To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Eating Disorders: Stop Negative Thoughts

Table of Contents


Eating disorders cause people to have unhealthy thoughts and behaviors about food and their bodies. With an eating disorder, how much you weigh and how you look have a severe effect on how you feel and think about yourself—and how you think others view you.

If you think you might have an eating disorder, talk with a doctor. Eating disorders can cause serious health problems and even death. Treatment includes counseling and sometimes medicines. Some people need treatment in a hospital or eating disorders clinic.

Negative thoughts

Negative thoughts are part of having an eating disorder. Changing negative thought patterns may not be easy. But our minds can be trained to be stronger and healthier—just like a muscle. A technique called thought reframing can help.

Thought reframing is the process of replacing negative thoughts with more helpful thoughts. It's a skill taught in a type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). There are also books and apps that can help you learn thought reframing on your own.

With practice, you can get better at choosing healthier thoughts to replace negative thoughts.

How can you use thought reframing when you have an eating disorder?

Negative thoughts can be hard to silence. While nobody can stop all their negative thoughts, you can reduce them. And you can start choosing healthier patterns of thinking. Here are some tips to get started.

Credits for Eating Disorders: Stop Negative Thoughts

Current as of: June 25, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff (
Clinical Review Board (
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.