Houston, Texas (NAPSI) - Women often struggle to make the right diet and exercise choices, but there’s one more secret to success, according to new research: a positive attitude.

A new Special K study, “Positivity and Weight Management: A Look at the Gains,” examined the differences between women with a positive and negative approach to weight management. Research found that nine out of 10 women who think positively about weight management reported either losing weight or maintaining their weight in the past year, compared to only about half of women with a negative approach. Not only did women who think positively about their weight management report that they were more successful in losing or maintaining their weight, they were actually eight times less likely to report having gained weight than women who think negatively.

Dr. Renee Engeln is a psychologist and body image researcher atNorthwesternUniversity.

“This research reminds us how much power our thoughts and words have to shape behavior. When women think and talk positively about weight management, they truly can turn a ‘loss’ into a ‘gain.’ Focusing on what you’re moving toward instead of what you’re moving away from is a great way to embrace a positive, affirming approach to weight management.”

Dr. Engeln shares her simple tips to enhance your positive thinking for weight management success, including:

• Ban “fat talk.”Women tend to fall into the trap of griping about their bodies to friends, a phenomenon that’s come to be known as “fat talk” and can quickly derail your efforts to lose or maintain your weight. The research shows that women who think positively about weight management are more likely to put a stop to this type of negative dialogue. To break the habit, create a “Swear Off Fat Talk” jar, with $1 going into the pot for each negative comment to donate to charity.

• Celebrate healthy talk. Flip negativity on its head. Every time you are about to say something negative about your body, weight or self, turn it around and make a positive statement. Try saying “I appreciate my body” or swap the word “gain” for “lose,” “fit” for “fat” and “can” for “can’t.” Another great way to start thinking positively is to take part in the Special K Gains Project at www.SpecialK.com, where you can share what you hope to “gain” from your weight management efforts and help motivate and be inspired by other women.

• Don’t stress; instead, own your success. Stress is one of the largest weight management obstacles for all women. Excess stress can sabotage your body’s ability to stick to a diet and may trigger unhealthy choices. Keep healthy snacks such as snack bars, fruits and a bottle of water handy at home, in your purse or desk drawer for those moments when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

• Appreciate what your body can do. It’s time to think about your body differently by celebrating what your body is capable of doing. From everyday activities like mastering a new yoga pose to something as amazing as giving birth, take a moment to appreciate your body’s potential for change.

For more information including study findings, online tools and recipes, visit www.SpecialK.com or join in the conversation on the Special K Facebook page or on Twitter @SpecialKUS.