"I knew I'd blow my diet. Why even bother?"
Familiar? Negative self-talk is quite common when people are trying to lose or maintain their weight.
You really have to be your own cheerleader. Studies have shown that people with positive attitudes are more out-going, they have more satisfying relationships and, basically, they are healthier.
Many of us find excuses for straying from eating healthfully. These are four common phrases that lead to self-fulfilled failure — and ways to turn negative thoughts into nurturing actions.
"Once I go off my diet, I can't go back on."
Unlike a light switch, a diet is not something that you flip on and off; it's something that you live with every day.
Brian Wansink, the John Dyson Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell University, once said: "The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."
True words. The people who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off follow an eating plan that isn't too restrictive and resembles one they are already consuming.
"I knew I’d blow this plan."
Be your own therapist, not your own frenemie.
Ever think, "Go ahead and have it —what difference is a piece of cake going to make?" or "How could you eat that after seeing what the scale said this morning?"
It would be better to say: "Let's think about whether this [food] is a good choice: what have I already eaten today and what else am I planning to eat later?"
Use the voice you’d use to speak to your children or to give advice to a friend. You deserve at least the same respect and attention that you give to others.
"I'll never fit into my size 2 clothes."
Be realistic: If you wore a size 2 in high school, maybe that's the not the right size for you now. Ideal weight is when you look and feel your best.
For example, if you're breathing heavily after walking up a flight of stairs or if you're suffering from weight-related health issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or reflux, dropping a few pounds could prevent more serious health issues from developing.
You can't lose twenty pounds until you first lose one, so work on that single pound and the rest will follow.
"Most people who lose weight gain it back anyway."
In fact, there are many people who successfully lose weight and never find it again. According to the National Weight Control Registry, members have lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for 5.5 years.
The majority of registrants used strategies like eating breakfast daily, exercising regularly, not watching more than 10 hours of TV per week, and visiting the bathroom scale on a consistent basis to keep them on track.
Focus on progress, not perfection.
Your problem is not your weight. Bigger issues are eating habits, such as excessive portions, meals in restaurants and unbalanced meals.
If you create healthier habits, there's a greater chance that the pounds will pour off as a bonus to those changes.
Read more from Bonnie Taub-Dix at http://www.betterthandieting.com
This article was originally published Apr. 4, 2015 at 12:40 p.m. ET.