered in rose petals and it was totally delicious!

Love yourself and your relationship with your body, and let that guide how you care for yourself. If you do this, the relationships you attract will change. I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes!

Want to learn more mindful practices? Sign up for Carley’s FREE Mindful Training workbook.

About the Author

Carley Hauck, MA
Carley Hauck, MA

Carley works as an educator, life coach, and consultant in research and with corporate organizations, such as LinkedIn and Pixar.  She has been working in the field of health and wellness for over 15 years and has a long-standing meditation practice.  Carley teaches on a variety of classes at Stanford University with an emphasis on the tool of mindfulness as it relates to health and well-being. Sign up for Carley’s free mindful training workbook.


36 responses to “5 Negative Thoughts that Impede Weight Loss”

  1. Avatar My Name Is Oliver Queen says:

    WTF is this rubbish????????? Seriously? I am really starting to wonder if MFP is really for weight loss help or simply to try to make money out of the gullible by getting them to do things that are not going to help them at all.

    • Avatar Ruth M-G says:

      I have had the app on my phone almost 2 years. I am a type 1 insulin pump user. For the first time over the last 92 days I have lost 11 lbs. I have actually used the app to it’s fullest. I am happy with it. I actually feel guilty when I go over in my daily goals. I never forget to load when I actually do cardio for this gives me extra calories to eat. I even created my own name for my exercise when I work as a on-call banquet server. I use the selection of bussing tables and then the hours I actually worked. Give it a loyal try. I encourage it! And it truly helps me with counting my carbs for diabetes.

      • Avatar Katy says:

        I totally agree with you,same with me,my blood sugar has been so much better since I started MFP!

    • Avatar Andrew Johnson says:

      Before being purchased by Underarmor, yes, they were doing a ton of good.

      Unfortunately, if they’re charging a monthly fee for the app, it benefits them greatly for people to stick around… which means that the slower that people lose weight, the better.

      • Avatar Andrew Mutz says:

        most people will repeat and or need to maintain. they need Easter tools to keep track of foods and workouts. example: what movement is already expected.. sick in bed vs cleaning house all day.

    • Avatar Andrew Mutz says:

      it can work though I’ve been using this app off again on again for three versions.. started when there were no adds.. much better then, now it’s info overload with annoying colors and parables that add nothing to the experience. first time went from about 215-205 pounds, this time so far from 220-215 pounds. if you don’t stick with it major yoyoing. esp if you eat irregularly.

  2. Avatar GG says:

    It’s a bit touchy feely but if it’s not your cup of tea just ignore no need to be offensive we are all different and if you want to lose weight you need to learn to change habits of a lifetime and this can be difficult, if it was easy we wouldn’t need help

    • Avatar slowpoke32 says:

      I agree. There are numerous reasons why people gain and have difficulty losing weight. What is supportive for some won’t be for others.

  3. All true, but there’s a lot more than just positive thinking to losing weight. You need an intensive solution. For me personally, there was a time when I could only dream about abs now I have 6 of them! Lol…but seriously, I lost 30 pounds and
    sculpted my body with Venus Factor, first it targets weight loss and then it’s
    all about sculpting and defining. Well worth a look guys, check out my transformation and review by clicking on my name!

  4. Avatar Maria Alexandra Delgado says:

    Very positive. ..great blog.

  5. Avatar Rachael Katherine says:

    If we loved ourselves you would be out of a job mfp. We are here because we want change and information on how to make that change, we are not needing a therapist.

  6. Avatar brian says:

    I have used this app. Since jan. 1st and I have lost 50 lbs I’m glad I have this app.

    • Avatar Sherm says:

      Hi Bryan. Im about 5 days old to this app and what you have already achieved is my goal. Thats incredible. Was wondering what kind of meals to you eat and in how long did you start seeing a drop? Kindly advice thanks again and you are an inspiration 🙂

    • Avatar lucellyocampo2@gmail.com says:

      How I don’t know what am doing wrong that I mark everything what I eat and still not one pound down… Its been 2 weeks…

  7. Avatar Anna says:

    So much different information even all in one app (mfp) is just depressing. How can someone who takes all the advice lose any weight?

    • Avatar Andrew Mutz says:

      1 get sleep.
      2 stay hydrated
      3 eat a balanced regular diet.

      or do what my girl friend does and just sine up for slim4life.

  8. Avatar lwright311 says:

    Wow! No need to criticize. I have lost more than 65 lbs with MFP and kept it off for over a year. I am in the best shape of my life. The blog is fairly new to me but most of the time I like it and if I don’t I ignore it. Also, each person needs something different. Your negative comment might be what causes someone to give up on their weight loss goal. Believe it or not, there are people who dislike themselves so much, they don’t feel they deserve to be helthy. All change starts in the mind.

  9. Avatar Nicole Kallop says:

    This is my 2nd week using thos app and so far so gosolemn, do you s unfortunate that negativity is everywhere. People don’t even recognize how miserable they truly are, I once heard that for every one negative thing you say it takes five positive thoughts to change your mind. True or not words to live by. I don’t want to be solemn, do you?

  10. Avatar xleundon says:

    I absolutely love this app! I have been using this app consistently since February and I have lost 40 pounds!

  11. Ok, so when did MFP turn into a therapy consultation? I’m all for losing weight, if I wanted therapy, I’ll download Paul McKenna.

  12. Avatar Fabiola says:

    Great article, when we think to lose weight we always think eating healthy and exercising but we forget our spirit and mind, negative self sabotaging thoughts are the ones that make us binging, over eating, and stop working out. I will follow your recommendations and start loving myself I just realized that after readin. your article.
    I joined my fitness pal on September of last year and I lost almost 50 pounds, it couldn’t be possible without my fitness pal and the community that helps a lot with information, I’m still learning the key to successfully lose weight and what it really helps is reducing the sugar intake watch the food labels and not consume all the low fat products because those have the double of sugar than regular food products

    • Avatar Andrew Mutz says:

      The article was feel good bs from a unrealistic individual that gets people to feel dependant not independent. by unteaching realistic expectations and replaces them with a bowel of feel good. maybe no one likes me or I have no friends or I’m fat or ugly. I can say it isn’t true and feel good or I can feel motivated to change my self.

      she wants us to be happy not better.

      • Avatar Madi Saint Claire says:

        Hi Andrew, like your no-nonsense reaction to this. Particularly a ‘bowel of feel good’. Very funny.

  13. Avatar Steph Swan says:

    I love this article!!! Thank you carley well done!! Love the rose petal on the bed idea!!

  14. Avatar Sarah Mango says:

    You can reprogram yourself to use you mind more efficiently. If you repeat statement over and over again it eventually becoems your reality

  15. Avatar Judy says:

    I think this positive thinking blog is awesome! We can all use some help with that!! So much motivation available here at MFP!! Love it . thanks ❤

  16. Avatar Nat says:

    Just wanted to congratulate all of you with your success!

  17. Avatar Madi Saint Claire says:

    Some of these comments are so poorly written that they are difficult to understand. It is beneficial to hear others’ comments, both negative and positive, but please check and correct the comments before posting. Thank you.

  18. Avatar TEO says:

    The article by Carley Hauk ‘Five Negative Thoughts That Impede Weight Loss’ is far one of the most ridiculous and trite recycling of psychobabble I have read in years! It borders on insulting to the readers and IF she had any credibility prior to the article, she certainly doesn’t now. Absolutely laughable.

    • Avatar Suze says:

      there is a saying in 12 Step programs “take what you need and leave the rest”. Put it close though, you might want it.

      • Avatar Cathy Rowlands says:

        This article is spot on. How can you preserve and care for yourself if you don’t really love and accept who you are. I really appreciate this article and I am going to incorporate the techniques into my life and weight loss journey. If you don’t accept and love who you are then you will continue to self sabotage as you won’t think you are worthy of anything great. Like a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much.

  19. Avatar JDGetsReal.com says:

    I LOVE #4! It really hit me, in a great way. The others I’ve heard before, and understand their value, but #4 really changed my perspective. Thank you!!

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