Self-talk for weight loss, depression, anxiety

Posted on April 14, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Tonight I was discussing the value of self-talk with one of my patients. She asked for more information.

Self-talk can be very effective for weight loss, for pain management and for anxiety or depression. Several books give you detailed instructions on how to do this. All of us have these thoughts, “That was stupid” or “You never were very organized,” or “You are always late.” These thoughts have been implanted in our brain by family members, “friends,” colleagues or even enemies. Sometimes we have an overwhelming number of these thoughts that do most of the talking in our brain. When we are overwhelmed, this can lead to eating, depression, anxiety or difficulty with managing pain or other problems.

My research indicates that you can use positive, healthy self-talk to regulate your food choices, to deal with depression, and for pain relief. Different authors give very specific techniques to help you do this. Some of these techniques use meditation or relaxation or other techniques but all of them recommend developing specific self-talk statements to answer these negative self-talk statements. You can develop self-talk statements, write them down, say them aloud and silently and they will emerge to replace the negative, down-putting statements. Develop statements like, “I’m an experienced adult and get things done. Like everyone I sometimes make mistakes but still succeed in achieving my goals,” “I focus on the important tasks to be done and often defer trivial tasks until later,” “I am organized and budget my time carefully; to be more courteous I can arrive at appointments slightly ahead of schedule.”

While my research focus is on weight management, these self-talk statements can be applied to anxiety, depression or pain management. Look at these books for specific guidance. Brian Alman, “The Voice” 2011; Shad Helmstetter, “Self-Talk for Weight Loss,” 1994; and Joseph Luciani, “Self-Coaching,” 2007. They can be purchased inexpensively from Amazon. Com.

Please give me your feedback.

Thanks, Jim


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7 Responses to “Self-talk for weight loss, depression, anxiety”

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DEAR DR. I came across your diet in Womans World and am going to embark on this immediatley, im an obese 63 yr old female with type 2 diabetes currentley in therapy here in Reno for depression. Your simple diet makes sense to me. Im anxious to get started and will keep you updated. Thank you in advance for my new life. Linda

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve begun using The Simple Diet.

This might not be something that would interest you, but if you ever decided to add a record-keeping aspect to your site, I know that I would gladly pay for a subscription to use it.

Hi Patricia, Thanks. We are planning to expand our website,,and encourage comments and will respond. I am not certain what you would like to see in a record-keeping system. Could you expand on this? Thanks. Nutdoc

I’d love to see somewhere that I could record my weight and exercise. I know, I know… these are things I could easily keep a notebook for. But I believe it would increase my sense of accountability to have a place I could record it confidentially online.

It’s great that you’re planning to expand the site.

Patricia- in the book, there is a chart in the appendix with different websites that will allow you to keep records if you like.,, and are a few of the ones listed. You could probably find more on google. They aren’t specific to this diet, but they may provide what you are looking for. I can’t recommend a specific site, because I have not tried any yet. I hope this helps you. Best of luck.

Thank you for this. I’ll look into your suggestions — and I’d still like to see the feature show up at this site. Like I say, I’d be happy to pay a reasonable monthly subscription fee to support it.

It would be great to have a discussion board on this site, that would allow those on the diet to “talk” about their experiences and support each other.

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