Are you a “fat talker?” That’s someone, usually a woman, who makes disparaging comments about her weight. If that sounds familiar, listen closely: That type of negative attitude raises your risk of developing an eating disorder.

Dr. Alexandra Corning is the head of the University of Notre Dame’s Body Image and Eating Disorder Lab. And she says that women who say things like, “These jeans make me look fat” or, “This bagel is going straight to my hips” have lower self-esteem, and that’s one of the main risk factors for eating disorders.

And she says that what’s truly amazing about “fat talk” is that most women say they don’t like hearing it, but 93-percent of them still make fat comments about themselves on a regular basis. 

Psychologists say that a lot of women participate in fat talk because they think it’s a way to bond with their friends. But it almost always has the opposite effect. Because studies show that the women who fat talk the most are rated as least likeable by their peers. 

So, it’s time to stop the fat talk. Instead, when you’re with friends, say something positive about your body. Like: 

“I started a new Pilates class and I can really feel a difference.” Dr. Corning says positive comments are good for your ego and your relationships, because women with a positive self-image are thought to be kinder, more attractive, and more successful than women who always put themselves down.