June 8, 2017

Mindful Eating – 10 Cognitive Distortions and How to Correct Them

By Rachel Wyman
Clinical Nutrition Educator

Harness the power of your mind by listening to the background voices in your head relating to healthy eating. Consider journaling them on paper. Are your thoughts leading you toward positive actions or away from them?

If your thoughts betray you, spend time writing down more positive approaches to the same situation. Spend time reading them and rereading them. Embrace your new way of thinking.

  1. Context: Reward
    • Distortion: “I work hard and I deserve a treat.”
    • Correction: “I work hard and I deserve to be healthy.”
  2. Context: Celebration
    • Distortion: “It’s a holiday; I can eat whatever I want.”
    • Correction: “It’s a holiday; I can choose to eat foods that help me be healthy.”
  3. Context: Bad Day
    • Distortion: “This day was awful! I’ll feel better if I eat _____.”
    • Correction: “It was a difficult day; but eating healthy foods will help keep my mind and body functioning at their best to handle what tomorrow brings.”
  4. Context: This Is the Last Time
    • Distortion: “After today I won’t eat ____.”
    • Correction: “Giving up ___ is worth extending my life and improving my health. I can start now.”
  5. Context: I Already Blew It
    • Distortion: “I blew it and overate at lunch. It doesn’t matter if I overeat at dinner.”
    • Correction: “I overate at lunch. I can change my direction now and get back to healthier portions at dinner.”
  6. Context: I’ll Make Up for It Later
    • Distortion: “I haven’t eaten all day, so I can eat more at dinner.”
    • Correction: “Not eating all day is unhealthy. I’ll feel better if I eat evenly balanced meals.”
  7. Context: Self-Blame
    • Distortion: “It’s my fault. If I were a stronger person I would be able to eat healthier.”
    • Correction: “It’s about practice, not about strength. I can learn to eat healthier.”
  8. Context: It’s Not Fair, Other People Do It
    • Distortion: “It’s not right that other people can eat whatever they want to eat.”
    • Correction: “People differ in how much they can eat. I will eat the right amount of food for my body to be healthy.”
  9. Context: Life Gets in the Way
    • Distortion: “I don’t have time to eat breakfast.”
    • Correction: “Being unhealthy takes a lot of time in the doctor’s office and trips to the pharmacy. It saves more time making my breakfast the night before or getting up a little earlier.”
  10. Context: I’m Already Defeated
    • Distortion: “I’ll never be able to become as healthy as I want to be, so what does it matter what I eat?”
    • Correction: “Every choice I make is a chance to move away from or toward good health. I choose to move toward health.”

Rachel Wyman, RD, is Clinical Nutrition Educator at Mission Weight Management.

To learn more about Mission Weight Management and to sign up for a free information session, call (828) 213-4100 or visit missionweight.org.